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April 29, 2017
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2017 Finalists

The West Coast Book Prize Society is thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2017 BC Book Prizes. Congratulations to the authors, illustrators, and publishers! The winner of the 2017 Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence was announced on April 4.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, April 29, 2017 | Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel

 

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Supported by Friesens

The Conjoined
by Jen Sookfong Lee
Publisher: ECW Press

The Conjoined

While sorting through her recently deceased mother’s belongings, social worker Jessica Campbell makes a shocking discovery—two dead girls curled into the bottom of her mother’s chest freezers. She remembers a pair of foster children who briefly lived with the family in 1988: Casey and Jamie Cheng—troubled, beautiful, and wild teenaged sisters from Vancouver’s Chinatown. After six weeks, they disappeared; social workers, police officers, and Jessica herself assumed they had run away. As Jessica learns more about Casey, Jamie, and their parents, she also unearths dark stories about her mother. Author and radio personality Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised on Vancouver’s East Side, where she now lives with her son. Her books include The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, The End of East, and Shelter. More

The Dancehall Years
by Joan Haggerty
Publisher: Mother Tongue Publishing

The Dancehall Years

Gwen Killam is a child on Bowen Island whose idyllic summers are obliterated by the outbreak of the war. Her swimming teacher, Takumi Yoshito, disappears along with his parents who are famous for their devotion to the Bowen Inn gardens. The Lower Mainland is in blackout, and so is the future of Gwen’s beloved Aunt Isabelle, who must make an unthinkable sacrifice. The Bowen Island dancehall is well-known during the war as a moonlight cruise destination, and it becomes an emotional landmark for time passing and remembered. Joan Haggerty was born in 1940 and raised in Vancouver, BC. Her previous books are Please, Miss, Can I Play God?, Daughters of the Moon, and The Invitation, which was nominated for the Governor General’s Award in 1994. More

The Heaviness of Things That Float
by Jennifer Manuel
Publisher: Douglas and McIntyre

The Heaviness of Things That Float

Bernadette has spent the last forty years living alone on the periphery of a remote West Coast First Nations reserve, serving as a nurse for the community. Only weeks from retirement, she finds herself unsettled, with no immediate family of her own. Her fears are complicated by the role she has played within their community: a keeper of secrets in a place “too small for secrets.” When the shocking announcement is made that Chase Charlie, the young man that Bernadette loves like a son, is missing, the community is thrown into upheaval. Jennifer Manuel has won awards for her short fiction, including the Storyteller’s Award at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference in 2013. A long-time activist in Aboriginal issues, Manuel taught elementary and high school in the lands of the Tahltan and Nuu-chah-nulth peoples. More

Niagara Motel
by Ashley Little
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

Niagara Motel

Eleven-year-old Tucker Malone is the only child of a narcoleptic touring stripper who believes his father is Sam Malone from Cheers. He and his mother move from motel to motel until, one night in Niagara Falls, his mother is hit by a car after falling asleep in the street. Tucker is sent to live in a youth group home where he meets Meredith, a pregnant sixteen-year-old with more than her fair share of family problems. They bond over slurpees and a shared love for literature and he convinces her to “borrow” a car to go to Boston to find his father. Ashley Little‘s Anatomy of a Girl Gang won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, was shortlisted for the Vancouver Book Award, and was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. More

The Parcel
by Anosh Irani
Publisher: Knopf Canada

The Parcel

Set in Kamathipura, Bombay’s notorious red-light district, The Parcel tells of a retired transgender sex worker named Madhu, who identifies as a “hijra”—neither man nor woman. She receives a call from the most feared brothel owner in the district and is forced to prepare a “parcel”—a young girl trafficked from the provinces—for its fate. Anosh Irani is the author of Dahanu Road, nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and bestsellers, The Cripple and His Talismans and The Song of Kahunsha. His play, Bombay Black, won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, and his anthology, The Bombay Plays: The Matka King & Bombay Black, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. More

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Supported by the BC Teachers' Federation

A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War
by Deborah Campbell
Publisher: Knopf Canada

