Lazarus, Eve green sweater

BC Bestsellers


Eve Lazarus rises to top spot with profiles of the famous and infamous, the ordinary and extraordinary.
FULL STORY

Who’s Who

Alsaadi, Nawar

Nawar Alsaadi

A is for Alsaadi
Nawar Alsaadi was born in Baghdad, grew up in Paris and currently resides in Vancouver, Canada with his partner Evelien Voorberg.  Alsaadi is a full time investor and president of Semper Augustus Capital. He bought his first stock when he was 17 years old. By the time he was 31 he was able to retire as a self-made millionaire. At the age of 36 Alsaadi released his first book, The Bull of Heaven (self-published 2014), chronicling his early life in war-torn Iraq, his forced exile to France at the age of 12 and how he made his way to a new home in Canada. Nawar Alsaadi’s autobiography reveals how he created wealth through the stock market and used this wealth to fight corporate greed as a shareholder activist. As for the title, the Bull of Heaven in ancient times symbolized supernatural strength, ferocity and prosperity. In the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, this mythical creature descended to earth to ravage the city of Uruk, before being slayed by King Gilgamesh. Unwilling to die, the great bull ascended to the stars to claim the constellation Taurus. Photo credit: Evelien-Johanna-Voorberg. 978-14961-4966-4

Frank_Busch_200_200_90_c1

Frank Busch

B is for Busch
Frank Christopher Busch is a member of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and grew up in northern Manitoba. He has spent his professional life working with First Nations businesses, non-profits and governments at the band, regional tribal council, provincial, national and international levels. He lives in Westbank First Nation in the Okangan region of B.C. His first novel, Grey Eyes (Roseway $20.95), is a fantastical exploration of First Nations culture that centres upon the ancient stewards of the land, the Grey Eyes, who use their magic to maintain harmony and keep evil at bay. “With only one elderly Grey-Eye left in the village of the Nehiyawak, the birth of a new Grey-Eyed boy promises a renewed line of defence against their only foe: the menacing Red-Eyes, whose name is rarely spoken but whose presence is ever felt. While the birth of the Grey-Eyed boy offers the clan much-needed protection, it also initiates a struggle for power that threatens to rip the clan apart, leaving them defenceless against the their sworn ememy. The responsibility of restoring balance and harmony, the only way to keep the Nehiyawak safe, is thrust upon a boy’s slender shoulders. What powers will he have, and can he protect the clan from the evil of the Red Eyes?” 9781552666777

C is for Craig
Jennifer Craig’s self-published novel of humourous, social commentary, Mary-Lou’s Brew (Friesen $17.99), sounds a bit like Harry Potter for adults. It is a whimsical tale of a contemporary academy, rooted in ancient Greek culture, “written by a Yorkshire woman who knows her science and her brews.” The future of the Academy of Sophists is in jeopardy. Faculty members vanish, an assistant causes a unique traffic jam, lab creatures escape, and a disenchanted junior professor tries to alter the Dean’s Gravity Quotient. Life gets more complicated for everyone when Mary Lou stirs up her brew, spelling more trouble for the Dean of the Academy of Sophists. According to Craig’s publicity, “The Dean’s Academy of Sophists contributes to humanity in its own whacky way, using ancient practices similar to witchcraft, but with a scientific basis. Although Sophistry and witchcraft parted ways in the fifteenth century, the Dean must defend the Academy against those who see these goings-on as decidedly witchy–with hilarious results. 978-1-4602-4484-5

Marcotte, Danielle in Surrey's Chapters, 2014

Danielle Marcotte with books at Surrey Chapters

D is for Danielle
In May of 2014, Danielle Marcotte attended the Salon du Livre de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue in her hometown of Amos, in Québec. Amos was celebrating its 100th birthday. Her grandparents were amongst its pioneers. Also in 2014, English versions of her three children’s books were made available for the first at bookstores in B.C., all newly published by Midtown Press, an imprint operated by former publishers’ sales representative Louis Anctil. Inspired by her son’s piloting adventures and her daughter’s artistic output, Marcotte writes adventure stories about dogs and planes for a 6-to-10-year-old audience. These have now been published in both of Canada’s official languages. For 30 years, Danielle Marcotte worked as a radio host for Radio-Canada, interviewing artists, political figures and ordinary citizens from all walks of life. Now retired, she has put down roots in Tsawwassen, B.C. where she continues to write for both French and English newspaper and magazines. BOOKS: Scamper and the Airplane Thief — Book 1 (Midtown Press/Sandhill 2014) $6.95 978-0-9881101-3-7 / This Airplane Can Dance — Book 2 (Midtown Press/ Sandhill 2014) $6.95 978-0-9881101-4-4 / Why Does My Dog Smile? (Midtown Press/ Sandhill 2014) $5.95 978-0-9881101-5-1

