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2012 Finalists

The West Coast Book Prize Society is thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2012 BC Book Prizes. Congratulations to the authors, illustrators and publishers!

Winners announced Saturday, May 12, 2012 | The Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema at SFU Woodwards, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Vancouver

 

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Supported by Friesens and Webcom
Judges: Gurjinder Basran, Tracy Sherlock, Paul Whitney

Winner! Half-Blood Blues
by Esi Edugyan
Publisher: Thomas Allen Publishers

Half-Blood Blues

Paris, 1940.  A brilliant jazz musician, Hiero, is arrested by the Nazis and never heard from again. He is twenty years old. He is a German citizen. And he is black. Fifty years later, his friend and fellow musician, Sid, must relive that unforgettable time, revealing the friendships, love affairs and treacheries that sealed Hiero’s fate. From the smoky bars of pre-war Berlin to the salons of Paris – where the legendary Louis Armstrong makes an appearance – Sid, with his distinctive and rhythmic German-American slang, leads the reader through a fascinating world alive with passion, music and the spirit of resistance. Esi Edugyan’s work has appeared in several anthologies, including “Best New American Voices 2003.” Her debut novel, “The Second Life of Samuel Tyne,” was published internationally to critical acclaim; and “Half-Blood Blues” won the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia. More

The Beggar’s Garden
by Michael Christie
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

The Beggar’s Garden

Critically lauded, The Beggar’s Garden is a brilliantly surefooted, strikingly original collection of nine linked short stories that will delight as well as disturb. The stories follow a diverse group of curiously interrelated characters, from bank manager to crackhead to retired Samaritan to web designer to car thief, as they drift through each other’s lives in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. These engrossing stories, free of moral judgment, are about people who are searching in the jagged margins of life—for homes, drugs, love, forgiveness—and collectively they offer a generous and vivid portrait of humanity, not just in Vancouver but in any modern urban centre. Michael Christie received his MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. Prior to this, he worked in a homeless shelter in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and provided outreach to the severely mentally ill. He now lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario, with his wife and son. More

Into That Darkness
by Steven Price
Publisher: Thomas Allen Publishers

Into That Darkness

Into That Darkness opens at the moment when a massive earthquake hits the entire west coast with devastating results. When Arthur Lear hears a voice crying in the rubble, he finds himself descending deep under a collapsed building in a desperate attempt to save a young boy and his mother. But what he discovers there will change him forever - as circumstances lead him across the city’s broken landscape, through the chaos of its hospitals and streets, in a harrowing search for the mother’s lost daughter. Over the days that follow, Lear’s very sense of humanness will be tested and compromised, as he faces the limits of himself and his fellow survivors, in his long journey home. Steven Price’s first collection of poems, Anatomy of Keys, was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Award, won the Gerald Lampert Award, and was named a Globe & Mail Book of the Year. He teaches writing at the University of Victoria. More

Once You Break a Knuckle
by D.W. Wilson
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Canada, Penguin Group Canada

Once You Break a Knuckle

Set in the remote Kootenay Valley in western Canada, Once You Break a Knuckle tells stories of good people doing bad things. Crackling with tension and propelled by jagged, cutting dialogue, the stories interconnect and reveal to us how our best intentions are doomed to fail or injure, how our loves can fall short or mislead us, how even friendship–especially friendship–can be something dangerously temporary. An intoxicating alloy of adrenaline and the kind of vulnerability we would all admit to if we were honest, Once You Break a Knuckle is about the courage it takes just to make it through the day. D.W. Wilson was born and raised in the small towns of the Kootenay Valley, British Columbia. He is the recipient of the University of East Anglia’s inaugural MAN Booker Prize Scholarship–the most prestigious award available to students in the MA program. He lives in London. More