A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War

Award-winning journalist Deborah Campbell travels undercover to Damascus, reporting on the exodus of Iraqis into Syria following the Iraq War. When her “fixer,” a charismatic Iraqi woman who has emerged as a community leader, is seized from her side by secret police, Campbell must spend months desperately trying to find her—all the while fearing she could be next. A riveting account of two women caught up in the shadowy politics behind today’s conflict. Deborah Campbell has reported from Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, the UAE, Israel, Palestine, Mexico, Cuba, and Russia. Much of her work is “immersive journalism” that involves living among the societies she covers. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s, The Economist, The Guardian, New Scientist, Foreign Policy, and The Walrus, and she is the recipient of three National Magazine Awards. More

Gently to Nagasaki
by Joy Kogawa
Publisher: Caitlin Press

Gently to Nagasaki

Gently to Nagasaki is a spiritual pilgrimage, an exploration both communal and intensely personal. Kogawa knows what it means to be classified as the enemy, and she seeks urgently to get beyond the “us” and “them” division. Interweaving her own life with catastrophes like the bombing of Nagasaki and the massacre by the Imperial Japanese Army at Nanking, she wrestles with essential questions like good and evil, love and hate, rage and forgiveness, determined above all to arrive at her own truths. Joy Kogawa is best known for her seminal novel on Japanese-Canadian internment, Obasan. She is the award-winning author of three novels, seven collections of poetry, and two books for children. In 2010, the Japanese government honoured her with the Order of the Rising Sun. More

The Killer Whale Who Changed the World
by Mark Leiren-Young
Publisher: Greystone Books

The Killer Whale Who Changed the World

Killer whales had always been seen as bloodthirsty sea monsters. That all changed when a young killer whale was captured off the west coast of North America and displayed to the public in 1964. Moby Doll—as the whale became known—was an instant celebrity, drawing twenty thousand visitors on the one and only day he was exhibited. He died within a few months, but his famous gentleness sparked a worldwide crusade that transformed how people understood and appreciated orcas. Because of Moby Doll, we stopped fearing “killers” and grew to love and respect “orcas.” Mark Leiren-Young is a journalist, filmmaker, and author. His Walrus article about Moby Doll was a finalist for the National Magazine Award, and he won the Jack Webster award for his CBC Ideas radio documentary Moby Doll: The Whale that Changed the World. More

The Marriott Cell: An Epic Journey from Cairo's Scorpion Prison to Freedom
by Mohamed Fahmy, with Carol Shaben
Publisher: Random House Canada

The Marriott Cell: An Epic Journey from Cairo's Scorpion Prison to Freedom

On December 29, 2013, Egyptian security forces seized Fahmy and two of his colleagues, accusing them of fabricating news as members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Their trials became a global cause célèbre condemned as a travesty. Inside Scorpion Fahmy found himself with notorious Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Al Qaeda fighters, and ISIS sympathizers. Taking advantage of the situation, he “interviewed” the Brotherhood about their aims, gaining exclusive insight into the geopolitical feuds between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE on one hand, and Qatar and its allies, including Turkey, on the other. In 2012 Mohamed Fahmy won The Tom Renner Investigative Reporting Award. He is the recipient of the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom Award from UNESCO. Carol Shaben is the author of Into the Abyss, winner of the Edna Staebler Creative Non-Fiction Award. More

Mexican Hooker #1: And My Other Roles Since the Revolution
by Carmen Aguirre
Publisher: Random House Canada

Mexican Hooker #1: And My Other Roles Since the Revolution

Carmen Aguirre has lived many lives, all of them to the full. At age six, she was a Chilean refugee adjusting to life as a Latina in North America. At eighteen, she was a revolutionary dissident married to a generous-hearted man she couldn’t fully love. From the child made victim of a terrible crime to the artist who found the courage to confront her assailant, Aguirre tells a story of strength and survival that will leave you speechless. Carmen Aguirre is a Vancouver-based writer, theatre artist, and author of Something Fierce, which won Canada Reads in 2012, was a finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize, and was a #1 national bestseller. She has written or co-written 20 plays, including The Refugee Hotel, which was nominated for a 2010 Dora Mavor Moore Award for best new play. More

