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2001 Winners & Finalists

May 5 | hosted by David Grierson

 

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Winner! Monkey Beach
by Eden Robinson
Publisher: Vintage Canada

Monkey Beach

Monkey Beach combines both joy and tragedy in a harrowing yet restrained story of grief and survival, and of a family on the edge of heartbreak. We watch Lisa leave her teenage years behind as she waits for news of her younger brother, missing at sea. She reflects on the rich episodes of the lives of her family – so many of which take place around the water, reminding us of the news she fears, and revealing the menacing power of nature. But Lisa has a special recourse – a “gift” that enables her to see and hear spirits, and ask for their help. This is Eden Robinson’s first novel, and it was nominated for Canada’s two largest literary prizes: the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award. More

The Hero’s Walk
by Anita Rau Badami
Publisher: Ballantine Books

The Hero’s Walk

In a small town in India, Sripathi Rao struggles as a copywriter to keep his family afloat in their crumbling ancestral home. His wife blames him for refusing to communicate with their daughter Maya, who defied tradition, rejecting her Brahmin fiancé for a Caucasian husband. Then a phone call brings tragedy: Maya and her husband have been killed in an accident leaving Sripathi as their daughter, Nandana’s, guardian. Filled with guilt about his daughter but unable to express his feelings, Sripathi finds everything in his life falling apart. But with Nandana’s arrival, his world slowly, unexpectedly, finds new hope. Anita Rau Badami was born in India and moved to Canada in 1991. After the publication of The Hero’s Walk, Badami won the Marian Engel Award. More

The Judas Hills
by Peter Trower
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Judas Hills

Just when Terry Belshaw vows never to log again, his circumstances change and he needs to return to BC’s backwoods to get a stake quickly. His newest adventures — gripping and ominous — are detailed in The Judas Hills, in which Terry is hired out to a remote logging camp in the shadow of Mesachie Mountain. It soon becomes clear that what the loggers face is more than the usual dose of danger they find on the job. The whole valley seems to be under a curse with supernatural forces at work. This is Peter Trower’s third novel about West Coast logging life in addition to his many works of poetry. He currently lives in Gibsons. More

A Message for Mr. Lazarus
by Barbara Lambert
Publisher: Cormorant

A Message for Mr. Lazarus

This collection is made of stories that span the world and all the people in it. From a ferry ride with an unfaithful wife, to a failed hero’s final quest, to a man fleeing to the beaches of Costa Rica, Lambert takes readers on compelling journeys. The book goes to a place where senses can expand, and helps us find the truth that lies in dark, seductive places. Barbara Lambert grew up in the Okanagan Valley and now divides her time between Penticton and Vancouver. The story “A Message for Mr. Lazarus” won The Malahat Review Novella Prize.

Uther
by Jack Whyte
Publisher: Penguin Books

Uther

Uther is about young Uther Pendragon, cousin to Merlyn and father of King Arthur. In his boyhood, Uther spends time in Camulod, where he enjoys the luxuries of civilized community and trains to realize his dream of commanding the cavalry. But he is pulled back to the harsh, primitive land of his birth and of his father’s people, the Pendragons of Cambria, where comforts are few and justice is administered at sword point. When his father, King Uric, dies a new king must be elected. Is Uther fit to lead? Uther must choose, once and for all, between his love for Camulod and his fatherland of Cambria. Jack Whyte came to Canada in 1967 and has written numerous works of fiction including the popular Templar series. More

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Winner! The Last Great Sea
by Terry Glavin
Publisher: Greystone

The Last Great Sea

The Last Great Sea sheds light on the mysteries of the North Pacific Ocean, a place of cultural and ecological richness and complexity. The maritime history of the North Pacific is rife with apocryphal voyages, legendary armadas, lost colonies, and fabled portals through continents. It also explores current ecological phenomena — huge phytoplankton blooms and dying birds and fish — and the significance of these events. The Last Great Sea is a thoroughly researched, beautifully written exploration of one of the world’s most mysterious places. Terry Glavin is an author, journalist, and adjunct professor of Creative Writing at UBC.

