Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The book that changed your life: Cynthia Flood

There was a nice little opinion piece yesterday in The Georgia Straight from Cynthia Flood, who will be appearing this Sunday as part of Word on the Street Vancouver. For more on the book that changed her life, an unexpected afternoon at the VPL, and on emotionally political fiction, check it out!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Nadine McInnis Shortlisted for Ottawa Book Award for Fiction!

Nadine McInnis, whose
short story collection Blood
Secrets was 
shortlisted today for
The Ottawa Book Award for Fiction.
Congratulations to Nadine McInnis, whose short fiction collection Blood Secrets was shortlisted today for the Ottawa Book Award for Fiction! Other nominees include Scott Fotheringham, Missy Marston, Christine McNair, and Dorothy Speak. The winner will be announced October 22nd. More details as they emerge.

Challenging, enlightening, disturbing: Vancouver Sun calls Cynthia Flood's Newest a Stunner

From the launch of Red Girl Rat Boy:
Cynthia Flood and Betsy Warland.
For those of you who haven't seen it, there was a beyond-rave review of Red Girl Rat Boy in the Vancouver Sun this weekend, which was picked up by The Edmonton Journal. Here's a taste:
With rapid-fire narration, power-point prose, and darts of minimalist description, Flood nails her subject. Her characters are impatient to be heard, grabbing your attention, word bullets flying, hope and despair spilling over the pages. The subtext is anger, disappointment, hopelessness, cynicism, end of life ruminations, and what went wrong? Beloveds are suffering all over the place ... The best fiction challenges, enlightens, even disturbs and these qualities are evident in Flood's collection.
Check it out!

We'll be back soon with reports from the Brooklyn Book Festival, a bit on how Mark Kingwell's Unruly Voices became a banned book, festival appearance updates, and more!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Normative Statements" (Courtesy of Véhicule)

Best question I've seen crowdsourced all week, up today on the Véhicule Press Blog.

"This Great Escape" Shortlisted for $60,000 Hilary Weston Prize

Biblioasis is proud to announce that

The Case of Michael Paryla

by Andrew steinmetz
has been shortlisted for the 2013

Valued at $60,000

At a ceremony held this morning at Maple Leaf Gardens, the Honourable Hilary M. Weston announced that Andrew Steinmetz’s This Great Escape: The Case of Michael Paryla (Biblioasis 2013) has been shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Praising Steinmetz for his “obsessive and poetic gaze,” Weston called This Great Escape—the biography of a part-Jewish actor, cast as a Gestapo agent in the 1963 Steve McQueen/John Sturges film—“inventive and suprisingly humorous.”

At $60,000, the Weston is Canada’s richest nonfiction prize, and one of the largest nonfiction prizes in the world. First established by the Writers’ Trust in 1997 and sponsored by Viacom, the prize was endowed by philanthropist and former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Hilary M. Weston in 2011. Previous winners include Candace Savage, Charles Foran, James FitzGerald, Brian Brett, and Anna Porter.

The other nominees include Thomas King (The Inconvenient Indian), J.B. McKinnon (The Once and Future World), Graeme Smith (The Dogs are Eating Them Now), and Priscila Uppal (Projection). Each will receive a prize of $5,000, and the winner, to be announced at the annual gala on Oct. 21st, will receive an additional $55,000.

This year’s judges are Hal Niedzviecki, Samantha Nutt, Candace Savage, Andreas Shroeder, and Evan Solomon.

For more about This Great Escape, trade reviews, ordering information, or for a Q&A with Andrew Steinmetz, please read on. An interview also appeared in last Saturday’s Ottawa Citizen.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Introducing Lucie Wilk: The Yin and Yang

Morning, folks, and happy Monday. You're going to be hearing a lot more about Lucie Wilk in the coming weeks and months—she'll be launching her new novel The Strength of Bone in cities across Canada and the US this fall—but for now I'd like to point you to the guest blog she did for Gail Anderson-Dargatz's website. Called "The Yin and Yang of Art and Science," it's as good an intro as any to the philosophy of our one and only doctor-novelist, whose work comes highly praised by Joseph Boyden AND Annabel Lyon. My goodness! What a triumverate of support. More from us soon. And in the meantime, enjoy!
"While I am grateful for the knowledge and experience of my scientific forebears, and all the gifts this has given us in providing the best for my patients, and while I honour the procedures and protocols, the flowcharts and the guidelines, I am also grateful for the fact that the patient before me is, ultimately, a mystery. One that I can guide with experience, but one that I will never solve."

Friday, September 13, 2013

Launching Next Thursday: This Great Escape

We're less than a week away from the Ottawa launch of Andrew Steinmetz's This Great Escape, and I know a lot of you are excited to hold the book in your hands. Looking for a sneak preview? Check out the Saturday edition of the Ottawa Citizen, where Peter Robb conducts a lengthy interview with Andrew about obsession, family history, genre-bending and more. We've also had a couple nice trade reviews of TGE which I'm posting below. Happy Friday, all, and enjoy your weekend!

From Publishers Weekly
“[A] touching biography … Paryla was never a household name and may not seem worthy of attention, but the founding editor of Esplanade Books succeeds in making the case that anyone’s biography can provide insight into the context in which he or she existed. Paryla’s too-short life was defined by Europe during World War II and after, and through his life, those periods are themselves defined.”

