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1988 Winners & Finalists

May 13 | hosted by Jurgen Gothe

 

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Winner! Cage
by George McWhirter
Publisher: Oberon Press

Cage

Cage is the story of Ben Carragher. As a young boy Ben is sent to the other side of Canada to grow up out of sight of his family. Eventually, he is called to the priesthood and takes a parish in Mexico. There he teaches the villagers to make birdcages and to love God. When the time comes for him to be sent to a new parish the villagers refuse to let him go. All his life Ben has been a prisoner; first to money, then to the will of God. What, he asks himself, is the difference? Cage is George McWhirter at his best: allusive, rich and at-once playful and deadly serious. George WcWhirter came to Canada in 1966, and has lived in Vancouver since 1968. He has taught at the UBC Department of Creative Writing since 1970. He is the City of Vancouver’s inaugural Poet Laureate.

Memory Board
by Jane Rule
Publisher: Macmillan

Memory Board

Memory Board is a multifaceted novel about aging, loss and the redefinition of family. Diana and David are twins, now in their mid-sixties; Diana and Constance are long-time lovers. David is struggling to rebuild a connection with his sister after a long separation, and Diana has settled into a private, monastic daily life arranged around Constance’s progressive short-term memory loss. Jane Rule’s emphasis is on people and their interactions, on dialogue and ideas. Her writing relies mostly on straightforward exposition, yet the central metaphor - the “memory board” - adds depth and complexity. Jane Rule was an author and activist. She died in 2007.

The Parrot Who Could
by Robin Skelton
Publisher: Sono Nis Press

The Parrot Who Could

The Parrot Who Could is a collection of imaginative “entertainments,” stories with a comically ironic twist. Included are “Portrait of a Duck,” which was selected by The Malahat Review, and “Penny Wise,” which won the Okanagan Short Fiction Prize in 1985. Robin Skelton was an academic, a writer, a poet and an anthologist. In 1963, he immigrated to Canada, and began teaching at the University of Victoria. He passed away in 1997.

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Winner! Brazilian Journal
by P. K. Page
Publisher: Lester & Orpen Dennys

Brazilian Journal

In 1957, P. K. Page went to Brazil as the wife of the Canadian ambassador. She and her husband, Arthur Irwin, settled into the pink ambassadorial palace with its lavish gardens and eccentric staff. Between official duties and sorties into Rio’s superchic haute monde, they extensively travelled the remarkable country. Page fell in love with Brazil and this is her vivid, sympathetic and intensely personal diary recounting her time there. Fascinating, funny, beautifully written—this is a window into a special place. P. K. Page now lives in Victoria, British Columbia. In 1977 she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion in 1998. In 2006, she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Brazilian Journal was nominated for a Governor General’s Award.

The Politics of the Imagination: A Life of F. R. Scott
by Sandra Djwa
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

The Politics of the Imagination: A Life of F. R. Scott

F. R. Scott was an exceptional Canadian, and only a biographer of unusual ability could have done justice to his multifaceted talents. Sandra Djwa has risen magnificently to the challenge. This book is a scholarly, balanced and eminently readable account of one of this century’s most fascinating Canadian personalities. Djwa had the honour of being chosen by Scott to be his biographer, so her archive of in-depth interviews makes this volume even more exceptional. Sandra Djwa is a biographer, critic and textual editor.

The White Pass
by Roy Minter
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

The White Pass

By the thousands they came, the gold-seekers of 1897, pouring through Alaska’s White and Chilkoot Passes on their way to the Klondike and, hopefully, fortune. Fast behind them came the entrepreneurs, the bunco artists, and before long the engineers and financiers whose driving ambition was to build a railroad though the White Pass’s rocky precipices. This is the epic northern adventure of the men who rushed for gold, the workers who toiled in winter storms and thawing muck, carving the grade and laying rail, and the ingenious characters who dreamed, schemed, promoted and finally built the White Pass and Yukon Railway. Roy Minter received the Commissioner’s Award for services to the Yukon in 1986.