The Bear’s Embrace
by Patricia Van Tighem
Publisher: Anchor

The Bear’s Embrace

In 1983, Patricia Van Tighem and her husband set out on a trip to Waterton Lakes National Park. They hiked up to Crypt Lake, then camped overnight. But the following morning, as they began their descent, something happened that would change their lives forever: they crossed paths with a grizzly bear. The Bear’s Embrace is a candid, moving, and beautifully written account of survival and recovery. It is a story of love and rage, of bravery and terror, and of what it means to look different in a culture that demands perfection. Above all, it is a celebration of life in all its many complexities. More

The Other Side of Eden
by Hugh Brody
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

The Other Side of Eden

Memoir, adventure story, and intellectual voyage, The Other Side of Eden begins in the Arctic of the 1970s. This was where Hugh Brody first lived with hunting peoples and encountered a way of being that would change his worldview. Brody explores the divide between hunters and farmers that lies at the core of human history with this work. Why did the farmer triumph over the hunter-gatherer? He seeks and finds the answer in a variety of places, among them Genesis, the creation myth at the centre of the agriculturalist perspective. Finally, Brody poses questions about the mind itself, arriving at a hopeful, compelling conclusion. There exists, he suggests, a place within each of us where we can be beyond dichotomies and ultimately more fully ourselves. More

Tom Thomson’s Shack
by Harold Rhenisch
Publisher: New Star Books

Tom Thomson’s Shack

City and country are reconciled in this series of prose pieces encompassing Toronto’s urban sprawl and British Columbia’s Interior. On a visit to Canada’s largest metropolis, the author is drawn north to Kleinburg, site of artist Tom Thomson’s studio. There, he finds himself immersed in the crucible of “Canada,” the cultural construct he recognizes from textbooks. And suddenly, it all falls into place: rural, suburban, and urban coalesce in Harold Rhenisch’s spare, perceptive words. Rhenisch brilliantly distills the uneasy but indelible connection between Toronto and the valley in the Cariboo near his home. Encounters with beekeepers, ranchers, students, publishers, home–brewers, cowboys, poets, fishermen, and the land itself drive this deconstruction of the urban–rural divide. More

Wild West Women
by Rosemary Neering
Publisher: Whitecap Books

Wild West Women

Most of the women who came to Canada’s West Coast between the Gold Rush and the 1940s settled in growing towns and flourishing cities. Beyond the cities, a different world existed. Imaginative, often raucous, and sometimes raunchy, women in the wilds did what they wanted. They ran traplines, hotels, and brothels; prospected for gold; lived in the wilderness; and married as much or as little as they pleased. Rosemary Neering tells the stories of strength, independence, and determination of the women who lived their lives by their own sets of rules. Each of these amazing individuals lived a life that challenged the rules most women live by. Wild West Women was the winner of the 2001 Vancity Women’s Book Prize. More

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Winner! Another Gravity
by Don McKay
Publisher: McClelland and Stewart

Another Gravity

All of Don McKay’s books of poetry are marked by a rigorous intelligence, a profound feel for language, and a lightness of touch. McKay has an uncanny ability to bring together the complex and meaningful with the mundane. There is a constant play in this book between gravity and its opposite, whether expressed as air, sky, wind, wings, or feathers. But the primary focus of attention is the moon, which appears in numerous poems, not as a sentimental reflection of romantic notions, but as a centre of gravity, a guide in the art of reflection. Another Gravity, McKay’s ninth book, won the 2001 Governor General’s Award for poetry. More

The Bare Plum of Winter Rain
by Patrick Lane
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Bare Plum of Winter Rain