Shelter
by Frances Greenslade
Publisher: Random House Canada

Shelter

Maggie is a born worrier who really believes that trouble comes in threes and that threats to her family’s cozy but fragile life in Duchess Creek are never far. When her father is killed in a logging accident, Maggie thinks her worst fear has come true, but her father’s death is only the beginning. Soon her mother Irene abruptly drops off her two girls in Williams Lake to billet with the gloomy Bea Edwards and her wheelchair-bound husband, Ted. Irene promises she’ll be back for them, but weeks turn to years. When trouble finds the girls for the third time, it comes for Maggie’s sister Jenny, who is pitched into a situation too frightening to handle. Maggie decides that it’s up to her to find Irene and repair their fractured family. Frances Greenslade’s first book, a travel memoir called A Pilgrim in Ireland: A Quest for Home, won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Non-Fiction. Frances teaches English at Okanagan College in Penticton, BC. More

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Supported by AbeBooks
Judges: Ria Bleumer, Derek Lundy, Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

Winner! Eating Dirt
by Charlotte Gill
Publisher: Greystone Books in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation

Eating Dirt

Eating Dirt offers up a slice of tree-planting life in all of its gritty exuberance while questioning the ability of conifer plantations to replace original forests that have taken millennia to evolve into complex ecosystems. By evoking the wonder of the tree, which grows from a tiny seed into one of the world’s largest organisms, the author joyously celebrates the priceless value of forests and the ancient, ever-changing relationship between humans and trees. Charlotte Gill’s collection Ladykiller was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the B.C. Book Prize for fiction, and Eating Dirt won the 2012 BC Achievement’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. She spent nearly two decades working in the forests of Canada and has planted more than a million trees. More

Drink the Bitter Root
by Gary Geddes
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre Publishers Inc.

Drink the Bitter Root

Haunted by the 1993 murder of a Somali teenager by Canadian soldiers in what became known as the Somalia affair, and long fascinated by the “dark continent,” Gary Geddes decides at age 68 to travel to sub-Saharan Africa. In Rwanda and Uganda, he attends grassroots criminal courts and encounters rescued street kids, women raped and infected with HIV during the genocide, and victims mutilated by the Lord’s Resistance Army. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Somaliland, with the help of fixers and the occasional armed guard, Geddes finds himself in the instructive—at times redeeming—presence of child soldiers, refugees and poets-turned–freedom fighters. Gary Geddes has received numerous literary awards, including the British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence and Chile’s Gabriela Mistral Prize. He lives on Thetis Island, British Columbia. More

The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit
by JJ Lee
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit

For years, journalist and amateur tailor JJ Lee tried to ignore the navy suit that hung at the back of his closet—his late father’s last suit. When he decides to finally make the suit his own, little does he know he is about to embark on a journey into his own past. Woven throughout personal stories are entertaining accounts from the social history of the man’s suit. JJ Lee is the menswear columnist for the Vancouver Sun and broadcasts a weekly fashion column for CBC Radio in Vancouver. He spent a year as an apprentice at Modernize Tailors. More

Mnemonic: A Book of Trees
by Theresa Kishkan
Publisher: Goose Lane Editions

Mnemonic: A Book of Trees

Warm, imaginative, and thoroughly original, this memoir intertwines the mysteries of trees with the defining moments in the life of novelist and essayist Theresa Kishkan. For Kishkan, trees are memory markers of life, and in this book she explores the presence of trees in nature, in culture, and in her personal history. Naming each chapter for a particular tree, she draws on Pliny the Elder’s Natural History, John Evelyn’s Sylva, and strands of mythology from other classical and contemporary sources to blend scientific fact with natural history and the artifacts of human culture. Mnemonic reveals how all of us have roots that intertwine with the broader world, tapping deep into the rich well of universal themes. Theresa Kishkan came to national attention with her first novel, Sisters of Grass. Kishkan’s poetry and essays have appeared in many periodicals and journals and in five book-length collections. Kishkan lives on the Sunshine Coast of BC with her husband, poet John Pass. More

Something Fierce
by Carmen Aguirre
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre Publishers Inc.

