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1992 Winners & Finalists

May 8 | hosted by Lucie McNeill

 

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Winner! Blue Husbands
by Don Dickinson
Publisher: Porcupine's Quill

Blue Husbands

These well-crafted stories range in subject from a jilted husband’s attempt to win his family back by breaking the world push-up record to the cause-and-effect relationship between one man’s attempted suicide and the disabling of his rescuer’s son. The title story details a system of colour-coding husbands. Many of these stories explore the hazards of marriage and Dickinson, avoiding the pitfall of sentimentality, powerfully and persuasively celebrates our desire for love. Don Dickinson was born in 1947 in Prince Albert. He has worked at jobs as varied as labourer, fitness instructor, and shepherd, and now teaches high school in Lillooet, British Columbia. More

The Illumination of Alice Mallory
by Maureen Moore
Publisher: Harper Collins

The Illumination of Alice Mallory

Alice Mallory is a Woolworth’s employee with a vague idea that life holds greater possibilities. She has a strained relationship with her mother, Beryl, who she sees as “a bitter queen.” When Alice attempts to enroll in a typing course and finds it full, she opts instead for a literature course and becomes enamored of the young teacher, James, who shares her love for D. H. Lawrence. When Beryl discovers that Alice has spent the night with James, she kicks her out of the house and Alice moves in with her lover. He and his academic friends are enchanted with her gritty existence, but eventually she begins to feel like a mere curiosity. Maureen Moore lived in Vancouver while writing this novel.

Sick Pigeon
by M. A. C. Farrant
Publisher: Thistledown

Sick Pigeon

Farrant brings together in Sick Pigeon a biting wit, a delight in the power and playfulness of language and a desire to bridge the silences between us. These evocative vignettes of marginality make this a remarkable first collection. M. A. C. Farrant was born in Sydney, Australia, moved to Canada as a child and currently lives on Vancouver Island.

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Winner! Down The Road
by Rosemary Neering
Publisher: Whitecap Books

Down The Road

Travelling the roads and highways through the islands, mountains and plateaus of British Columbia, Rosemary Neering talks to a fascinating cross-section of people in the small towns she visits. In coffee shops, post offices and living rooms, she gathers their stories with the inquisitive ear of the traveller and sets them down with a storyteller’s wisdom. As she travels, a compelling portrait is formed of a world often hidden to city dwellers. Rosemary Neering lives in Victoria, BC. More

Duff Pattullo of British Columbia
by Robin Fisher
Publisher: University of Toronto Press

Duff Pattullo of British Columbia

Fisher’s biography of Duff Pattullo, premier of British Columbia from 1933 to 1941, suggests that Pattullo was the most significant premier of the century, showing how his Liberal administration offered the most vigorous response to the Depression in Canada. He portrays Pattullo from his birth in Ontario to his migration to British Columbia, emphasizing a political career that tried to reform capitalism and was ultimately prevented from doing so by Ottawa. Robin Fisher is head of the Department of History at the University of Northern British Columbia.

The West beyond the West: A History of British Columbia
by Jean Barman
Publisher: University of Toronto Press

The West beyond the West: A History of British Columbia

The West beyond the West presents the history of BC in all its diversity and apparent contradictions. Barman’s critically acclaimed work is the premiere BC history book, with a narrative beginning at the point of contact between Native peoples and Europeans and continuing into the twenty-first century. Barman focuses not only on the history made by leaders in government but also on the roles of women, immigrants and Aboriginal peoples. Her deft scholarship is readily apparent and the book demands to be on the shelf of anyone with an interest in British Columbian and Canadian history. Jean Barman is professor emeritus in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. More

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Winner! Pulp Log
by Barry McKinnon
Publisher: Caitlin

Pulp Log

Barry McKinnon’s brilliant explorations of time, space and self in Pulp Log articulates what the poet calls “time’s true entertainment,” the inhibition of what is inside. This inhibition takes place on the lines, margins and spaces of self and landscape that exist wherever we live. Pulp Log is a quietly triumphant record of the rediscovery of our separation and enclosure in the landscape we find and the landscape we create. Barry McKinnon was born in Alberta, but makes his home in Prince George, BC.

Company Town
by Michael Turner
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp

Company Town

The poetic record of the last year in the life of a fictional salmon cannery on the northern coast of British Columbia: a remarkable, multi-voiced document that, in text and photographs, tells the poignant tale, through Turner’s anthropological insight, of an industry and a culture under siege. Michael Turner lives in Vancouver, BC. More

The Hour’s Acropolis
by John Pass
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Hour’s Acropolis

The Hour’s Acropolis, John Pass’s tenth book of poetry, is a classical meditation rebounding between domesticity and myth. The poems in The Hour’s Acropolis are the work of a mature poet with a range, ability and intelligence rarely seen in contemporary poetry. John Pass is one of a small group of writers who belong to no identifiable school of fashion but who work in a steadfast faith to the shining moments, “the wild light alive in the fibers striving.” John Pass lives on BC’s Sunshine Coast. More

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Winner! Seeing the Forest Among the Trees
by Herb Hammond
Publisher: Polestar

Seeing the Forest Among the Trees

Canada’s natural heritage of wild plants, animals and micro-organisms should be respected. Hammond proposes Wholistics as a means of respecting and conserving this heritage. Wholistics puts ecology before economy, such as letting twenty percent of the forest live out its natural life and avoiding clear cutting. Herb Hammond of Winlaw is a registered professional forester with more than twenty years’ experience in forest management.