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Supported by Anonymous

100 Days
by Juliane Okot Bitek
Publisher: University of Alberta Press

100 Days

For 100 days, Juliane Okot Bitek recorded the lingering nightmare of the Rwandan genocide in a poem—each poem recalling the senseless loss of life and of innocence. Okot Bitek draws on her own family’s experience of displacement under the regime of Idi Amin, pulling in fragments of the poetic traditions she encounters along the way: the Ugandan Acholi oral tradition of her father—the poet Okot p’Bitek; Anglican hymns; the rhythms and sounds of the African American Spiritual tradition; and the beat of spoken word and hip-hop. Writer Juliane Okot Bitek is a PhD Candidate with UBC’s Liu Institute for Global Issues in Vancouver. In 2004, her short story Going Home won the Commonwealth Short Story Contest and was featured on the BBC and CBC. More

If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You
by Adèle Barclay
Publisher: Nightwood Editions

If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You

If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You is a collection that travels through both time and place, liminally occupying the chasm between Canadiana and Americana mythologies. These poems dwell in surreal pockets of the everyday warped landscapes of modern cities and flood into the murky basin of the intimate. Amidst the comings and goings, there’s a sincere desire to connect to others, an essential need to reach out, to redraft the narratives that make kinship radical and near. These poems are love letters to the uncomfortable, the unfathomable, and the altered geographies that define our own misshapen understandings of the world. Adèle Barclay‘s poems have appeared in The Fiddlehead, PRISM international, Matrix, The Pinch, and others. She is the Interviews Editor at The Rusty Toque. More

The News
by Rob Taylor
Publisher: Gaspereau Press

The News

The news can mean many things, but first and foremost in this collection the news is We’re having a baby! Starting in the fifth week of his wife’s pregnancy, Rob Taylor wrote a poem every week as they travelled toward their child’s birth. His poems anticipate the astonishing and yet commonplace beginning of a human life, but they also explore how a baby’s arrival streams into both the incessant chatter of the world’s daily news and into that other sort of news that literature carries; what Ezra Pound called news that stays news. Rob Taylor‘s first full-length collection, The Other Side of Ourselves, won the 2010 Alfred G. Bailey Prize. In 2015 he received the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for Literary Arts as an emerging artist. More

poemw
by Anne Fleming
Publisher: Pedlar Press

poemw

In poemw, the third finger of the left hand hits ‘w’ instead of ‘s’ and makes up a new kind of poem, the sort-of poem, the approxi-lyric, the poem that doesn’t want to claim poemness. Poemw are about daily things—graffitti, hair, sea gulls, second-hand clothes—and rarer things—dead crows, baked mice, ski accidents, Judith Butler. They’re jokes-and-not-jokes, cheeky, goofy. Tender. Anne Fleming has an MFA from UBC and teaches at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna. Her first book, Pool-Hopping and Other Stories, was shortlisted for the Governor-General’s Award, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and the Danuta Gleed Award. Her fiction has been commissioned by CBC Radio, and widely published in magazines and anthologies, including Toronto Life magazine, The Journey Prize Stories, and The New Quarterly, where it won a National Magazine Award. More

Sleeping in Tall Grass
by Richard Therrien
Publisher: University of Alberta Press

Sleeping in Tall Grass

A cycle of poems, Sleeping in Tall Grass takes an unsparing look at a painful, sometimes abusive, yet strangely redemptive family story enfolded within the body of the Canadian prairie itself—at once physical, historical, and metaphysical. These intensely personal poems reflect the complex relationships between sound and space, language and silence. Treating time as more layered than sequential, they reflect a process of organic composition distilled from Therrien’s iterative observations and utterances. This is writing that reaches “into the very grain of existence”—a sonorous re-presentation of the human presence on the dispassionate but eternally giving plains. Poet and editor Richard Therrien was born and raised on the Canadian prairie. He has published across North America and currently works and lives in North Vancouver. More

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Supported by Marquis, Victoria Bindery, and First Choice Books

Crossing Home Ground: A Grassland Odyssey through Southern Interior British Columbia
by David Pitt-Brooke
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Crossing Home Ground: A Grassland Odyssey through Southern Interior British Columbia

Like John Muir, David Pitt-Brooke stepped out for a walk one morning—a long walk of a thousand kilometres or more through the arid valleys of southern interior British Columbia. He went in search of beauty and lost grace in a landscape that has seen decades of development and upheaval. In Crossing Home Ground he reports back, providing a day-by-day account of his journey’s experiences, from the practical challenges—dealing with blisters, rain, and dehydration—to sublime moments of discovery and reconnection with the natural world. Dr. David Pitt-Brooke is a retired veterinarian, naturalist, and the author of Chasing Clayoquot: A Wilderness Almanac, hailed by The Globe and Mail as “A Thoreau for Clayoquot.” His writing focuses on topics related to science, natural history, and the environment. More

