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The BC Book Prizes

The BC Book Prizes, established in 1985, celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers.

The seven Prizes, plus The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, are presented annually at the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prize Gala in April.

The Prizes are administered and awarded by members of a non-profit society who represent all facets of the publishing and writing community.

publishers note: The award committee maintain a superb web site. Of all the awards that we monitor world wide (some 250 plus) it is right-up there with the very best- so to is the quality of the shortlist and winners. A fraction of the details regarding the award are included on this page and will hopefully serve to bring the BC Awards to the attention of visitors to this and our sister sites throughout the world. Love it! KJP - Official Site

BC BOOK PRIZES 2010

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Supported by Friesens and Webcom
Judges: Claudia Casper, Lee Henderson, Ann McDonell

Winner! Having Faith in the Polar Girls’ Prison
by Cathleen With
Publisher: Penguin Group Canada

Against the stark and haunting landscape of Canada’s Far North, fifteen-year-old Trista chronicles the events of her life from her room in the Polar Girls’ Prison. Caught in the decline of sexual abuse, drunkenness, and failed motherhood, Trista tries to make sense of her past, especially the events that led her to jail. Within the grim confines of the prison there are acts of kindness on the part of the staff and Trista’s fellow detainees, there is the thrill of Trista’s illicit romance, the memories of her mother, her best friend, and times spent with the Snow Nanuks, elder women who live according to Inuit tradition.  The young woman’s stream-of-consciousness narration, through memories of the past and visions of the future, takes the reader far beyond the prison’s walls. Cathleen With, author of the story collection Skids, has worked as a teacher in Inuvik and Seoul. She lives in Vancouver. 

8 x 10
by Michael Turner
Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Fearless in form, 8 × 10 casts aside traditional narrative structure and characterization to delve deeper into the issues gnawing at today’s global society. Through a sequence of possibly intertwined events, the author creates a challenging portrait of our modern age, drawing solely on the actions of people rather than their appearance — whether advertising executives or soldiers, tailors or doctors — they fall in love, have children, fight in wars, and flee their homes. In 8 × 10 there are no names, no racial or ethnic characteristics, and only a vague sense of time.  Michael Turner’s first book, Company Town, was nominated for the 1992 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. His second book, Hard Core Logo, was made into an acclaimed feature film and his screenplay-cum-novel, American Whiskey Bar, was produced as a live television special on CityTV in 1998. He lives in Vancouver. 

Daniel O’Thunder
by Ian Weir
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

In the 1850s, in the slums of London, Daniel O’Thunder, a troubled but charismatic former prize-fighter turned evangelist, runs a safe house for those in need of food, shelter, prayer and good counsel. But in the dark streets an ancient evil is stirring, throwing into peril the lives of the city’s most vulnerable souls. O’Thunder, no longer young but still wielding a right fist dubbed “The Hammer of Heaven,” returns to the ring to start training for his greatest fight yet — with the Devil himself.  Surrounding O’Thunder is a strange collection of admirers: Jack, a spectacularly failed cleric and actor who is the compiler of O’Thunder’s story; Jaunty Rennert, a shady small-time operator and Nell, the prostitute who will carry her love for O’Thunder into the wilds of the Cariboo gold rush. Ian Weir is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright and novelist with over 100 television credits as a writer and executive producer. He lives in Langley. 

The Golden Mean
by Annabel Lyon
Publisher: Random House Canada

On the orders of his boyhood friend, now King Philip of Macedon, Aristotle postpones his dreams of succeeding Plato as leader of the Academy in Athens and reluctantly arrives in the Macedonian capital of Pella to tutor the king’s adolescent son, Alexander the Great. Aristotle warms to the challenge of instructing his young charge in whom he recognizes a kindred spirit, an engaged, questioning mind coupled with a unique sense of position and destiny. He feels that teaching this startling, charming, sometimes horrifying boy is a desperate necessity. And that what the boy — thrown before his time onto his father’s battlefields — needs most is to learn the golden mean, that elusive balance between extremes that Aristotle hopes will mitigate the boy’s will to conquer. Annabel Lyon’s second book, The Best Thing for You, was nominated for the 2005 Ethel Wilson Prize for Fiction. She lives in New Westminster. 

Vanishing and Other Stories
by Deborah Willis
Publisher: Penguin Group Canada

Evocative and passionately written, Vanishing and Other Stories explores emotional and physical absences, the ways in which people leave and are left, and whether it’s ever possible to move on. Readers will encounter a skinny, freckled ice-cream scooper named after Nina Simone, a visionary of social uia, a French teacher who collects fiancés and a fortune-telling mother who fails to predict the heartbreak of her own daughter. In the title story, a writer vanishes, leaving unfinished work and unanswerable questions. A doctor, mourning a loss, takes up blackjack. After his wife leaves, an aging cowboy is seduced by a city girl. In these stories, secrets are both kept and unearthed, and lives are shaped by missing lovers, parents and children. Deborah Willis was a winner of PRISM International’s annual fiction prize and her work has appeared in literary journals across Canada. Born in Calgary, she now lives in Victoria. 

Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Supported by Abebooks
Judges: Ron Smith, Rex Weyler, Gudrun Will

Winner! Small Beneath the Sky: A Prairie Memoir
by Lorna Crozier
Publisher: Greystone Books

A volume of poignant recollections by one of Canada’s most celebrated poets, Small Beneath the Sky is a tender, unsparing portrait of a family and a place. Lorna Crozier vividly depicts her hometown of Swift Current, with its one main street, two high schools, and three beer parlors — where her father spent most of his evenings. She writes unflinchingly about the grief and shame caused by poverty and alcoholism. At the heart of the book is the author’s fierce love for her mother, Peggy. The narratives of daily life — sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking — are interspersed with prose poems. Lorna Crozier has authored fourteen books of poetry since the launch of first collection, Inside in the Sky, in 1976. Her collection, What the Living Won’t Let Go, won the 2000 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. She lives in North Saanich and serves as Chair in the Writing Department at the University of Victoria. 

The Ice Passage: A True Story of Ambition, Disaster, and Endurance in the Arctic Wilderness
by Brian Payton
Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Four years after the disappearance of Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin and his two ships, the HMS Investigator sets sail in search of them. Instead of rescuing lost comrades, the officers and crew soon find themselves trapped in their own ordeal, facing starvation, madness and death on the unknown Polar Sea. If only they can save themselves, they will bring back news of perhaps the greatest maritime achievement of the age: their discovery of the elusive Northwest Passage between Europe and the Orient. But the cost of hubris, ignorance, daring and deceit is soon laid bare. In the face of catastrophe, a desperate rescue plan is made to send away the weakest men to meet their fate on the ice. Drawing on long-forgotten journals, transcripts and correspondence, Payton weaves an astonishing tale of endurance. Brian Payton’s previous books include Hail Mary Corner and Shadow of the Bear: Travels in Vanishing Wilderness. He lives in Vancouver. 

Savage Gods, Silver Ghosts: In the Wild with Ted Hughes
by Ehor Boyanowsky
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

They met at a poetry reading, but Ehor Boyanowsky and British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes became friends through their shared passion for fishing. Against the backdrop of the Dean River, one of the world’s greatest steelhead rivers, the two men explored their mutual regard for the planet’s wild places. Boyanowsky draws on personal correspondence, interviews and journal entries to recreate their encounters and to paint an intimate portrait of a lifelong outdoorsman, conservationist and artist. In these tales of male friendship and the primal act of fly-fishing, the reader gets glimpses of the “nature red in tooth and claw” that drew Ted Hughes to Canada — and rekindled his love of the natural world. Ehor Boyanowsky, a criminal psychologist and professor at Simon Fraser University, has written extensively on conservation issues and is the co-author of The Pocket Guide to Fly Fishing for Steelhead. He lives in West Vancouver. 

Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life
by Brian Brett
Publisher: Greystone Books

Beginning naked in darkness, Brian Brett moves from the tending of livestock, poultry, orchards, gardens, machinery and fields to the social intricacies of rural communities and, finally, to an encounter with a magnificent deer in the silver moonlight of a magical farm field. Brett understands both tall tales and rigorous science as he explores the small mixed farm — meditating on the perfection of the egg and the nature of soil while also offering a scathing critique of agribusiness and the horror of modern slaughterhouses. Whether discussing the misuses of gates or bantering with neighbours, he remains aware of the miracles of life, birth, and death that confront the rural world every day. Brian Brett is the author of Uproar’s Your Only Music and several books of poetry. His journalism has appeared in major Canadian newspapers including the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the Vancouver Sun. He lives on Salt Spring Island. 