Millard, Eleanor

Eleanor Millard

E is for Eleanor
Eleanor Millard of Carcross left home at age 14, gained two Masters degrees, worked as a social worker and was elected to the Legislative Assembly for the Yukon Territory where she became Minister of Education at the end of a four-year term. Her third book is a self-published novel, Summer Snow (Lupindog Press $20) based on her experiences with adopting a First Nation child who is affected with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, brain damage due to the mother’s drinking while pregnant. It explores the main character’s gradual understanding of the condition which is painful and challenging, but also joyful as her daughter’s disabilities and abilities are revealed. The novel is set in Northern Canada and in the ambiguity of cross-cultural relations. Her 19 interwoven stories in her first story collection, River Child (Caitlin, 2002), are set in Dawson City. A protagonist named Selena MacLean struggles against sexual abuse and tries to find her way between two distinct cultures of the Yukon: Indian and White. In 2007, Millard published Journeys Outside and In, a collection of memoirs. Each chapter is a self contained short-story, discussing subjects ranging from Millard’s travels to Cuba, her time spent as a social worker, and her appointment as Minister of Education.  River Child (Caitlin, 2002) 0-929576-94-X / Journeys Outside and In (Self-published, 2007) 0-9782817-0-5 / Summer Snow (self-published, 2013) Snow 978-0-9782817-2-4

F is for Ford
Cathy Ford has published fifteen books of poetry and numerous chapbooks and folios, including poetry, long poems, fiction and memoir that were published by blewointment press, Intermedia Press, Caitlin Press, Véhicule Press, Harbour Publishing, gynergy books, Mother Tongue Publishing and others. In her latest work, Flowers We Will Never Know the Names Of (Mother Tongue Pub. $18.95), she marks the 25th anniversary of Montreal’s L’École Polytechnique massacres in a long poem written in the language of flowers and an alphabet re-imagined. It is a memento of love amid violence and loss. Cathy Ford was born in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, and grew up in northern B.C. She has a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. from the University of British Columbia. She has worked as a poet and fiction writer, publisher, editor, and teacher. She was President of the League of Canadian Poets in 1985 and 1986, and was a founding member of the League’s Feminist Caucus in 1982. From 1984 to 1986 she was a member of a national task force of Women and Words, working to create a draft constitution for a Canadian association of Women and Words. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Literary Storefront from 1980 to 1982. Ford lived for 18 years on Mayne Island before moving to Sidney B.C. She is married, with one son.

Gifford, James

James Gifford

G is for Gifford
James Gifford has edited a number of collections before publishing his first monograph, Personal Modernisms: Anarchist Networks and the Later Avant-Gardes (University of Alberta Press $34.95) in 2014. This literary history recovers the “lost generation” of writers of the 1930s and 1940s. Gifford examines the anti-authoritarian quality of contemporaries Alex Comfort, Robert Duncan, Lawrence Durrell, J.F. Hendry, Henry Miller, Elizabeth Smart, Dylan Thomas, and Henry Treece to forge a link between Late Modernist and postmodernist literature. James Gifford is Associate Professor of English and director of the university core at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Vancouver. He has also held academic posts at Simon Fraser and Victoria Universities. He lists as particular interests: Lawrence Durrell, Henry Miller, Elizabeth Smart, T.S. Eliot, Robert Duncan, Aidan Higgins, and related authors. He holds a BA, English from Simon Fraser University and a PhD, English from the University of Alberta. 978-1-77212-001-1

Hudson, Henry Last_Voyage paintingH is for Hudson
In 1609, British navigator Henry Hudson, famous for his explorations of Hudson Bay and the Hudson River area, was commissioned by King James I of England to find an arctic passage through the ice. This northwest passage would open the way to the riches of the Orient. Hudson, having led four previous expeditions in 1607, 1608, 1609 and 1610, was well qualified for the task. Henry Hudson: Doomed Navigator and Explorer (Heritage House $9.95) describes the explorer’s final voyage and how his fatal obsession and reckless decisions pushed his crew to mutiny. Henry Hudson failed to reach his goal; instead, he vanished into the mists of history, his ultimate fate unknown. Dalton’s book reveals a classic tale of courage, ambition and treachery on the high seas. (Heritage House 2014) 978-1-772030-23-5