Mapping My Way Home: A Gitxsan History
by Neil J. Sterritt
Publisher: Creekstone Press

Mapping My Way Home: A Gitxsan History

150 years ago, Gitanmaax and Hazelton were the economic hub of the north when packers, traders, explorers, miners, surveyors, and hundreds of tons of freight passed through these adjacent villages. Mapping My Way Home traces the journeys of the European explorers and adventurers who came to take advantage of the opportunities that converged at the junction of the Skeena and Bulkley rivers. The author, Gitxsan leader Neil Sterritt, also shares the stories of his people, stories both ancient and recent, to illustrate their resilience when faced with the challenges the newcomers brought. Neil Sterritt was president of the Gitxsan-Wet’suwet’en Tribal Council from 1981 to 1987, key years in the lead up to the precedent-setting aboriginal rights case known as Delgamuukw v. BC. He writes extensively on aboriginal rights and governance and serves as a consultant to many aboriginal organizations around the world. More

The Peace in Peril: The Real Cost of the Site C Dam
by Christopher Pollon, with photos by Ben Nelms
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Peace in Peril: The Real Cost of the Site C Dam

In September 2015, Christopher Pollon and photojournalist Ben Nelms paddled the 83-kilometre section of the Peace River that will be destroyed by the Site C dam reservoir. The 93-square-kilometre artificial lake will drown the best topsoil left in the BC north; and the waters will swallow fifty islands and a valley that is home to farmers, ranchers, trappers, and habitat to innumerable creatures big and small. Pollon’s goal was to witness the very first steps of construction for the almost $8.8-billion project. The trip was concluded by touring the same stretch by land, interviewing and photographing the locals who stand to lose everything. Christopher Pollon is an independent journalist who reports on the politics of natural resources. He is a contributing editor at The Tyee. Ben Nelms is a Vancouver freelance photojournalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Maclean’s, and Canadian Geographic. More

A Perfect Eden: Encounters by Early Explorers of Vancouver Island
by Michael Layland
Publisher: TouchWood Editions

A Perfect Eden: Encounters by Early Explorers of Vancouver Island

In 1842, when explorer James Douglas encountered the rugged natural paradise that would become Vancouver Island, he described it as “a perfect Eden.” This book gathers the early recorded histories and personal accounts left by Chinese seafarers, Spanish and British naval officers, traders seeking sea otter pelts, colonial surveyors, as well as soldiers, settlers, and other adventurers, starting from many centuries ago up to 1858. Collected here in detail for the first time, these accounts create a multilayered tale of discovery and exploration. Michael Layland has served as president of the Victoria Historical Society, the Friends of the BC Archives, and on the committee of the Historical Map Society of BC. He was trained as an officer and mapmaker in the Royal Engineers, and he lives in Victoria, BC. More

The Recorded History of the Liard Basin 1790-1910: Where British Columbia joins the Yukon and N.W.T.
by Anthony Kenyon
Publisher: Fort Nelson News

The Recorded History of the Liard Basin 1790-1910: Where British Columbia joins the Yukon and N.W.T.

The east-west Liard River Basin includes the northern twenty percent of BC. Through it went both of John Franklin’s land expeditions to the arctic, as well as five other major explorations. The Recorded History of the Liard Basin 1790-1910 is a definitive history written for both local readers and the academic community. The 500-page history contains 29 chapters, illustrated with maps, archival documents, and portraits of many of the chief characters. It includes name lists, biographies, extensive references, vocabularies, a bibliography, and an in-depth index. Anthony Kenyon practiced as the only surgeon in the Liard Basin for forty years. After retiring in 2004, he decided to write a definitive history of the northern twenty percent of BC and adjacent parts of the Yukon and Northwest Territories for the future reference of the communities and the province.

