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2011 Finalists

The West Coast Book Prize Society is thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2011 BC Book Prizes. Congratulations to the authors and their publishers!

Winners announced April 21, 2011 | Bob Robertson and Linda Cullen, hosts | Kay Meek Centre, West Vancouver

 

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Supported by Friesens and Webcom
Judges: Ann Cowan, Sean Cranbury, Michael Turner

Winner! Everything Was Good-Bye
by Gurjinder Basran
Publisher: Mother Tongue Publishing

Everything Was Good-Bye

Everything Was Good-Bye centers around Meena, a young Indo Canadian woman growing up in the Lower Mainland and traces her life as she struggles to assert her independence in a Punjabi community. Raised by her tradition-bound widowed mother, Meena knows the freedoms of her Canadian peers can never be hers, but unlike her sisters, she is reluctant to submit to a life that is defined by a suitable marriage. Though a narrative moving between race and culture, it is ultimately a story of love, loss and self acceptance amidst shifting cultural ideals. Gurjinder Basran studied creative writing at SFU and The Banff Center for the Arts. She lives in Delta and this is her first novel. More

Chernovs’ Toil and Peace
by Rifet Bahtijaragic
Illustrated by Bill Hoopes
Publisher: Publish America

Chernovs’ Toil and Peace

Using the genealogy of the Chernov family, Doukhobor history and philosophy and an in-depth understanding of the wider Spirit Wrestlers Movement, Chernovs’ Toil and Peace tells the story of Misha Chernov. Misha protested war as the slavery of our times and cried for the creation of a non-killing society. Like his mentor, the great Russian writer and philosopher Tolstoy, he believed that his small group of concerned people had an extraordinary civilizing role in the social evolution of humanity. Rifet Bahtijaragic is Canadian-Bosnian writer. Born in 1946, he studied at University in Sarajevo and emigrated to Canada during the Bosnian War. More

The Forest Laird: A Tale of William Wallace
by Jack Whyte
Publisher: Viking Canada

The Forest Laird: A Tale of William Wallace

In the pre-dawn hours of August 24, 1305 a.d., in London’s Smithfield Prison, the outlaw William Wallace, who is to be executed at dawn, is visited by a Scottish priest who has come to hear his last Confession. So begins The Forest Laird, the first book in Jack Whyte’s new trilogy, the Guardians. William Wallace is the first heroic figure from the Scottish Wars of Independence and the story follows his exploits and escapades, desperate struggles and medieval savagery, high ideals and fierce patriotism. His story leads us through his many lives—as an outlaw and a fugitive, a hero and a patriot, a rebel and a kingmaker. Jack Whyte, born and raised in Scotland, emigrated to Canada in 1967 and is the author of the internationally bestselling Dream of Eagles series and the Templar Trilogy. He lives in Kelowna. More

The Master of Happy Endings
by Jack Hodgins
Publisher: Thomas Allen Publishers

The Master of Happy Endings

Axel Thorstad lives in a shack on a remote island off the coast of BC. Once a popular school teacher and thespian who touched the lives of hundreds of his students, he now lives in retirement and mourns the recent death of his wife. But the 77-year-old finds the isolation too much and becomes a tutor, moving to LA. The Master of Happy Endings is a powerful new novel about memory, belonging, helping others, and the vagaries of the human heart. It is also a compelling story about how a man in his late seventies manages to conjure one more great adventure for himself. Jack Hodgins’ fiction has won the Governor General’s Award, the Canada-Australia Prize, the Commonwealth Prize (Canada and the Caribbean) and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and he was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2009. He lives with his wife in Victoria. More

Recipes from the Red Planet
by Meredith Quartermain
Publisher: BookThug

Recipes from the Red Planet

Recipes from the Red Planet cooks books for deep space dining, rolls out the dough of language and shapes it into buttery crescents that are supernaturally textured and interactive with daily life. Whipped by interplanetary winds we meet the immortals of the ancient world inverted and propelled into negative space. Here are the recipes that will free Rapunzel from her tower. Here are all the blue radishes you can eat. Meredith Quartermain is the author of several books of poetry including Matter, Nightmarker (finalist for the Vancouver Book Award) and Vancouver Walking (winner of a BC Book Prize). She runs Nomados Literary Publishers with husband Peter Quartermain. More

