The Canada Writes Tent
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HOST: Elee Kraljii Gardiner, Director of Thursdays Writing Collective
The anthology V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012) is a literary map of one of the most written about yet misunderstood neighbourhoods in Canada. In it thirty-two writers, emerging and established, who have been a part of the DTES community share their poetry, stories and essays. These honest writings reappropriate the coding of the area as "the poorest postal code in Canada" and recast the DTES as a site of creative energy and human dignity. Coeditor Elee Kraljii Gardiner and three contributors will read from the book.
(Arsenal Pulp Press $19.95)
HOST: Roman Onufrijchuk, The Publishing Program, Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology, SFU
When Vancouver artist Tania receives a letter suggesting that her father may not be the man she has always known as such, her world turns upside down. As she strives to understand the implications of this news and delves into her family’s past, Tania discovers the ultimate retribution that her life represents. Set in Chile and Canada, Retribution charts the Martínez’s journey of struggle and survival from one home to the next as it celebrates the triumph of beauty and dignity over darkness and horror.
Cuando Tania, una artista visual residente en Vancouver, recibe una carta sugiriendo que su padre quizás no sea el hombre que ella siempre consideró como tal, su mundo se trastorna. Mientras se esfuerza por comprender las implicaciones de esta noticia y se adentra en el pasado de su familia, Tania descubre el desquite representado por su propia existencia. Ambientada en Chile y Canadá, El desquite narra la historia de lucha y sobrevivencia en la vida de los Martínez, su travesía de un país a otro, y celebra el triunfo de la belleza y la dignidad sobre la oscuridad y el horror.
(Women’s Press Literary $22.95) Adopted by STIBC
Six months into Louella’s eighteen-month stint on a weapons charge, her mother dies, and upon an early release, Louella discovers she has inherited a good deal of money and a nice condo in a quiet suburb of Vancouver. It is here that Louella sits in relative anonymity and safety, here that she decides to take some time away from the influence of her former “associates,” tend her mother’s garden, maintain her new-found sobriety, and reassess her life. But, as so often happens, her past comes a callin’.
(Anvil Press $20.00)
HOST: Alex Varty, Associate Editor, The Georgia Straight
A sharply original debut collection, How To Get Along With Women showcases Elisabeth de Mariaffi’s keen eye and inventive voice. Infused with a close and present danger, these stories tighten the knot around power, identity, and sexuality, drawing the reader into the pivotal moments where—for better or for worse—we see ourselves for what we truly are.
(Invisible Publishing $16.95)
Malarky is the story of an Irish mother forced to look grief in the eye, and of a wife come face-to-face with the mad agony of longing. Comic, moving, eccentric, and spare, Anakana Schofield's debut novel introduces a brilliant new voice to contemporary fiction.
The story of a young man coming of age during the Balkan wars of the late 1990s in a novel that is as witty as it is profound. Caught up in the insanity of war and the capers of a manic, larger-than-life father, Zavida Zanković awaits trial for a dizzying array of charges. Telling his story to his beautiful court-appointed lawyer, Zavida picks up the threads of his past to spin an audacious narrative at once hilarious and heartbreaking.
(Goose Lane Editions $29.95)
HOST: Brian Lynch, Books Editor, The Georgia Straight
The Energy of Slavesis a radical analysis of our master-and-slave relationship to energy and a call for change. Oil has transformed politics, economics, science, agriculture, gender, and even our concept of happiness. But as Andrew Nikiforuk argues in this provocative new book, we still behave like slaveholders in the way we use energy, and that urgently needs to change.
(Greystone Books $29.95)
Joni is an illuminating portrait of one of Canada's most brilliant and defiant musical icons. This new portrait of the reclusive singer examines how significant life events—failed relationships, the surrender of her infant daughter, debilitating sickness—have influenced her creative expression. Katherine Monk captures the rich legacy of her multifaceted subject in this offbeat account, weaving in personal reflections and astute cultural observations, and revealing the Mitchell who remains misunderstood.
(Greystone Books $22.95)
The comical, critical and curious Arthur Black presents a classic collection of humorous tales inc Looking Blakward. From the man who wins medals for humour, Looking Blackward analyses a paranoid, hypersensitive, melodramatic society. The headlines to which we have become so accustomed are observed through a different lens in the book, revealing the absurdity of our ideas and decisions. Looking Blackward is a colourful collage of stories from small-town antics to international farces.