Vancouver Special
by Charles Demers
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

Vancouver is at a crossroads in its history — host to the 2010 Winter Olympics and home to the poorest neighbourhood in Canada; a young, multicultural city with a vibrant surface and a violent undercoat a savvy urban centre with an inferiority complex. Charles Demers examines the who, what, where, when, why and how of Vancouver, shedding light on the various strategies and influences that have made the city what it is today (as well as what it should be). From a history of anti-Asian racism to a deconstruction of the city’s urban sprawl; from an examination of local food trends to a survey of the city’s politically radical past, Vancouver Special is a love letter to the city, taking a no-holds-barred look at Lotusland with verve, wit and insight. Charles Demers is an activist and comedian, a performer on CBC Radio One’s “The Debaters” and co-host of CityTV’s comedic panel show “The Citynews List” in Vancouver. 

Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Supported by the BC Teachers’ Federation
Judges: Wayde Compton, Carla Funk, Betsy Warland

Winner! is a door
by Fred Wah
Publisher: Talonbooks

Including poetry projects, a chapbook and incidental poems, is a door makes use of the poem’s ability for “suddenness” to subvert closure: the sudden question, the sudden turn, the sudden opening — writing that is generated from linguistic mindfulness, improvisation, compositional problem-solving, collaborative events, travel, investigation and documentary — in short, poetry as practice. Much of this poetry is framed by Fred Wah’s acute sense of the marginalized non-urban local “place” and coloured by his attempt to articulate senses of otherness and resistance. Fred Wah was one of the founding editors of the poetry newsletter TISH and a pioneer of on-line publishing. He is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Waiting For Saskatchewan which received the Governor General’s Award in 1985. Diamond Grill, a biofiction about hybridity and growing up in a small-town Chinese-Canadian café won the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Fiction in 1996. He lives in Vancouver. 

Automaton Biographies
by Larissa Lai
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

With an ear to the white noise of advertising, pop music, CNN, biotechnology, the Norton Anthology of English Literature, cereal packaging and MuchMusic, Larissa Lai explores the problem of what it means to exist on the boundaries of the human. The books consists of four long poems: “Rachel,” a meditation in the voice of the cyborg figure Rachel from Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner and its source material, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? ; “nascent fashion,” which addresses contemporary war and its excesses; “Ham,” which circulates around the chimpanzee sent up into space as part of the Mercury Redstone missions by NASA and later donated to the Coulston Foundation for biomedical research; and “auto matter,” a kind of unfolding autobiography told in poems. Larissa Lai, an Assistant Professor in Canadian Literature at the University of British Columbia, is the author of Salt Fish Girl and When Fox is A Thousand

The Fly in Autumn
by David Zieroth
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

The Fly in Autumn is a nuanced work with an absurdist twist in which recognizable landscapes — of North Vancouver quays and piers and harbour fog — are sometimes irrevocably altered by “water-light” into places of the mind alive with “the hundred thousand thoughts everyone collects in a day.” Using language both tender and ironic, Zieroth’s poems range from the cockiness of flight to the inevitability of decline. Still, the poet remains alert to the re-emergence of “his boyhood hope: to be brave, to ship out, to learn to sleep on waves.” David Zieroth’s poetry has appeared in dozens of anthologies and he has written eight books including How I Joined Humanity at Last, winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 1999. He taught at Douglas College in New Westminster, BC, for 25 years before retiring and founding the Alfred Gustav Press. He lives in North Vancouver. 

Harbour
by Miranda Pearson
Publisher: Oolichan Books

Harbour looks at ways humans are driven to construct territory in whatever space is available, however borrowed or makeshift. In the first section, “Asylum,” Miranda Pearson turns to her experience of working in psychiatry. We hear the voices of both caregivers and patients, and flit back and forth between these two roles, contrasting and unraveling their meaning. Moving from hospitals to museums, the poems explore the tensions between antiquity and modernity, and how we collect and display artifacts, preserving life in frozen morgue-like containment. Ideas on hoarding are touched upon, how even assembling a collection of poetry is a type of acquisition — of imagery, words, ideas, and other texts. Harbour — the noun and the verb are interchangeable — illuminates the human drive to nest, gathering together ideas on how we seek refuge, a sanctuary, a keep. Miranda Pearson is the author of two previous books of poetry, Prime and The Aviary. She lives in Vancouver. 

Red Nest
by Gillian Jerome
Publisher: Nightwood Editions

Enter the surreal adventure that is Gillian Jerome’s debut collection of domestic, urban and intergalactic eclogues. Just when you’ve been ambushed by gods and stars, you’re catapulted back into a wild sprawling city filled with cordless phones, coyotes and the hairdos of dandelions. The brave and rambunctious creatures in this book nest in the humour and horror of the 21st-century. The poems explore universal themes such as violence, war, poverty, love and domesticity, neighbourhoods and the importance of community. Gillian Jerome’s first non-fiction book, Hope in Shadows: Stories and Photographs from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, won the 2009 City of Vancouver Book Award and was a finalist title for the 2009 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize. Jerome teaches literature at UBC and her poetry has been anthologized in Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets. She lives in Vancouver. 

Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Priz
Judges: John Lent, Rebecca Wigod, Daniel Wood

Winner! Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names: A Complete Reference to Coastal British Columbia
by Andrew Scott
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Raincoast Place Names describes the original First Nations cultures, the heroics of the 18th-century explorers and fur traders, the grueling survey and settlement efforts of the 19th century, the lives of colonial officials, missionaries, gold seekers and homesteaders and the histories of nearly every important vessel to sail or cruise the coast. Four thousand entries consider, in intriguing detail, the stories behind over five thousand place names: how they were discovered, who named them and why, and what the names reveal. The book also examines the rich heritage of BC place names added in the 20th century. These new entries reflect the world of the steamship era, the ships and skippers of the Union and Princess lines, the heroes of the two World Wars and the sealing fleet, Esquimalt’s naval base and BC’s fishing, canning, mining and logging industries. Andrew Scott is the author of five previous books. He lives in Sechelt. 

All That We Say Is Ours: Guujaaw and the Reawakening of the Haida Nation
by Ian Gill
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

In the 1970s, after decades of rapacious logging, the Haidi joined forces with environmentalists in a high-profile struggle to save the Haidi Gwaii islands, a West Coast archipelago famous for its wild beauty. The battle found powerful expression through Giindajin Haawasti Guujaaw, the visionary artist, drummer and orator who would later become president of the Council of the Haida Nation. Combining first-person accounts with vivid prose, the author captures the excitement of their struggle, from high-octane logging blockades to defiant legal challenges. Guujaaw’s audacity, eloquence, tactical skills and deep knowledge of his homeland put him at the heart of the struggle, and All That We Say Is Ours reveals the extraordinary role he played in this incredible story. Ian Gill, a filmmaker, conservationist and award-winning documentary reporter, has spent fifteen years as head of Ecotrust Canada, one of North America’s leading conservation and community development organizations. He lives in Vancouver.

Jacob’s Prayer
by Lorne Dufour
Publisher: Caitlin Press

In 1974 Lorne Dufour moved to Alkali Lake Reserve, a Shuswap community near Williams Lake, to help reopen the local elementary school. Like many First Nation communities across Canada, Alkali Lake had been ravaged by decades of residential schools, forced religion, abuse and alcoholism. But Chief Andy Chelsea and his wife Phyllis took it upon themselves to lead their community on a long and painful road to sobriety and what ensued was a dramatic transformation of a people enslaved by a seemingly unspable plague. The story centres around one tragic Halloween evening in 1975 when two men lose their lives and another is saved by a friend who chooses not to be destroyed by his own devastating loss. Lorne Dufour has worked as a teacher, a counsellor, a logger, a travelling showman and a poet. He is a handlogger and lives off the grid in McLeese Lake, BC. 

A Thousand Dreams: Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and the Fight for Its Future
by Larry Campbell, Lori Culbert, Neil Boyd
Publisher: Greystone Books

A Thousand Dreams raises provocative questions about the challenges confronting not only Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside but also all of North America’s major cities and offers concrete, urgently needed solutions including continued support for safe injection sites, the decriminalization of prostitution and drugs and affordable social housing. In this mix of history, journalism, political analysis and first-person accounts, former chief coroner and Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell, renowned criminologist Neil Boyd and investigative journalist Lori Culbert, offer a portrait of one of North America’s poorest, most drug-challenged neighbourhoods: Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Neil Boyd is a professor and associate director of the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. Lori Culbert is an award-winning journalist with the Vancouver Sun. Larry Campbell was mayor of Vancouver from 2002 to 2005 and oversaw the establishment of North America’s first legal injection site. His career as chief coroner for B.C. inspired the television series Da Vinci’s Inquest.

Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life
by Brian Brett
Publisher: Greystone Books

Beginning naked in darkness, Brian Brett moves from the tending of livestock, poultry, orchards, gardens, machinery and fields to the social intricacies of rural communities and, finally, to an encounter with a magnificent deer in the silver moonlight of a magical farm field. Brett understands both tall tales and rigorous science as he explores the small mixed farm — meditating on the perfection of the egg and the nature of soil while also offering a scathing critique of agribusiness and the horror of modern slaughterhouses. Whether discussing the misuses of gates or bantering with neighbours, he remains aware of the miracles of life, birth, and death that confront the rural world every day. Brian Brett is the author of Uproar’s Your Only Music and several books of poetry. His journalism has appeared in major Canadian newspapers including the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the Vancouver Sun. He lives on Salt Spring Island. 

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by the BC Library Association
Judges: Lois Brymer, John Burns, Ann Walsh

Winner! The Gryphon Project
by Carrie Mac
Publisher: Penguin Group Canada

Phoenix envies her brother Gryphon. The daredevil and sports hero has all of his recons left: three chances at life. But she is left with only one, and learns that her beloved brother is responsible for one of her deaths. When Gryphon himself has an accident, the governing body Chrysalis refuses to recon him, deeming his death to be a suicide. His friends’ code of silence makes it difficult to find out what happened, but Phoenix is determined to unravel the mystery and save her brother. Carrie Mac is the author of nine novels including Charmed, Crush, the Triskelia series and Pain & Wastings. Her novel The Beckoners won the Arthur Ellis YA Award, is a CLA Honour book, and has been optioned for film. She was raised in small-town British Columbia and now lives in Vancouver. 

Counting on Hope
by Sylvia Olsen
Publisher: Sono Nis Press

Set against the backdrop of the confusing events surrounding the English colonization of British Columbia, and an 1863 naval assault on Kuper Island, Counting on Hope tells the story of two girls whose lives are profoundly changed when their two cultures collide. Alternating between free verse and prose, Sylvia Olsen follows the girl’s individual storylines before, during and after their meeting. She captures the wonder and joy with which Hope and Letia develop their friendship and describes the tragic events, suspicion, fear and confusion that characterize so many early encounters between Europeans and the First Peoples. This sensitively drawn depiction of innocence lost and wisdom hard won follows Hope and Letia out of childhood, off their island paradise and into the complex realities of an adult world. Married into the Tsartlip First Nation at seventeen, Sylvia Olsen is a historian specializing in Native/White relations in Canada, and the author of twelve books. She lives in Victoria. 

Inferno
by Robin Stevenson
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Dante thinks high school is an earthly version of hell. She hates her new home in the suburbs, her best friend has moved away, her homeroom teacher mocks her and her mother is making her attend a social skills group for teenage girls. When a stranger shows up at school and hands Dante a flyer that reads: Woof, woof. You are not a dog. Why are you going to obedience school? , Dante thinks she’s found a soul mate and is ready for a change…but some changes are dangerous than others. Robin Stevenson is the author of several novels for teens, including Dead in the Water, Out of Order and Big Guy. Her previous novel, A Thousand Shades of Blue, was a finalist for the 2009 Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize. A former social worker, counselor and university instructor, Stevenson lives in Victoria. 

Return to Bone Tree Hill
by Kristin Butcher
Publisher: Thistledown Press

Did Jessica murder one of her playmates, a troubled boy named Charlie when she was twelve years old? A recurring dream forces her to ask that question. Disturbed by the vision and needing to clear her conscience, Jessica returns to Victoria, her hometown and the site of the possible crime. There she catches up with her best friend, Jilly, who confirms that Charlie did in fact go missing the week that Jessica’s family relocated to Australia. But a memory-erasing bout of meningitis at the time of the incident means Jessica doesn’t recall the questioning police officers, the extensive ground search, or being the last person to see Charlie alive. Will Jessica be able to acquit herself of murder or will her memory of Charlie’s death remain a fear she must learn to live with? Kristin Butcher is the author of fifteen books including The Gramma War, Chat Room and Zee’s Way. She lives in Campbell River. 

The Ship of Lost Souls
by Rachelle Delaney
Publisher: HarperTrophyCanada

Legend has it there’s a treasure in the Islands. Everyone’s after it, including Jem Fitzgerald and his explorer uncle, Finn, the Islanders, and pirates. Even the infamous crew known as the Lost Souls — rumoured to be ghosts — has set their spyglasses on it. Only Uncle Finn holds the map to the treasure but when he’s kidnapped by the pirates, he quickly hands off the precious map to Jem, who isis rescued by the Lost Souls. It’s the fright of his life until he discovers that the so-called ghosts are actually children, led by the daring young captain Scarlet McCray! But can Scarlet convince Jem to give up the map? Can she quiet the mutinous rumblings of her crew or will the reign of the Lost Souls end with her? Rachelle Delaney has received the Grant MacEwan Young Writers’ Scolarship, the Larry Turner Award and the Bissenden Scholarship for creative writing. She lives in Vancouver. 

Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by Kate Walker and Company
Judges: Rae Maté, Phyllis Simon, Maggie de Vries

Winner! Maggie Can’t Wait
by Frieda Wishinsky
Illustrated by Dean Griffiths
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Maggie can’t wait to show her friends the picture of her soon-to-be adopted sister, but she is mortified by their reaction. Maybe the baby is as ugly as they say. Maybe her parents shouldn’t adopt that baby after all. But could it be that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? A delightful sequel to Give Maggie a Chance, Maggie Can’t Wait again features the little girl with the big imagination as she dreads the arrival of a new adopted sister and learns how easy it is to make up her own mind. Frieda Wishinsky is the author of many children’s books, including Jennifer Jones Won’t Leave Me Alone, The Man Who Made Parks and Nothing Scares Us. In 1999, Frieda was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award for Each One Special. She lives in Toronto. Dean Griffiths is an illustrator and computer graphics animator from Duncan. 

Bubble Homes and Fish Farts
by Fiona Bayrock
Illustrated by Carolyn Conahan
Publisher: Charlesbridge

Bubbles are for popping, fishing, talking-and for sailing, keeping warm, and even shooting hoops! Who knew animals used bubbles in so many ways? Learn how the water spider builds an underwater bubble home, how snapping shrimp pop bubbles to scare other animals, and how dolphins play with bubbles as if it’s a game. Whether they are riding, breathing, or making bubbles, one thing is for sure-animals use bubbles in amazing ways. Real-world science meets tongue-in-cheek humor to describe how animals use bubbles. Lighthearted conversational text is accompanied by delightful full-bleed watercolour illustrations. Fiona Bayrock has written fifteen books and numerous articles and stories for children. She lives in Chilliwack. Carolyn Conahan is the staff illustrator for Cricket magazine and lives in Portland, Oregon. 

Ella’s Umbrellas
by Jennifer Lloyd
Illustrated by Ashley Spires
Publisher: Simply Read Books

Ella has every umbrella under the rainbow from aquamarine to jellybean green. Her umbrellas fill up the entire house. Aunt Stella from Katmandu is coming to visit and Ella’s mom demands that Ella get rid of her umbrellas. But Ella wants to keep her precious possessions. Brought to life through rhythmic text and watercolor illustrations, this is the perfect book to cheer anyone up on a drizzly day. Jennifer Lloyd is a kindergarten teacher in Blainville, Quebec, and is the author of One Winter Night and Looking for Loons. Ashley Spires is the illustrator of A Bloom of Friendship: The Story of the Canadian Tulip Festival, which was nominated for the Silver Birch Award, the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award and the 2007 Red Cedar Award. 

On My Walk
by Kari-Lynn Winters
Illustrated by Christina Leist
Publisher: Tradewind Books

Mothers and toddlers end up being caught in a summer rainstorm on their walk through Vancouver streets. The simple text, combined with onomaoeic words and beautiful illustrations, is great for reading aloud. Beautifully illustrated by Christina Leist, this simple story will be a fun bedtime read for everyone. This is Kari-Lynn’s fourth book for young children. Her books have been nominated for the BC Book Prize, the Chocolate Lily Award and Ontario’s Blue Spruce Award. Born and raised in Germany, Christina Leist now lives in Vancouver. Before becoming a full-time illustrator, she worked in advertising as an art director and graphic designer. She is the illustrator of Baad Animals, The Graveyard Hounds and Jack the Bear

Vanishing Habitats
by Robert Bateman with Nancy Kovacs
Illustrated by Robert Bateman
Publisher: Scholastic Canada / Madison Press

In Vanishing Habitats, artist and naturalist Robert Bateman shares his love and knowledge of the world’s habitats. Through his paintings and stories, he describes the threats facing all kinds of animals, ranging from Snow Monkeys, Jaguars, and Bison to exotic birds such as Roseate Spoonbills and Burrowing Owls. He explains why these animals and their homes are in danger and describes what steps can be taken to save them. Good science and fine art in the form of Bateman’s iconic paintings of wildlife combine to offer a visually stunning assessment of the fate of deserts, grasslands, boreal, tropical and old-growth forests and the denizens of each. Robert Bateman’s dedication as a naturalist and artist has allowed him to transfer his abilities to children’s books. Vanishing Habitats, Polar Worlds, Birds of Prey and the bestselling Backyard Birds showcase his artistic talent and commitment to nature’s preservation. He lives on Salt Spring Island.  Nancy Kovacs has worked as co-author or editor on all four of Robert Bateman’s children’s books. She lives in Georgetown, Ontario.

Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award

Supported by the Duthie family and independent BC bookstores.
Judged by members of the BC Booksellers’ Association

Winner! Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life
by Brian Brett
Publisher: Greystone Books

Beginning naked in darkness, Brian Brett moves from the tending of livestock, poultry, orchards, gardens, machinery and fields to the social intricacies of rural communities and, finally, to an encounter with a magnificent deer in the silver moonlight of a magical farm field. Brett understands both tall tales and rigorous science as he explores the small mixed farm — meditating on the perfection of the egg and the nature of soil while also offering a scathing critique of agribusiness and the horror of modern slaughterhouses. Whether discussing the misuses of gates or bantering with neighbours, he remains aware of the miracles of life, birth, and death that confront the rural world every day. Brian Brett is the author of Uproar’s Your Only Music and several books of poetry. His journalism has appeared in major Canadian newspapers including the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the Vancouver Sun. He lives on Salt Spring Island. 

Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names: A Complete Reference to Coastal British Columbia
by Andrew Scott
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Raincoast Place Names describes the original First Nations cultures, the heroics of the 18th-century explorers and fur traders, the grueling survey and settlement efforts of the 19th century, the lives of colonial officials, missionaries, gold seekers and homesteaders and the histories of nearly every important vessel to sail or cruise the coast. Four thousand entries consider, in intriguing detail, the stories behind over five thousand place names: how they were discovered, who named them and why, and what the names reveal. The book also examines the rich heritage of BC place names added in the 20th century. These new entries reflect the world of the steamship era, the ships and skippers of the Union and Princess lines, the heroes of the two World Wars and the sealing fleet, Esquimalt’s naval base and BC’s fishing, canning, mining and logging industries. Andrew Scott is the author of five previous books. He lives in Sechelt. 

One Time: The Dal Richards Story
by Dal Richards with Jim Taylor
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Here are legendary bandleader Dal Richards’ memories of the stars and the wannabes, the hustlers and bootleggers and hat-check chicks, all of whom paraded through his life in the days when Vancouver’s nightclub scene rivaled San Francisco’s and Hollywood’s big-name performers made it a regular tour s. It was a time when the music business was rich with characters like Two-for, who ran the spotlight at the Cave and frequently took it off the performer to turn it on his girlfriend lest she was cavorting with a new beau, and the one-hit wonder singer and piano player who had to hide between performances because a Mafia hit man was looking to turn out his lights. Dal Richards is a musician, bandleader and radio show host. He lives in Vancouver. Jim Taylor is the author of thirteen books and his sports writing has earned him a lifetime achievement award from Sports Media Canada. He lives in West Vancouver. 

Red: A Haida Manga
by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Red is the epic tale of a Haida hero, his rage and his quest for retribution. Referencing a classic Haida oral narrative, this full-colour graphic novel documents the story of a leader so blinded by revenge that he leads his community to the brink of war and destruction. Set in the islands off the northwest coast of B.C., it tells the tale of orphan Red and his sister, Jaada. When raiders attack their village, Red, still a boy, escapes dramatically. But Jaada is whisked away. The loss of Jaada breeds a seething anger, and Red sets out to find his sister and exact revenge on her captors. Red blends traditional Haida imagery into a Japanese manga–styled story. Michael Yahgulanaas has exhibited his art throughout Canada. His books include Flight of the Hummingbird, A Tale of Two Shamans, The Last Voyage of the Black Ship and Hachidori, a bestseller in Japan. 

Spirit of the Nikkei Fleet: BC’s Japanese Canadian Fishermen
by Masako Fukawa, Stanley Fukawa
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Spirit of the Nikkei Fleet is an intimate collection of stories of Japanese Canadians on the water, from the first Japanese immigrant’s arrival in 1877 to the present day. The 130-year history of the Nikkei is full of drama, violence, epic struggles against injustice, failures and triumphs. Opposition from other fishermen and government, and racist policies sought to exclude them from the fishery entirely. Here are the real lives of Nikkei fishermen and their families told in their words. Even in the face of inequity, prejudice and inhumanity, the spirit of the Nikkei fishermen has left a legacy. Masako Fukawa has been the principal writer and managing editor of the Nikkei Fisherman titles since the formation of the Nikkei Fishermen Book Committee in 2003. She is a former school administrator and teacher specializing in the story of Japanese Canadians. Stanley Fukawa is the translator, interpreter and contributing writer for Spirit of the Nikkei Fleet. He is on the editorial committee of Nikkei Images, a journal of the Japanese Canadian National Museum. Masako and Stanley live in Burnaby. 

Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence

Winner! Stan Persky

Originally from Chicago, IL, Persky emigrated to Canada in 1966. He was instrumental in the evolution of the Georgia Straight Writing Supplement that eventually became New Star Books in the 1970s. Persky has been a columnist for the Vancouver Sun and the Globe and Mail and continues to write for the website Dooneyscafe.com.

He is the author of twenty books, sixteen of which he has published with New Star Books. In 2006, The Short Version was the winner of the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize. On Kiddie Porn, co-written with John Dixon, was 2002 runner-up for the Donner Prize.

“We have chosen Stan Persky as the recipient of the 2010 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence because of the intellectual and moral integrity he brings to his work as a writer who engages with some of the most difficult questions facing society, and because of the great contributions he has made to the literary canon of Canada and British Columbia. 

His numerous books and his trail-blazing efforts in creating literary journals and a forum for public engagement – not least New Star Books and the Georgia Straight – have helped develop British Columbia’s literary community into what it is today.
From his earliest days in the “New American Poetry” community of San Francisco to his sojourn teaching philosophy at Capilano University in North Vancouver, Stan has cheerfully persisted in his role as literary colleague, mentor, guide, teacher and collaborator. From the real-world and digital versions of Toronto’s Dooney’s Cafe, and even from his part-time residence in Berlin, Stan has always taken British Columbia seriously. He has subjected British Columbia to thoughtful inquiry, and has held British Columbian literature to the highest standards.

Stan’s bravery as a philosopher, a polemicist and a story teller leap from the pages of his twenty books, from Lives of the French Symbolist Poets and ic Sentence: A Writer‘s Education, and from At The Lenin Shipyard: Poland and the Rise of the Solidarity Trade Union to Fantasy Government: Bill Vander Zalm and the Future of Social Credit and Buddy’s: Meditations on Desire. His grace as an essayist, his curiosity and independence of thought as a critic and newspaper columnist, and his exuberance as a civil rights activist and a leading voice of the gay community, have enriched us all.

Stan Persky is our Socrates. British Columbians can rightly boast that he is truly one of ours.  We are enormously proud to offer him the recognition of the 2010 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.”

2010 Jury: Terry Glavin, 2009 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Literary Award for Excellence; Lynne van Luven, Associate Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria; Robert Wiersema, author and bookseller.

 

2009 BC Book Prizes Short Lists & Winners

Fiction | Non-Fiction | Poetry | Regional | Children's Literature | Illustrated Children's Literature | Booksellers Choice | Lieutenant Governor

 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize
Supported by Friesens and Webcom
Judges: Caroline Adderson, Richard Hopkins, and James Irvine

Winner: The Man GameMan Game
by Lee Henderson
Publisher: Penguin Group (Canada)

On a recent Vancouver Sunday afternoon, a young man stumbles upon a secret sport invented than a century before, at the birth of his city. In 1886, out of the smouldering ashes of the great fire that destroyed much of the city, a former vaudeville performer and two lumberjacks invent a new sport that will change the course of the fledgling city’s history. Thus begins The Man Game, Lee Henderson’s epic tale of loved requited and not, that crosses the contemporary and historical in an extravagant, anarchistic retelling of the early days of a pioneer town on the edge of the known world. Lee Henderson is the author of the award-winning short story collection The Broken Record Technique and is a contributing editor to the arts magazines Border Crossings and Contemporary. He lives in Vancouver.

