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2008 Winners & Finalists

April 26, 2008 | emcee Fanny Kiefer | Fairmont Waterfront Hotel

 

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Supported by Friesens, Transcontinental and Webcom
Judges: Margaret Gunning, Rob Wiersema and Carol Windley

Winner! Conceit
by Mary Novik
Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Conceit

This lush and lyrical novel is centred on the life of the historical character Pegge Donne, daughter of the great English love poet John Donne. Conceit brings to life a passionate, intelligent girl and woman set against the backdrop of the courtly world of late Elizabethan London and the turmoil of the ensuing decades, including the catastrophic Great Fire of 1666. Like Girl With a Pearl Earring, Conceit is a vivid and intelligent novel with a complex female character at its heart. Mary Novik is a former English and Creative Writing instructor at Langara College and was poetry reviewer for The Vancouver Sun for five years. This is her first published novel.  More

Adam’s Peak
by Heather Burt
Publisher: The Dundurn Group

Adam’s Peak

On a stifling August day, six-year-old Clare Fraser and seven-year-old Rudy Vantwest make eye contact from opposite sides of their street. For an instant they are connected, then each turns away—Clare to the shelter of the garden sprinkler, Rudy to the excitement of his brother’s impending birth. Twenty-five years later, Clare and Rudy, strangers living continents apart, are connected again. Overturning the guarded, insular lives they both lead, two events—one an accident, the other an act of terror—transform them both and bind their families irrevocably. Heather Burt teaches English and Creative Writing at Langara College in Vancouver. This is her first book. More

Radiance
by Shaena Lambert
Publisher: Random House Canada

Radiance

It’s 1952. Eighteen-year-old Hiroshima survivor Keiko Kitigawa arrives in New York City for plastic surgery. Sponsored by The Hiroshima Project, Keiko is expected to be a media darling, “The Hiroshima Maiden,” selected for her scarred beauty and for the talent she briefly revealed to Project doctors in Japan as she put into words the inexpressible horrors she has witnessed. But the Keiko who arrives in America does not perform as scripted and Keiko’s suburban host mother, Daisy Lawrence, faces a few surprises. Shaena Lambert is a fiction writer and poet whose first book, a collection of short stories called The Falling Woman, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. She lives in Vancouver. More

The Reckoning of Boston Jim
by Claire Mulligan
Publisher: Brindle & Glass

The Reckoning of Boston Jim

In this debut novel, set at the height of the Cariboo Gold Rush, two men meet only briefly yet their lives are inextricably bound together. “Boston” Jim Milroy, a lone trapper and trader with a tragic unreckoned past, has become obsessed with reciprocating a seemingly minor kindness from the loquacious Dora Hume, a settler in the Cowichan Valley of Vancouver Island. Dora’s kindness and her life story haunt Boston Jim, and his precise recollections inspire his attempts to buy something suitable for her. Eventually his search leads him to the gold rush town of Barkerville on the trail of Dora’s capricious husband Eugene—the one thing, after all, that she really wants. Since graduating from UBC, Claire Mulligan’s award-winning short stories have appeared in many literary publications. She currently lives in Pennsylvania.  More

Soucouyant
by David Chariandy
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

Soucouyant

A soucouyant is an evil spirit in Caribbean folklore, and a symbol here of the distant and dimly remembered legacies that continue to haunt the Americas. This first novel, set in Ontario in a house near the Scarborough Bluffs, focuses on a Canadian-born son who despairingly abandons his Caribbean-born mother suffering from dementia. The son returns after two years to confront his mother but also a young woman who now mysteriously occupies the house. In his desire to atone for his past and live anew, he is compelled to imagine his mother’s life before it all slips into darkness: her arrival in Canada during the early 1960s, her childhood in Trinidad during the Second World War, and her lurking secret that each have tried to forget. David Chariandy lives in Vancouver and teaches in the Department of English at SFU. More

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Supported by Abebooks
Judges: Kirk LaPointe, Rita Moir and Harold Rhenisch

Winner! Everywhere Being is Dancing
by Robert Bringhurst
Publisher: Gaspereau Press

