Vol. 9 No. 24


Vancouver Writers Fest program launches this week!
The 27th Vancouver Writers Fest program launches this week. Look for the Festival program guide at bookstores in the Lower Mainland, or check the Festival website, www.writersfest.bc.ca, on August 15 for full details.

An Evening with Louise Penny

New York Times bestselling author, Louise Penny is back with her latest Chief Inspector Gamache book, The Long Way Home. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/louisepenny.

Wednesday, September 3 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12377&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/louisepenny) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Join in a group re-read of the first nine books of Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series to prepare for the release of the latest book, The Long Way Home, http://gamacheseries.com/.

An Evening with David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell talks to Hal Wake, the Vancouver Writers Fest's Artistic Director, and reads from his new novel, The Bone Clocks.

Saturday, September 27 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12382&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/davidmitchell) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Stickboy: From Page To Stage

Join us for an enlightening conversation about the process of transforming Stickboy, a book by world-renowned spoken word artist Shane Koyczan, into a contemporary opera. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/stickboy.

Tuesday, October 7 at 7:30pm
Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12580&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/stickboy) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Bruce Cockburn

Legendary Canadian singer and songwriter Bruce Cockburn talks about his long-awaited memoir, Rumours of Glory.

Monday, November 10 at 7:30 pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12385&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/brucecockburn) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Conrad Black

From the acclaimed biographer and historian Conrad Black comes Rise to Greatness, a major new reexamination of the history of Canada—a revealing, groundbreaking account of the people and events that shaped a nation. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/conradblack.

Thursday, November 13 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12599&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/conradblack) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Alan Doyle

Alan Doyle, singer-songwriter and front man of the Canadian band Great Big Sea, talks about his new memoir, Where I Belong.

Thursday, November 13 at 7:30 pm
Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright Street, Granville Island)
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12388&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/alandoyle) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.


The 32nd annual Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts runs from August 14-17, 2014. The festival features established literary stars and exciting, new voices including Angie Abdou, Steven Galloway, Linda Holeman, Heather O'Neill and Miriam Toews and a finale event with spoken word artists Jillian Christmas, Zaccheus Jackson and Brendan McLeod. Complete details at writersfestival.ca.


The shortlist for the $10,000 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction has been announced. The award recognizes "Canadian-authored first or second books with significance to the country." The topics covered by books on the shortlist include the Northern Gateway Project, LGBT families, and travel.

The longlist for the Guardian first book award has also been revealed. The award includes Fiction, Non-Fiction and a Readers' choice selection.


A new children's book called My Grandfather's Coat is the kind of work that's bound to become a mutigenerational family favourite. Based on a Yiddish folksong called "I had a Little Overcoat," it is a tale of four generations, beginning with a boy's arrival at Ellis Island.


A group of Canadian artists' organizations are lobbying for a health benefit subsidy for self-employed artists. Among the organizations lobbying are The Writers' Union of Canada, the Canadian Media Guild, and the Professional Writers Association of Canada.

Vancouver writer Tyee Bridge believes that a lot can be said in 15,000 words. "Like a novella, but for non-fiction. A nonvella." Unable to find a publisher for his shorter-than-usual material, he decided to join with fellow freelancer Anne Casselman to create a startup that could bridge the gap between books and magazines.

Amazon's fight against its authors continues, and now they're using Orwell as ammunition. Unfortunately for them, however, these sorts of attacks only work properly when the author is quoted correctly.

How long does it take to write a book? For E.M. Forster to write A Passage to India, it took eleven years. Writers Fest author Damon Galgut asks why (and tries to find the answer), here:

Speaking of classic 20th century novels, a new edition of The Sun Also Rises is being released. It's filled with notes, manuscripts and annotations organized in "handy appendices, giving us lay readers a sense of Hemingway's writing process, and, more importantly, of how different a novel 'The Sun Also Rises' might have been."

Different manuscripts are one thing, but what about different covers? Penguin Modern Classics has released a new edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with a cover that has upset many Roald Dahl fans because of its "sexualized" cover.


Quill and Quire has released its 2014 fall preview. Here are its short fiction and crime fiction suggestions, featuring books by Kathleen Winter, Peter Robinson, Louise Penny, and Vancouver's own Wayde Compton.

And here is Quill and Quire's non-fiction preview list. Naomi Klein, Cory Doctorow, Alison Pick and Douglas Coupland are just some of the authors featured.

The Guardian newspaper's Poem of the week is Look-out by Ian House. It is a poem for peace [that] eschews flag-waving and forced sentiment in favour of a still moment of ceasefire."

The Hungarian novelist Laszlo Krasznahorkai is hardly a neophyte in the writing world, but English-speaking audiences are only, just now, discovering him. Described by Susan Sontag as a "master of the apocalypse," his most recently translated book is called Seiobo There Below.

Childbirth is an experience that is rarely portrayed in fiction. Novelist Bethan Roberts discusses the top ten novels about childbirth, including a Canadian classic, here:

Is there a paper vs. digital binary? Two American art professors have launched an "inquiry into the written word" that is trying to demolish that duality. Named after their project of the same name, their new book is called The Open Book.