Other Finalists

The Cellist of Sarajevo
by Steven Galloway
Publisher: Knopf Canada

Set during the siege of Sarajevo, the Cellist of Sarajevo tells the story of three of the city’s inhabitants: a female sniper who calls herself Arrow; Kenan, a dutiful father; and Dragan, a baker on his way to work. Connecting them is the cellist, who plays each afternoon in a crater left by a mortar shell in front of his building where twenty-two people were killed while waiting to buy bread. The cellist vows to sit in the hollow where the mortar fell and play Albinoni’s Adagio once a day for each of the twenty-two victims. The Adagio had been re-created from a fragment after the only extant score was firebombed in the Dresden Music Library, but the fact that it had been rebuilt by a different composer into something new and worthwhile gives the cellist hope. Steven Galloway is the author of Finnie Walsh and Ascension. He teaches creative writing at UBC and SFU, and lives with his family in New Westminster, BC.

Red Dog, Red Dog
by Patrick Lane
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

An epic novel of unrequited dreams and forestalled lives, Red Dog, Red Dog is set in the mid-1950s, in a small town in the interior of B.C. in the unnamed Okanagan Valley. The novel focuses on the Stark family, centering on brothers Eddy and Tom, who are bound together by family loyalty and inarticulate love. Filled with moments of harrowing violence and breathtaking description, of shattering truths and deep humanity, Red Dog, Red Dog is about the legacies of the past and the possibilities of forgiveness and redemption. Patrick Lane is the author of 21 books of poetry, and has received many awards for his writing, including the Governor General’s Award for Poetry (1979), the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry (1988), and two National Magazine Awards. Lane lives near Victoria with poet Lorna Crozier.

Renovating Heaven
by Andreas Schroeder
Publisher: Oolichan Books

Hilarious, bizarre and heart-breaking by turns, these three novellas of Mennonite life in Canada from the 1950s to the 1970s fill in the gap between Rudy Wiebe’s Of This Earth (a generation older) and Miriam Toews’ A Complicted Kindness (a generation younger). Leaving Germany with little than their 16th century Anabaptist faith and lifestyle to guide them, Andreas Schroeder’s family settles on a small Fraser Valley farm in British Columbia and proceeds to try making sense of the perplexings and values of “The English” who surround them. Andreas Schroeder is the author of twenty books of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, translations, journalism and literary criticism. His books have won or been shortlisted for many awards including the Governor General’s Award, the Stephen Leacock Award, the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-Fiction and the Red Maple Award. He lives in Roberts Creek on BC’s Sunshine Coast with his wife, Sharon Oddie Brown.

That Tune Clutches My Heart
by Paul Headrick
Publisher: Gaspereau Press

On the eve of her first day of senior high, May Sutherland’s mother gives her a diary in which to record her experiences. It’s 1948 and the entire student body at Magee High in Vancouver is divided according to their preference for Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra. After losing her two best friends overnight, May struggles between her disdain for the debate and her loneliness as one of only a handful of neutrals. In the often hilariously rigid turns of phrase with which May records her misunderstandings and attempts at maturity, Headrick captures the inner life of a good girl coming of age. Paul Headrick lives in Vancouver with his partner, novelist Heather Burt. He teaches literature and creative writing at Langara College and his work has been published in numerous journals, including The Malahat Review and The Antigonish Review.

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 Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize


Supported by Abebooks
Judges: Robert Brighurst, Barbara Jo May, and Jan Whitford

Winner: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addictionrealm
by Gabor Mate, MD
Publisher: Knopf Canada

In this timely and profoundly original new book, bestselling writer and physician Gabor Maté looks at the epidemic of addictions in our society, tells us why we are so prone to them and what is needed to liberate ourselves from their hold on our emotions and behaviours. He proposes a compassionate approach to helping drug addicts and, for the many behaviour addicts among us, to addressing the void addiction is meant to fill. For over seven years Gabor Maté has been the staff physician at the Portland Hotel, a residence and harm reduction facility in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Other Finalists

Dry Spring: The Coming Water Crisis of North America
by Chris Wood
Publisher: Raincoast Books

The globe is running out of water. Lakes, aquifers and rivers disappear, but we consume than ever. Many fast-growing places—the U.S. Southwest, B.C.’s Okanagan, the Great Lakes area—face deadly scarcity. Yet even as the world dries, some parts are getting violently stormy. Dry Spring tells dramatic stories of floods and droughts that will worsen over the next 25 years. Chris Wood shows that Canada overall will get water—and America less. He calls provocatively upon Canada to find solutions and opportunities jointly with the U.S. And he describes inspiring choices by which we can save this precious resource for our future. Journalist and former Maclean’s editor Chris Wood has written in the Globe and Mail, the Financial Post, the Walrus, the Tyee and has won two Gold National Magazine Awards for his work. He is the co-author of Blockbusters and Trade Wars, shortlisted for the Donner Prize.

Going Home
by Tim Lilburn
Publisher: House of Anansi Press

Tim Lilburn has long been a deep thinker on issues of ecology and writing, and on how the two fit together philosophically, morally, and ethically. In Going Home, Lilburn addresses how we relate (often uneasily) to our physical landscape in Canada and the United States. Surprising and enlightening, the collection finishes with two unforgettable personal essays, where Lilburn writes about his effort to enact desire in the place where his ancestors are buried, the flatlands and coulees of southern Saskatchewan. Masterful and timely, Going Home is a wake-up call for the whole of North America to the fact that our “home” is endangered because of the way we live in it. Tim Lilburn is a poet and essayist, and the author of six books of poems, including Kill-site, To the River, Moosewood Sandhills, and most recently, Orphic Politics. He has been nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award twice. Lilburn lives in Victoria, BC, where he teaches at the University of Victoria.

The Jesus Sayings: The Quest for His Authentic Message
by Rex Weyler
Publisher: House of Anansi Press

Jesus never said he was the son of God, he made no mention of the devil, and he didn’t instruct his followers to wait for their reward in the eternal afterlife. Today, many people are shocked by these sober conclusions of modern biblical scholarship. So what did Jesus teach? In The Jesus Sayings, writer and religion commentator Rex Weyler provides a fresh and provocative view of Jesus’ message and his mission. Weyler uses the latest scholarship applied to the complete range of sources to bring this astounding and important message to the general reader in a way that is entertaining, inspiring, and enlightening. Rex Weyler is the critically acclaimed author of Blood of the Land, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and Greenpeace: The Inside Story, which was a finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Non-fiction and the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize. He lives in Vancouver.

What Is America?: A Short History of the New World Order
by Ronald Wright
Publisher: Knopf Canada

Brimming with insight into history and human behaviour, and written in Ronald Wright’s captivating style, What Is America? shows how this came to pass; how the United States, which regards itself as the most modern country on earth, is also deeply archaic, a stronghold not only of religious fundamentalism but of “modern” beliefs in limitless progress and a universal mission that have fallen under suspicion elsewhere in the west, a rethinking driven by two World Wars and the reckless looting of our planet. Ronald Wright is the internationally acclaimed author of A Scientific Romance, winner of Britain’s David Higham Prize for Fiction. His other major bestsellers include Time Among the Maya and Stolen Continents, and an acclaimed collection of travel pieces, Home and Away. He lives on Salt Spring Island, BC.

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize


Supported by the BC Teachers’ Federation
Judges: Margaret Gunning, Evelyn Lau, and Billeh Nickerson

Winner: The Giventhe given co
by Daphne Marlatt
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

Daphne Marlatt’s haunting and multi-layered long poem reads with all the urgency and depth of a novel. Set in present-day and 1950s Vancouver, The Given begins with the news of a mother’s death, then opens up to become an intricate tapestry of lives, as Marlatt deftly interweaves the past with the present, replicating the arc of memory itself, while questing for — and questioning — the meaning of home and identity. In luminous, deeply resonant fragments, Marlatt resoundingly answers the drive to live with deep attention in a now that is, for all of us, “tangled in the past.” Daphne Marlatt is known for her formally innovative books of poetry, including Steveston, Touch to My Tongue, Salvage, and This Tremor Love Is. She is also the author of two acclaimed novels, Ana Historic and Taken. She lives in Vancouver.