Gathering together five years’ worth of work, The Bare Plum of Winter Rain is an evocative collection, boldly exploring themes that range from meditations on the death of a mother, to love, sex, and poverty, all with the craft and success of a master poet. From the stunning title poem, “The Bare Plum of Winter Rain,” to the spirited love poems “Cunt” and “Vulva,” Lane has created an exciting mix of style, voice, and rhythm—reaffirming his place among the top poets in Canada and the world. Lane’s poetry and fiction have been widely anthologized and have been translated into many languages. Lane now makes his home in Victoria. More

His Life
by George Bowering
Publisher: ECW Press

His Life

His Life is a collection of autobiographical poems, each with a date and location, which takes the reader through the life and thoughts of the first-ever Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate. From the disquiet of a child in a fractured home to the pleasure of standing in the right field during baseball practice, His Life covers the spectrum of exerperience in such a way as to make George Bowering’s life seem as important and mundane as anyone else’s. More

Slow-Moving Target
by Sue Wheeler
Publisher: Brick Books

Slow-Moving Target

In her second book, Slow-Moving Target, Sue Wheeler unwraps more than the 1950s. She unwraps a whole shop-full of environments and events, and winds them up and sets them down to delight her readers. There is no sentimentalizing here - either of people or of other places and times - and yet the writing is so consistently sharp, perceptive, and clear, that the overall direction is always towards hope, towards the light. Sue Wheeler lives on Lasqueti Island, off the British Columbia coast. This is her second book of poetry. More

Water Stair
by John Pass
Publisher: Oolichan Books

Water Stair

Water Stair is the third in a linked quartet of books by John Pass, pulling the personal into focus through our culture’s largest lenses: Classical, Christian, Romantic, and contemporary/existential. The poems in this book are river journeys (expansionist, native, disillusioned, visionary) exploring confluences and collusions of romance and landscape. John Pass won the 2006 Governor General’s Award for Stumbling in the Bloom. He currently teaches at Capilano College.

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Winner! The Encyclopedia of British Columbia
by Daniel Francis
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Encyclopedia of British Columbia

For the first time, everything you always wanted to know about BC is gathered together in one place! The Encyclopedia of British Columbia is the definitive reference work on BC. With more than 4,000 entries and hundreds of photos, maps, tables, and charts, the EBC is the source of readable and authoritative information on all the significant BC people, places, and things. What makes the EBC even better is the wealth of special local information and BC lore—all those details that make BC the weird and wonderful place it is. Daniel Francis, editor of the EBC, is the award-winning author of numerous textbooks and trade books on Canadian history. More

Island Timber
by Richard Somerset Mackie
Publisher: Sono Nis Press

Island Timber

Island Timber charts the history of the largest logging concern on coastal British Columbia - the Comox Logging Company - from the turn of the century to the Sayward Fire of 1938. With sole access to the great Douglas fir forests between Courtenay and Campbell River, Comox Logging towed billions of feet of logs. But Island Timber is more than the story of the “heroic age” of coastal logging. This book is rich with humour, and pithy sidebars on coastal legends like Big Jack McKenzie. It is also the first social and community history of a logging company in BC. Richard Somerset Mackie is a respected historian and award-winning author known for his meticulous research and engaging style. He holds a doctorate in Canadian History from UBC. More

The Last Great Sea
by Terry Glavin
Publisher: Greystone

The Last Great Sea

The Last Great Sea sheds light on the mysteries of the North Pacific Ocean, a place of cultural and ecological richness and complexity. The maritime history of the North Pacific is rife with apocryphal voyages, legendary armadas, lost colonies, and fabled portals through continents. It also explores current ecological phenomena — huge phytoplankton blooms and dying birds and fish — and the significance of these events. The Last Great Sea is a thoroughly researched, beautifully written exploration of one of the world’s most mysterious places. Terry Glavin is an author, journalist, and adjunct professor of Creative Writing at UBC.