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Poetry Prize

Winner! All I Ever Needed Was A Beautiful Room
by Patricia Young
Publisher: Oolichan Books

All I Ever Needed Was A Beautiful Room

All I Ever Needed Was A Beautiful Room is a long narrative poem based on the life and fictions of Jean Rhys, a writer of the early twentieth century. Patricia Young is a two-time Governor General’s Award-nominee and currently lives in Victoria, BC.

The Beginning of the Long Dash
by Sharon Thesen
Publisher: Coach House

The Beginning of the Long Dash

The Beginning of the Long Dash is a wonderful exploration of the poet in her landscape, focused intentionally on her home and family, the landlord’s flower garden, the neighbours, Jehovah’s Witnesses, local dogs, the Pest Control Operator or the novels on the bed – while the more formal city of Expo ’86 exhibits itself in the distance. Within this small canvas Sharon Thesen pans the water for what will last or be remembered. Sharon Thesen lives in Lake Country, British Columbia. She teaches at the University of British Columbia - Okanagan.

Eight Poems
by Norm Sibum
Publisher: Tanks

Eight Poems

As the title implies, here are eight poems by the talented Norm Sibum. Accompanied by illustrations by Clifford Harper, the poems play with biblical themes and myth and reality. Norm Sibum was an originator of The Vancouver Review. Born in Oberammergau, Germany in 1947, Sibum grew up in Germany, Alaska, Utah and Washington prior to coming to Canada in 1968.

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Winner! Whalers No More
by W. A. Hagelund
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Whalers No More

Like most of us, William Hagelund sees whales through compassionate eyes now, and marvels at the boom times of BC’s whaling industry when he and a host of legendary old harpooners hunted down the great sperm and humpback herds off Vancouver Island without a trace of remorse. Whalers No More, the history of the West Coast whaling industry, is an epic chapter in the history of whales and men, and Hagelund relates it in a warm and personal manner. The colourful and fascinating text is illustrated with photos and maps. William Hagelund is certified as a Master Mariner. More

Hastings & Main
by Jo-Ann Canning-Dew
Publisher: New Star Books

Hastings & Main

The intersection of Hastings & Main in Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood is at the heart of the city’s urban core. In this book twenty residents of the area talk about their lives. Their reminiscences, which span over ninety years, provide a unique take on the city’s development. More than a community biography, Hastings & Main is a portrait of life in the inner city and in its telling the speakers upset many of the stereotypes about these neighbourhoods and the men and women who live and work there. More

Three Dollar Dreams
by Lynne Bowen
Publisher: Oolichan Books

Three Dollar Dreams

Three Dollar Dreams details the frequently violent labour history of Vancouver Island coal mining from 1848 to 1900. After delving into the archives, Lynne Bowen has reconstructed the West Coast’s first coal miners’ strike. She researches the Nanaimo 1 mine explosion and offers an alternative, anti-racist explanation of it and the events that followed, via a handwritten note from the inquiry. But more than an account of events, this book is about a time when a young boy could start in the mine as the lowest of workers and could become, through a lot of hard work and a little luck, a millionaire. Lynne Bowen is an award-winning popular historian, consultant, writing professor, journalist and oral historian.

The White Pass
by Roy Minter
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

The White Pass

By the thousands they came, the gold-seekers of 1897, pouring through Alaska’s White and Chilkoot Passes on their way to the Klondike and, hopefully, fortune. Fast behind them came the entrepreneurs, the bunco artists, and before long the engineers and financiers whose driving ambition was to build a railroad though the White Pass’s rocky precipices. This is the epic northern adventure of the men who rushed for gold, the workers who toiled in winter storms and thawing muck, carving the grade and laying rail, and the ingenious characters who dreamed, schemed, promoted and finally built the White Pass and Yukon Railway. Roy Minter received the Commissioner’s Award for services to the Yukon in 1986.