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Supported by AbeBooks
Judges: Jean Barman, Evelyn Gillespie, Terry Glavin

Winner! The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival
by John Vaillant
Publisher: Knopf Canada

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

It’s December 1997, and a man-eating tiger is on the prowl outside a remote village in Russia’s Far East. The tiger isn’t just killing people, it’s annihilating them, and a team of men and their dogs must hunt it on foot through the forest in the brutal cold. As the trackers sift through the gruesome remains of the victims, they discover that these attacks aren’t random: the tiger is apparently engaged in a vendetta. Injured, starving, and extremely dangerous, the tiger must be found before it strikes again. John Vaillant’s first book was the national bestseller The Golden Spruce, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and children. More

Borderlands: Riding the Edge of America
by Derek Lundy
Publisher: Knopf Canada

Borderlands: Riding the Edge of America

September 11, 2001, changed the United States utterly and nothing more so than the physical reality, the perception - and the meaning - of its borders. Derek Lundy turned 60 at the end of a year in which three good friends died. He felt the need to do something radical, and sets out on his motorcycle to investigate the USA’s passion for security, particularly on its two international borders. The U.S.-Mexican borderlands, often disorderly and violent, threaten the economic well-being of both countries. More people have died trying to cross this border than in the 9/11 attacks. At almost 9,000 kilometres, the U.S. border with Canada is the longest in the world but since the events of 9/11, the USA has slowly and steadily choked the flux of trade. Derek Lundy is a bestselling author who lives and rides on Salt Spring Island, BC. More

Marshall McLuhan
by Douglas Coupland
Publisher: Penguin Canada

Marshall McLuhan

The importance of Marshall McLuhan and his communication theories cannot be overstated, but his written works—dense, at times even daunting— are more often cited than read. Nonetheless, his predictions have been borne out: in the early 1960s, McLuhan wrote that visual, individualistic print culture would be replaced by what he called “electronic interdependence,” creating a new “global village” characterized by a collective identity with a tribal base. Novelist Douglas Coupland regards the celebrated academic as primarily an artist, a kind of performance artist offering profound but sometimes obscure insights into how technology was reshaping the world and its inhabitants. Coupland—prolific novelist, sculptor, visual artist, theatre performer—is a true child of McLuhan, whose body of work examines and often embodies McLuhan’s famous aphorism that “the medium is the message.” More

Morris as Elvis: Take a Chance on Life
by Morris Bates, Jim Brown
Publisher: Fox Music Books

Morris as Elvis: Take a Chance on Life

Born on the Shuswap Indian Reservation in BC, Morris Bates became the first professional Elvis impersonator, playing the Las Vegas strip for 10 years after the King’s death. Bates also gave command performances throughout Asia, South Africa, and South America. Upon retirement from the stage in the 1990s, Morris returned to BC and became a Native liaison and special victim assistance officer with the Vancouver Police Department, determined to help kids from northern reserves take a chance on life and realize their dreams. Morris tells it all in this engaging page-turner—from carousing with Vegas starts of the 1980s to encounters with victims of the Pickton murders in the 1990s. Told in cooperation with veteran biographer Jim Brown.

Tangles: A Story about Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me
by Sarah Leavitt
Publisher: Freehand Books

Tangles: A Story about Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me

What do you do when your outspoken, passionate, and quick-witted mother starts fading into a forgetful, fearful woman? In this powerful graphic memoir, Sarah Leavitt reveals how Alzheimer’s disease transformed her mother Midge—and her family—forever. Tangles provides a window on the complexity of Alzheimer’s disease, and gradually opens a knot of moments, memories, and dreams to reveal a bond between a mother and a daughter that will never come apart. In spare black and white drawings and clear, candid prose, Sarah shares her family’s journey through a harrowing range of emotions—shock, denial, hope, anger, frustration—all the while learning to cope, and managing to find moments of happiness. Sarah Leavitt writes both prose and comics. More

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Supported by the BC Teachers’ Federation
Judges: Tammy Armstrong, Heidi Greco, Fred Wah

Winner! On the Material
by Stephen Collis
Publisher: Talonbooks

On the Material

Structured in three parts, On the Material is a meditation on language, geography, socio-economics and the body, moving from the glut of fossil-fuelled consumer excess to the materiality of a single book. The first section navigates issues of space and movement in the global age, as economies crumble, ecosystems fail and peak oil approaches. The second section depicts how the desire to express wins out over the desire to possess. The final section is in memory of Stephen Collis’s sister, Gail Tulloch. A month after Gail’s death from cancer in 2002, a fire destroyed her house, removing every material reminder of her from the earth. Stephen Collis is the author of four books of poetry, including Anarchive, which was nominated for the 2005 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. More