The Politics of Resentment
by Philip Resnick
Publisher: UBC Press

The Politics of Resentment

Since the Quiet Revolution, the question of Quebec’s status within Confederation has held centre stage in the Canadian unity debate. Comparatively little has been written about BC, a province that has long seen itself on the periphery of the Canadian federation. The Politics of Resentment provides a new way of thinking about BC’s place within Canada. It draws on a wide range of sources - from government documents and the media, to the work of BC authors and commentators, to the academic literature on regionalism and nationalism - to capture what underlies the often-fractured relationship between Canada’s westernmost province and the rest of the country. Philip Resnick is a professor in the Department of Political Science at UBC. More

Tom Thomson’s Shack
by Harold Rhenisch
Publisher: New Star Books

Tom Thomson’s Shack

City and country are reconciled in this series of prose pieces encompassing Toronto’s urban sprawl and British Columbia’s Interior. On a visit to Canada’s largest metropolis, the author is drawn north to Kleinburg, site of artist Tom Thomson’s studio. There, he finds himself immersed in the crucible of “Canada,” the cultural construct he recognizes from textbooks. And suddenly, it all falls into place: rural, suburban, and urban coalesce in Harold Rhenisch’s spare, perceptive words. Rhenisch brilliantly distills the uneasy but indelible connection between Toronto and the valley in the Cariboo near his home. Encounters with beekeepers, ranchers, students, publishers, home–brewers, cowboys, poets, fishermen, and the land itself drive this deconstruction of the urban–rural divide. More

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Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize

Winner! The Grave
by James Heneghan
Publisher: Groundwood

The Grave

Abandoned in a mall when a baby, thirteen-year-old Tom Mullen has no family—he’s spent his life in foster homes. Upon hearing rumours that a mass grave has been unearthed, he feels himself inexplicably drawn to it, and then into its terrible darkness. He finds he is no longer in Liverpool in 1974 but in Ireland in 1847, during the Potato Famine. The Monaghan family takes him in, and Tom experiences for the first time what it’s like to have parents and siblings who stand together even during hardship. Tom stands by the Monaghans in their plight, and discovers that the past holds the key to his destiny. James Heneghan is an award-winning author. The Grave was selected as an ALA Best Books for Young Adults. More

Ballerinas Don’t Wear Glasses
by Ainslie Manson
Illustrated by Dean Griffith
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Ballerinas Don’t Wear Glasses

Ben has to deliver his nuisance of a litter sister, Allison, and her swan costume to her ballet recital on time. Allison isn’t too pleased about it either. The other girls in her class say that ballerinas aren’t clumsy and don’t wear glasses. Plus, Allison is left with the saggiest swan costume of all. She’s close to tears. But Ben leaps into action. Big Brother will save the day. Scissors and pins, needle and thread—that’s all he needs. When he finishes, nobody’s going to make fun of his sister. A story about siblings and the bond they share, Ballerinas Don’t Wear Glasses is a funny and warmhearted tale. Ainslie Manson is a popular author of children’s books. Dean Griffiths is an accomplished artist. More

Frances
by W. D. Valgardson
Publisher: Groundwood

Frances

When Frances finds an old, mouse-eaten journal in a trunk at the family homestead, she is dismayed to find that the entries are written in Icelandic, and the pages are torn and moldy. “Some things should just be left alone,” warns her grandmother. Yet something pushes Frances to uncover the secrets that the book contains—secrets about her own past, filled with tales of forbidden love, hardship, scandal, and ghosts. Award-winning author W. D. Valgardson’s novel is a magical journey with an unforgettable heroine. More

Men of Stone
by Gayle Friesen
Publisher: Kids Can Press

Men of Stone

Fifteen-year-old Ben doesn’t understand his life. He lives in a house full of women, yet he can’t talk to girls. He tries to be a jock, but can’t make the team. And ridicule has driven Ben to give up the one thing he loves—dance. Now, he’s being bullied by a thug who’s found out about Ben’s ballet classes. Ben feels his anger growing every day. Then Great-Aunt Frieda comes to visit and Ben learns about the woman’s life in Russia. He’s surprised at how Frieda dealt with the Men of Stone—Stalin’s agents who terrorized her. As Frieda tells her powerful story, Ben begins to understand who he is and the person he wants to be. But first he must get past the rage that is controlling his life. Gayle Friesen lives in Delta, BC. More