Something Fierce

Something Fierce is a gripping and darkly comic memoir of a young underground revolutionary during the Pinochet dictatorship in 1980s Chile. Writing with passion and deep personal insight, Carmen Aguirre captures her constant struggle to reconcile her commitment to the movement with the desires of her youth and her budding sexuality. What results is a gripping story of love, war and resistance and a rare first-hand account of revolutionary life. Carmen Aguirre has written or co-written eighteen plays, including The Refugee Hotel, which was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for best new play in 2010. Something Fierce, winner of the 2012 Canada Reads: True Stories, is her first book. More

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Supported by the BC Teachers’ Federation
Judges: Daphne Marlatt, Russell Thornton, Hannah Main - van der Kamp

Winner! crawlspace
by John Pass
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

crawlspace

The poems in crawlspace work within the narrowing passages imposed upon us by the inevitable strictures and limitations of living and experience: aging, love and loss, tightening or unraveling family ties. Close to home as always, in one instance literally under the house he has built, Pass’s work is grounded too in the wider world. Travelling from urban Toronto’s Bloor Street, “...a rough wind in the empty elms rolling/ into the streets the liberated beer cans” to the bucolic “...golden light in the bunch grass and aspens” of Pennask Lake in BC’s Okanagan, to Sainte-Chapelle in Paris with Matisse in mind, he never loses sight of the roughly textured physical world where he has found poetry’s footing for four decades. John Pass’ Stumbling in the Bloom won the Governor General’s Award. Pass lives with his wife, writer Theresa Kishkan, on BC’s Sunshine Coast. More

The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane
by Patrick Lane, Edited by Russell Morton Brown & Donna Bennett, Afterword by Nicholas Bradley
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane

This volume represents the accumulated richness of fifty years’ work by one of Canada’s most important poets, Patrick Lane. Here, the reader can see how he developed from an engaged recorder of hard experience—even traumatic violence—into a master poet whose meditations on nature, human frailty, and love allow him to balance the world’s suffering with stunning moments of transcendent beauty and a vision of peace. Edited by two distinguished scholars of Canadian literature, this collection contains more than four hundred poems and demonstrates the breadth of Lane’s achievement. Patrick Lane was born in 1939 in Nelson, BC, and grew up in the Kootenay and Okanagan regions of the BC Interior. He has won nearly every literary prize in Canada, from the Governor General’s Award to the Canadian Authors Association Award to the Dorothy Livesay Prize. Lane now makes his home in Victoria, BC, with his companion, poet Lorna Crozier. More

Demeter Goes Skydiving
by Susan McCaslin
Publisher: The University of Alberta Press

Demeter Goes Skydiving

What if Demeter, the timeless fertility goddess of ancient Greek myth, slipped through a crack into the twenty-first century, shook off her ankle bracelets, corn tassels, and garlands, and began a tour of our improbable culture? Award-winning poet Susan McCaslin exercises the profound mother-daughter trauma forged in the Demeter-Persephone myth with unapologetic modernity. This sequence takes on a novel life all its own: Hades steals away the maiden into a cult/culture of distorted body image, addiction, high anxiety, and rampant consumerism. Mother Demeter must negotiate this alien world of health clubs, paparazzi, and so-called reality shows locked in spiritual winter. After twenty-three years as an Instructor of English and Creative Writing at Douglas College in New Westminster, Susan McCaslin is now a full-time writer, giving poetry workshops, talks, and readings. Susan lives in Fort Langley, BC. More

Discovery Passages
by Garry Thomas Morse
Publisher: Talonbooks

Discovery Passages

With its continuous poetic dialogue of “discovery” and “recovery”, Discovery Passages sets out to recover the appropriated, stolen and scattered world of the author’s ancestral people, the Kwakwaka’wakw. This text links traditions of the past with a contemporary poetic ­tradition in B.C. and encompasses the entire scope of ­relations between oral and vocal ­tradition, ancient ritual, historical ­contextuality and our continuing rites. In 2008 Garry Thomas Morse received the City of Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Artist and has twice been selected as runner-up for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Discovery Passages was shortlisted for the 2011 Governor General’s Award for Poetry. More