Decompositions
by Ken Belford
Publisher: Talonbooks

Decompositions

If language is an index of belonging, then Decompositions is the writing of an exile, a tribe of one. For much of his life, Ken Belford has lived in the north, in the pristine region of the headwaters of the Nass River. His careful (de)compositions disclose the land as a complex living organism, articulate the names of it, see the whole of it. Yet the landscape of these poems is not a matter of latitude and longitude, but that unroaded place that looks back at “civilization” with a vision and a voice that is unique and new. These poems catch their readers up in a surprising social engagement that is at once larger and other than the consumer discourse of trade and ownership. Ken Belford, the “self-educatedlan(d)guage” poet, currently lives in Prince George and continues to write outside the boundaries of the conventional forms. More

The Inquisition Yours
by Jen Currin
Publisher: Coach House Books

The Inquisition Yours

In her ambitious follow-up to Hagiography, acclaimed poet Jen Currin continues her unique exploration of the surrealist lyric, constructing a strong case that, in these frightening times, it may be the best poetic mode for capturing the complexities of lived experience. In tongues alternately vulnerable, defiant, resigned, and hopeful, The Inquisition Yours speaks to the atrocities of our time—war, environmental destruction, terrorism, cancer, and the erosion of personal rights—and trying to make sense of the world. Jen Currin currently lives in Vancouver, where she teaches writing and literature. More

My Darling Nellie Grey
by George Bowering
Publisher: Talonbooks

My Darling Nellie Grey

In December 2005, stalled on a novel he was writing, George Bowering thought he needed a challenge. By the end of the year he had made a New Year’s resolution: write a poem a day for the 365 days of 2006. He decided each monthly sequence should have a rule: something for the writing to attend to. So for February, each day’s piece had to have one sentence and two stanzas, then off he went; inventing ten further formal monthly compositional frames. As it happened, 2006 became fraught with personal challenges for Bowering—including a second marriage and a death in his new family—but he kept going, never cheating. George Bowering, Canada’s first Poet Laureate is a distinguished novelist, poet, editor, professor, historian and has authored more than 80 books. More

The Secret Signature of Things
by Eve Joseph
Publisher: Brick Books

The Secret Signature of Things

The Secret Signature of Things are transparent poems that gesture gracefully toward the great silence at the heart of things. Much of this poised and luminous book is rooted in an idea of epiphany, an aesthetic of everyday incarnation; not the sudden and profound manifestation of essence or meaning, but the smaller steps taken toward it. If epiphanies are for theologians, perhaps the little steps towards them are for poets like Eve Joseph, and for all of us who attempt to see beyond the names we give things to the names they give themselves. Eve Joseph grew up in North Vancouver and now lives in Victoria. Her first book, The Startled Heart, was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Award. More

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Supported by Transcontinental Printing
Judges: Nikita Collison, Rosemary Neering, Andrew Scott

Winner! Images from the Likeness House
by Dan Savard
Publisher: Royal BC Museum

Images from the Likeness House

In Images from the Likeness House, Dan Savard explores the relationship between First Peoples in British Columbia, Alaska and Washington, and the photographers who made images of them from the late 1850s to the 1920s. He features the images, as they have survived, without digital enhancements, from the earliest glass-plate photographs made by “photographic artists” to snapshots taken by amateurs on nitrate film. More importantly, he shows how some of these images, produced by outsiders who knew little about the cultures they recorded, do not portray the interests of the people in them, but those of the photographer. This is Dan Savard’s first book. He is senior collections manager of the Anthropology Audio Visual Collection at the Royal BC Museum. More

Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound
by Grant Lawrence
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound

From Captain George Vancouver to Muriel “Curve of Time” Blanchet to Jim “Spilsbury’s Coast” Spilsbury, visitors to Desolation Sound have left behind a trail of books endowing the area with a romantic aura that helps to make it British Columbia’s most popular marine park. In this hilarious and captivating book, CBC personality Grant Lawrence adds a whole new chapter to the saga of this storied piece of BC coastline. With plenty of laugh-out-loud humour and inspired reverence, Adventures in Solitude delights with the unique history of a place and the growth of a young man amidst the magic of Desolation Sound. Grant Lawrence hosts the popular CBC Radio 3 Podcast, and Grant Lawrence Live on CBC Radio 3 and can also be heard on various CBC Radio One programs. More