Jess Row's debut novel, Your Face in Mine, joins "a long tradition of fiction about racial guises," set in world where people can undergo racial reassignment surgery. Inspired by James Baldwin, Row's intent was to "explore the ways people try to escape their racial identities, as well as investigate their desire for racial reconciliation and deeply unconscious fears."

Yelena Akhtiorskaya is also a first time novelist, though her book tackles a very different subject. Set in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, it tells the story of an immigrant family, and a visit from their son, Pasha, the last child still living in Ukraine.

Peter Mendelsund is well known for his smart and visually arresting book jackets for authors such as Martin Amis and Stieg Larsson. Now he's the author of two books, Cover (which features his design work) and What We See When We Read, "an investigation of what happens in the mind's eye when we're engrossed in a book." He's interviewed here:

What's your favourite out-of-print book? Adam Kirsch and Francine Prose discuss, bringing books by Thomas Mann and Philip Roth to the table.

Will Self is a novelist famous for his huge vocabulary and a category-defying life. He recently participated in a live webchat with readers to discuss all this, and more.


R.J. Harlick, author of the wilderness-based Meg Harris mystery series, will be discussing and reading from her latest book. Saturday, August 16 at 2:00pm, free. Dunbar branch, 4515 Dunbar Street. For more information, visit vpl.ca.

Crime writers E.R. Brown, Sam Wiebe, and R.J. Harlick discuss how B.C.'s dark side plays into their most recent novels. Saturday, August 16 at 2:00pm. Book Warehouse, 4118 Main Street, Vancouver.

Author presents the finale to her trilogy with the last book, The Book of Life. Monday, August 18 at 7:00pm. Chapters Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby. More information at 604-431-0463.

Author Sam Wiebe launches his latest book Last of the Independents. Tuesday, September 2 at 7:00pm. Shebeen Whiskey House, 212 Carrall Street, Vancouver.

Fantasy author reads from his swashbuckling adventure novel Traitor's Blade and gives a talk on the use of swordplay in fantasy and historical literature. Thursday, September 4 at 7:00pm, free. Peter Kaye room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.


An evening of fiction and poetry with Ann Eriksson reading from her new novel, High Clear Bell of Morning, and Gary Geddes reading selected poems from,"What Does a House Want? Monday, September 8 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

Launch of Caroline Adderson's new book. Tuesday, September 7 at 7:00pm. Book Warehouse, 4118 Main Street, Vancouver. More information at blackbondbooks.com.

An evening of poetry with three award-winning B.C. poets: Garry Gottfriedson, Pamela Porter and Henry Rappaport—all with new collections to showcase. Wednesday, September 10 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia. More information at vpl.ca.

Features Cynthia Flood and Elise Partridge plus open mic. Wednesday, September 10 at 7:00pm. Suggested donation at the door: $5. The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. More information at pandorascollective.com.

Five poets/readers/poetry-lovers/writers with extensive public reading experience read poems from one of their favourite dead poet's work. Sunday, September 14 at 3:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

Diane Tucker reads from her new poetry collection, Bonsai Love. Tuesday, September 16 at 7:30pm, free. la Fontana Caffe, 101-3701 East Hastings Street, Burnaby. More information at burnabywritersnews.blogspot.ca.

Local Victoria-based author launches her new book A Rock Fell on the Moon, Dad and the Great Yukon Silver Ore Heist. Wednesday, September 17 at 7:30pm. Bard & Banker Pub, 1022 Government Street, Victoria. More information by calling Munro's Books, 250-382-2464.

Christopher Levenson, poet and author, will present with Peter Braun, Master Printer of New Leaf Editions, and Sigrid Albert, graphic artist, a discussion about the genesis of producing a rare book of poetry and etchings. Sunday, September 21 at 3:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

Vancouver Is Ashes is the first detailed exploration of a landmark, yet seldom revisited event in Vancouver's history. Lisa Anne Smith uses eye-witness accounts to investigate events of that pivotal day. Monday, September 22 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

Festival promoting books and authors with free exhibits, performances, and hands-on activities for a wide range of ages and interests. September 24-28, 2014. Complete details at wordvancouver.ca.

Pandora's Collective in conjunction with Word Vancouver features Rita Wong, Jami Macarty, Lilija Valis & Kevin Spenst plus open mic. Thursday, September 25 at 7:00pm. Suggested donation at the door: $5. The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. More information at pandorascollective.com.

North Shore Writers' Association invite community & cultural co-creators: writers, dancers, musicians and artists, to join in this fun activity of giving thanks in this 2-hour workshop to expand upon and play with word prompts. Saturday, September 27 at 10:00am, free. North Vancouver City Library, 120 14th St. W., North Vancouver. More information at culturedays.ca.

an afternoon on the edge of your seat with four local mystery authors, Sam Wiebe, E.R. Brown, Robin Spano and Owen Laukkanen. Listen as they share their latest novels, then book a one-on-one session for answers to any of your burning mystery questions. Saturday, September 27 at 1:00pm, free. West Vancouver Memorial Library, 1950 Marine Drive, West Vancouver. More information at culturedays.ca.