Oyama Pink Shale
by Sharon Thesen
Publisher: House of Anansi Press

Oyama Pink Shale

Oyama Pink Shale is a sly, self-directed, yet joyously emancipatory work. By animating and voicing various moments and selves Thesen’s poems show the transience of the earthly moment while convincing us of the thread of spirit that links all our lost bits and makes them possible. There’s an uncontainable buoyancy and lift in the lines and quick-shifting frames as they swerve toward the darker, more gravid complexities of contemporary life. Oyama Pink Shale exhibits a love for both the quotidian and the oblique angle, and a singular talent for the music of cumulative wonder. Sharon Thesen received the Pat Lowther Memorial Award for her collection A Pair of Scissors. She was born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, and now lives in British Columbia, where she is a professor at the University of British Columbia. More

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Supported by Transcontinental Printing
Judges: Katherine Gordon, Stephen Hume, Lee Trentadue

Winner! The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver
by Chuck Davis
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver

In this ambitious magnum opus, author Chuck Davis embraced 125 years of material, with the signature exuberance and talent for storytelling that made him one of Vancouver’s most successful and beloved journalists and broadcasters. This volume represents the culmination of his life as a folk historian, someone who was obsessed and delighted by all things Vancouver, and of his immense contribution to historical knowledge of the city of Vancouver. Arranged chronologically, and illustrated with a trove of archival photographs, this volume includes influential characters both famous and nearly-forgotten, many tales of eccentric locals and celebrity visitors, and Vancouver’s unforgettable and formative events. Chuck Davis (1935–2010) devoted his life to being the expert on the city’s history. In 2010 he was awarded the George Woodcock Award for an outstanding literary career in British Columbia. More

Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America’s Great Forests
by Andrew Nikiforuk
Publisher: Greystone Books in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation

Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America’s Great Forests

Beginning in the late 1980s, a series of bark beetle outbreaks unsettled iconic forests and communities across western North America, eventually killing more than 30 billion pine and spruce trees from Alaska to New Mexico. As the only book about the epidemic, Empire of the Beetle draws on first-hand accounts from entomologists, botanists, foresters, and rural residents to investigate this unprecedented beetle plague, its startling implications, and the lessons it holds. Andrew Nikiforuk is an award-winning Canadian journalist. He was awarded the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award for his best-selling book Tar Sands. More

Fred Herzog: Photographs
by Fred Herzog
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre Publishers Inc.

Fred Herzog: Photographs

For more than five decades, Fred Herzog has focused his lens on street life, and his striking colour photographs—of vacant lots, second-hand shops, neon signs and working-class people—evoke nostalgia in an older generation and inspire wide-eyed revelation in a younger one. The images that we now consider iconic once relegated Herzog to the margins: his bold use of colour was unusual in the 1950s and ’60s, a time when art photography was almost exclusively associated with black-and-white imagery. Fred Herzog: Photographs showcases this innovative artist’s impressive collection in a beautifully crafted volume. Fred Herzog was born in 1930 in Germany and immigrated to Canada in 1952, spending time in Toronto and Montreal before arriving in Vancouver in 1953. His photographs are held in numerous private and public collections, including the Vancouver Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada. More

The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thornton [#4 in the Unheralded Artists of BC Series]
by Sheryl Salloum, Foreword by Sherrill Grace
Publisher: Mother Tongue Publishing

The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thornton [#4 in the Unheralded Artists of BC Series]

During her lifetime Mildred Valley Thornton was noted nationally and internationally. The full story of this distinctive artist, accomplished with landscapes and portraits, watercolours and oils, is finally being told for the first time. Born in Ontario, Thornton later moved to Regina where she met her husband, taught art at the Regina College and gave birth to twin boys. Thornton’s early works—vibrant landscapes—were inspired by artist J.W. Beatty, her instructor at the Ontario College of Art. Later, portraits of the First Nations peoples of Western Canada became the genius loci of her oeuvre. During the Depression, her family moved to Vancouver where she continued, for the rest of her life, to carve out a unique career as a fiercely independent, adventurous and confident artist driven to create. Sheryl Salloum was born and raised in BC. A freelance writer for over twenty years, Sheryl has published articles in numerous Canadian magazines and newspapers. Sherrill Grace is Professor of English at UBC, where she has served as Head of Department, Associate Dean of Arts, and UBC Senator. More