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Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by artsVest and Eponymous

A Day of Signs and Wonders
by Kit Pearson
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

A Day of Signs and Wonders

Emily dreams of birds. She feels constrained by nearly everything—her overbearing sisters, the expectation to be a proper young lady, and even her stiff white pinafore. Kitty feels undone. Her heart is still grieving a tragic loss, and she doesn’t want to be sent away to a boarding school so far away from home. When the two girls meet by chance, on a beach on the outskirts of Victoria, BC, in 1881, neither knows that their one day together will change their lives forever. Kit Pearson is an award-winning, critically acclaimed Canadian children’s author. She is the author of The Whole Truth, winner of the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award. She lives in Victoria, BC. More

Everyday Hero
by Kathleen Cherry
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Everyday Hero

Alice doesn’t like noise, smells, or strangers. She does like rules. Lots of rules. Nobody at her new school knows she has Asperger’s, so it doesn’t take long for her odd behavior to get her into trouble. When she meets Megan in detention, she doesn’t know what to make of her. Megan doesn’t smell, she’s not terribly noisy, and she’s not exactly a stranger, but is she a friend? Megan seems fearless to Alice—but also angry or maybe sad. Alice isn’t sure which. When Megan decides to run away, Alice resolves to help her friend, no matter how many rules she has to break or how bad it makes her feel. Kathleen Cherry is a school counselor currently pursuing her doctoral degree in psychology. She loves working with children and empowering them to develop their creativity through writing. More

Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community
by Robin Stevenson
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community

For LGBTQ people and their supporters, Pride events are an opportunity to honour the past, protest injustice, and celebrate a diverse and vibrant community. The high point of Pride, the Pride Parade, is spectacular and colourful. But there is a whole lot more to Pride than rainbow flags and amazing outfits. How did Pride come to be? And what does Pride mean to the people who celebrate it? Robin Stevenson is the author of twenty books for kids and teens. Her novels include The World Without Us and The Summer We Saved the Bees, as well as the Silver Birch Award-winner Record Breaker, and the Governor General’s Award finalist A Thousand Shades of Blue. She lives in Victoria, BC. More

The Rahtrum Chronicles: The Dream
by R.K. McLay
Publisher: Fifth House Publishers

The Rahtrum Chronicles: The Dream

The Rahtrum Chronicles tell the story of a peculiar young Caribou that is chosen by Rahtrum, the Binder, to set forth on a heroic journey to awaken the Cargoth (human beings) to their true place in nature and the World. The beautiful and dangerous north unfurls as Bou follows an age-old migration route in search of the Breschuvine. Only after finding the Breschuvine does he learn the shocking reason he has been chosen by Rahtrum; and that for himself, his friends, and his enemies, the greatest of all journeys has only just begun. R.K. McLay is last generation Metis (Ojibwe heritage). In order to write The Dream, he travelled north of the Arctic Circle to witness in person the migration of tens of thousands of Caribou. More

The Skeleton Tree
by Iain Lawrence
Publisher: Tundra Books

The Skeleton Tree

Less than forty-eight hours after twelve-year-old Chris sets off on a sailing trip down the Alaskan coast with his uncle, their boat sinks. The only survivors are Chris and a boy named Frank, who hates Chris immediately. Chris and Frank have no radio, no flares, no food. Suddenly, they’ve got to forage, fish, and scavenge the shore for supplies. As the days get colder and the salmon migration ends, survival will take more than sheer force of will. Eventually, in the wilderness of Alaska, the boys discover an improbable bond—and the compassion that might truly be the path to rescue. Iain Lawrence is a journalist, travel writer, avid sailor, and the author of many acclaimed novels, including Ghost Boy, Lord of the Nutcracker Men, and the High Seas Trilogy: The Wreckers, The Smugglers, and The Buccaneers. More

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Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by Kate Walker and Kidsbooks

Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet
by Nikki Tate
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet

Most of us see trees every day, and too often we take them for granted. Trees provide us with everything from food, fuel, and shelter to oxygen and filtered water. Deep Roots celebrates the central role trees play in our lives, no matter where we live. Each chapter in Deep Roots focuses on a basic element—water, air, fire, and earth—and explores the many ways in which we need trees to keep our planet healthy and livable. From making rain to producing fruit to feeding fish, trees play an integral role in maintaining vibrant ecosystems all over the world. Nikki Tate is the author of more than thirty books. She splits her time between Canmore, AB, and Victoria, BC, so she can indulge two of her passions: climbing and sailing. More

My Heart Fills with Happiness
by Monique Gray Smith
Illustrated by Julie Flett
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

