UPCOMING VIWF EVENTS
Pico Iyer will appear in a special Incite event on February 20 at the Improv Centre on Granville Island. Admission is by donation. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/incitefebruary20
Pico Iyer—his thumbnail self-portrait: a "scruffy mongrel living in Japan"—has made a name with reams of far-flung journalism and thoughtful travelogues. His latest book, The Man Within My Head, is a work less about exploring place than state of mind.
At its core, the act of reading is the act of seeking a connection, writes Ian McGillis. When that connection occurs, though, it can't always be logically explained.
At the next Incite on February 22, Ojibway author Richard Wagamese reads from Indian Horse, Anne DeGrace reads from Flying with Amelia and Robert Hough shares his latest work Dr. Brinkley's Tower. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/incitefebruary22. Also appearing at Incite in the next few months are Linden MacIntyre, Will Ferguson, Anakana Schofield, Richard Stursberg, John Boyne, Yasuko Thanh and Buffy Cran, among others.
Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author Richard Ford appears with his latest novel, Canada. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/richardford.
AWARDS & LISTS
Vancouver actor and playwright Carmen Aguirre's Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter, an account of her family's flight from Chile to Canada during the 1973 Pinochet military coup, is the winner of the CBC's Canada Reads: True Stories 2012 competition.
The Young Canada Reads panel of five junior high students selected Mariatu Kamara's Bite of the Mango as the book every teen in Canada should read.
Charlotte Gill's tree-planting memoir Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe has won British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. Gill was awarded the $40,000 prize at a ceremony in Vancouver on Monday.
Timothy Donnelly will receive the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for his book The Cloud Corporation, at the award ceremony in April. The prize is designed to support a poet in mid-career. The Kate Tufts Discovery Award, which is presented to a poet for his or her debut collection, will go to Katherine Larson for Radical Symmetry.
Henry Kissinger's On China has been shortlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize.
Just in time for Black History Month: Deza Malone, a character from Christopher Paul Curtis' Bud, Not Buddy gets a story all her own in The Mighty Miss Malone. Readers will enjoy this history-filled, wonderful journey, writes Tracy Grant, a student reviewer.
Bud, Not Buddy has become a play for young people.
Lemony Snicket plans to publish a series of autobiographical accounts this autumn in a sequence called All the Wrong Questions. The novel Who Could That Be at This Hour? is his account of the first wrong question.
A small Irish press is publishing a limited edition of a never-published children's story by James Joyce. Joyce's The Cats of Copenhagen is a "younger twin sister" to his published children's story The Cat and the Devil.
Historical fiction has become a mainstay of children's literature—a way to bring the past to life for today's young readers. Graphic novels go even farther in bridging the gap between past and present. Lone Hawk is the story of flying ace Billy Bishop; Hyena in Petticoats, the story of suffragette Nellie McClung.
This wonderful book touches the heart of the reader, no matter how many times it's read, writes a young reviewer of Michael Morpurgo's Farm Boy. It's the sequel to the film War Horse, and I think it is just as good.
First Book Canada, working with Decoda Literacy Solutions, is distributing 45,000 books to children from low-income families across British Columbia.
NEWS & FEATURES
Marsha Lederman describes Andreas Schroeder as the godfather of B.C.'s non-fiction boom. Several writers mention the creative writing programs, especially at the University of British Columbia and single out one teacher, Andreas Schroeder.
From The Epic of Gilgamesh to Infinite Jest via Dante, the western canon is set to be turned into a 1,344-page, three-volume graphic novel; "the graphic publishing literary event of the year", writes Alison Flood. There are 130 contributing illustrators.
The Vancouver Public Library is launching an innovative program called Read Dating. Participants pre-register, are assigned a famous book character name, and a gmail account to ensure privacy. Register at the reading information desk (second level) or call (604) 331-3691.
The 25 contenders for the most romantic novel of the year have been announced—with just one male author, Michael Arditti, in the running. Arditti is up for the "epic romantic novel" category.