Thrown: British Columbia’s Apprentices of Bernard Leach and Their Contemporaries
by Scott Watson, Edited by Naomi Sawada & Jana Tyner
Publisher: Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, The University of British Columbia

Thrown: British Columbia’s Apprentices of Bernard Leach and Their Contemporaries

For fans of contemporary art and arts & crafts, this book is the first of its kind in the history of art in Vancouver. It brings together essays by curators, first-hand accounts by potters, archival documents, photographs and letters from the personal collections of seven highly respected potters who began to throw pots in the Vancouver west coast area during the 1960s. The book is inspired by the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery’s ground breaking exhibition, Thrown: Influences and Intentions of West Coast Potters. Selected by Matthew Higgs as one of the “Top 10 shows of 2004” (Artforum International) for its unconventional and compelling approach to the studio pottery movement, the exhibition featured over 600 pots by John Reeve, Glenn Lewis, Michael Henry, and Ian Steele—the four Canadian apprentices of English potter Bernard Leach—and their like-minded contemporaries Tam Irving, Charmian Johnson, and Wayne Ngan. More

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Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by the BC Library Association
Judges: Rob Bittner, Sylvia Olsen, Cathleen With

Winner! Blood Red Road
by Moira Young
Publisher: Doubleday Canada Publishing Group

Blood Red Road

In a wild and lawless future, eighteen-year-old Saba lives with her father, twin brother Lugh, young sister Emmi and pet crow Nero. The family resides in a secluded shed and the lake, their only source of water and main provider of food, is gradually dying from the lack of rain. But Saba’s father refuses to leave the place where he buried his beloved wife, Allis, who died giving birth to Emmi. While Saba has never forgiven Emmi for their mother’s death, she adores her twin brother Lugh. So Saba’s small world is brutally torn apart, when a group of armed riders snatch Lugh away. Saba’s rage is so wild, that she manages to drive the men away, but not before they have captured Lugh and killed their father. And here begins Saba’s epic quest to rescue Lugh, during which she is tested by trials she could not have imagined. Moira Young was born in New Westminster, BC, where she attended the UBC before heading to the UK to study drama. Moira Young lives in Bath, England with her husband. More

I’ll Be Watching
by Pamela Porter
Publisher: Groundwood Books

I’ll Be Watching

In a small prairie town like Argue, Saskatchewan, everyone knows everybody else’s business. Everyone knows that the Loney family has been barely hanging on—the father, George, reduced to drink and despair since the loss of his farm and the death of his wife, Margaret. That the four Loney children do not get along with George’s second wife, the pious, bitter Effie. Then George dies in a drunken stupor. Effie takes off with a traveling Bible salesman, and it looks as though the children are done for. Who’s to save them when everyone is coping with their own problems—the lingering depression and the loss of the town’s young men to the Second World War. Yet somehow the children find a way, under the watchful eye of their ghostly parents and through the small kindnesses of a few neighbors, but mostly by dint of their own determination and ingenuity. Pamela Porter is an award-winning author who lives in Sidney, British Columbia. More

Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest
by Caitlyn Vernon
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest

You don’t have to live in the Great Bear Rainforest to benefit from its existence, but after you read Nowhere Else on Earth you might want to visit this magnificent part of the planet. Environmental activist Caitlyn Vernon guides young readers through a forest of information, sharing her personal stories, her knowledge and her concern for this beautiful place. Full of breathtaking photographs and suggestions for ways to preserve this unique ecosystem, Nowhere Else on Earth is a timely and inspiring reminder that we need to stand up for our wild places before they are gone. Caitlyn Vernon grew up on BC’s Pacific Coast and now calls Victoria home. Caitlyn has a background in biology and environmental studies and is currently a campaigner with Sierra Club BC, working to protect the Great Bear Rainforest. Nowhere Else on Earth is her first book. More