Everywhere Being is Dancing

In this companion volume to The Tree of Meaning (2006), Robert Bringhurst collects talks and meditations under the principle that “everything is related to everything else.” His studies of poetry, polyphonics, oral literature, storytelling, translation, mythology, homogeny, cultural ecology, literary criticism, and typography all build upon this sense of basic connection and his thinking involves the work of poets, musicians, and philosophers. Robert Bringhurst, recipient of the 2005 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, is a poet, typographer, and linguist, well known for his award-winning translations of the Haida storytellers Skaay and Ghandl, and for his translations of the early Greek philosopher-poet Parmenides. He lives on Quadra Island. More

The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating
by J. B. MacKinnon, Alisa Smith
Publisher: Random House Canada

The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating

When this Vancouver couple learned that the average ingredient in a North American meal travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate, they decided to launch a simple experiment to reconnect with the people and places that produced what they ate. For one year, they would consume only food that came from within a 100-mile radius of their apartment. The pair’s discoveries sometimes shook their resolve as they got personal with issues ranging from global economics to biodiversity and immersed themselves in the seasons. The 100-Mile Diet has attracted media and grassroots interest around the world. Alisa Smith is a freelance writer. J. B. MacKinnon is the author of Dead Man in Paradise, which won the 2006 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction and was shortlisted for the Hubert Evans Non-fiction Prize. More

Interwoven Wild: An Ecologist Loose in the Garden
by Don Gayton
Publisher: Thistledown Press

Interwoven Wild: An Ecologist Loose in the Garden

Striking a series of premises—the first one being that gardening is essentially an irrational act—Don Gayton logically and humorously begins to unravel the work and rituals of gardening. While commenting on the inter-reliance of species, types of soil, why weeds invade, insects, and frost, he also speculates on gardeners themselves and interlocks an assortment of artists, writers, and designers to remind us that the garden has long held sway on the creative consciousness. Don Gayton is the author of three books of non-fiction. Currently a Summerland resident, he was a range ecologist with the BC Ministry of Forests for ten years, and has worked with the Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture. More

Phantom Limb
by Theresa Kishkan
Publisher: Thistledown Press

Phantom Limb

In Phantom Limb, readers are invited to explore culture and nature by looking at landscape and place through a series of historical lenses, ranging from natural history to family history to the broader notions of regional and human history. Resonating throughout this collection, especially when describing the natural world or in her travel essays, is a rich lyricism and a distinctive visceral imagery that transcends the flora and fauna to engage human relationships, social concerns, historical milieus, and political boundaries. Theresa Kishkan lives on the Sechelt Peninsula, north of Vancouver. She is the author of six books of poetry, an anthology of essays, and a novel. She operates High Ground Press with her husband John Pass. More

The Triumph of Citizenship: The Japanese and Chinese in Canada, 1941-67
by Patricia E. Roy
Publisher: UBC Press

The Triumph of Citizenship: The Japanese and Chinese in Canada, 1941-67

In this companion volume to A White Man’s Province and The Oriental Question, Patricia E. Roy examines the climax of antipathy to Asians in Canada: the removal of all Japanese Canadians from the BC coast in 1942. Their free return was not allowed until 1949. Yet the war also brought increased respect for Chinese Canadians; they were enfranchised in 1947 and the federal government softened its ban on Chinese immigration. Explaining why Canada ignored the rights of Japanese Canadians and placed strict limits on Chinese immigration, The Triumph of Citizenship reminds all Canadians of the values and limits of their citizenship. Patricia E. Roy is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Victoria and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.  More

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Supported by the BC Teachers’ Federation
Judges: Elizabeth Bachinsky, Kate Braid and John Pass

Winner! Forage
by Rita Wong
Publisher: Nightwood Editions

Forage

A vividly described, fierce commentary on our international political landscape and the injustices it breeds, this collection of poems holds sharply modern and timely opinions. It also features marginalia, Chinese characters, and photos to give depth to the poetry’s political context. Bridging cultures and contexts, Forage manages to be instructive without being pedantic, thought-provoking while still calling forth humour and beauty. Rita Wong’s first book, monkeypuzzle, was published by Press Gang in 1998 and received the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop Emerging Writer Award. She lives in Miami and Vancouver and teaches Critical and Cultural Studies at the Emily Carr Institute. More