The Totem Pole: An Intercultural History
by Aaron Glass, Aldona Jonaitis
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

The Totem Pole: An Intercultural History

Totem poles are probably the best-known symbol of First Nations art. Highly regarded anthropologists Aldona Jonaitis and Aaron Glass reconstruct the history of totem poles, analyze their functions in different contexts and highlight the ways in which they have been appropriated—spreading from the Northwest Coast to World’s Fairs—and how they play an integral part in Aboriginal peoples’ struggles for control of their own culture and lands. The Totem Pole includes short essays by well-known artists and scholars that illustrate the relationships between people and totem poles. Aaron Glass is an assistant professor at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City, where he teaches anthropology of art, museums and material culture. Aldona Jonaitis is the director of the Museum of the North and professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. More

Visions of BC: A Landscape Manual
by Bruce Grenville, Scott Steedman (editors)
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Visions of BC: A Landscape Manual

Visions of British Columbia began as a major exhibition at the Vancouver Art Galley coinciding with the 2010 Winter Games. The show focused on the work of more than twenty remarkable artists, including the Haida master Bill Reid, painters Emily Carr and Group of Seven member Frederick Varley, Jack Shadbolt, Haida-Manga artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and more. Allied to the art is writing about BC—from acclaimed authors as diverse as Douglas Coupland, Timothy Taylor, Ethel Wilson, Audrey Thomas and Wayson Choy. Joined together, text and art speak to the diverse visions of this place, its peoples and its histories: Malcolm Lowry’s poem Happiness echoes B.C. Binning’s colourful seascapes; Daphne Marlatt’s reflections on overfishing parallel Susan Point’s salmon sculpture. Bruce Grenville is senior curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Scott Steedman is an editor, writer and publishing consultant, and an adjunct professor at SFU. More

Working with Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater
by Sylvia Olsen
Publisher: Sono Nis Press

Working with Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater

Cowichan sweaters are a lot like the Coast Salish women who knit them: hardy, practical, and enduringly beautiful. An artistic fusion of indigenous and European handwork, the Cowichan sweater became a Canadian icon. Award-winning author, knitter, and Cowichan-sweater expert Sylvia Olsen recounts one of Vancouver Island’s most compelling stories in Working With Wool, a stunning, fully illustrated account of innovation, hard work and cultural strength. Sylvia Olsen is a historian specializing in Native/white relations in Canada and as a writer, she often finds herself exploring the in-between places where Native and non-Native people meet. More

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Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by the BC Library Association
Judges: Sarah Ellis, Carrie Mac, Shannon Orzirny

Winner! Hunger Journeys
by Maggie de Vries
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada

Hunger Journeys

During WWII in Amsterdam, 19-year-old Lena leaves her starving family to travel by train with her friend, Sofie, to Almelo, a town close to the German border. It’s a risky plan. They have false papers and are quickly pulled off the train by German soldiers. Only with the help of Albert, one of the soldiers, do they make it back on the train. Lena soon fears her new friendship with the helpful Albert may lead her into more danger as Sofie befriends a soldier too, resulting in a relationship that quickly turns serious and has unforeseen consequences for both girls. Maggie de Vries is a writer, editor, teacher, and the award-winning author of several children’s books. More

Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom
by Susin Nielsen
Publisher: Tundra Books

Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom

Violet’s TV-director dad has traded a job in Vancouver for one in LA, their house for a home complete with a pool, and, worst of all, Violet’s mother for a “trophy” wife. Violet’s younger sister reacts by bed-wetting, and her mother ping-pongs from one loser to another and Violet gets angry in ways that are infuriating, shocking, and hilarious. When her mother takes up with (the unfortunately named) Dudley Wiener, Violet and her friend Phoebe decide that they need to take control. If Violet’s mom can’t pick a decent man herself, they will help her snag George Clooney. Gemini Award-winner Susin Nielsen got her start with Degrassi Junior High, writing sixteen episodes and four of the books. She also adapted author Susan Juby’s books into a TV series. This is her fifth book for children. More