My Heart Fills with Happiness

The sun on your face. The smell of warm bannock baking in the oven. Holding the hand of someone you love. What fills your heart with happiness? This beautiful board book serves as a reminder for little ones and adults alike to reflect on and cherish the moments in life that bring us joy. Monique Gray Smith is an accomplished consultant, writer, and international speaker. Her first novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature. Julie Flett received the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize and was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her book Owls See Clearly at Night (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer): A Michif Alphabet (L’alphabet di Michif). More

Peace Dancer
by Roy Henry Vickers, Robert Budd
Illustrated by Roy Henry Vickers
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Peace Dancer

When the children of the Tsimshian village of Kitkatla capture and mistreat a crow, the Chief of the Heavens, angered at their disrespect, brings down a powerful storm. As the seas rise, the villagers tie themselves to the top of Anchor Mountain, where they pray for days on end and promise to teach their children to value all life. The storm stops and the waters recede. From that point on, the villagers appoint a chief to perform the Peace Dance at every potlatch and, with it, pass on the story of the flood and the importance of respect. Roy Henry Vickers is a renowned carver, painter, and printmaker. In 1998 he was appointed to the Order of British Columbia and in 2006, the Order of Canada. Robert (Lucky) Budd holds an MA in history and has digitized many high-profile oral history collections including that of the Nisga’a First Nation. More

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey
by Margriet Ruurs
Illustrated by Nizar Ali Badr
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

Stepping Stones tells the story of Rama and her family, who are forced to flee their once-peaceful village to escape the ravages of the civil war raging ever closer to their home. With only what they can carry on their backs, Rama and her mother, father, grandfather, and brother, Sami, set out to walk to freedom in Europe. Nizar Ali Badr’s stunning stone images illustrate the story. Margriet Ruurs is the author of many award-winning books for children. She enjoys speaking to students at schools around the world. In his walks along the seashore near Ugarit, Syria, Nizar Ali Badr always admired the stones on the beach and in the clear blue water. Now he gathers these stones and brings them home to his rooftop studio, where they become the medium for his art. More

Today
by Julie Morstad
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Publisher: Simply Read Books

Today

Every day is full of endless possibilities—especially TODAY! The simplest moment has the potential to become extraordinary in this beautiful book by Julie Morstad. From getting dressed, to having breakfast, to choosing ways to go, Today has a little something to delight everyone. Julie Morstad’s books have garnered many accolades, including the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize, and First Prize at the Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design. They have been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustration, Foreword Reviews’ Book of the Year Award, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award (Picture Book Category), and Chocolate Lily Award (Picture Book Category). She lives in Vancouver, BC. More

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Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award

Supported by the BC Booksellers’ Association, Bookmanager, Mosaic Books, and Sandhill Book Marketing

Embers: One Ojibway's Meditations
by Richard Wagamese
Publisher: Douglas and McIntyre

Embers: One Ojibway's Meditations

In this carefully curated selection of everyday reflections, Richard Wagamese finds lessons in both the mundane and sublime as he muses on the universe, drawing inspiration from working in the bush—sawing and cutting and stacking wood for winter as well as the smudge ceremony to bring him closer to the Creator. Of all his volumes, Embers is perhaps Richard Wagamese’s most personal. Honest, evocative and articulate, he explores the various manifestations of grief, joy, recovery, beauty, gratitude, physicality, and spirituality—concepts many find hard to express. But for Wagamese, spirituality is multifaceted. Richard Wagamese (1955–2017) was recognized as one of Canada’s foremost First Nations authors and storytellers. He authored thirteen books including Indian Horse, the People’s Choice winner in the Canada Reads competition. More

The Last Gang in Town: The Epic Story of the Vancouver Police vs. the Clark Park Gang
by Aaron Chapman
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

The Last Gang in Town: The Epic Story of the Vancouver Police vs. the Clark Park Gang

Decades before organized crime syndicates brought sensational drug wars to Vancouver, street gangs held sway over its unruly east side. None was considered tougher or more feared than the Clark Park gang. In 1972, after a number of headline-making riots and clashes with police, the Clark Parkers became the target of a secret undercover police squad. Their hostile interactions culminated in a notorious police shooting, resulting in the death of a Clark Park gang member. The Last Gang in Town features previously unpublished photos and police documents, as well as testimonials by surviving gang members and police officers who speak for the first time on the subject. Aaron Chapman is a writer, historian, and musician. He is the author of Live at the Commodore, which won the 2015 Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award. More