The Incorrection
by George McWhirter
Publisher: Oolichan Books

The Incorrection

The poems and the personae in this collection fight the battle between fat and thin, rhyme and un-rhyme, merely to find that love and poetry don’t care what shape or form we’re in, so long as we’re subject to the natural Law of Incorrection: “In trying to correct an old wrong / I seem to create a new one / and find myself arraigned / by a hapless incorrection.” In 2005, George McWhirter retired as a professor in the Creative Writing Department at UBC. In 2007 he was inaugurated as the first poet laureate for the City of Vancouver.  More

Ox
by Christopher Patton
Publisher: Véhicule Press

Ox

The poems in this debut collection are about seeing clearly as well as relinquishing the need to see with specific intent. Like the twelfth-century Buddhist parable of the ox-herder, Ox begins with a search, and its open-ended journey establishes the form of its religious and philosophical reach. Moving across North American landscapes, the poet glimpses at his spiritual setting, and in the process suggests a new direction, perhaps an entirely new scale, for Canadian nature poetry. Brimming with beautifully controlled descriptions and startlingly precise wordplay, Ox is an image of vulnerability before the world’s plenitude. Christopher Patton was awarded the Paris Review’s Bernard F. Conners Prize for Poetry in 2000. He lives on Salt Spring Island. More

Paper Trail
by Arleen Paré
Publisher: NeWest Press

Paper Trail

Frances, a manager for a large corporation, appears to be very successful. But as she becomes overwhelmed by the destructive bureaucratic nature of the work world she lives in, she starts to lose small body parts, hears mysterious Lieder music booming throughout her workplace, and obsesses over the caymans that guard her office building. Meanwhile, her alter-ego has regular conversations with the ghost of Kafka, who is composing the manuscript in which Frances appears. Written halfway between poetry and prose, Paper Trail questions the rat race work ethic many of us adhere to, more often out of necessity than choice. Arleen Paré has graduate degrees in Social Work and Adult Education and is currently working on a degree in Creative Writing. Originally from Montreal, she now lives in Victoria. More

Soft Geography
by Gillian Wigmore
Publisher: Caitlin Press

Soft Geography

Soft Geography is a detailed poetic map and guide to life in Northern British Columbia that adeptly expresses the region’s landscape, flora and fauna, climate, and mindset. “These wise poems know the push and pull within family. They reveal the tender truths behind the rough edges of small-town life. Her voice resonates with authenticity, and whether she is writing about a near drowning or ice fishing, she is ultimately writing about the complications of love,” said Robert Hilles, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Poetry. Gillian Wigmore grew up in Vanderhoof, graduated from the University of Victoria in 1999, and currently lives in Prince George. More

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Supported by BC 150
Judges: David Lester, Kate Walker and Judith Williams

Winner! The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating
by J. B. MacKinnon, Alisa Smith
Publisher: Random House Canada

The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating

When this Vancouver couple learned that the average ingredient in a North American meal travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate, they decided to launch a simple experiment to reconnect with the people and places that produced what they ate. For one year, they would consume only food that came from within a 100-mile radius of their apartment. The pair’s discoveries sometimes shook their resolve as they got personal with issues ranging from global economics to biodiversity and immersed themselves in the seasons. The 100-Mile Diet has attracted media and grassroots interest around the world. Alisa Smith is a freelance writer. J. B. MacKinnon is the author of Dead Man in Paradise, which won the 2006 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction and was shortlisted for the Hubert Evans Non-fiction Prize. More

Fortune’s a River: The Collision of Empires in the Pacific Northwest
by Barry Gough
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Fortune’s a River: The Collision of Empires in the Pacific Northwest