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Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize

Winner! Pride of Lions
by Nicola Morgan
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Pride of Lions

What happens when ticklish and tender toads get together; or fat, fanciful fish; or whimsical, well-rounded whales; and easygoing, eligible elk? Pride of Lions is a sprightly collection of animal groupings, both familiar and foreign. Nicola Morgan’s crazy, fun-filled portraitures make this picture book a joyous learning experience for young and old alike. Nicola Morgan lives in Vancouver and is the creator of The Great B.C. Alphabet Book , a Choice selection of the Children’s Book Council. More

A Handful of Time
by Kit Pearson
Publisher: Viking/Penguin

A Handful of Time

When Patricia’s mother sends her to her cousins’ cottage for the summer, Patricia doesn’t want to go. She doesn’t know her cousins at all, and she’s never been good at camping or canoeing, let alone making new friends. When she arrives at the cottage, her worst fears come true: her cousin Kelly teases her; Aunt Ginnie and Uncle Doug feel sorry for her. She doesn’t fit in. Then Patricia discovers an old watch hidden under a floorboard. When she winds it, she finds herself taken back in time to the summer when her own mother was twelve. Kit Pearson is one of BC’s best-loved young adult authors. More

 

Salmonberry Wine
by Mary Razzell
Publisher: Groundwood

Salmonberry Wine

Salmonberry Wine is the sequel to Snow Apples and it takes Sheila Brary, now seventeen-years-old, to nursing school in a Vancouver hospital. There she encounters a rigid and strict discipline, curfews and line-ups for everything from a medical examination to uniform fittings and meals. While bitterly resentful at first, she gradually comes to understand why adherence to the rules is necessary. She is homesick and longs for her friends, including her boyfriend. However, a trip home leaves her dissatisfied and she is happy to return to the strictness of her nurse-in-training routines and especially a very ill, but undiagnosed, young female patient for whom she has developed a special sense of responsibility. Mary Razzell is the author of several young adult novels.

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BC Booksellers' Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie

Winner! The Adventures and Sufferings of John R. Jewitt
by Hilary Stewart
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

The Adventures and Sufferings of John R. Jewitt

This is a remarkable annotated and illustrated printing of The Adventures and Sufferings of John R. Jewitt, which is the account of a man’s time as a slave to Chief Maquinna of the Nootka people. Spending nearly three years in their company, John R. Jewitt, through his diaries, left one of the most detailed portraits available of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation. Hilary Stewart is an award winning and critically acclaimed writer of nine books on Northwest Coast First Nations art and culture.

Rick Hansen: Man In Motion
by Rick Hansen, Jim Taylor
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Rick Hansen: Man In Motion

Rick Hansen: Man In Motion follows the story of Rick Hansen’s epic journey around the world to raise awareness and funds for people with spinal cord injuries, as well as his work, since returning home, to make a positive difference in the lives of people with similar injuries. Rick Hansen: Man in Motion was co-authored by Jim Taylor, a noted sports writer who lives in Vancouver.

Spilsbury’s Coast
by Howard White, Jim Spilsbury
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Spilsbury’s Coast

When Jim Spilsbury, BC’s most famous pioneer entrepreneur, teams up with master storyteller and literary craftsman Howard White, the result is a spellbinding romp up and down British Columbia’s rugged coast, distilling eighty years of fascinating anecdotes and memories into 190 pages. As we follow Spilsbury in his adventures, we meet Frank Osborne, the genius engine-builder; Emil Gordon, the obsessive flamboyant Powell River salesman who sold everything from refrigerators to cows; Red Mahone, the obstreperous Boathouse cook; and Spilsbury’s own bizarre family, including his rifle-toting mother who cut her hair like a man’s and golfed on the beaches at low tide. Howard White, himself a child of BC’s backwaters, brings the voice of authority to Spilsbury’s amazing tale. More

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