Peace Dancer
by Roy Henry Vickers, Robert Budd
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Peace Dancer

When the children of the Tsimshian village of Kitkatla capture and mistreat a crow, the Chief of the Heavens, angered at their disrespect, brings down a powerful storm. As the seas rise, the villagers tie themselves to the top of Anchor Mountain, where they pray for days on end and promise to teach their children to value all life. The storm stops and the waters recede. From that point on, the villagers appoint a chief to perform the Peace Dance at every potlatch and, with it, pass on the story of the flood and the importance of respect. Roy Henry Vickers is a renowned carver, painter, and printmaker. In 1998 he was appointed to the Order of British Columbia and in 2006, the Order of Canada. Robert (Lucky) Budd holds an MA in history and has digitized many high-profile oral history collections including that of the Nisga’a First Nation. More

A Perfect Eden: Encounters by Early Explorers of Vancouver Island
by Michael Layland
Publisher: TouchWood Editions

A Perfect Eden: Encounters by Early Explorers of Vancouver Island

In 1842, when explorer James Douglas encountered the rugged natural paradise that would become Vancouver Island, he described it as “a perfect Eden.” This book gathers the early recorded histories and personal accounts left by Chinese seafarers, Spanish and British naval officers, traders seeking sea otter pelts, colonial surveyors, as well as soldiers, settlers, and other adventurers, starting from many centuries ago up to 1858. Collected here in detail for the first time, these accounts create a multilayered tale of discovery and exploration. Michael Layland has served as president of the Victoria Historical Society, the Friends of the BC Archives, and on the committee of the Historical Map Society of BC. He was trained as an officer and mapmaker in the Royal Engineers, and he lives in Victoria, BC. More

Wade Davis: Photographs
by Wade Davis
Publisher: Douglas and McIntyre

Wade Davis: Photographs

In Wade Davis: Photographs, celebrated anthropologist and photographer Wade Davis selects 150 of his favourite photographs from the thousands he has taken in the course of his forty-year career. Intimate portraits of family and community life, they are universal in feel, although they represent an enormous diversity of geographical locations and cultural backgrounds. Each one captures a rich story about the human condition, and invites the viewer to experience scenes of family, magic, love, and tradition. Wade Davis is a Professor of Anthropology at UBC. Between 1999 and 2013 he served as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. His recent book Into the Silence received the 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize, the top award for literary non-fiction in the English language. In 2016 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. More

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Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence

2017 Jury: Sheryl MacKay, host/producer of CBC Radio's North by Northwest; Alan Twigg, writer, publisher, organizer, recipient of the 2016 Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence and the Order of Canada; and, Mary-Ann Yazedjian, Manager, Book Warehouse Main Street

Winner! Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland is a Canadian visual artist, writer, and designer. His first novel was the 1991 international bestseller Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. He has published fourteen novels, two collections of short stories, eight non-fiction books, and a number of dramatic and comedic works for stage, film, and TV. In 2014, Coupland had his first major solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, after which the show toured to Toronto, and then internationally. His book Kitten Clone was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-fiction. Coupland is a contributor to the New York Times, e-flux journal, Artsy, and Vice online and is a columnist with the Financial Times of London. In 2015 and 2016, Coupland was artist in residence in the Paris Google Cultural Institute. Visit coupland.com and follow him @DougCoupland. The author lives in Vancouver, BC.

“Douglas Coupland has given BC literature a good name globally, moreso than any other author. After his Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture gave rise to a moniker for a generation, he has produced a widely praised and startlingly original body of work primarily based on his observations of life in the Pacific Northwest where he has lived almost continuously since age four. In addition to his novels — exploring modern loneliness, new technology, and the godlessness of disposable culture — his non-fiction works such as City of Glass and his biography of Terry Fox reflect his deep and abiding affinity for British Columbia. Only Malcolm Lowry, after his brief tenure in North Vancouver to write Under The Volcano, and Alice Munro, who spent her formative years as a writer in West Vancouver and Victoria, have come close to matching Douglas Coupland’s ongoing contribution towards putting British Columbia on the literary map of the world. Also an accomplished visual artist and designer, Douglas Coupland continues to take risks as a literary artist rather than rely on his reputation as a pop culture analyst.”
— Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence jury