Fatty Legs: A True Story
by Christy Jordon-Fenton, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
Illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes
Publisher: Annick Press

Fatty Legs: A True Story

Eight-year-old Margaret Pokiak wants to learn to read, even though it means leaving her village and family. Her father finally agrees to let her attend school, but he warns Margaret of the terrors of residential schools. At school, the Raven, a black-cloaked nun, immediately dislikes the strong-willed young Margaret. In the face of cruelty, mocking and humility, Margaret refuses to be intimidated and gives the Raven a lesson in the power of human dignity. Fatty Legs is complemented by artwork by Liz Amini-Holmes and archival photos. Christy Jordon-Fenton lives with her family in Fort St. John, BC and co-wrote the book with her mother-in-law, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, who attended a residential school in Inuvialuit. More

Free as a Bird
by Gina McMurchy-Barber
Publisher: Dundurn Press

Free as a Bird

Born with Down syndrome, Ruby Jean Sharp comes from a time when being a developmentally disabled person could mean growing up behind locked doors and barred windows, being called names like “retard” and “moron.” When Ruby Jean’s caregiver and loving grandmother dies, her mother takes her to Woodlands School in New Westminster and rarely visits. It’s here, in an institution that opened in 1878 and was originally called the Provincial Lunatic Asylum, that Ruby Jean learns to survive isolation, boredom, and abuse—she learns a lesson about patience and perseverance. Gina McMurchy-Barber was the recipient of the 2004 Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History. Her first novel, Reading the Bones, was nominated for the Silver Birch Award and the Langley Book of the year Award. More

Northward to the Moon
by Polly Horvath
Publisher: Groundwood Books

Northward to the Moon

Featuring the characters from My One Hundred Adventures, Northward to the Moon can be read as a sequel or as a stand alone book. When her stepfather, Ned, is fired from his job as a high school French teacher, the family packs up and Jane embarks on a series of new adventures. Setting off by car, they wind up spending the summer with Ned’s eccentric mother on her ranch out west. As Jane lives through it all—developing a crush on a ranch hand, reevaluating her relationship with Ned, watching her sister Maya’s painful growing up—she sees her world, which used to be so safe and secure, shift in strange and inconvenient ways. Polly Horvath has written many award-winning books for children and lives in Metchosin, BC. More

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Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by Kate Walker and Company
Judges: Nan Gregory, Robert Heidbreder, Cynthia Nugent

Winner! Owls See Clearly at Night: A Michif Alphabet / Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer: L’alfabet di Michif
by Julie Flett
Publisher: Simply Read Books

Owls See Clearly at Night: A Michif Alphabet / Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer: L’alfabet di Michif

Languages are precious; they capture the very essence of a culture. Once spoken by hundreds of thousands across the Canadian Prairies and the northern United States, Michif, the language of the Métis people, is now endangered. Métis elders in scattered parts of North America may still speak the language, but the young are largely monolingual English speakers. From Atayookee! to Lii Zyeu: this simply, elegantly illustrated picture book introduces young and old alike to the unique Michif language. Julie Flett is a Vancouver-based Metis artist and illustrator who incorporates photography, drawing, and painting into her practice. More

The Cowboy Fisherman
by Seiji Hiroe

The Cowboy Fisherman

The Cowboy Fisherman is a story of friendship between Slim and Tomizou during the Great Depression. Slim was a man trying his hand at fishing to support his family, and Tomizou was a seasoned Japanese fisherman who took Slim under his wing. Find out how Slim uses his cowboy skills to save his and his son’s life when they find themselves in dangerous water and the rock anchor disappears into the ocean. The Cowboy Fisherman is written in both English and Japanese. More

Fraser Bear: A Cub’s Life
by Maggie de Vries
Illustrated by Renné Benoit
Publisher: Greystone Books

Fraser Bear: A Cub’s Life

Fraser Bear: A Cub’s Life is a moving, beautifully illustrated story follows a black bear cub’s life in the Pacific Northwest from his birth to his first salmon catch, uniting the cycles of bear and fish. A map and further information about bears and salmon are included. The book is based on a top-selling plush toy named Fraser Bear, created by the Pacific Salmon Foundation and Rocky Mountaineer Vacations. This toy, holding a salmon in his mouth, is sold on Rocky Mountaineer trains and through their souvenir catalogue, with sales benefiting the Pacific Salmon Foundation. Maggie de Vries is a writer, editor, teacher, and the award-winning author of several children’s books. Renné Benoit is an award-winning artist who has illustrated many books for children. More