From Library Journal
"Fascinating reading … elliptical and often intense … This book will appeal to readers who have seen The Great Escape, are interested in film history and/or acting, or have an interest in World War II and its effects on survivors."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

C.P. Boyko Shortlisted for the Victoria Butler Book Prize

Good news for fans of Psychology and Other Stories: today it was announced that C.P. Boyko's fiction collection was shortlisted for the Victoria Butler Book Prize. Congratulations to Craig and all the other nominees. For the official press release, read on.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
VICTORIA, BC – Celebrating our tenth anniversary, the Victoria Book Prize Society is pleased to announce that eight authors from the Capital Region have been short-listed for the 2013 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for adult literature and the Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize. The winner of each prize will be awarded $5000.

The finalists for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for adult literature are:
C. P. Boyko: Psychology and Other Stories , fiction (Biblioasis)
Lorna Crozier: The Book of Marvels: A Compendium of Everyday Things , non-fiction (Greystone Books)
Bill Gaston: The World , fiction (Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Books)
Christina Johnson-Dean: The Life and Art of Ina D. D. Uhthoff , non-fiction (Mother Tongue Publishing)
Stephen Reid: A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden , non-fiction (Thistledown Press)

The finalists for the Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize are:
Sarah N. Harvey: Three Little Words , fiction (Orca Book Publishers)
Polly Horvath: One Year in Coal Harbour , fiction (Groundwood Books)
Kit Pearson: And Nothing but the Truth , fiction (HarperCollins)

Two independent juries comprised of representatives from the literary arts community reviewed the entries for literary merit. This year there were 39 submissions for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and 15 for the Bolen prize. The winners will be announced at the ten-year anniversary awards gala to be held at the Union Club of Victoria, 805 Gordon Street, on October 16 at 7:30. Tickets are $15 and are available now from Bolen Books, Munro’s Books, Ivy’s Bookshop and the Victoria Book Prize Society (250-595-8430).
Founded in 2004, the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize is a partnership between the City of Victoria and Brian Butler of Butler Brothers Supplies. The Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize was founded in 2008. Additional sponsors include: Union Club of British Columbia, Greater Victoria Public Library, Island Blue Print, Magnolia Hotel and Spa, Thrifty Foods and CBC Radio. The Victoria Book Prize Society establishes policy and criteria for the prizes, administers the competition and appoints the juries. For further information call Michelle Wong, President VBPS at 250-888-9219 or visit

Monday, September 09, 2013

Coming Next Monday to Biblioasis: Doug Glover & Catherine Bush

Here at the bookshop we're extremely excited, after what was a lovely and relaxing summer, to kick off our fall event series with two very special authors from Goose Lane Editions. On September 16th Biblioasis will open its doors to fiction-writer Douglas Glover and novelist Catherine Bush. Both are exceptional and critically recognized authors (Douglas alone has won the Governor General's Award, The Writers Trust Timothy Findley Award, and was shortlisted for the IMPAC-Dublin Prize.) They're also writing teachers of considerable renown. We hope you'll join us.
Douglas Glover & Catherine Bush
Live at Biblioasis 
Monday September 16th 
7:30 P.M.
For more information, please visit our Facebook page, email, or call us at 519-968-2206. And to get a taste for Douglas Glover, be sure to check out The National Post's Afterword Books Blog all this week: DG is their guest editor. Today's episode involves a how-to guide to the best of but-constructions. 

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Canary makes Salty Ink's Top 4 of 2013

More good news for Canary this morning: it's made Salty Ink's 4 Best Books of Shorts list for spring 2013! Check out the listing here.  And this from the indefatigable Chad Pelley ...

"Cullen’s skills with characterization that make her stories pop. She shows us who these people are the best way a writer can in short fiction, and that’s by showing us their ticks, and, what makes them tick. Her characters are delightfully replete with defining idiosyncrasies. The author shows us quite clearly what these people want from life, and, what they’re not getting from it. This collection also succeeds tremendously in showcasing the awkward places relationships put us in as they start, or as they start to fail."

Read a F*!king Book Reviews Canary; Ottawa Citizen on The Pope's Bookbinder

The good folks at Autostraddle, which for the uninitiated is one of the savviest lesbian/progressive feminist blogs out there, have a handsome little review of Canary in their "Read a F!*king Book" column. Check it out when you get a minute. The verdict? "Kind of weird and completely delightful." And for readers of the Ottawa Citizen, you may have seen the stupendous review of The Pope's Bookbinder that ran on Labour Day. Here's a pull quote for the ages:

"The Pope’s Bookbinder is like the man: boisterous, endearing, and engagingly blunt. It is a book to delight that endangered species, the book collector, ever on the prowl for the elusive 'must-have' title."

What's that? Must have? Must have in LEATHER? There are a few limited-edition leatherbound copies of The Pope's Bookbinder left, as bound by Dan Mezza out of London. Email Dan (Wells) if you're interested. And otherwise, happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Why, in a few months, it'll be up in lights on Broadway: Traymore, the Eighth Wonder of the World.

—Say, what is it, anyhow?
—I hear it's a kind of a gorilla.
—Gee - ain't we got enough of them in New York?
                           King Kong, 1933

Ladies and Gentlemen, no chains will ever hold it. It's here.