Fortune’s a River is the most authoritative and readable account to date of just how British Columbia became British and how Oregon, Washington, and Alaska became American. By the closing years of the eighteenth century, the stage was set for a major international confrontation over the Northwest Coast. Imperial Russia was firmly established in Alaska, Spain was extending its trade routes north from Mexico, Captain James Cook had claimed Northwest America for England, and Captain Robert Gray had claimed the Columbia River region for the United States. Noted historian Dr. Barry Gough re-examines this Imperial struggle for possession of the future British Columbia and fully evokes its peculiar drama. Gough is the author of ten previous books and has been called the “foremost expositor of BC nautical history.” He lives in Victoria. More

The Last Wild Wolves: Ghosts of the Great Bear Rainforest
by Ian McAllister
Publisher: Greystone Books

The Last Wild Wolves: Ghosts of the Great Bear Rainforest

For seventeen years, Ian McAllister has lived on the rugged north coast of BC. This book—which includes an introduction by Paul Paquet and contributions by Chris Darimont—follows McAllister’s experiences during that period following two packs of wolves. Their behaviour—which depends on the vast old-growth forest—is documented in words and pictures as they fish for salmon in the fall, target seals hauled out on rocks in winter, and give birth to their young in the base of thousand-year-old cedar trees in spring. Most interestingly, scientific studies reveal a genetically distinct population of wolves—one that is increasingly threatened by human incursions. McAllister’s first book, The Great Bear Rainforest (1997), co-authored with his wife, Karen McAllister, and Cameron Young, won the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award. He lives on Denny Island in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. More

The Lost Coast: Salmon, Memory, and the Death of Wild Culture
by Tim Bowling
Publisher: Nightwood Editions

The Lost Coast: Salmon, Memory, and the Death of Wild Culture

Somewhere between joyous affirmation of British Columbia’s splendour and momentous grief for the destruction of a once thriving salmon culture comes the newest work from acclaimed poet and novelist Tim Bowling. The Lost Coast is a lyrical, impassioned lament for the home he once knew and for the river and creatures that continue to haunt his imagination. Tim Bowling has published seven collections of poetry and is the recipient of the Petra Kenney International Poetry Prize, National Poetry Award and Orillia International Poetry Prize, and this book was also long-listed for the British Columbia Award for Canadian Non-fiction. A native of the West Coast, Bowling currently lives in Edmonton. More

Spirit In the Grass: The Cariboo Chilcotin’s Forgotten Landscape
by Chris Harris
Publisher: Country Light Publishing

Spirit In the Grass: The Cariboo Chilcotin’s Forgotten Landscape

The Cariboo Chilcotin grasslands are one of the ecological wonders of the world and British Columbia’s most endangered ecosystem. They cover less than 1% of the province yet support more than 30% of its threatened or endangered plant and animal species. This book contains informative natural history by ecologists Ordell Steen and Kristi Iverson, cultural history and poetry contributions by Harold Rhenisch, and a visual arts perspective from distinguished Canadian photographer and publisher Chris Harris who, since 1975, has dedicated his professional life as an outdoor guide, educator, and photographer to sharing with others the backcountry of Central BC. He lives in 100 Mile House. More

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Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by the BC Library Association
Judges: Julie Burtinshaw, Shelley Hrdlitschka and David Ward

Winner! The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane
by Polly Horvath
Publisher: Groundwood Books

The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane

Like her National Book Award-winning The Canning Season, The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane is filled with plot twists and extraordinarily strange characters. It is also a moving meditation on loss and finding family in the most unlikely places. Following the death of their parents, two cousins are sent to live with their distant, scholarly uncle and his eccentric house staff. Told in four characters’ voices, the novel is a layered account of one bad year from multiple points of view linking humour and pain. Polly Horvath has written many award-winning books for children and young adults, including The Trolls and Everything on a Waffle, which won the Sheila Egoff Prize in 2002. She lives in Victoria. More

The Alchemist’s Dream
by John Wilson
Publisher: Key Porter Books

The Alchemist’s Dream

In the fall of 1669, the vessel Nonsuch returns to London with a load of furs from Hudson Bay. It brings something else, too—the lost journal from Henry Hudson’s tragic search for a passage to Cathay in 1611. In the hands of a greedy sailor, the journal is merely an object to sell. But for Robert Bylot—a once-great maritime explorer—the book is a painful reminder of a past he’d rather forget. As Bylot relives his memories of a plague-ridden city, of the mysterious alchemist John Dee, and of mutiny in the frozen wastes of Hudson Bay, an age-old mystery is both revealed and solved. The Alchemist’s Dream was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award. John Wilson is a prolific writer specializing in historical fiction for young adults, and this is the fourth time he has been shortlisted for the Sheila A. Egoff Prize. He lives in Lantzville on Vancouver Island. More