Chameleon Hours
by Elise Partridge
Publisher: House of Anansi Press

Chameleon Hours, Elise Partridge’s follow-up to her much-admired Fielder’s Choice, is evidence that lyric poetry— clean, bracing, unadorned— truly can be equal to challenging subject matter. In these poems, love for friends, family, and partners, and most impressively, the urge to love strangers in need, kindles the fire of the voice. Partridge’s poems see the world in its particulars, and offer a kind of fidelity to small and contingent details. Even in the gathering of responses to the poet’s own struggle with cancer, the poems cling to this world through a tenacious intermingling of image and cri de coeur. In doing so, they give us a steadiness of vision, an uncluttered song that reminds us we live among treasures. Elise Partridge’s 2002 debut poetry collection, Fielder’s Choice, was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for best first book of poems in Canada. She is an editor and teacher in Vancouver.

Shirin and Salt Man
by Nilofar Shidmehr
Publisher: Oolichan Books

Shirin and Salt Man is a novella in verse, which tells the story of a young modern day Iranian woman, Shirin. She is an ordinary girl from Kermanshah born before the Islamic Revolution, who imagines herself to be an incarnation of princess Shirin, depicted in the ancient Persian classic Shirin and Khosro. At first she tries to shape her life to that of the myth, but later decides to change her destiny and become the author of her own story. The poems form a compelling narrative of the life of a contemporary Iranian woman who reclaims a place for herself as a lover and teller of stories in an environment where only men have the authority for fashioning and telling stories. Nilofar Shidmehr was born and raised in Iran, and has lived in Canada since 1997. She holds an MFA degree in creative writing from the University of British Columbia.

Vancouver: A Poem
by George Stanley
Publisher: New Star Books

Vancouver: A Poem is George Stanley’s vision of the city where he lives, though he does not call it his own. Vancouver, the city, becomes Stanley’s palimpsest: an overwritten manuscript on which the words of others are still faintly visible. Here the Food Floor’s canned exotica, here the stores of Chinatown, here the Cobalt Hotel brimful of cheap beer and indifferent women. The poet travels through the urban landscape on foot and by public transit, observing the multifarious life around him, noting the at times abrupt changes in the built environment, and vestiges of its brief history. Stanley, the author of five books of poetry including A Tall, Serious Girl, At Andy’s and Gentle Northern Summer, was the 2006 recipient of the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. He lives in Vancouver.

Water Strider
by Karen Hofmann
Publisher: Frontenac House Ltd.

Water Strider speaks of tensions, surfaces and dualities. It is about our jerky imperfect pairings: with our parents, siblings, lovers; with our pasts and our landscapes; with language, memory, and longing; and with our elusive and illusory selves. It explores the fragility of narrative and perception, the dicey boundaries that are part of love and identity, and the thin membrane between anguish and humour. Karen Hofmann grew up in the Okanagan Valley, completed a BA and MA at the University of Victoria, and now teaches English and creative writing at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. She lives at the edge of a former pine forest with her husband, many children and small animals, and the constant fear that she has forgotten to do something important.

Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Judges: Janis McKenzie, Joseph Stewart, and Eric Swanick

Winner : Simon Fraser: In Search of Modern British Columbiain searh of bc
by Stephen Hume
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Journalist and poet Stephen Hume followed in Fraser’s footsteps and canoe wake for four years. He studied fading maps and diaries in archives across North America, interviewed the descendants of people who aided Fraser and retraced Fraser’s route across British Columbia’s vast and varied landscape. This is the story of diligent research and reconstruction of his route, the rigours of early nineteenth-century travel and the peoples and places he saw and recorded.

Hope in Shadows: Stories and Photographs of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside
by Brad Cran, Gillian Jerome
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

For each of the past five years, Pivot Legal Society’s annual Hope in Shadows photography contest has empowered residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside by providing them with 200 disposable cameras to document their lives―thus giving them an artistic means to enter the ongoing and often stormy dialogue over the place they call home. Hope in Shadows offers readers an intimate and honest look at what it really means to live in Canada’s poorest neighbourhood. The result is not at all bleak, but rather is full of grace, dignity, and plain simple truths that put a human face on the single most misunderstood community in Canada.

The Peace: A History in Photographs
by Donald A. Pettit
Illustrated by Barbara Swail
Publisher: Peace photoGraphics Inc.

The Peace features three hundred historic photographs, with maps and illustrations brought to the printed page for the first time. Discover the exciting history of this unique northern region: explorers and First Nations, homesteaders and paddle wheelers. From horse to automobile and from lamp to electric light, this collectors’ edition book tells the amazing story of the last area in North America to be homesteaded: the beautiful Peace River Country.

The Secret Lives of Saints: Child Brides and Lost Boys in Canada's Polygamous Mormon Sect
by Daphne Bramham
Publisher: Random House Canada

The Secret Lives of Saints paints a troubling portrait of an extreme religious sect. These zealous believers impose severe and often violent restrictions on women, deprive children of education and opt instead to school them in the tenets of their faith, defy the law and move freely and secretly over international borders. They punish dissent with violence and even death. No, this sect is not the Taliban, but North America’s fundamentalist Mormons. In addition to their unorthodox interpretation of the mainstream Christian denominations, the Mormons embraced one tenet in particular that others found hard to accept: the idea that only by engaging in polygamous marriage could a man enter the highest realms of the kingdom of heaven.

Voices from the Sound: Chronicles of Clayoquot Sound and Tofino 1899–1929
by Margaret Horsfield
Publisher: Salal Books

Set against a background of rapid social and economic change, Voices from the Sound examines the years 1899 to 1929 on the west coast. Discovered in long-forgotten letters, diaries and scraps of memoir, these “voices” tell their own stories in their own words, revealing in vivid detail what it was like to live on the west coast in the early 1900s. Voices from the Sound is based on thousands of first-hand documents, written by people in the area.

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Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by the BC Library Association
Judges: Janice Douglas, James Heneghan, and Tonya Martin

Winner: My One Hundred Adventures
by Polly Horvath
Publisher: Groundwood Books

My One Hundred Adventures tells us how Jane, happy though she is, suddenly feels a kind of itchy restlessness and sets out deliberately to make her life exciting by having one hundred adventures. She compels her best friend, Ginny, to join her. Some of the adventures are spectacular, others are gentler; and slowly over the summer, Jane begins to figure out about her family, friends, and life in general.

Other Finalists

Bonechiller
by Graham McNamee
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books, distributed by Random House of Canada

Danny’s dad takes a job as caretaker at a marina on the shore of a vast, frozen lake in Harvest Cove, a tiny town tucked away in Canada’s Big Empty. If you’re looking for somewhere to hide, this is it. It’s the worst winter in years. One night, running in the dark, Danny is attacked by a creature so strange and terrifying he tries to convince himself he was hallucinating. Then he learns about Native American legends of a monster that’s haunted the lake for a thousand years. And that every generation, in the coldest winters, kids have disappeared into the night. People think they ran away.
Danny knows better. Because now the beast is after him.

The Lit Report
by Sarah N. Harvey
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Julia and Ruth have been unlikely best friends since they first met in Sunday school—Ruth was standing on the Bible-crafts table belting out “Jesus Loves Me.“ Now that they’re a year away from graduation, they’re putting the finishing touches on their getaway plans. But their dream of a funky big-city loft and rich, interesting older men is threatened when preacher’s daughter Ruth goes to a wild party without studious Julia, and all hell breaks loose.

The Seance
by Iain Lawrence
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, distributed by Random House of Canada

Scooter King understands illusions. In the midst of the Roaring Twenties, he performs them behind the scenes at his mother’s séances, giving the impression that Madam King communicates with the dead. Scooter also admires Harry Houdini and can hardly wait to see the famed magician escape from his razzle-dazzle Burmese Torture Tank. But when Scooter stumbles upon a dead body in the visiting Houdini’s tank, it’s no illusion.

A Thousand Shades of Blue
by Robin Stevenson
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

A sailing trip to the Caribbean might sound great, but sixteen-year-old Rachel can’t stand being trapped on a small boat with her family. She misses her best friend and feels guilty about leaving her older sister Emma, who lives in a group home. Her father is driving her crazy with his schedules and rules, her brother is miserable, and there is never anyone her own age around. Worst of all, there is nowhere to go when her parents fight. While their boat is being repaired, the family spends a few weeks in a small Bahamian community, where Rachel and Tim discover a secret which turns their world upside down and threatens to destroy the fragile ties that hold their family together.