John Dugsdale writes that Jason Reitman's Young Adult is the latest in a long line of films which portray authors as helpless, or vindictive, or both. Who would want to be an author in film?
Two of Syria's most prominent authors—Adonis, widely held as the Arabic-speaking world's greatest living poet, and novelist Khaled Khalifa—have spoken out against the military actions of the regime.
The launch of Taslima Nasrin's autobiography, Nirbashan (Exile), has been abandoned, due to a protest from the All India Minority Forum. The author believes "the appetite for censorship is growing in India".
A basement shrine in her 1920s home inspired Caroline Adderson to discover the past lives of her house and its inhabitants—and then to write about the experience.
Nathan Englander and Jonathan Safran Foer discuss the art of fiction, Jewishness and their new collaboration. Together they created a new translation of the Haggadah.
Publisher Patrick Crean learned about Albert Jackson through Karolyn Smardz Frost's book I've Got a Home in Glory Land. Crean discovered that he lives in a home once owned by the former child slave and has asked the city to name a lane for Jackson.
Martin Scorsese's film Hugo is adapted from The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. In an interview. the American artist talks about working with Marty, his love of cross-hatching—and why he always keeps a mirror on his desk.
The Booker prize-winning author Ben Okri has damned his editor's claim to have rewritten the dialogue in one of his books as "monstrous, and indeed suspect", accusing former editor Robin Robertson of 'exaggerating his own importance'.
Apple is at the vanguard of a push behind technology that's helping old-fashioned Braille replace text-to-speech audio for the blind. "The iPhone is the official phone of blindness," says Chancey Fleet.
Shoppers angry about the higher cost of books in Canada can blame old regulations, industry representatives told a Senate committee Tuesday. The change could be made with the stroke of a pen, said Chris Tabor, who represents campus bookstores.
BOOKS & WRITERS
Robert J. Wiersema writes that, in Red Means Run, Brad Smith has a masterful thriller on his hands. Readers can surrender themselves easily to complex characterizations and the archetypal "wrongfully accused, on the run, trying to clear ones name" storytelling.
Tess Gallagher became a poet because she was swept away by poetry's depth, writes Tracy Sherlock. Gallagher's third husband, author Raymond Carver, died in 1988 but, says Gallagher, he still sustains and inspires her work. Midnight Lantern spans 50 years of work.
Can the possibility of shame exist in a culture where the concepts of privacy and shame are compromised? Helen Schulman's This Beautiful Life is a gripping moral fable about the decline of privacy, writes Mark Lawson.
Montreal writer Kim Thúy came to Canada as a child of war. Ru, a rendering of a Vietnamese story much like her own won the French-language Governor-General's Award (2010), among other fiction prizes. Ru comes to us in English from celebrated translator Sheila Fischman.
Elmore Leonard's Raylan is his best novel in a decade, writes Jack Batten. Leonard tells the story with no wasted motion.
Nathan Englander's What we Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank can be read as a collection of running gags. They have the distinction, though, of not just being seriously funny, but deadly serious, writes Joel Yanofsky.
Vulture Peak is the fifth of John Burdett's "Bangkok novels," all of them featuring the philosophical Buddhist police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep and all of them redolent of crime, violence, corruption and sex, not necessarily in that order. writes Jonathan Yardley.
Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending is a book that leave you wondering how much of what you've read you can believe. When you start to read this book, says Tracy Sherlock, be prepared to read it in one sitting.
Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now remains the supreme example of the state of the nation novel—a huge cast of characters, a labyrinthine plot, contemporary themes—the model upon which a number of important recent novels have drawn, writes Alex Preston.
Inspector Ricardo Ramirez of the Cuban National Revolutionary Police has help from the ghost of his dead grandmother, if only he understood the clues he's given. Reviewer Cheryl Parker hopes this is the beginning of lawyer Peggy Blair's crime-writing career.
ROBSON READING SERIES
Readings by Steve Burgess (Who Killed Mom?) and Daniel Griffin (Stopping for Strangers). Thursday, February 16 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.