Baboon: A Novel
by David Jones
Publisher: Annick Press

Baboon: A Novel

Fourteen-year-old Gerry Copeland has mixed feelings about flying back to his parents’ research camp in the African savannah. While his biologist mom and dad study baboon behaviour, he’ll be thinking about the video arcade and restaurants back in the city. When their small plane goes down, Gerry wakes up thinking a baboon has broken his fall but is shocked to realize the furry arm is his own. Gerry’s only chance is to stay with the baboon troop but will his parents ever recognize him? Baboon has been shortlisted for several prizes, including the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children and has been listed in the Children’s Fiction Top 10 List by the Ontario Library Association and the New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age. David Jones lives in Vancouver. More

For Now
by Gayle Friesen
Publisher: Kids Can Press

For Now

In Friesen’s previous book, Losing Forever, Jes learned to accept the inevitability of change. But change is moving at a heartbreaking pace and her world shifts by the day. There’s lots of uncertainty in Jes’s life, but the biggest uncertainty of all is love. Everyone has a different opinion on it. Dell says love should be so intense that it makes you puke—this from a girl who’s swept off her feet as easily as a dust bunny. Jes’s teacher says that love is about reuniting what was once divided—this from a guy who’s going through a divorce. If anything’s for sure, it’s that love is never predictable, but, as Jes begins to see, no one ever gives up on it. Born and raised in Chilliwack, Gayle Friesen studied English literature at UBC before becoming a writer. Her first novel, Janey’s Girl, won the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award. She lives in Delta. More

Porcupine
by Meg Tilly
Publisher: Tundra Books

Porcupine

When her father is killed in Afghanistan, twelve-year-old tomboy Jack Cooper (or Jacqueline, as her mother insists on calling her) watches helplessly as her mother crumbles. Before long, Jack moves with her younger siblings from her Newfoundland home to a rundown farm on the Prairies with a great-grandmother they didn’t know existed. In the process, she learns that families come in many different forms and that love, trust, and faith can build a home anywhere. A moving and inspiring tale, Meg Tilly’s Porcupine is a novel about adaptation and new understandings. Formerly a film actress, Meg Tilly is the author of two adult novels, Singing Songs and Gemma, and is currently at work on her second novel for young adults. She lives in Vancouver.
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Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by Kate Walker and Company
Judges: Alison Acheson, Kathryn Shoemaker and John Wilson

Winner! A Sea-Wishing Day
by Robert Heidbreder
Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Publisher: Kids Can Press

A Sea-Wishing Day

On a hot summer day, a wish transforms an urban backyard into a place of breezy high-seas adventure. As our bold Captain and Skipper ride the salty waves, they encounter a beastly sea monster, buried treasure, a scurvy pirate crew, lovely mermaids, and more. The creative pair who brought you the acclaimed I Wished for a Unicorn offer up another celebration of the boundless distances a childhood wish can travel. A retired elementary school teacher, Robert Heidbreder has been enchanting children with his joyful poems and rhymes for more than two decades. His 2005 book, Drumheller Dinosaur Dance, won the BC Chocolate Lily Young Readers’ Choice Award. Kady MacDonald Denton is an author and illustrator of books for children and lives in Peterborough, Ontario. More

The Day It All Blew Away
by Lisa Cinar
Publisher: Simply Read Books

The Day It All Blew Away

Huge-headed Mr. Tadaa and the little person are mighty lonely. Surrounded by characters who are always tipping their hats and shunning those who don’t return the favour, poor Mr. Tadaa has a head too big for his hat. Even worse, the little person’s hat is so big it wears him. One blustery day, Mr. Tadaa’s hat and the little person are blown away by the wind . . . and right into each other! A surprise twist at the end shows that even in a world of hat-tippers, nonconformists can find happiness and friendship. Vancouver-based writer and illustrator Lisa Cinar graduated from Emily Carr Institute with a BFA in Fine Arts. This is her first book.  More