The Salmon Bears: Giants of the Great Bear Rainforest
by Ian McAllister, Nicholas Read
Illustrated by Ian McAllister
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

The Salmon Bears: Giants of the Great Bear Rainforest

Great bears need a great rainforest to survive. Extensively illustrated with Ian McAllister’s magnificent photographs, The Salmon Bears explores the delicate balance that exists between the grizzly, black and spirit bears and their natural environment, the last great wilderness along the central coast of BC. Key to this relationship are the salmon that are born in the rivers each spring, who then go out to sea as juveniles and return as adults to spawn and die, completing a cycle of life that ensures the survival of not only their own species but also virtually every other plant and animal in the rainforest. Ian McAllister, a founding director of both the Raincoast Conservation Society and Pacific Wild, is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker. Nicholas Read, a lifelong lover of animals, has written on animal issues for the Vancouver Sun and works with Animal Aid in the UK. More

Up We Grow! A Year in the Life of a Small, Local Farm
by Deborah Hodge
Illustrated by Brian Harris
Publisher: Kids Can Press

Up We Grow! A Year in the Life of a Small, Local Farm

Up We Grow! highlights the importance of small, local farms with photos that invite children into the world of a small, co-operative farm over four seasons. Readers will get to know the hardworking farmers who plow, plant, compost, mulch, harvest and market fruits and vegetables, and care for animals. Discover people of all ages and abilities working together to grow and share food, while protecting and respecting the land and animals we depend upon for our sustenance. Deborah Hodge is the award-winning author of more than 20 books for children. Award-winning photographer Brian Harris uses his images to help charitable organizations raise awareness and create a better world to live in. More

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Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award

Supported by The BC Booksellers’ Association
Judged by members of the BC Booksellers' Association

Winner! Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound
by Grant Lawrence
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound

From Captain George Vancouver to Muriel “Curve of Time” Blanchet to Jim “Spilsbury’s Coast” Spilsbury, visitors to Desolation Sound have left behind a trail of books endowing the area with a romantic aura that helps to make it British Columbia’s most popular marine park. In this hilarious and captivating book, CBC personality Grant Lawrence adds a whole new chapter to the saga of this storied piece of BC coastline. With plenty of laugh-out-loud humour and inspired reverence, Adventures in Solitude delights with the unique history of a place and the growth of a young man amidst the magic of Desolation Sound. Grant Lawrence hosts the popular CBC Radio 3 Podcast, and Grant Lawrence Live on CBC Radio 3 and can also be heard on various CBC Radio One programs. More

Darwin’s Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow
by Zsuzsi Gartner (editor)
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Darwin’s Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow

Social satire, fabulist tales and darkly humorous dystopian visions by some of Canada’s most adventurous and distinguished writers. These 23 stories take us on a twisted, wild ride into some future times and parallel universes where characters as diverse as a dead boy, a one-legged international actuarial forensics specialist, a pharmaceutical guinea pig, and a far-sighted fetus engage in their own games of the survival of the fittest. Darwin’s Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow includes the first new short story by William Gibson to be published since 1997, as well as original, previously unpublished fiction by Lee Henderson, Timothy Taylor, Heather O’Neill, Mark Anthony Jarman, and more. Edited by Zsuzsi Gartner, critically acclaimed author and the current creative director of Vancouver Review’s ‘Blueprint BC Fiction’ series. More

Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven
by Ross King
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre, co-published with McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven

Beginning in 1912, Defiant Spirits traces the artistic development of Tom Thomson and the future members of the Group of Seven: Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley. Covering more than a dozen years in Canadian history and working in an eclectic and sometimes controversial blend of modernist styles, they produced some of the most treasured works of the 20th century. Illustrated, rigorously researched and drawn from archival documents and letters, Defiant Spirits details not only the lives of the artists, but also the political and social history of Canada during a time when art exhibitions were venues for debates about Canadian national identity and cultural worth. Ross King is the author of three books on Italian history and art. More

Fishing with Gubby
by Gary Kent
Illustrated by Kim La Fave
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Fishing with Gubby