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Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by Kate Walker and Company
Judges: Ron Jobe, Kari-Lynn Winters, and Bonne Zabolotney

Winner: The King Has Goat Earsgoat ears
by Katarina Jovanovic
Illustrated by Philippe Beha
Publisher: Tradewind Books

Have you ever had a secret that you knew you shouldn’t share, but the burden of keeping silent was so great you just had to let it out? This is the struggle that Igor, the young apprentice of Miro (the only barber left in the kingdom), experiences after he cuts King Boyan’s hair, and astutely responds to the king that his prominent, goat ears “look just fine.“ Released back to his village, it is not Igor’s intention to betray the king’s secret to his subjects. And so, in a creative turn that draws upon an ancient Serbian folktale, author Katarina Jovanovic (who now resides in Vancouver but who worked for many years in children’s programming for Serbian radio) relieves Igor of the burden of his secret by having him dig a hole in a meadow, shout his secret into it, and cover up the hole again. Surely this can’t be good for Igor.

Other finalists

Good-bye Marianne: A Story of Growing Up in Nazi Germany
by Irene N. Watts
Illustrated by Kathryn E. Shoemaker
Publisher: Tundra Books

In Good-bye Marianne, life for eleven-year-old Marianne Kohn, a young Jewish girl, begins to crumble. First there was the burning of the neighbourhood shops. Then her father, a mild-mannered bookseller, must leave the family and go into hiding. No longer allowed to go to school or even sit in a café, Marianne’s only comfort is her beloved mother. This fictional account of hatred and racism speaks volumes about both history and human nature. Irene Watts was one of the 10,000 Jewish children who were sent from Nazi Europe to Britain in the Kindertransport rescue operation in 1938; her moving autobiographical novel personalizes what it was like to be a Jewish child in Berlin at the time.

Polar Worlds: Life at the ends of the earth
by Robert Bateman
Publisher: Scholastic Canada Ltd.

Through fascinating images and illustrations, Robert Bateman provides us with a window to the animals of our poles. Discover arctic wolves, polar bears, penguins, whales, seals and. You will be fascinated by the great facts and Robert Bateman’s rich paintings and sketches.

Rosie and Buttercup
by Chieri Uegaki
Publisher: Kids Can Press

From the perfectly paired creative team who brought you the bestselling Suki’s Kimono comes a charming picture book about two sisters. Before Buttercup came along, Rosie’s life was blessed. Her schedule was filled with dance and voice lessons. Best of all, she didn’t have to share her pet crickets, Eenie and Meenie, with anybody. Things get so bad that Rosie decides to give her little sister away — to a good home, of course. But as she says good-bye to Buttercup forever, Rosie can’t ignore a squeezy feeling in her chest. Rosie and Buttercup addresses sibling problems and brings to light that, while a younger sister can sometimes be a pain, having a little sister around can be loads of fun.

Stanley At Sea
by Linda Bailey
Publisher: Kids Can Press

It’s picnic time in the park — but not for Stanley. He knows he’s not supposed to beg, but his people are always eating. And Stanley is always hungry! After he’s told to “get,” Stanley wanders down by the river where he runs into Alice, Nutsy and Gassy Jack. Soon their keen noses lead them to a delicious treat on a small boat with no people in sight. When the boat’s mooring comes loose, they float away with the current down the river, under a bridge and then out to sea!

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BC Booksellers’ Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie

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

Winner: Madness, Betrayal and the Lash: The Epic Voyage of Captain George Vancouvermadness
by Stephen Bown
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

From 1792 to 1795, George Vancouver sailed the Pacific waters as captain of a major expedition of discovery and imperial ambition and valiantly charted four thousand miles of coastline from California to Alaska. His voyage was one of history’s greatest feats of maritime daring, scientific discovery, marine cartography and international diplomacy. Vancouver’s triumph, however, was overshadowed by bitter smear campaigns initiated by enemies which destroyed his reputation. In this gripping tale of maritime daring and betrayal, Stephen Bown offers a long-overdue re-evaluation of one of the greatest explorers of the Age of Discovery. Bown, a resident of Canmore, Alberta, is the author of the internationally acclaimed Scurvy: How a Surgeon, a Mariner and a Gentleman Solved the Greatest Medical Mystery of the Age of Sail and A Most Damnable Invention: Dynamite, Nitrates and the Making of the Modern World.

Other Finalists

British Columbia: Spirit of the People
by Jean Barman
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

British Columbia: Spirit of the People is ambitious in scope. Noted historian Jean Barman delves into the region’s history, from the first humans to arrive in British Columbia twenty thousand years ago to the promises and hopes of the twenty-first century, including the first contact between Indigenous peoples and newcomers; the legacy of the fur trade and gold rush; the contributions of immigrant cultures; the development of communities and urban centres and the flourishing of the arts. A rich selection of archival images depicting the province’s past are paired with iconic and stunning colour photographs capturing the diversity of the modern landscape. Jean Barman lives in Vancouver and is the author of ten previous books, including the bestseller The Remarkable Adventures of Portuguese Joe Silvey and winner of the 2006 City of Vancouver Book Prize, Stanley Park’s Secret.

Flight of the Hummingbird: A Parable for the Environment
by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Publisher: Greystone Books

The hummingbird parable, with origins in the Quechuan people of South America, has become a talisman for environmentalists and activists who are committed to making meaningful change in the world. In this inspiring story, the determined hummingbird, the symbol of wisdom and courage, demonstrates that doing something is better than doing nothing at all. Feature essays by two of the world’s most influential leaders, Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize winner from Kenya who launched the Green Belt Movement, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, are teamed with artwork by internationally renowned artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. His distinct and lively Haida Manga style engages perfectly with this inspirational story that encourages every individual to act on behalf of the world’s limited and precious resources. Yahgulanaas lives on Bowen Island.

Following the Curve of Time: The Legendary M. Wylie Blanchet
by Cathy Converse
Publisher: TouchWood Editions

M. Wylie “Capi” Blanchet was a woman ahead of her time. Widowed and the mother of five children, Capi and her family cruised the beautiful islands and channels of Desolation Sound, the Broughton Archipelago and areas further north along the West Coast in a small boat during the 1920s-30s. The Curve of Time, Blanchet’s resulting book, remains a bestseller and a classic in the annals of nautical literature, but little is known about the rest of Blanchet’s life. In Following the Curve of Time, Cathy Converse retraces Capi’s travels to remote anchorages, First Nations villages and scenic locations along the rugged BC coastline to learn about the life of this enigmatic woman who has kept readers and boaters captivated for decades. Cathy Converse is the author of Mainstays: Women Who Shaped BC and co-author of The Remarkable World of Frances Barkley 1769-1845.

Tar Sands
by Andrew Nikiforuk
Publisher: Greystone Books

In Tar Sands, journalist Andrew Nikiforuk exposes the disastrous environmental, social, and political costs of the tar sands and argues forcefully for change. Combining extensive scientific research and compelling writing, Nikiforuk takes the reader to Fort McMurray, home to some of the world’s largest open-pit mines, and explores this twenty-first-century pioneer town from the exorbitant cost of housing to its serious social ills. He uncovers a global Deadwood, complete with rapturous engineers, cut-throat cocaine dealers, aimless bush workers, American evangelicals, and the largest population of homeless people in northern Canada. Nikiforuk’s journalism has won seven National Magazine Awards since 1989 and honors for investigative writing from the Association of Canadian Journalists. His first book, Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig’s War Against Big Oil, won the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction in 2002. He lives in Calgary, Alberta.

2008 Winners

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize Winner

previous fiction winners 1985- 2007

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

novik_maryConceit
by Mary Novik -
Publisher: Doubleday Canada

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

Other Fiction Shortlisted

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

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

Radiance
by Shaena Lambert
Publisher: Random House Canada

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

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

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

Soucouyant
by David Chariandy
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

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

Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize Winner

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

Everywhere Being is Dancing
by Robert Bringhurst
Publisher: Gaspereau Press

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

Other Shortlisted

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

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

Phantom Limb
by Theresa Kishkan
Publisher: Thistledown Press

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

Advancement of Science Award for magazine journalism for 2001. She lives in Vancouver

2008 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize Winner

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

Forage
by Rita Wong
Publisher: Nightwood Editions

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

Other shortlisted

The Incorrection
by George McWhirter
Publisher: Oolichan Books

Ox
by Chrisher Patton
Publisher: Véhicule Press


Soft Geography

by Gillian Wigmore
Publisher: Caitlin Press

2008 Winner Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

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

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

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

Other Shortlisted

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

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

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

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

2008 Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize Winner

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

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

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

Other Shortlisted

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

Baboon: A Novel
by David Jones
Publisher: Annick Press

For Now
by Gayle Friesen
Publisher: Kids Can Press

Porcupine
by Meg Tilly
Publisher: Tundra Books

2008 Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize Winner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008 Winner BC Booksellers’ Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie

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

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

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

Other Shortlisted:

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

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

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

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

2008 Winner Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence

Gary Geddes

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

2007 Ethel Wilson Prize for Fiction Winner

Home Schooling
by Carol Windley
Publisher: Cormorant Books

Shortlisted for the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Home Schooling is a collection of seven outstanding stories, each set against the rural landscape of Vancouver Island and the cities of the Pacific Northwest. In these stories the memories and dreams of characters are examined, revealing them to be both cages and keys to the cages. Carol Windley creates a sense of place and of people that breathe the cool wet air of a spring morning on Gabriola Island. Her debut collection of stories, Visible Light, won the 1993 Bumbershoot Award (Weyerhauser’s fiction prize), and was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Carol lives in Nanaimo.


