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1991 Winners & Finalists

May 10 | hosted by Chuck Davis

 

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Winner! Wild Blue Yonder
by Audrey Thomas
Publisher: Penguin Books

Wild Blue Yonder

This collection of thirteen stories, distinguished by superior prose, sparkles with wit and energy. Writing about the things that keep people together and the things that drive them apart, Thomas considers women as daughters, lovers, mothers, solitary and independent spirits, sick or needy worriers. Though men figure significantly throughout the short narratives, the lives of women are the unifying theme. Many of the tales concern couples from differing cultural backgrounds and, while the subtle forces at play in such unions never overwhelm the issues at hand, they are deployed in small and significant moments that brilliantly evoke the closeness and the distance that can occur simultaneously between people. This is a truly satisfying work. Audrey Thomas lives and works on Galiano Island.

Disappearing Moon Cafe
by Sky Lee
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Disappearing Moon Cafe

Sometimes funny, sometimes scandalous, always riveting, this extraordinary first novel traces the lives and passionate loves of the women of the Wong family through four generations. As past sins and inborn strengths are passed on from mother to daughter to granddaughter, each generation confronts, in its own way, the same problems – isolation, racism, the clash of cultures – and each evolves a little bit more. Sky Lee is a feminist, writer and author.

Disturbing The Peace
by Caroline Woodward
Publisher: Polestar

Disturbing The Peace

Welcome to some revved-up, down-home writing where you’ll meet two teenage sisters working in a sleazy Alaska Highway truckstop, the Pouce Coupe women’s softball team and an immigrant woman who finally takes the boat home. Caroline Woodward is an author and literary activist.

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Winner! Jack Shadbolt
by Scott Watson
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Jack Shadbolt

Jack Shadbolt is a major Canadian artist whose paintings have appeared in many international exhibitions. In this first full study of the renowned painter, author Scott Watson explores Shadbolt’s personal struggles to be an artist and to resolve conflicting drives — between spontaneity and restraint, order and chaos — in the context of shifting trends in art as well as social change. Shadbolt also struggled to be understood in a culture that, when he began, was not ready for modern art. Watson explores the evolution of an artist who has an international perspective but who is also a unique regional painter with a profound sense of place. Scott Watson is the curator at the Fine Arts Gallery at UBC. More

A Death Feast in Dimlahamid
by Terry Glavin
Publisher: New Star

A Death Feast in Dimlahamid

On December 11, 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its decision in the historical aboriginal title action known as Delgamuukw vs The Queen. The decision vindicated the fifty–two Gitkan and We’suwe’en chiefs named as the plaintiffs in the court case, and completely rewrites the rules for resolving Native title in Canada. Epic battles with bear spirits in the streets of an ancient mythical city, logging–road showdowns deep in the Skeena Mountains, and forays into courtrooms and boardrooms in Vancouver punctuate Glavin’s eminently readable account of this land claims case. Terry Glavin is an author and journalist as well as adjunct professor in the Fine Arts Department of the University of British Columbia. More

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Winner! Down Time
by Jeff Derksen
Publisher: Talonbooks

Down Time

Down Time proposes a social self that is able to recognize the ironies and restrictions we live in without returning to a garrison mentality. Jeff Derksen is a founding member of Vancouver’s writer-run centre, the Kootenay School of Writing, and was an editor of the influential magazine Writing. More

Hanging Fire
by Phyllis Webb
Publisher: Talonnooks

Hanging Fire

Astonishingly beautiful entrances into the personae of lost companions who reappear, animated by a voice in love with the music of their speaking. Phyllis Webb has taught at the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria and was Writer-in-Residence at the University of Alberta from 1980 to 1981. She lives on Salt Spring Island, BC.

hard 2 beleev
by bill bissett
Publisher: Talonbooks

hard 2 beleev

bill bissett returns with his remarkable concrete poetry in this new volume. Without a single nostalgic bone in his body, bill bissett has remained at the cutting edge of poetics and performance works for almost forty years. He now writes and paints out of studios in Vancouver and Toronto.

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Winner! Aboriginal Peoples and Politics
by Paul Tennant
Publisher: UBC Press

Aboriginal Peoples and Politics

Aboriginal claims remain a controversial but little understood issue in contemporary Canada. This book presents the first comprehensive treatment of the land question in BC and is the first to examine the modern political history of British Columbia Aboriginals. In contrast to what many non-Natives are assuming, the Aboriginals of BC began their land claims at the start of white settlement and persevered despite the massive efforts of missionaries and government officials to suppress their culture. The Aboriginals emerge in this book as political innovators who maintained their identity and ideals. Paul Tennant is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. More

An Enterprising Life
by Cyril E. Leonoff
Publisher: Talonbooks

An Enterprising Life

Leonard Frank took photographs in the days before the popularization of colour photography and automatic cameras, technologies that have made every person a photographer. Frank had an acute sense of “history in the making” and was relentless in its pursuit. He photographed industry, landmark construction and the fast-changing landscapes of BC cities at the turn of the last century. Frank’s life was his work, his work his life, and this volume commemorates that. Cyril E. Leonoff is a retired professional engineer and historian who has written on both engineering and on the history of British Columbia and Western Canada.