(Harbour Publishing $19.95)
HOST: Jerry Wasserman, actor, critic, UBC theatre professor
My Year of the Racehorseis the story of a man, a horse, and a foul-mouthed trainer in the formerly glamorous world of horse racing. Written with keen observational humour, the story is strewn with fascinating tidbits and infused with the excitement and faded glamour of the horseracing world. Ultimately, it is the moving tale of a young man’s discovery that a meaningful life can arise from the most unexpected of circumstances.
(Greystone Books $22.95)
As a teenager, legendary Canadian poet George Bowering lived the life of an ordinary boy. He loved baseball, read Westerns, held a part-time job, and fantasized about girls and women. George was due for a sexual awakening, which arrived when he was fifteen. What took place was anything but ordinary when George found himself vying for the affections of three different women: his first love, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and one of his high school teachers.
(Cormorant Books $32.00) Adopted by Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine
Butterfly Winter is the story of Julio and Esteban Pimental, twins whose divine destiny for baseball begins with games of catch in the womb. Events in the brothers' fictional homeland of Courteguay, including the outlawing of baseball, continually shape their lives. They are monitored by the Wizard, a mysterious figure who travels by hot air balloon and controls events behind the scenes. In his last years he tells the story of the twins to a skeptical ‘gringo’ journalist.
(Great Plains Publications $29.95)
HOST: Mark Forsythe, CBC’s BC Almanac
Based on their hilarious viral campaign, a new satirical political party announces its CANADAcy for president of the United States. America, But Better combines the doctrine of American exceptionalism with a dose of Canadian humility and common sense. This manifesto of the Canada Party offers a helping hand to its southern neighbors before Americans begin chanting, “Yes We Canada.”
(Douglas & McIntyre $16.95) Adopted by Liesl Jauk
In this exhilarating, heartbreaking book, Rick Antonson and his travel nemesis, Peter, journey through eight states, seeking all that remains of Route 66. It blends surprising vignettes with obscure stories by personalities like Al Capone, the Harvey Girls, Salvador Dalí, Mickey Mantle, Cyrus Avery and songster Bobby Troup "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66." Antonson's fresh perspective on the route's harsh history underpaints a canvas of stories about the road's rise to fame and its fall from grace.
(Dundurn Press $26.99)
Nobody Rides For Free: A Drifter in the Americas chronicles former bike courier John Francis Hughes' rambles through Latin America on a bicycle. Banditos, grifters, would-be wives, dope fiends and monkeys conspire to reduce him to alcoholic destitution. His last $400 is spent sailing the Amazon, flying to Miami and hitchhiking home to Vancouver. Shedding light on 1990s road culture, it gears itself to the needs of anyone with a desire to run from their demons on the open road.
HOST: Jen Sookfong Lee, Author and Broadcaster
This is the remarkable true story of Wong Guey Dang and Jiang Tew Thloo. Married for over 50 years, they were forced to live apart for 25 because of Canada’s exclusionary immigration laws. In China, Ah Thloo survived natural disasters, wars, and revolutions; in Canada, Ah Dang overcame discrimination to become a successful Montreal restaurateur. Set against China’s turbulent march toward becoming an economic leader, this is a moving tale of one couple’s search for love, family and forgiveness.
(Brindle & Glass Publishing$24.95) Adopted by Eponymous Productions
It’s 1981, and Sylvia Taylor has signed on as rookie deckhand on a salmon troller to help make money for university. For four months, she helps navigate the dangerous waters of the Pacific, learning the ways of fisher folk with a steep and unforgiving learning curve. Sylvia's memoir bursts with the humour and hell of the Pacific, and captures a time when the fishing industry wasn’t yet marred by overfishing or hyper-regulation.
(Heritage House Publishing $17.95)
HOST: Louis Anctil, Midtown Press
Jean-Charles Pandosy grew up in Marseilles, where he joined the Oblates. He then traveled to the Pacific Northwest as a missionary. He is most remembered as the founder of the Okanagan Mission, later to be encompassed in the city of Kelowna.
Jean-Charles Pandosy a grandi à Marseille où il s’est joint aux Oblats. De là, il se rendit aux frontière de l’Ouest pour devenir missionnaire auprès des autochtones. L’histoire se rappellera de lui comme étant le fondateur de l’Anse-au-sable qui deviendra par la suite Kelowna.
(Midtown Press $19.95) Adopted by Midtown Press