The Runaway
by Glen Huser
Publisher: Tradewind Books

The Runaway

Leroy “Doodlebug” Barnstable likes to call himself the quickest draw in the west—with a crayon. It’s 1923 and Doodle is on the run from a couple of abusive cousins when he stumbles into a travelling Chautauqua show where it’s easy to get lost in a crowd—but also easy to lose your heart. Glen Huser has won a number of awards such as the Mr. Christie Award, the Governor General`s Award, and the R. Ross Annett Award. A teacher-librarian for most of his life, he continues to write, pursue his artwork and coach students working on their own books for young people. More

What is Real
by Karen Rivers
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

What is Real

Dex Pratt’s life has been turned upside down. His parents have divorced and his mother has remarried. When his father attempts suicide and fails, Dex returns to their small town to care for him. But he’s not prepared for how much everything has changed. Gone are the nice house, new cars, fancy bikes and other toys. Now he and his wheelchair-bound dad live in a rotting rented house at the back of a cornfield. And, worse, his father has given up defending marijuana growers in his law practice and has become one himself. Unable to cope, Dex begins smoking himself into a state of surrealism. He begins to lose touch with what is real and what he is imagining. And then there are the aliens…and the girl-of-his-dreams…and the crop circle… Karen Rivers’ books have been nominated for a number of awards, including the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Award and the Silver Birch Award. Karen lives, reads and writes in a yellow house near the beach in Victoria, BC. More

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Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by Ampersand Inc.
Judges: Julie Flett, Dionne Risler, Judith Saltman

Winner! When I Was Small
by Sara O'Leary
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Publisher: Simply Read Books

When I Was Small

Curious little Henry from the award-winning books When You Were Small and Where You Came From has a new question for his mother in this charming new picture book. “What was it like when you were small?” he asks. His mother proceeds to describe her adventures to him, all about when she was little – very little! Sara O’Leary is a playwright, fiction writer, and literary journalist. She teaches Writing for Children and Screenwriting at Concordia University in Montreal. Julie Morstad is an award-winning illustrator and fine artist known for her surreal, whimsical work. Illustrator of numerous children’s books, including Singing Away the Dark and When You Were Small and its two sequels Where You Came From and When I Was Small, Julie has exhibited her work in galleries, animated two music videos with her brother, filled up stacks of sketchbooks, and made countless pots of soup and many loaves of bread. She lives in Vancouver with her family. More

Dalen & Gole: Scandal in Port Angus
by Mike Deas
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Dalen & Gole: Scandal in Port Angus

Dalen and Gole are refugees on Earth in a race against time to save their home planet from an evil plot. With seconds to the finish line, Dalen and Gole lead the distant world of Budap’s annual Junior-Jet Race. Suddenly they are overtaken. Left behind in a cloud of mysterious purple exhaust, they realize something doesn’t add up. Looking for clues, the two friends uncover a tunnel that leads them to Earth. They arrive in Port Angus, once a lively west coast fishing community. The fishing industry is dying, and Dalen and Gole find themselves embroiled in a sinister plot to steal fish and send them to Budap. Pursued by government agents and angry aliens, Dalen and Gole are in a race against time to save both their own distant world and the fishing community of Port Angus. Mike Deas is the illustrator of the bestselling Graphic Guide Adventure series. He and his wife, Nancy, live in sunny Victoria, BC. More

Grandpa’s Girls
by Nicola I. Campbell
Illustrated by Kim La Fave
Publisher: Groundwood Books

Grandpa’s Girls

A young girl delights in a visit to her grandpa’s farm. She and her cousins run through the fields, explore the root cellar where the salmon and jars of fruit are stored, swing on a rope out the barn loft window, visit the Appaloosa in the corral and tease the neighbor’s pig. The visit is also an opportunity for this child to ask Grandpa what her grandmother, Yayah, was like, and explore the “secret room,” with its old wooden trunk of ribbons, medals and photos of Grandpa in uniform. There is a wonderful blend of fun and family history in this visit to a grandparent, but also the realization that there can be some things about the people we know and love that will always remain a mystery. Nicola I. Campbell is an award-winning author of children’s books who lives in Vancouver, BC. Kim La Fave has illustrated many award-winning books for children. He lives in Roberts Creek, BC. More

Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been?
by Dan Bar-el
Illustrated by Rae Maté
Publisher: Simply Read Books

Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been?