Vanishing Vancouver
by Michael Kluckner
Publisher: Whitecap Books

Vanishing Vancouver

The city of Vancouver is at a crossroads. Owing largely to good luck and an often sluggish economy it has managed to enter its second century with some of its heritage intact. But increasingly growth is threatening the most concrete and visible signs of our past: our buildings and streets. Vanishing Vancouver is an extraordinary collection of watercolours made in the early 1980s of buildings that were slated to be demolished. Remembering them here, Michael Kluckner gives us a rare mix of architectural history, social history, contemporary politics, art and nostalgia for a bygone day. Michael Kluckner is a writer, artist and heritage activist who has spent decades exploring British Columbia.

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Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize

Winner! I Heard My Mother Call My Name
by Nancy Hundal
Publisher: HarperCollins

I Heard My Mother Call My Name

I Heard My Mother Call My Name is an evocative prose poem that has us share intimately the images and sensations of a child’s view of dusk falling on a neighbourhood. The sense of quiet contentment and reluctance to leave the magical, peaceful twilight time makes this a wonderful “end of day” book — soothing for children, full of nostalgia for adults. Nancy Hundal lives in Vancouver, BC.

Chapter One
by Sue Ann Alderson
Publisher: General Paperbacks

Chapter One

Beth wonders why everything has to be so complicated. Her grandmother, who rarely recognizes her, has come to stay and turned everything upside down. Suddenly, Beth finds herself looking at parents, her boyfriend and the other kids in her gang with new eyes. Chapter One is about a girl who struggles to balance the desire to be part of a group with the need to develop her own identity. Alderson seamlessly weaves several social issues into the plot: aging, abuse, prejudice against teens, coping with separation. This is a novel filled with sensitive, playful and bright characters who give the work its heart. Sue Ann Alderson is a professor in the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing Program and has had sixteen books published for children.

Jack Shadbolt
by Scott Watson
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Jack Shadbolt

Jack Shadbolt is a major Canadian artist whose paintings have appeared in many international exhibitions. In this first full study of the renowned painter, author Scott Watson explores Shadbolt’s personal struggles to be an artist and to resolve conflicting drives — between spontaneity and restraint, order and chaos — in the context of shifting trends in art as well as social change. Shadbolt also struggled to be understood in a culture that, when he began, was not ready for modern art. Watson explores the evolution of an artist who has an international perspective but who is also a unique regional painter with a profound sense of place. Scott Watson is the curator at the Fine Arts Gallery at UBC. More

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BC Booksellers' Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie

Winner! Vanishing Vancouver
by Michael Kluckner
Publisher: Whitecap Books

Vanishing Vancouver

The city of Vancouver is at a crossroads. Owing largely to good luck and an often sluggish economy it has managed to enter its second century with some of its heritage intact. But increasingly growth is threatening the most concrete and visible signs of our past: our buildings and streets. Vanishing Vancouver is an extraordinary collection of watercolours made in the early 1980s of buildings that were slated to be demolished. Remembering them here, Michael Kluckner gives us a rare mix of architectural history, social history, contemporary politics, art and nostalgia for a bygone day. Michael Kluckner is a writer, artist and heritage activist who has spent decades exploring British Columbia.

Spilsbury’s Album
by Jim Spilsbury
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Spilsbury’s Album

Spilsbury’s Album is a fascinating look at life on the BC coast from World War I to the present. Jim’s anecdotes range from the hair-raising to the hilarious, and his photographs bring to life Savary Island in the early days, his “Queer Collection of Aircraft” that became the third largest airline in Canada, and a bygone world of Indian villages, canneries, steamboats and floating logging camps - a rainswept, vibrant culture brought to life by one of its living legends. Jim Spilsbury is a long time resident and lover of BC’s coasts. More

Webster!
by Jack Webster
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Webster!

Jack Webster was a Canadian media giant. He was a pioneer of talk radio and television for whom hundreds of thousands of listeners and viewers tuned in eagerly to hear his abrasive baritone knock the stuffing out of the stuffed shirts and champion the cause of the little guy. Immigrating to Canada after WWII, he covered the labour beat, exposing communist influence in the trade unions. In the early 1950s he brought his hard-hitting reportorial style to commercial radio, and Webster’s star rose even higher as he took his popular broadcasts to television. But behind public acclaim lay private tragedy. Obsessed with a child she and Jack had given up for adoption, his wife became chronically depressive. In this memoir, Webster bares his soul – his pride, his doubt, his guilt – in telling the tale of his eventful life. He passed away in 1999.

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