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1990 Winners & Finalists

hosted by Mavor Moore

 

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Winner! Motet
by Keith Maillard
Publisher: Random House

Motet

Motet is a raucous trip through the psychedelic underworld of the sixties and an explosive investigation of an unsolved murder. Music is the passion that links Paul, his lover Kathy, her ex-husband and Paul’s daughter Wendy, but it is a passion that nearly destroys them all. Motet was hailed as a “bravura performance.” Keith Maillard is one of BC’s most prolific novelists.

After The Fire
by Jane Rule
Publisher: Lazara Press

After The Fire

Karen Tasuki has been dismissed by her lover of eight years as “boring.” Now Karen has come to a tiny island off the coast of Vancouver determined to learn how to live alone. Red Smith has lived on the island for four years. She keeps house for three diverse women. Red herself is pregnant—from a man she used for that purpose and who has just died in a tragic fire. Karen finds herself absorbed into the drama of Red’s life and the lives of the other women. And in these women she discovers new definitions of family and community, and new patterns in the blueprint of her own life. Jane Rule, who died in 2007, was an author and a role model in the lesbian community. More

To All Appearances A Lady
by Marilyn Bowering
Publisher: Random House

To All Appearances A Lady

In the spring of 1957, Robert Lam buries his ancient foster mother, Lam Fan, and sails alone up the coast of Vancouver Island to consider his future. When Fan’s spirit appears in a rustle of old silks and a whiff of opium, Robert Lam is forced to seek his past: his English mother’s birth in nineteenth-century Hong Kong and mysterious death in British Columbia, the identity of his Chinese father and the fate of the American who was his mother’s husband for a single day. Bowering winds this intriguing adventure through whaling station, opium den and leper colony, teaching a painful lesson in the history of Chinese immigrants to the New World. Marilyn Bowering is a prolific poet, novelist and playwright living in BC.

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Winner! Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger
by Philip Marchand
Publisher: Random House

Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger

Some considered Marshall McLuhan the oracle of the electronic age; others dismissed him as a charlatan. But his predictions are coming true with eerie accuracy. It’s impossible to ignore McLuhan phrases, such as “the global village,” as we surf the Net or watch such momentous events as the Mars landing or the Hong Kong takeover live on our computers or TVs. His genius was in foreseeing such cultural upheavals and his studies continue to have an impact on the way we view the world. Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger traces the evolution of McLuhan’s theories and is the key to understanding this enigmatic media guru. Philip Marchand lives in Toronto and is a columnist for the Toronto Star. More

Buddy’s
by Stan Persky
Publisher: New Star Books

Buddy’s

Buddy’s was a gay bar in Vancouver’s West End that opened in the spring of 1982 and closed in the summer of 1988. It was the starting point for this unusually frank and engaging portrait of gay life and gay culture in the late eighties. Shifting effortlessly between autobiography, fiction and criticism, Buddy’s is in turn shocking, erotic, witty and moving, a study of life in a time of plague. Stan Persky teaches in the philosophy department at Capilano College. More

A White Man’s Province
by Patricia Roy
Publisher: UBC Press

A White Man’s Province

A White Man’s Province examines how British Columbians changed their attitudes towards Asian immigrants from one of toleration in colonial times to vigorous hostility by the turn of the century and describes how politicians responded to popular cries to halt Asian immigration and restrict Asian activities in the province. Drawing on almost every newspaper and magazine report published in the province before 1914, and on government records and private manuscripts, Roy has produced a revealing historical account of the complex basis of racism in British Columbia and of the contribution made to the province in these early years by its Chinese and Japanese residents. Patricia E. Roy is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Victoria. More

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Winner! Suitcase
by Victoria Walker
Publisher: Gorse Press

Suitcase

Suitcase is a highly personal collection of poetry that tells of life and love, and beginnings and endings in a blend of traditional and innovative poetic styles. Featuring illustrations by Victoria Walker, there are only 226 copies of this stirring work in existence. Born in Minneapolis in 1945, Victoria Walker came to BC in 1970 on a stop-over on her way back to Minnesota and never left. She has published a number of chapbooks and a “box book”—an experimental work called Vanishing Point.

The Girls in the Last Seat Waving
by Maureen McCarthy
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Girls in the Last Seat Waving

One of Canadian poetry’s best-kept secrets is Maureen McCarthy, whose first book She Reminds Me of Vermeer drew accolades across the country. Nine years later, her second collection drew even higher praise with its remarkable content. The Girls in the Last Seat Waving is an outstanding collection of poems. Her language is uncommonly controlled but stamped with a recognizable rhythmic sense. Poems like “Formal Photograph,” “Queensborough Bridge” and “Late Morning” show McCarthy as the uncommon observer that she is, an attribute that allows her to reflect with an open eye and an open heart. Maureen McCarthy is a writer, mother and nurse and is currently living in New Westminister, BC. More

The Whole Elephant
by Marlene Cookshaw
Publisher: Brick Books

The Whole Elephant

Marlene Cookshaw is a Cheshire cat of a poet whose naturally realized details illuminate a shifting wholeness on the “singing edge” between dreaming and waking. Hers is a quilted language at once covering and revealing our fascinating ordinariness. The long poem “In The Swim” subtly captures the desperate and humourous beauty of a seemingly plain life closely observed. Other poems leap with deftness and daring across the open plain of our lives, leaving images so strong, so strange, they verge on myth. Marlene Cookshaw lives on Pender Island, BC. More

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Winner! Carmanah
by Western Canada Wilderness Committee
Publisher: Western Canada Wilderness Committee

