BC Book Prizes

SHORTLISTS ANNOUNCED
March 7, 2017

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1994 Winners & Finalists

May 7 | hosted by Pierre Berton

 

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Winner! Bad Imaginings
by Caroline Adderson
Publisher: Porcupine's Quill

Bad Imaginings

In these ten short stories, Caroline Adderson adopts a brilliant array of perspectives ranging from that of a nineteenth-century prospector, to a chambermaid in WWI Victoria, to two long-time friends trying to sort out the eighties. The intensity of these deeply imagined stories is stunning. Caroline Adderson lives in Vancouver. Bad Imaginings was shortlisted for a 1993 Governor General’s Award.

Light in the Company Of Women
by Keith Maillard
Publisher: HarperCollins

Light in the Company Of Women

Glittering with turn-of-the-century romance and history, Light in the Company of Women is the story of Sarsfield Middleton and his West Virginia family. Sarsfield is a man searching for himself and his place in a turbulent, quickly changing society. Torn as he is between the genteel world of women and the brutal, competitive male arena, the established “old” society and the nouveau riche, Sarsfield’s choices in life and love are irrevocably divided between the comfortingly familiar and dangerously exciting. Keith Maillard is a professor of Creative Writing at UBC.

Visible Light
by Carol Windley
Publisher: Oolichan Books

Visible Light

Carol Windley’s debut collection of short stories is lit with the grey lucency of British Columbia’s West Coast, where often the line between sky and water is nearly imperceptible, where memory and the eye are sometimes deluded into seeing just outside the range of ordinary light. Here, with the dark and impenetrable rainforest as a backdrop, Windley’s characters take their small but significant journeys and cross the invisible lines that form the boundaries of the psyche. Carol Windley was nominated for the Giller Prize for her novel, Home Schooling.

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Winner! Some Become Flowers
by Sharon Brown
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Some Become Flowers

In 1984, when Sharon Brown’s mother Betty became terminally ill with bone cancer, Sharon and her husband brought Betty home to live her last weeks with them and their two daughters. With the help of her family, trusted professionals and close-knit community of friends, Brown helped her mother die with dignity. Her unflinching story, taken from the journals she kept during the intense last year of her mother’s life, is by turns tragic and hilarious, harrowing and tender. It is a must-read for anyone who has or ever will care for a cherished loved one who is dying. Sharon Brown lives in Roberts Creek, BC. More

My Father, My Friend
by Arthur Mayse
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

My Father, My Friend

In the 1930s, Arthur Mayse’s father, the Reverend Amos William Mayse, moved the family from Winnipeg to Nanaimo. There they first fished their beloved Oyster River. Arthur’s story unfolds from there, like the sweet, meandering river itself: the day he borrowed a tuft of two-toned badger bristles from Amos’s shaving brush in order to tie the perfect fly; the moment on a fishing trip when Arthur and Amos, mid-estuary in hip-waders, realized suddenly they were surrounded by sharks; and many others loving tales. Their love of fishing, conservation, the outdoors and each other are the stuff of a deftly understated, very moving memoir. Arthur Mayse was a celebrated journalist, poet and novelist. More

Thank Your Mother for the Rabbits
by John Mills
Publisher: Porcupine's Quill

Thank Your Mother for the Rabbits

Thank Your Mother for the Rabbits is the unconventional autobiography of John Mills, who was a malingerer in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, a radar technician on the DEW-line, a Gandy-dancer for the CPR, a maths crammer in an eccentric private school, friend and confidante of Irving Layton and Milton Acorn, the owner of a steam laundry in Montreal, professor of Chaucerian Studies at Simon Fraser University and, after decades of atheism, a convert to Christianity.

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Winner! The Gathering: Stones for the Medicine Wheel
by Gregory Scofield
Publisher: Polestar

The Gathering: Stones for the Medicine Wheel

The Gathering: Stones for the Medicine Wheel applies the sacred teachings of the Medicine Wheel to the harsh reality of life on the skids. Using poetry as a healing metaphor, Gregory Scofield embarks on a personal journey which parallels that of the historic and contemporary displacement of the Métis. The Gathering: Stones for The Medicine Wheel bridges Native and non-Native languages and worlds. Gregory Scofield was the first Writer-in-Residence at the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture at the University of Manitoba in 2007.

The Ghost In the Gears
by Howard White
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Ghost In the Gears

This collection of poems is as real, down-to-earth and funny as Howard White’s award-winning prose. He admits to having a messy yard, describes city street crazies, teaches his boys how to hammer and sits down to dinner with fancy people. He takes the trouble to figure out that if Canada’s unemployed people were laid head to toe, they’d stretch from Vancouver to Winnipeg. His poems are rich with West Coast denizens—loggers, fishermen, executives and industrialists, slugs, ravens and loons. Howard White lives in Pender Harbour, BC. More

Poems New and Selected
by Brian Brett
Publisher: Sono Nis Press

Poems New and Selected

This collection features new work by Brian Brett, but also reworked and revised versions of some of his earlier pieces. Driven by his desire to “get there” with his work, Brett has taken the opportunity to massage his work, while remaining true to the “much-abused, manic kid, haunted by winter and darkness, trying to figure out the universe by morning.” Chronologically set, these poems send out vibrations of reoccurring themes and truths. Brian Brett lives and farms on Salt Spring Island. In 1998, Brett held the post of Writer-in-Residence for the Yukon Territory.