Ragged Islands
by Michael Poole
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Ragged Islands

For three months in 1987 Michael Poole guided his canoe along the confused and confusing coast of the Inside Passage, living through the sudden gales, opaque fog banks and treacherous rapids. But this book is not merely a sea odyssey. It is also a tale of encounters with the extraordinary people who make their lives in a place where solitude and natural beauty are the bottom line. Michael Poole is an award-winning filmmaker. He lives in North Vancouver and on the Sechelt Peninsula.

The West beyond the West: A History of British Columbia
by Jean Barman
Publisher: University of Toronto Press

The West beyond the West: A History of British Columbia

The West beyond the West presents the history of BC in all its diversity and apparent contradictions. Barman’s critically acclaimed work is the premiere BC history book, with a narrative beginning at the point of contact between Native peoples and Europeans and continuing into the twenty-first century. Barman focuses not only on the history made by leaders in government but also on the roles of women, immigrants and Aboriginal peoples. Her deft scholarship is readily apparent and the book demands to be on the shelf of anyone with an interest in British Columbian and Canadian history. Jean Barman is professor emeritus in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. More

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Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize

Winner! Siwiti: A Whale’s Story
by Alexandra Morton
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Siwiti: A Whale’s Story

Siwiti is the story of the first year in the life of a killer whale born in the waters off the west coast of Canada. Surrounded and protected by her family, the little orca’s life is full of excitement and adventure. Siwiti explores the inlets and channels of the Pacific Northwest. Chasing salmon, playing with harbour seals and Dall porpoises, escaping from aggressive sea lions, Siwiti learns the “do’s” and “do not’s” of undersea life. As curious as any child, she also watches the humans who seem so intent on observing her and her family. Alexandra Morton works in marine mammal research. She studies orca pods on the central coast of BC.

Looking At The Moon
by Kit Pearson
Publisher: Viking

Looking At The Moon

Norah, an English “war guest” living with the wealthy Ogilvie family in Toronto, can hardly wait for August. She’ll spend it at a lavish cottage in Muskoka - a whole month of freedom, swimming and adventures with her “cousins.” But this isn’t an ordinary summer. It’s 1943, and the war is still going on. Sometimes Norah can’t even remember what her parents look like. And she has turned thirteen, which means life seems to be getting more complicated. Then an Ogilvie cousin, Andrew, arrives. He is nineteen, handsome, intelligent, and Norah thinks she may be in love. But Andrew has his own problems: he doesn’t want to fight in the war, and yet he knows it’s what his family and friends expect of him. Kit Pearson’s novels have been published around the world. More

Pick-Up Sticks
by Sarah Ellis
Publisher: Margaret McElderry

Pick-Up Sticks

Polly and her mom, a stained-glass artist, both live in a small but cozy home and everything seems perfect in Polly’s life. She spends the days with her best friend Vanessa, and in the evenings practices her French horn or watches Gilligan’s Island reruns on television. But when the house goes up for sale, they are forced to move out . . . and Polly’s mom has trouble finding a new home that they can afford. A poignant, warm and often very funny story, Pick-Up Sticks will win your heart with its gentle wisdom. Sarah Ellis was the winner of the 1991 Governor General’s Award for this novel. 

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BC Booksellers' Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie

Winner! The Black Canoe: Bill Reid and The Spirit of Haida Gwaii
by Robert Bringhurst
Illustrated by Ulli Steltzer (photographs)
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

The Black Canoe: Bill Reid and The Spirit of Haida Gwaii

Robert Bringhurst clarifies Haida history and culture with a biography of sculptor Bill Reid, an interpretation of his sculpture’s Haida mythology and a look at the struggles over Native sovereignty claims. In The Black Canoe: Bill Reid and The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, black and white photos capture Reid’s commitment, intensity, artistry and even physical frailty. Robert Bringhurst is a much-admired poet, art historian and scholar of Haida oral literature. Ulli Steltzer’s photographic studies of Native peoples, Princeton intellectuals, American migrant workers and the Cakchiquel of Guatamala have been shown in major exhibitions. More

Coastal Villages
by Liv Kennedy
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Coastal Villages

Coastal Villages is a gorgeous book of photographs, history and anecdotes about twenty-four picturesque British Columbian villages, including Lund, Campbell River, Quadra Island, Owen Bay, Hardwicke Island, Telegraph Cove, Alert Bay and Port Hardy. Among the hundreds of colourful characters you’ll meet are Frank Osborne, the genius engine builder; Billy Assu, the magnanimous Kwakiutl Chief who threw a party for 2,000 people; the Schnarr daughters, who kept cougars for pets; and Jack Myer, the pistol-packing, dog-kicking bootlegger who hailed from the badlands of North Dakota and fatally shot a man in a shack on Read Island. Liv Kennedy lives in Nanoose Bay, BC. More

Coastal Wildlife of British Columbia
by Bruce Obee, Tim Fitzharris
Publisher: Whitecap Books

Coastal Wildlife of British Columbia

The Pacific Coast is one of those privileged places where large and diverse populations of wildlife exist close to human settlement. Along the shores of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, there is little need to travel far from home to see bald eagles and seabirds fishing for herring in turbulent channels and tide rips; to watch seals and sea lions basking on the wharves, log booms, or islets; to photograph great flocks of snow geese and other water fowl; or to scan the horizon for telltale spouts of surfacing whales. Tim Fitzharris and Bruce Obee are both intimately aware of these things and have commemorated them with beauty and faith in this book. Bruce Obee is a Vancouver Island writer who specializes in nature and the environment. Tim Fitzharris is an accomplished nature photographer.

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