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1998 Winners & Finalists

April 18 | hosted by Susan Musgrave

 

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Winner! Visible Worlds
by Marilyn Bowering
Publisher: HarperCollins

Visible Worlds

Visible Worlds is an epic tale of passion, tragedy, and the unpredictable twists of fate that shape lives. Two brothers, Gerhard and Albrecht Storr, grow up and apart in Winnipeg in the 1930s. When Gerhard is sent to Germany to study music, he instead becomes a Nazi solider and vanishes. Albrecht moves toward an equally uncertain future, grappling with dark family secrets. At the centre of the story is Nathanial Bone, the brothers’ childhood friend, who tries to even out the scales of life. The story is entwined with the tale of Soviet heroine, Fika, as she attempts to cross the polar ice-cap in 1960. These tales, on separate sides of the globe, unfold and come together in this magnetic story. Marilyn Bowering lives in Sooke, BC.

At First I Hope for Rescue
by Holley Rubinsky
Publisher: Knopf

At First I Hope for Rescue

At First I Hope for Rescue is a collection of linked stories that paints no-nonsense characters with a heartfelt hand. It unearths the compulsions that rile ordinary lives, and the dreams and grave losses that haunt them. Set in the fictitious town of Ruth, BC, the cast of these wild tragicomedies disturb, shock, confound, and impress. Some find their lives dusted with hope and redemption; others are not so easily saved. Holley Rubinsky divides her time between British Columbia and Arizona.

Fox’s Nose
by Sally Ireland
Publisher: Cormorant

Fox’s Nose

At Fox’s Nose, a farm in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley, in a wintry attic on Christmas night a girl named Julia makes love with her cousin. Afterwards, she discovers a grubby exercise book in a trunk. It is her grandmother’s diary of the Siege of Leningrad. She reads it and becomes obsessed with the account of the privations her family endured (cold, darkness, starvation, shelling) and of their encounters with enemies, both from beyond the city limits and within their own psyches. The discovery has repercussions for Julia’s life back in Vancouver and her relationships with her ailing father, best friend, and grandfather back at Fox’s Nose. Sally Ireland lives on Mayne Island, BC.

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Winner! Stolen from Our Embrace
by Suzanne Fournier, Ernie Crey
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Stolen from Our Embrace

Stolen from Our Embrace is a story about the treatment of aboriginal children in Canada, surveying experiences at early residential schools, the “Sixties Scoop,” and the current recovery of many First Nations communities. It includes engaging anecdotes and interviews, along with detailed information on government policies that led to the muffling of a vibrant culture. Suzanne Fournier and Ernie Crey also look at the current state of affairs, noting the hope and renewed spirit in a return to traditional healing methods and initiatives in education and social services. Suzanne Fournier is a reporter for the Vancouver Province. Ernie Crey is a long-time political activist on behalf of aboriginal children and families. More

Mighty River: A Portrait of the Fraser
by Richard Bocking
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Mighty River: A Portrait of the Fraser

Environmental filmmaker Richard Bocking has written an engaging history of British Columbia’s Fraser River. Using the Fraser’s still largely undammed current to carry the narrative, Bocking ferries readers downstream and through time to explain how humans have degraded the watershed. Like any good river guide, Bocking presents the river one reach at a time. Focusing on successive tributaries from the Rockies to Georgia Strait, he melds stories of explorers, miners, fishers, loggers, aluminum smelters, and developers into artful lessons about the basin’s changing human and natural ecology.

The Perfection of Hope
by Elizabeth Simpson
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

The Perfection of Hope

The Perfection of Hope is only incidentally about disease; its theme is the soul’s transformation brought about by an encounter with critical illness and a return to health. Its subject is not only the dreadful challenge of cancer, but the triumph of optimism and the moral need to live life to the fullest. Elizabeth Simpson lives in Victoria, where she teaches Canadian Literature at Camosun College.

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Winner! What I Remember from My Time on Earth
by Patricia Young
Publisher: Anansi

What I Remember from My Time on Earth

In this acclaimed collection of poems, words cross the silence of the ages in poems that meditate on human estrangement and connection. Patricia Young is the author of eight books and her poetry has appeared in every important literary magazine and journal in Canada. She lives in Victoria, BC.

Heaven Cake
by Linda Rogers
Publisher: Sono Nis Press

Heaven Cake

The poems in Heaven Cake are at once familial and global, homilies told by a grandmother to the younger generation gathered around her. Linda Rogers has collected people she knows and people she knows about, finding them in poems that turn upon change and life transitions. This is a very rich written tapestry from one of Canada’s foremost poets. Linda Rogers is a multi-award-winning poet obsessed with the human story. She has lectured in English and Creative Writing at UBC, Malaspina College, Camosun College, and UVic.

Ivanhoe Station
by Lyle Neff
Publisher: Anvil Press

Ivanhoe Station

Ivanhoe Station is a début collection that rivets with poetic imagery as sharp as movie graphics. These poems address, in turn, social and political questions, while focussing—centrally—on a theme of transcendence. Lyle Neff lives and works in Vancouver. He is notorious for his hotheaded nationalism and elaborate use of profanity. More

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Winner! Mighty River: A Portrait of the Fraser
by Richard Bocking
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Mighty River: A Portrait of the Fraser

Environmental filmmaker Richard Bocking has written an engaging history of British Columbia’s Fraser River. Using the Fraser’s still largely undammed current to carry the narrative, Bocking ferries readers downstream and through time to explain how humans have degraded the watershed. Like any good river guide, Bocking presents the river one reach at a time. Focussing on successive tributaries from the Rockies to the Georgia Strait, he melds stories of explorers, miners, fishers, loggers, aluminum smelters, and developers into artful lessons about the basin’s changing human and natural ecology.