2007 Winner Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

The Master Plan: Himmler’s Scholars and the Holocaust
by Heather Pringle
Publisher: Viking Canada
The Master Plan: Himmler’s Scholars and the Holocaust

Prehistory, according to Heinrich Himmler, had to be rewritten. The chief of the Schutzstaffel (SS) and architect of the Nazi death camps believed that Germany’s ancestors had evolved in the icy barrens of the Arctic, where they ruled as an invincible master race. Now, he theorized, only in select parts of the world did some true Aryan blood remain. In 1935 he founded the Ahnenerbe—a research institute to manufacture archaeological evidence for political purposes. Heather Pringle paints a compelling and sinister portrait of the Ahnenerbe and its role in the Holocaust. Heather Pringle is the author of three books and won the American Association for the 2007 Winner Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize
Strike/Slip
by Don McKay
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

In this extraordinary collection from one of our most celebrated poets, Don McKay walks the fault line between poetry and landscape; nuzzles the cold silence of geologic time; meditates on marble, quartz and gneiss; and attends to the songs of ravens and thrushes, and to the clamour of the industrialized bush. Don McKay has previously published ten books of poetry. His work has received national acclaim and honours such as two Governor General’s Literary Awards for Poetry, for Night Field (1991) and for Another Gravity (2000). He was the Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence at the University of Toronto for 2007, but otherwise lives in British Columbia.


2007 Winner Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize


Made to Measure: A History of Land Surveying in British Columbia
by Katherine Gordon
Publisher: Sono Nis Press
Made to Measure: A History of Land Surveying in British Columbia

The settlement history of British Columbia—this rough and beautiful child of imperial ambition—is different from that of any other province in Canada. The work of land surveyors has been fundamental in that history. The story of their work is awe inspiring. This popular history tells the remarkable story of the men and women who measured the province: their adventures, challenges, and accomplishments. Katherine Gordon is a full-time author and freelance writer living on Gabriola Island. She is the author of A Curious Life: The Biography of Princess Peggy Abkhazi (2002) and The Slocan: Portrait of a Valley (2004).


2007 Winner Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize

Odd Man Out
by Sarah Ellis
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Odd Man Out

Kip is spending the summer with his grandmother and his five eccentric girl cousins. Gran’s house is about to be demolished, so anything goes. When Kip bashes through an old closet, he discovers the binder his late father kept as a teenager. He’s bewildered by what he finds: puzzling lists, hair samples, old newspaper clippings, and business cards. All accompany a confidential report written by a mysterious young operative who is secretly infecting teenagers with a cell-altering virus. Sarah Ellis’s many awards include the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, and the Canadian Authors Association Vicky Metcalf Award for a body of work. She lives in Vancouver.


2007 Winner Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize

Tale of a Great White Fish: A Sturgeon Story
by Maggie de Vries
Illustrated by Renné Benoit
Publisher: Greystone Books
Tale of a Great White Fish: A Sturgeon Story

This exciting story about one long-lived sturgeon provides insight into a little-known species. Many times in her 177 years, Big Fish has come close to death—nearly crushed in the Hell’s Gate rock slide of 1913, almost stranded when the water of Sumas Lake was drained in 1924, and threatened by a mysterious disease that killed many other sturgeon in the early 1990s. Maggie de Vries, an award-winning author of several children’s books, lives in Vancouver. Renné Bennoit is an award-winning artist who has illustrated many books for children, including Goodbye to Griffith Street, which won the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize in 2005. She lives in St. Thomas, Ontario.

2007 Winner BC Booksellers' Choice Award in Honour of Bill Duthie

David Suzuki: The Autobiography
by David Suzuki
Publisher: Greystone Books
David Suzuki: The Autobiography

This second installment of David Suzuki’s autobiography begins with the racism that Suzuki experienced when he and his family were detained in an internment camp in Canada during the Second World War, describes his teenage years in Southern Ontario, his college and postgraduate experiences in the US, and his career as a geneticist and later as the host of The Nature of Things. The book also describes his metamorphosis into a leading environmentalist, writer, and thinker; the establishment of the David Suzuki Foundation; his many travels throughout the world and his meetings with international leaders; and the abiding role of nature and family in his life. David Suzuki lives in Vancouver.

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2007 Winner Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence
Patrick Lane

Fiction Winners 1985- 2007

2007

- Carol Windley, Home Schooling
- Marilyn Bowering, What It Takes to Be Human
- Bill Gaston, Gargoyles
- Anosh Irani, The Song of Kahunsha
- Adam Lewis Schroeder, Empress of Asia

2006

- Charlotte Gill, Ladykiller
- Clint Burnham, Smoke Show
- Lydia Kwa, The Walking Boy
- John Lent, So It Won't Go Away
- Audrey Thomas, Tattycoram

2005

- Pauline Holstock, Beyond Measure
- Bill Gaston, Sointula
- Theresa Kishkan, A Man in a Distant Field
- Annabel Lyon, The Best Thing for You
- Patrick Taylor, The Apprenticeship of Dr. Laverty

2004

- Caroline Adderson, Sitting Practice
- Claudia Casper, The Continuation of Love by Other Means
- Steven Galloway, Ascension
- Kevin Patterson, Country of Cold
- Janet Warner, Other Sorrows, Other Joys

2003

- Carol Shields, Unless
- Kevin Armstrong, Nightwatch
- Bill Gaston, Mount Appetite
- Nancy Lee, Dead Girls
- Gayla Reid, Closer Apart

2002

- Madeleine Thien, Simple Recipes
- Rebecca Godfrey, The Torn Skirt
- Andrew Gray, Small Accidents
- Gayla Reid, All the Seas of the World
- Timothy Taylor, Stanley Park

2001

- Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach
- Anita Rau Badami, The Hero's Walk
- Barbara Lambert, A Message for Mr. Lazarus
- Peter Trower, The Judas Hills
- Jack Whyte, Uther

2000

- Michael Turner, The Pornographer's Poem
- Caroline Adderson, A History of Forgetting
- Zsuzsi Gartner, All the Anxious Girls on Earth
- Keith Harrison, Furry Creek
- Alan R. Wilson, Before the Flood

1999

- Jack Hodgins, Broken Ground
- Loranne Brown, The Handless Maiden
- Anne Fleming, Pool-Hopping and Other Stories

1998

- Marilyn Bowering, Visible Worlds
- Sally Ireland, Fox's Nose
- Holley Rubinsky, At First I Hope for Rescue

1997

- Gail Anderson-Dargatz, The Cure for Death by Lightning
- Nick Bantock, The Venetian's Wife
- Shani Mootoo, Cereus Blooms at Night

1995

- Gayla Reid, To Be There With You
- Grant Buday, Under Glass
- Patricia Robertson, City of Orphans

1994

- Caroline Adderson, Bad Imaginings
- Keith Maillard, Light In The Company Of Women
- Carol Windley, Visible Light

1993

- W.D. Valgardson, The Girl with the Botticelli Face
- J.A. Hamilton, July Nights and Other Stories
- Linda Svendsen, Marine Life

 

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1985

- Audrey Thomas, Intertidal Life
- Mary Ellen Collura, Winners
- Charles Lillard, A Coastal Range

1986

- Keath Fraser, Foreign Affairs

1987

- Leona Gom, Housebroken
- Paulette Jiles, Sitting in the Club Car Drinking Rum and Karma Kola
- Rona Murray, The Indigo Dress and Other Stories

1988

- George McWhirter, Cage
- Jane Rule, Memory Board
- Robin Skelton, The Parrot Who Could

1989

- Bill Schermbrucker, Mimosa
- William Goede, Love In Beijing
- Robert Harlow, Saxophone Winter

1990

- Keith Maillard, Motet
- Marilyn Bowering, To All Appearances A Lady
- Jane Rule, After The Fire

1991

- Audrey Thomas, Wild Blue Yonder
- Sky Lee, Disappearing Moon Cafe
- Caroline Woodward, Disturbing The Peace

1992

- Don Dickinson, Blue Husbands
- M.A.C. Farrant, Sick Pigeon
- Maureen Moore, The Illuminations of Alice Mallory

 

 

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