Fishing with Gubby is the marvelously illustrated, authentic account of one season in the life of a salmon fisherman. Based on actual events, Gubby is a salmon fisherman who lives with his wife Millie and cat Puss in a small seaside village on the west coast of BC. Gubby’s adventures takes him all over BC’s west coast trolling for spring and coho salmon and visiting other fishermen and homesteaders along the way. Gary Kent was a commercial fisherman and salmon troller for nine years and is now a furniture maker and instructor living in Roberts Creek, BC. Kim La Fave also lives in Roberts Creek and is the award-winning illustrator of a number of children’s books. More

Voices of British Columbia: Stories from Our Frontier
by Robert Budd
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Voices of British Columbia: Stories from Our Frontier

Between 1959 and 1966, the late CBC Radio journalist Imbert Orchard travelled across BC with recording engineer Ian Stephen interviewing nearly a thousand of the province’s pioneers. The resulting collection—2,700 hours of audiotapes describing both extraordinary events and everyday experiences—is considered by historians to be one of the best sources of primary information about the province. To the general public, however, the tales in these tapes remain virtually unknown. Combining text, archival photographs and the original sound recordings from the CBC Archives onto three CDs, Voices of British Columbia draws 24 stories from this collection to immerse us in daily life in the early 20th century. Robert Budd, known to many as Lucky, holds an MA in history, with a focus on oral history. More

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Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence

Winner! George Bowering

George Bowering

After serving as an aerial photographer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Bowering earned a BA in English and an MA in History at the University of British Columbia, where he became one of the co-founders of the avant-garde poetry magazine TISH. He has taught literature at the University of Calgary, Sir George Williams University (now Concordia U), universities in Berlin, Rome and Aarhus, and at Simon Fraser University. He continues to act as a Canadian literary ambassador at international conferences and readings.

A distinguished novelist, poet, editor, professor, historian and tireless supporter of fellow writers, Bowering has authored more than 80 books, including works of poetry, fiction, autobiography, biography and youth fiction. His writing has also been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese and Romanian.

Bowering is a two-time winner of the Governor General’s Award and has been shortlisted for the Griffin Prize for Poetry and the Vancouver Book Award. In November 2002, he was appointed the first Canadian Poet Laureate. That same month, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2004, he was awarded the Order of British Columbia.

George Bowering was chosen as the recipient of the 2011 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence because of his remarkable literary output, his passion for teaching and encouraging other writers, for being a tireless champion of other writers and for the crucial role he has played in the shaping of literary communities.

Bowering is a major Canadian literary figure and one of the most prolific writers in the country. As a poet, he is one of the pioneers of a poetics that allows you to measure your particular place in the world through verse. His career as a prose writer of both novels and short stories matches the scope and impact of his poetry career.

It is worth noting that he was the first English writer to be honoured with a Governor General’s Award in both the fiction and poetry categories. He received the GG for Poetry in 1969 and for Fiction in 1980. Since that time only two other writers have been so honoured—Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje.

Bowering’s interest in Canadian history is evident in his novels, short stories and popular histories. He has also chronicled our literary history and as a critic, novelist, poet, essayist and friend, he has created a remarkable record of our Canadian literary figures. He has encouraged and nurtured many of those voices by editing, teaching and advising.

As an editor, essayist and teacher, he is passionate about promoting and encouraging other writers. At numerous universities he has championed Canadian writing and writers, and organized conferences and readings. At SFU he developed a favourite course with students about BC literature. Teaching has provided Bowering with a way to inspire and share his passion for literature, and his commitment to teaching extends far beyond the classroom. Although he is now retired from SFU as professor emeritus, his teaching continues and he acted as the writer-in- residence at the University of Western Ontario in 2003–2004.

George Bowering approaches literature as he does life: with a playful gravity and a grave merriness that makes intellectual life and writing seem at once attractive, unintimidating and remarkable. He dispels the myth of literature being hard or tricky and demonstrates, as he reads and speaks, the accessible and enriching nature of great literature. He is generous with his time and that generosity has touched lives and launched careers. Bowering has both a national and international reputation and he is one of British Columbia’s loudest voices for the promotion of BC writing and writers.

George Bowering, OC, OBC, is extremely deserving of the recognition of the eighth annual Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.

2011 Jury: Jane Davidson, producer of the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts; Rob Sanders, publisher of Greystone Books; three-time Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize winner, Audrey Thomas.