Elf the Eagle
by Ron Smith
Illustrated by Ruth Campbell
Publisher: Oolichan Books

Elf the Eagle

Elf is a baby eagle who worries about many things, including the distance from his nest, high up in a tree, to the ground, way, way down below. He also worries about his sister, Edwina, who is older and more adventurous than he is. Eventually, when his baby down grows into strong, black feathers, his parents stop bringing him food and tempt him with tasty morsels that they keep just out of reach. Elf gets very hungry and one day he accidentally tumbles out of his nest; before he knows it, he is flying. Founder and publisher of Oolichan Books, Ron Smith is the author of three collections of poetry and a book of short stories. He lives in Lantzville on Vancouver Island. This is his first book for children. An Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design graduate, Ruth Campbell is a painter who was born and raised in Montreal. She now lives in Vancouver. More

Jeffrey and Sloth
by Kari-Lynn Winters
Illustrated by Ben Hodson
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Jeffrey and Sloth

Jeffrey can’t think of a thing to write, so he doodles instead, only to have his doodle begin to order him about. Jeffrey struggles with the situation until he discovers that the most strong-willed doodle is powerless against a well-told tale. Jeffrey and Sloth is bound to have children rushing for their coloured pencils and their pens to see who and what they can create. Kari-Lynn Winters is an author and playwright. A graduate of Canada’s National Theatre School, she also performs with a children’s theatre group, The Tickle Trunk Players. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in the Language and Literacy Department at UBC. Ben Hodson is an award-winning artist based in Ottawa.  More

Pink
by Nan Gregory
Illustrated by Luc Melanson
Publisher: Groundwood Books

Pink

Vivi is dizzy with wanting pink. Perfect pink. The kind the rich girls have, beyond the budget of her beloved truck-driver dad. One day in the window of a fancy toy store she sees something that embodies everything she longs for—a bride doll in a dress of perfect glistening pink. She saves and saves to buy the doll, walking the next-door dog and running errands. But when she takes her parents to show them the precious doll, she experiences a crushing disappointment. Pink is a touching story about longing for something beyond reach and finding something better close to home. Nan Gregory is a Vancouver-based award-winning author and professional storyteller. She won the CLA Book of the Year Award for Wild Girl and Gran and the Sheila A. Egoff Prize and the Mr. Christie’s Award for How Smudge Came. Luc Melanson is a commercial artist who has illustrated many picture books. He lives in Montreal. More

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BC Booksellers’ Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie

Supported by BC Booksellers’ Association and Duthie Books
Judged by members of the BC Booksellers’ Association

Winner! The Last Wild Wolves: Ghosts of the Great Bear Rainforest
by Ian McAllister
Publisher: Greystone Books

The Last Wild Wolves: Ghosts of the Great Bear Rainforest

For seventeen years, Ian McAllister has lived on the rugged north coast of BC. This book—which includes an introduction by Paul Paquet and contributions by Chris Darimont—follows McAllister’s experiences during that period following two packs of wolves. Their behaviour—which depends on the vast old-growth forest—is documented in words and pictures as they fish for salmon in the fall, target seals hauled out on rocks in winter, and give birth to their young in the base of thousand-year-old cedar trees in spring. Most interestingly, scientific studies reveal a genetically distinct population of wolves—one that is increasingly threatened by human incursions. McAllister’s first book, The Great Bear Rainforest (1997), co-authored with his wife, Karen McAllister, and Cameron Young, won the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award. He lives on Denny Island in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. More

The Blue Flames that Keep Us Warm: Mike McCardell’s Favourite Stories
by Mike McCardell
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Blue Flames that Keep Us Warm: Mike McCardell’s Favourite Stories