No Cafes in Narnia
by Nikki Tate
Publisher: Sono Nis Press

No Cafes in Narnia

Thirteen-year-old Heather Blake can’t stand the fact that people on Tarragon Island seem to know about her family’s traumas practically before she does. Her youth writing group is supposed to help her meet people and improve her skills. Instead, Heather finds herself revealing way too much about both her writing life and her private thoughts to kids she can’t believe are becoming her friends. Heather’s new school, a budding romance, family illness, and a strange crime cause more trouble than she can handle. It will take all the strength and determination Heather can muster if she hopes to survive and carve out a place for herself in her new island home. Nikki Tate is a prolific writer and literary advocate. More

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BC Booksellers' Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie

Winner! The Encyclopedia of British Columbia
by Dan Francis
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Encyclopedia of British Columbia

For the first time, everything you always wanted to know about BC is gathered together in one place! The Encyclopedia of British Columbia is the definitive reference work on BC. With more than 4,000 entries and hundreds of photos, maps, tables, and charts, the EBC is the source of readable and authoritative information on all the significant BC people, places, and things. What makes the EBC even better is the wealth of special local information and BC lore—all those details that make BC the weird and wonderful place it is. Daniel Francis, editor of the EBC, is the award-winning author of numerous textbooks and trade books on Canadian history. More

The Bear’s Embrace
by Patricia Van Tighem
Publisher: Anchor

The Bear’s Embrace

In 1983, Patricia Van Tighem and her husband set out on a trip to Waterton Lakes National Park. They hiked up to Crypt Lake, then camped overnight. But the following morning, as they began their descent, something happened that would change their lives forever: they crossed paths with a grizzly bear. The Bear’s Embrace is a candid, moving, and beautifully written account of survival and recovery. It is a story of love and rage, of bravery and terror, and of what it means to look different in a culture that demands perfection. Above all, it is a celebration of life in all its many complexities. More

City of Glass
by Douglas Coupland
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

City of Glass

City of Glass is a conversational and photographic tour of the city of Vancouver, Douglas Coupland’s hometown. Diverse topics are covered, such as the issues of the Downtown Eastside, to Vancouverites’ love affair with plentiful sushi, to the significance of the number eight in purchasing a home. Coupland treats his city with humour and the sardonic wit that comes from loving a place deep in your soul. Douglas Coupland is a world famous writer and artist and is known for, among other things, popularizing the term “Generation X.” More

The Last Great Sea
by Terry Glavin
Publisher: Greystone

The Last Great Sea

The Last Great Sea sheds light on the mysteries of the North Pacific Ocean, a place of cultural and ecological richness and complexity. The maritime history of the North Pacific is rife with apocryphal voyages, legendary armadas, lost colonies, and fabled portals through continents. It also explores current ecological phenomena — huge phytoplankton blooms and dying birds and fish — and the significance of these events. The Last Great Sea is a thoroughly researched, beautifully written exploration of one of the world’s most mysterious places. Terry Glavin is an author, journalist, and adjunct professor of Creative Writing at UBC.

Wild West Women
by Rosemary Neering
Publisher: Whitecap Books

Wild West Women

Most of the women who came to Canada’s West Coast between the Gold Rush and the 1940s settled in growing towns and flourishing cities. Beyond the cities, a different world existed. Imaginative, often raucous, and sometimes raunchy, women in the wilds did what they wanted. They ran traplines, hotels, and brothels; prospected for gold; lived in the wilderness; and married as much or as little as they pleased. Rosemary Neering tells the stories of strength, independence, and determination of the women who lived their lives by their own sets of rules. Each of these amazing individuals lived a life that challenged the rules most women live by. Wild West Women was the winner of the 2001 Vancity Women’s Book Prize. More

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