Media

Tanya Talaga Speaks with a Collective Voice

Tanya Talaga is generous: with her time, with her words, and with her breakfast. “Seriously, please take them. I am so not a potato person,” she says, holding out her plate at Vancouver’s Dockside Restaurant on Granville Island. It’s a big morning for the Toronto-based Anishinaabe reporter and author—it’s the day of the federal election and she has a story to file for the Toronto Star on Jody Wilson-Raybould; it is also the first day of the Vancouver Writers Fest, for which she is guest curator this year.

Author Wu Ming-Yi explores many facets of Taiwanese identity in The Stolen Bicycle

A search for a stolen bicycle may simply be a hunt for a lost object, or it could be seen as an allegory of the 400-year history of colonialism in Taiwan. The author of The Stolen Bicycle, which was longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2018, tells the Straight by phone from his home in Taipei that he wants readers to make up their own mind. Wu Ming-Yi is not interested in controlling how they interpret his book.

Seven Fallen Feathers author Tanya Talaga shares her 6 favourite books

Tanya Talaga is an award-winning author and journalist who lives in Toronto. All Our Relationsthe book companion to her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures, is an eye-opening look at the suicide epidemic in Indigenous communities. It’s one of five books nominated for the 2019 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. The winner will be announced on Nov. 5, 2019.

Of course Bob McDonald wanted to be an astronaut

If you are a CBC Radio listener you will surely recognize the name and the voice of Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald. The host of the show since 1992, McDonald is also the go to science guy for CBC News Network and The National. He’s won awards and has an asteroid named after him. And now he has a new book.

Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book looks at how we talk to strangers

Thanks to the circus-like atmosphere of American politics, best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell admits he pines a little for his old job as a Washington Post reporter.

B.C. Author’s Ode to Italian Masterpiece Nominated for Giller Prize

There probably isn’t a major artist who doesn’t know this story: you’re, at best, appreciated during the struggle of life, and then loved and hailed a genius after the cold embrace of death.

Maude Barlow on Taking Back Our Right to Water

More than a decade ago, Maude Barlow sounded the warning bell on the war over water. When Blue Gold: World Water Wars screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2008, I remember being stunned by the scale of the crisis documented in the film. A lot has changed in the previous decade, a great deal of it for the worse.

Emma Donoghue shares her favourite books

Emma Donoghue is one of Canada’s most successful writers. The film version of her novel Room was a regular on the awards circuit, with an Academy Award win for actress Brie Larson and an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay for Emma Donoghue.

4 Vancouver Writers Fest 2019 Events that Literature Lovers Should Not Miss

Founded in 1988, the Vancouver Writers Fest (October 21 to 27, 2019) offers a way into the world of contemporary writing in Canada. Located on Granville Island and thoughtfully put together each fall, the festival features authors from Canada and abroad. This event is a way for literature lovers of all kinds to get close to innovative writing and keep up with what’s hip.

On the Line with Eve Joseph

The distinguished poet and writer Eve Joseph discusses her latest poetry collection, which received the 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize, Quarrels (Anvil Press, 2019), writing, as well as her forthcoming appearances at the Vancouver Writers Fest this week, and more, with Joseph Planta.

5 Feminist Events at the Vancouver Writers Festival

Whether rigorous journalism or expansive fiction, literature can be a crucial tool in thinking through complicated political realities – and imagining new ones. The 100+ authors attending the Vancouver Writers Fest this from October 21-27, 2019, do just that. Here are five events for anyone interested in nuanced and unapologetically feminist conversations on today’s most pertinent stories.

Vernon house’s mysterious inhabitants turn out to be great fodder for novelist

As a kid Laisha Rosnau regularly walked by an old house on her way to downtown Vernon. While it wasn’t as scary as the Radley house that gave the Finch kids the shivers in To Kill a Mockingbird the Vernon house, however, was subject to its own rumours, some of them spooky. Many years later the occupants of that North Okanagan house are at the centre of Rosnau’s second novel Little Fortress.

‘Little Fortress’: A Family’s Journey from Noble Life in Rome to Seclusion in Vernon

The idea of women walling themselves away from the world and living in seclusion has deep cultural roots. From Grey Gardens to Miss Havisham, the images are of lonely, grief-stricken figures, often more than a little nutty.

In conversation with “Little Fortress” author Laisha Rosnau

Perhaps the decline of noble life in the early years of the 20th century seems an unusual setting to turn to for answers about our place in the current world, yet this unlikely territory is exactly where Laisha Rosnau’s second novel Little Fortress draws insight from.

Three Under The Radar Gems at this Years Writers Fest

While it’s often the big names that get all the buzz at the Vancouver Writers Festival (Margaret Atwood and Malcolm Gladwell have already made appearances in the past few weeks), the real joy often lies in uncovering a gem in one of the smaller venues where the ideas and proximity take on the life of their own. Here are three we think might fit that bill.

The ups and downs of sisterhood and self-discovery drive novel Dual Citizens

Being chosen as a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada’s top literary award, is an honour as well as a great piece of public relations as Vancouver-based author Alix Ohlin has noticed.

Laisha Rosnau explores the ties that bond in Little Fortress

It took nine years from conception to publication for Rosnau to complete Little Fortress, the author’s second novel, which follows the true story of the Caetanis, a family of Italian nobility who were driven out of their home by the rise of fascism and chose exile in the Okanagan Valley – and would end up living close by Rosnau’s family home even though the author was mainly unaware of this growing up.

Award-Winning Authors to Catch at the 2019 Vancouver Writers Festival

At this time of year, it can feel like there is a festival of one kind or another every weekend. Still, the Vancouver Writers Fest stands out. Thirty-two years in, the festival has retained a sense of continuity. It remains rooted on Granville Island, and Leslie Hurtig, in her second year as artistic director, is only the third to hold that position (after the long tenures of Hal Wake and Alma Lee, the festival’s founder).

The Farm: debut novel brings Filipina story deeper cultural ideas to life

If you haven’t read Joanne Ramos’ The Farm yet, you should. Even though the novel is her debut work, it’s taking the literary world by storm. Verging on dystopian, The Farm imagines a world not too different from our own, where lower class, marginalized women sign away their wombs — and a year of their life — to serve the wealthy upper classes.

Mariko Tamaki: Bleeding Edges of Queer History in Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Mariko Tamaki will be coming to the Vancouver Writers Fest to talk love, do improv, and offer insights on the graphic novel-writing process. In the following interview, I ask her about her influences, the importance of intergenerational conversations in the queer community, and tips she would give to new and likeminded creators.