In this follow-up to the bestselling Chasing the Story God and Back Alley Reporter, Mike McCardell has culled more than 100 quirky and poignant stories from the thousands he has shared on the Global TV’s News Hour. From the inside scoop on newstime postures, to the charming lives of gay roosters, his tales are crafted to delight, entertain, and thoroughly warm. Originally from New York, McCardell started out in the mailroom of the Daily News and worked his way up the ranks to become a crime reporter. Eventually he tired of the violence and moved to BC, where he was hired by The Vancouver Sun in 1973 to cover the police beat. In 1976 he started work with BCTV, which later became Global BC. He lives in North Vancouver. More

Fred Herzog: Vancouver Photographs
by Grant Arnold, Michael Turner
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre and Vancouver Art Gallery

Fred Herzog: Vancouver Photographs

Fred Herzog’s work is outstanding due in part to the outsider’s view that allowed him to find beauty in the quotidian Vancouver of the 1950s and ’60s. In a time when “art” photography was shot almost exclusively in black and white, Herzog bucked the norm, shooting vibrant, spontaneous, documentary-style colour images that evoked the energy and excitement of what was at the time still a relatively young city. His Vancouver is cosmopolitan and erupting with life. More than 100 evocative images from Herzog’s body of work are featured in the book, along with an interview with the author. Essays by Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and acclaimed author, Michael Turner, round out this visually arresting book. Both Arnold and Turner live in Vancouver. More

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
by Ishmael Beah
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

It is estimated that in the more than fifty violent conflicts going on worldwide, there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now in his mid-twenties, tells how, at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels in his homeland of Sierra Leone and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty. Beah came to the United States at seventeen and now lives in New York City. He is a member of Human Rights Watch Children’s Division Advisory Committee and has spoken before the United Nations on several occasions. More

Spirit In the Grass: The Cariboo Chilcotin’s Forgotten Landscape
by Chris Harris
Publisher: Country Light Publishing

Spirit In the Grass: The Cariboo Chilcotin’s Forgotten Landscape

The Cariboo Chilcotin grasslands are one of the ecological wonders of the world and British Columbia’s most endangered ecosystem. They cover less than 1% of the province yet support more than 30% of its threatened or endangered plant and animal species. This book contains informative natural history by ecologists Ordell Steen and Kristi Iverson, cultural history and poetry contributions by Harold Rhenisch, and a visual arts perspective from distinguished Canadian photographer and publisher Chris Harris who, since 1975, has dedicated his professional life as an outdoor guide, educator, and photographer to sharing with others the backcountry of Central BC. He lives in 100 Mile House. More

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Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence

Winner! Gary Geddes

Gary Geddes

“From 15 Canadian Poets to Skookum Wawa to 20th Century Poetry and Poetics, Gary Geddes has raised the literary profile of both our province and nation, and has long been considered one of Canada’s most important men of letters. He has given decades of his life to teaching Canadian literature and the craft of writing as well as working as a university professor, writer-in-residence, critic, anthologist, translator, editor, and most importantly, writer. Gary Geddes’ writings have crossed countries and continents in performance and translation. He has received numerous awards, including the E. J. Pratt Medal, a Canadian Authors Association prize, two Archibald Lampman awards, and the Gabriela Mistral Prize for service to literature and the people of Chile. His work as a poet has been generous in its outward-looking gaze. His poems bring song and light into darkened corners of the human experience, document silent and hidden lives, and enter politics through the individual and the personal. His newest book of poems, Falsework, explores the 1958 collapse of Vancouver’s Second Narrows Bridge. His meditative memoir Sailing Home: A Journey Through Time, Place, and Memory (2001) chronicles his return to the West Coast with a deep sense of awe and gratitude for the beauty, wildness, and history of this place. In whatever genre he pursues, Gary Geddes writes with eloquence and intense awareness of mystery within the commonplace, and the single human voice singing inside the crowd. He tells the truth, in all its rawness and splendour.

For the integrity of his creative work, for his active and generous promotion of other writers, and for the words he has given to help map the literary geography of British Columbia, we proudly celebrate Gary Geddes.” – Jury member Carla Funk

2008 jury: Carla Funk, poet laureate for the city of Victoria; Margaret Reynolds, executive director of the Association of Book Publishers of BC; and Mel Bolen, owner of Bolen Books, Victoria.