In the classic nursery rhyme “Pussycat, Pussycat,” Pussycat travels to London to visit the Queen. But where else does Pussycat go? These vivid, dreamy poems and illustrations reveal the rest of Pussycat’s adventures. The trips take readers to far-flung, magical places of the world and also deeper into Pussycat’s heart, as they learn what he wishes for, what soothes his sorrow, where he hides when he is scared, and what happens when he gets lost. Dan Bar-el’s book Things Are Looking Grimm, Jill won the 2008 Silver Birch Express award, and his funny picture book Alphabetter was chosen for the BC government Ready, Set, Learn program. Rae Maté graduated from Emily Carr College of Art and Design in 1986. She enjoys teaching 2- 3 year olds at Parent and Me art classes at Arts Umbrella in Vancouver and paints in her home studios in Vancouver and Hornby Island, BC. More

Shake Awakes
by Robert Heidbreder
Illustrated by Marc Mongeau
Publisher: Tradewind Books

Shake Awakes

Kids still not up? Still sound asleep? Snoozing rug-bugs in a heap. Time to do whatever it takes. Read aloud from… SHAKE AWAKES! Slimy, Stinky, stuffed with dread—these poems will scare kids out of bed! But, hey, kids, there are poems for you, to wake up sleepy grown-ups too! Elves, Green goo—oops! —stuff that breaks—you’ll find them all in… SHAKE AWAKES! Robert Heidbreder has been enchanting children with his joyful poems and rhymes and his brilliant performances for more than two decades. Robert is the author of nearly a dozen books for children, including the award-winning Drumheller Dinosaur Dance. He is recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, presented to him by Jean Chretien. Robert lives in Vancouver, BC. Marc Mongeau is the published author and illustrator of many children’s books. He currently lives in Quebec. 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! The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver
by Chuck Davis
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver

In this ambitious magnum opus, author Chuck Davis embraced 125 years of material, with the signature exuberance and talent for storytelling that made him one of Vancouver’s most successful and beloved journalists and broadcasters. This volume represents the culmination of his life as a folk historian, someone who was obsessed and delighted by all things Vancouver, and of his immense contribution to historical knowledge of the city of Vancouver. Arranged chronologically, and illustrated with a trove of archival photographs, this volume includes influential characters both famous and nearly-forgotten, many tales of eccentric locals and celebrity visitors, and Vancouver’s unforgettable and formative events. Chuck Davis (1935–2010) devoted his life to being the expert on the city’s history. In 2010 he was awarded the George Woodcock Award for an outstanding literary career in British Columbia. More

Eating Dirt
by Charlotte Gill
Publisher: Greystone Books in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation

Eating Dirt

Eating Dirt offers up a slice of tree-planting life in all of its gritty exuberance while questioning the ability of conifer plantations to replace original forests that have taken millennia to evolve into complex ecosystems. By evoking the wonder of the tree, which grows from a tiny seed into one of the world’s largest organisms, the author joyously celebrates the priceless value of forests and the ancient, ever-changing relationship between humans and trees. Charlotte Gill’s collection Ladykiller was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the B.C. Book Prize for fiction, and Eating Dirt won the 2012 BC Achievement’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. She spent nearly two decades working in the forests of Canada and has planted more than a million trees. More

Fred Herzog: Photographs
by Fred Herzog
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre Publishers Inc.

Fred Herzog: Photographs

For more than five decades, Fred Herzog has focused his lens on street life, and his striking colour photographs—of vacant lots, second-hand shops, neon signs and working-class people—evoke nostalgia in an older generation and inspire wide-eyed revelation in a younger one. The images that we now consider iconic once relegated Herzog to the margins: his bold use of colour was unusual in the 1950s and ’60s, a time when art photography was almost exclusively associated with black-and-white imagery. Fred Herzog: Photographs showcases this innovative artist’s impressive collection in a beautifully crafted volume. Fred Herzog was born in 1930 in Germany and immigrated to Canada in 1952, spending time in Toronto and Montreal before arriving in Vancouver in 1953. His photographs are held in numerous private and public collections, including the Vancouver Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada. More