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Winner! Nisga’a: People of the Nass River
by Alex Rose (editor), Nisga'a Tribal Council
Illustrated by Gary Fiegehen (photographer)
Publisher: Nisga'a Tribal Council / Douglas & McIntyre

Nisga’a: People of the Nass River

Created under the direction of the Nisga’a Tribal Council, this extraordinary book portrays a rich and vibrant culture. An extended essay illustrated with archival photos sets the scene. Eighty full-colour images document everything from the oolichan harvest and the coming of winter to commemorating the raising of the first new totem pole of the century. Most importantly, this book records the determination, vitality, humour and implacable patience of a people who have never given up and have steadfastly refused to be assimilated. Alex Rose is a writer living in North Vancouver, BC.

British Columbia: A Wild and Fragile Beauty
by Graham Osborne
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

British Columbia: A Wild and Fragile Beauty

Ore-tinted mountain ranges dappled in brilliant ochres and reds. Sagebrush deserts, rippling grasslands, towering snow-capped peaks and glacial lakes fed by rivers of ice. Ancient forests with cedar tress older than the cathedrals of Canterbury and Notre Dame. Dazzling beaches carved out of some of the world’s most rugged coastline. Travelling to the far reaches of the province, Graham Osborne captures it all and Stephan Hume’s introduction shows why the wilderness is a spiritual source, both for citizens of this place and for citizens of the world. Graham Osborne is a landscape and wildlife photographer living on BC’s southwest coast. Stephan Hume is a columnist-at-large for the Vancouver Sun

Fishing for a Living
by Alan Haig-Brown
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Fishing for a Living

On the West Coast, catching fish is a way of life, celebrated in these writings, oral histories and photographs about the people who build the boats and bring in the fish. This book, the result of a three-decade infatuation with fishing boats and fishing people, salutes those fishers and everyone else who builds the boats, fixes the gear and brings in the fish - from humpback to halibut, from draggers to double-deckers. The book has more than 200 photographs from the author’s collection, an introduction to women in the industry, and even a chapter on the Zen of seining. Alan Haig-Brown is the son of Roderick Haig-Brown, for whom this prize is named. More

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Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize

Winner! White Jade Tiger
by Julie Lawson
Publisher: The Dundurn Group

White Jade Tiger

Jasmine is not sure she likes the idea of being stuck in Victoria while her father goes to China for a year. But on a field trip to Chinatown, she explores a curious shop in Fan Tan Alley and accidentally passes through a hidden door. She finds herself in Victoria’s Chinatown of the 1880s. Mistaken for a Chinese boy, she is soon caught up in the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway and in a race through the Fraser Canyon to find a jade tiger amulet. Julie Lawson has written more than twenty young adult titles. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia. More

If You’re Not from the Prairie
by David Bouchard
Publisher: Raincoast/Summerwild

If You’re Not from the Prairie

Award-winning poet David Bouchard offers words that remind the reader of the power of the wind, the sweep of the sky and adventures on a cold prairie night. Henry Ripplinger’s stunning paintings are treasures for the mind and the heart. David Bouchard is a Governor General’s Award winner for The Song Within My Heart. He lives in Victoria, BC. More

A Ride for Martha
by Sue Ann Alderson
Illustrated by Ann Blades
Publisher: Groundwood

A Ride for Martha

This is the story of two sisters, Ida and Martha, and their friends, Lizzie and Sarah, and a harrowing ride in a boat and a comforting ride on a back. Alderson’s turn of the century A Ride for Martha tells of the friendships and loyalty among the children of a multi-ethnic community, made up of Coast Salish peoples, Scottish immigrants and freed African-American slaves. It is true to the rich history of Salt Spring Island. Sue Ann Alderson has published sixteen books for children. Ann Blades is an award-winning illustrator.

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BC Booksellers' Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie

Winner! Fishing for a Living
by Alan Haig-Brown
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Fishing for a Living

On the West Coast, catching fish is a way of life, celebrated in these writings, oral histories and photographs about the people who build the boats and bring in the fish. This book, the result of a three-decade infatuation with fishing boats and fishing people, salutes those fishers and everyone else who build the boats, fix the gear and bring in the fish - from humpback to halibut, draggers to double-deckers. The book has more than 200 photographs from the author’s collection, an introduction to women in the industry and even a chapter on the Zen of seining. Alan Haig-Brown has lived his whole life on BC’s coasts. More

The Emerald Sea
by Diane Swanson
Illustrated by Dale Sanders
Publisher: Whitecap Books

The Emerald Sea

This entertaining photo-essay book takes you to one of Earth’s richest underwater habitats off the BC Coast and describes its geological origins, unique plant life and sea creatures. The Emerald Sea has dazzling colour photography and beautiful descriptive text. Diana Swanson lives in Victoria, BC. Dale Sanders is an award-winning photographer. He is also based in Victoria, BC.

Grizzlies & White Guys
by Clayton Mack
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Grizzlies & White Guys

The extraordinary life story of Clayton Mack (1910-1993), a legendary hunting guide from the Nuxalk Nation (Bella Coola), is told in his own words. To Clayton Mack, who loved the wilderness and whose most precious memories were of the days when people got around without roads, told time without watches, and took planks from giant cedars without axes, the two most mysterious creatures on earth were grizzly bears and Q’umsciwas (white men). Clayton Mack was BC’s most celebrated hunting guide. He passed away in 1993. More

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