The Pullet Surprise: A Year on an Urban Farm
by Michael Kluckner
Publisher: Raincoast

The Pullet Surprise: A Year on an Urban Farm

“We had no illusions about what we were doing; we knew we were somewhere between the family farmers of the 1920s and the hippie back-to-landers of the 1960s.” So writes Michael Kluckner who, along with his wife Christine, bought a small farm in Langley, BC and set about raising chickens and sheep and trying to feed themselves, their animals, and the handful of people actually interested in purchasing their goods. Part meditations on the noble art of farming, part whimsical how-to, The Pullet Surprise is a delightful account of a delightful adventure. Michael Kluckner has also been honoured by the BC Book Prizes for his books Vanishing Vancouver and Vanishing British Columbia.

Western Journeys
by Daniel Wood, Beverley Sinclair
Publisher: Raincoast

Western Journeys

Daniel Wood and Beverly Sinclair encounter fascinating things on their 32,000 kilometre trip across Western Canada, taking beautiful photographs along the way. This is both a chronicle of a real trip and a marvelous documentation of the places in Canada where myth and science co-exist. Daniel Wood has authored fourteen books and currently teaches writing at SFU. Beverly Sinclair is an award-winning journalist and has been the managing editor of the Georgia Straight

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Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize

Winner! Wish Me Luck
by James Heneghan
Publisher: Groundwood

Wish Me Luck

Jamie Monaghan wishes World War II would hurry up and get to Liverpool. Jamie longs for a taste of the drama and excitement he hears about every night on the radio. But, soon the war hits a little too close to home. Fearing for Jamie’s safety, his parents arrange for him to travel to Canada aboard the City of Benares, a ship carrying 100 young evacuees. But in wartime, danger lurks in the most unexpected places. Instead of carrying Jamie away from the front lines, the ship brings him closer to battle than he would have ever dreamed possible. James Heneghan is an award-winning author. Wish Me Luck was nominated for a Governor General’s Award.

Across Frozen Seas
by John Wilson
Publisher: Dundurn

Across Frozen Seas

John Wilson is back with a haunting account of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition of 1845. Dave Young is a boy living in Humboldt, Saskatchewan who begins to experience the life of a cabin boy—also named Dave—who served aboard the HMS Erebus. As the story of the tragic quest to find a route through Canada’s unforgiving Arctic seas progresses, the line between the lives of the two boys begins to blur. Across Frozen Seas is an unforgettable novel for young readers everywhere. John Wilson is the author of numerous young adult novels. He lives in Lantzville, British Columbia. More

Emma and the Silk Train
by Julie Lawson
Illustrated by Paul Mombourquette
Publisher: Kids Can Press

Emma and the Silk Train

Emma and the Silk Train takes readers back to the early years of the last century when passing high-speed trains brought romance and adventure to small towns in North America. On September 21, 1927, about 160 km east of Vancouver, British Columbia, a high-speed silk train derailed, spilling some of its precious cargo of Oriental silk into the churning Fraser River. Emma’s longing for a piece of silk and her determination to have it put her life in danger. This beautifully illustrated story is a fictional account of a little girl’s adventure and dramatic rescue, based on an intriguing event in Canadian history. Julie Lawson lives in Victoria.

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BC Booksellers' Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie

Winner! The Great Bear Rainforest
by Ian McAllister, Karen McAllister, Cameron Young
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Great Bear Rainforest

Between Vancouver Island and Alaska, the BC coast winds through a 250-mile wonderland of forested islands and inlets, a complex and delicate rainforest masterpiece. The area is one of the Northern Hemisphere’s richest unprotected wildlife habitats, the home of Canada’s largest grizzly bears and the rare all-white Kermode bear. Ian and Karen McAllister, environmental campaigners, have spent over ten years exploring, photographing, and researching this once-forgotten coast. The book contains over 150 stunning colour photographs, including some of the most extraordinary images of wild bears ever seen in print. More

Dangerous Waters
by Keith Keller
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Dangerous Waters

The coastal waters of British Columbia are among the most treacherous in the world, with steep rocky shores, mazes of reefs, waves fifty feet high, and Pacific storms that blow in unexpectedly with the force of hurricanes. Some vessels that venture forth on these waters do not safely reach their destinations. These twenty-one accounts of marine disasters and near disasters come from those who lived through them. These are stories of death, near-death, terror, and grief. They are also stories of faith, determination, and the tremendous courage of ordinary people. The accounts are harrowing, funny, honest, and very, very moving. Keith Keller lives on Denman Island with his wife and two daughters. More

Haida Gwaii
by Ian Gill
Illustrated by David Nunuk
Publisher: Raincoast

Haida Gwaii

Native artist Bill Reid once called Haida Gwaii, home to the Haida people, the “Shining Islands.” Known also as “Canada’s Galápagos,” these islands are a natural marvel, featuring awesome vistas and a rich ecosystem. The islands also offer more than 400 cultural sites, including the UNESCO World Heritage village of Ninstints. Ian Gill’s lively text and David Nunuk’s dramatic photographs celebrate this unique, still relatively unspoiled place. Ian Gill has won numerous awards for his documentary reporting, and was a senior reporter for the Vancouver Sun. David Nunuk is a professional photographer who specializes in natural history and outdoor recreation.

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