Carmanah

Published in 1990, this leather bound book is for art and book collectors. It features outstanding works by Robert Bateman, Sue Coleman, Toni Onley, Jack Shadbolt, Roy Vickers and many more. Each of these artists has personally autographed this limited edition book which also contains photographs and biographies of each of the artists. Each limited edition is numbered and comes with a gold-embossed case. More

This Was Our Valley
by Earl K Pollon, Shirlee Smith Matheson
Publisher: Detselig

This Was Our Valley

In the 1960s, Hudson’s Hope became the site of the world’s largest earth-filled dam, the W.A.C. Bennett Dam. The reservoir giving force to the dam was named Williston Lake and covered over 1000 square kilometres of land. This Was Our Valley deals with the conflicts that arose when a particular area became valuable to the rest of the world. Earl Pollon and Shirlee Matheson, who know the area intimately, tell the story of BC Hydro and the residents of Hudson’s Hope. The dam’s influence is carefully explored and well documented as these award-winning authors resurrect the true stories that lie buried beneath the waters of Williston Lake. More

Write It On Your Heart
by Harry Robinson, Wendy Wickwire
Publisher: Talonbooks & Theytis Books

Write It On Your Heart

Write It On Your Heart is a celebration of the late Harry Robinson, one of the great storytellers of the Interior Salish people of North America. This volume tells, from a First Nations point of view, the origin of the world; the time of the animal people; the time before the coming of the white man; the stories of power; the prophet cult and its predictions of profound cultural and economic change; and the post-contact world. The collection ends with Robinson’s own version of “Puss in Boots,” true in every psychological detail to the European story, but set in the ranching country of the Similkameen Valley. Harry Robinson passed away in 1990. Wendy Wickwire teaches at the University of British Columbia. More

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Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize

Winner! Tales From Gold Mountain
by Paul Yee
Illustrated by Simon Ng
Publisher: Groundwood

Tales From Gold Mountain

This is a landmark collection of eight stories from the celebrated children’s author Paul Yee. Describing the extraordinary circumstances of the Chinese who came to build the railroad in Canada and the United States in simple, beautiful prose, Yee’s stunning text accurately portrays the culture clash between the Old and New Worlds. Matched with Ng’s exquisite paintings, this collection is nothing less than required reading on the history of our continent. Paul Yee is an accomplished author focusing on stories of Chinese Canadians. Simon Ng lives in Toronto, Ontario. More

Next-Door Neighbours
by Sarah Ellis
Publisher: Groundwood

Next-Door Neighbours

Desperate to fit in at her new school, Peggy Davies tells her classmates that she owned a horse in the country—a lie that will make her family’s move to the city even more of a nightmare than she had imagined. Will her new classmates find out the truth? If they do, will she ever find friends? Or will she have to turn for companionship to her neighbors - Sing, who works for the wealthy woman next door, and George, the weirdest boy in the entire school? Sarah Ellis is a well-known and well-respected author for children and young adults. More

The Sky is Falling
by Kit Pearson
Publisher: Viking Kestrel

The Sky is Falling

It is the summer of 1940 and all of England fears an invasion by Hitler’s army. Ten-year-old Norah Stoakes is worried that her parents might send her and her little brother Gavin to safety overseas. She does not want to go, especially because she is helping the war effort by watching for German planes. But despite her protests, Norah and Gavin are sent to Canada. They go to live in Toronto, with a rich woman who seems to prefer Gavin to Norah. Norah is miserable at her new school and terribly homesick. But as Christmas approaches, she begins to make friends and discovers a surprising responsibility. Kit Pearson continues the remarkable story of Norah and Gavin in Looking At The Moon and The Lights Go On Again. More

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BC Booksellers' Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie

Winner! Carmanah
by Western Canada Wilderness Committee
Publisher: Western Canada Wilderness Committee

Carmanah

Published in 1990, this leather bound book is for art and book collectors. It features outstanding works by Robert Bateman, Sue Coleman, Toni Onley, Jack Shadbolt, Roy Vickers and many more. Each of these artists has personally autographed this limited edition book which also contains photographs and biographies of each of the artists. Each limited edition is numbered and comes with a gold-embossed case. More

Chilcotin & Beyond
by Paul St. Pierre
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Chilcotin & Beyond

In this lively collection of stories readers will meet a dog who runs an electrical shop, a woman who can’t decide between becoming a nun or a murderer, and learn all about the exciting world of Mexican low finance (so much more interesting than Mexican high finance). Travelling from Chilcotin country to Mexico, St. Pierre has picked up all kinds of wonderful stories to delight readers and put them in this remarkable book. Paul St. Pierre has spent most of his working life in British Columbia as a newspaper columnist, author, politician, junior diplomat and police commissioner. His love of the Chilcotin country led to the award-winning CBC television series “Cariboo Country.”

The Coast Of British Columbia
by Bob Herger, Rosemary Neering
Publisher: Whitecap Books

The Coast Of British Columbia

From the golden, sandy shores of Pacific Rim National Park to the steep, wooded slopes of Observatory Inlet the coast of BC holds mysteries of beauty and history to delight everyone. This volume contains 120 stunning photos of the coastline in all its majesty. Each stretch of the coast has its own character – the windswept freshness of the wild West Coast, the contrasting neutral tranquility and human activity of the Inside Passage and the isolation of the North Coast and the Queen Charlotte Islands; Neering captures the flavour of these places. Rosemary Neering is a professional writer living in Victoria, BC. Bob Herger is an award-winning photographer.

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