Island Wineries of British Columbia
by Gary Hynes
Publisher: TouchWood Editions

Island Wineries of British Columbia

A collaborative effort from the writers of EAT Magazine, Island Wineries of British Columbia is your guide to a growing wine culture and the food movement that accompanies it. Starting with the history behind the region’s wine production, this book is an intimate conversation with local wine producers—their individual stories, their most memorable creations and where you can find their beautiful wineries. Complete with maps and suggested wine tasting excursions, Island Wineries of British Columbia also explores the islands’ meaderies, cideries, fruit wines, artisan distilleries and craft beer. You’ll find recipes from some of the region’s most talented chefs; each recipe has an emphasis on local ingredients and provides exquisite pairings of wine and food. Gary Hynes is a former sommelier, chef and innkeeper who traded the bright lights to found and edit EAT Magazine, a bi-monthly publication that celebrates food and drink in BC. Gary lives and eats in Victoria, BC, with his wife Cynthia, son Colin and dog Sam. More

Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen
by Robert J. Wiersema
Publisher: Greystone Books

Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen

Robert Wiersema has been a Bruce Springsteen fan since he was a teenager, following tours to see multiple shows in a row, watching set lists develop in real time via the Internet, ordering bootlegs from shady vendors in Italy. His attachment is deeper than fandom, though: he’s grown up with Springsteen’s music as the soundtrack to his life, beginning with his youth in rural British Columbia and continuing on through dreams of escape, falling in love, and becoming a father. Walk Like a Man is the liner notes for a mix tape, a blend of biography, music criticism, and memoir. This is Wiersema’s journey into adulthood (with all the wrong turns and false starts life throws at us), and of the man and the music that have accompanied him along the way. Robert J. Wiersema is an independent bookseller, a reviewer who contributes regularly to several national newspapers, and the bestselling author of two novels, Before I Wake and Bedtime Story. He lives in Victoria, BC. More

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Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence

Winner! Brian Brett

Brian Brett

Brian Brett was born in Vancouver and studied literature at SFU. Writing and publishing since the late 1960s, he has been involved in an editorial capacity with several publishing firms such as the Governor General Award-winning Blackfish Press, which he co-owned. In the early 1970s, he began writing for numerous magazines and newspapers, including the Vancouver Province, where he was poetry critic for two years. His journalism has appeared in almost every major newspaper in Canada. He wrote a weekly and then monthly column, “CultureWatch,” for the Yukon News for more than a decade.

Always a cultural and social advocate, Brian Brett inaugurated the BC Poetry-In-The-Schools program, introducing all ages of school children to world poetry, and has given workshops on writing across Canada. He has been a member of organizations such as PEN International, the League of Canadian Poets, The Federation of BC Writers, and The Writers’ Union of Canada. The author of eleven books of poetry, fiction, memoir/natural history, and a CD, he has also performed readings on the CBC, television, the Internet, and various other media, as well as public performances funded by private organizations, universities, Harbourfront, the Vancouver International Writers Festival, The Saltwater Festival, the National Book Festival, and The Canada Council.  He has also organized two writing festivals as well as special events for other festivals. 

Elected chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada in 2005, Brian Brett promoted the rights of writers and Canadian culture, combating censorship, and supporting local bookstores and the publishing industry. Since 2006 he has been teaching students around the world via UBC’s innovative online Master’s Degree program in creative writing. He is the winner of numerous awards, including The Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the CBC poetry prize, the BC Book Prize (Booksellers’ Choice), etc.

Brian Brett’s Uproar’s Your Only Music (A Memoir in Poetry and Prose) was a Globe and Mail Book of the Year. He currently lives with his family on a Salt Spring Island farm and works with farm organizations and cultural thinkers across Canada as a strong exponent of local food and good agricultural practice, which culminated in his best-selling and award-winning book, Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life.

2012 Jury: George Bowering, novelist, poet, editor, professor, and historian; Max Wyman, writer, critic, editor, cultural commentator, and arts policy consultant; and, Evelyn Gillespie, Owner, Laughing Oyster Books, Courtenay, BC.