The On Edge readings series presents the author of The Exalted Company of Roadside Martyrs and Lake of the Prairies. Thursday, February 16 at 7:00pm, free. Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street. More information at www.ecuad.ca/about/events/198105.
PANDORA'S COLLECTIVE 10TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION/FUNDRAISER
Bonnie Nish, Sita Carboni, Daniela Elza, and Timothy Shay host East Van troubadours C.R. Avery, Jess Hill, and Geoff Berner and others. Thursday, February 16 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $10. The Prophouse Cafe, 1636 Venables. More information at www.pandorascollective.com.
HOME FRONT, A READING SERIES
Reading by Sharon Thesen, author of The Serial Poems. Saturday, February 18 at 8:00pm. Cost: $5/pay what you can. 3966 Ontario Street, Vancouver. More information at 604-879-5200.
Event features Vancouver storytellers Linda Stender and Erin Graham and guests Chen Ha, Jennifer McKay-Martin, Pandora's Poets,and Rosemary Nowicki. Sunday, February 19 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $6. St. Mark's Anglican Church, 1805 Larch Street. More information at www.vancouverstorytellers.ca.
Readings by Maggie Pie, Trixie Hobbitses, Malvina Masvino, Mama Fortuna, Bunny Meugens, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, and guest star Samantha Mack. Sunday, February 19 at 8:30pm. Tickets: $20/15. The Backstage Lounge, 1585 Johnston Street. More information at ngrbustof.eventbrite.ca.
PEN-IN-HAND POETRY/PROSE READING SERIES
Featuring Heidi Greco and Susan McCaslin. Monday, February 20 at 7:30pm. Cost: $3. Serious Coffee, 230 Cook Street, Victoria. More information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reading featuring special guest Leslie Michel Beckmann, author of The Sum of All Evils. Tuesday, February 21 at 8:00pm. La Fontana Caffe, 101-3701 East Hastings.
FROM TALKING STICK TO THE MICROPHONE VOL. 2
Some of Canada's top spoken word artists go head to head! Part of the Talking Stick Festival. Wednesday, February 22 at 8pm. Pay what you can or by donation. Cafe Deux Soleils, 2096 Commercial Drive. More information at fullcircleperformance.ca.
Hear author Marusya Bociurkiw read from her new book Feeling Canadian: Television, Nationalism and Affect and join in the discussion. Thursday, February 23 at 7:30pm, free. Rhizome Cafe, 317 E. Broadway.
GALIANO LITERARY FESTIVAL
Third annual literary festival featuring George Bowering, Patrick Friesen, Susan Juby, Rhea Tregebov and many others. February 24-26, 2012. Galiano Island. More information at galianoliteraryfestival.wordpress.com.
SURREY READS AND WRITES 2012
Panel discussions, author talks, and workshops on constructing plot, writing for social media, and writing for children. Saturday, February 25 at 11am, free. Surrey Public Library City Centre, 103350 University Drive, Surrey. More information at www.surreylibraries.ca/5459.aspx.
WISH COME TRUE WRITERS' CHALLENGE
A reading of Paul Seesequasis' Tobacco Wars and excerpts from freshly created writings will be shared by Paul Seesequasis and the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast. Monday, February 27 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $18/$15/$14. The Vancity Culture Lab, 1895 Venables Street. More information at fulcircleperformance.ca.
CBC STUDIO ONE BOOK CLUB
Eva Stachniak, author of The Winter Palace, is coming to the CBC Studio One Book Club on Monday February 27! Her new historical novel tells the epic story of Catherine the Great's improbable rise to power as seen through the ever-watchful eyes of a servant. The story is told in dazzling detail, impeccably researched, awash with the scandals and secrets of the Russian Imperial court. Win free tickets at www.cbc.ca/bc/bookclub.
VANCOUVER POETRY SLAM
Lipsmacker youth slam featuring Robert Lashley. Monday, February 27 at 8:00pm. Cost: $6/$3. Cafe Deux Soleils, 2096 Commercial Drive. More information at vancouverpoetryhouse.com.