Ivan, Henry with David Milgaard

David Milgaard with Ivan Henry

I is for Ivan Henry
Lawyer Joan McEwen first heard about the plight of Ivan Henry in 2010 following his acquittal by the BC Court of Appeal. Her first book, Innocence on Trial: The Framing of Ivan Henry (Heritage House $22.95) investigates how failings of the justice system—police, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, politicians, etc.—forced Henry to spend 27 years in prison for crimes for which he was later excused, but never declared not guilty. Over three years in the making, McEwen hopes that her book will lead to fair compensation for his wrongful incarceration. McEwen inherited her passion for social justice from her staunchly NDP father and her morbid fear of prison from a childhood glimpse of a jail. In 2008, determined to conquer that fear, Joan began writing a (fiction) book about a prisoner and his (female) parole officer. What began as research ended up with her volunteering to teach a creative writing program in Matsqui Institution. Since then, she has become a volunteer/advocate for prisoners, helping long-term offenders reintegrate back into society. Along the way, she discovered the work that “innocence projects”–the first of which was established in New York in 1992–do to represent, free, and assist the wrongly convicted throughout the world. 978-1-772030-02-0

J is for Johnston
In the metafictions and flash fictions of Sean Johnston’s forthcoming collection We Don’t Listen to Them (Thistledown $18.95) we enter a world in which a bank teller will hand a patron his bank robber note. In some fiction, the fact that anything can happen justifies that it will happen…. In Johnston’s follow-up to his recent novel, Listen All You Bullets (Gaspereau $27.95) — an outgrowth of the Jack Schaefer’s 1949 Western novel Shane that was made into a famous 1953 movie starring Alan Ladd and Jean Arthur — the Kelowna-based Okanagan College professor often veers into writing about writing. In one of his stories elaborate footnotes delineate the characters and their actions. We Don’t Listen to Them is due in September. 978-1-927068-92-2

Kallis-Sharon-WEB

Sharon Kallis. Photo David Gowman.

K is for Kallis
Vancouver artist Sharon Kallis is no stranger to environmental art. Over the past few years, she has collaborated with environmentalists, ecologists and communities to transform unwanted natural materials, like invasive species and green waste, into physical structures that will support the return of native flora and fauna. Kallis, using traditional weaving techniques, fashions invasive vines into nurse logs and bio netting. These art pieces slow soil erosion and support the return of native plants. The installations or collaborative eco-art she creates are ecological interventions tailored to each space. Common Threads: Weaving Community through Collaborative Eco-Art (New Society Pub. $29.95) is a simple weaving guide to engage communities in controlling invasive species, creating better green waste management and building collective urban gardens for the greater good. Uniting communities in a common goal fosters relationships and develops responsible land stewardship. Kallis believes that a do-it-together mentality empowers communities and connects individuals to work as one in the fight to combat environment urban issues. 978-0-86751-778-7

L is for Lazarus
It’s common knowledge that Canuck Place in Shaughnessy was previously a mansion that served as the headquarters for a Vancouver chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, but there are many other addresses in the Lower Mainland with skeletons in their closets, and few people know more about them than Australian-born Eve Lazarus of North Vancouver. She recently examined the social histories of heritage houses in Greater Vancouver for At Home with History: The Untold Secrets of Heritage Homes (Anvil 2007), followed by Sensational Victoria: Bright Lights, Red Lights, Murders, Ghosts & Gardens: Tales from the CapitalCity (Anvil 2012). Now Lazarus has risen, again. She’s back in print with Sensational Vancouver (Anvil $24). Including a walking tour map of Strathcona and Chinatown, Lazarus highlights the famous and the infamous, particularly the latter from the first half of the 20th century when ‘Terminal City’ was a hotbed for bookies, brothels and bootleggers. And there were lots of unsolved murders. We learn that Canada’s first female cop was Lurancy Harris who patrolled the houses of ill repute on Alexander Street. Opium dens and gambling joints were the purview of Detective Joe Ricci. Sensational Vancouver also celebrates remarkable women such as Elsie MacGill, Phyllis Munday, Nellie Yip Quong and Joy Kogawa—along with entertainers, artists and controversial characters. According to her publisher, Lazarus blogs obsessively about houses and their genealogies at www.evelazarus.com/blog/ 978-1-927380-98-7

Main, Kirsteen_and_sister_Cat_Main_medium

Cat Main (left) helps her sister to write.

M is for Main
Born with severe cerebral palsy, unable to walk or talk, Kirsteen Main began writing poetry at the age of 12. She records her words through ‘facilitated communication’, which involves someone holding her arms while she points to letters on an alphabet board, spelling out what she wants to say. She has now published a collection of poetry, Dear Butterfly: 50 Poems  (self-published, 2014) described by poet and literary catalyst Mary Billy as a rare example of “a writer talking about what it felt like to be a disabled child, from the inside. That is, not someone else writing about her.” Much of the poetry is uplifting, even optimistic. “We live in such a ‘doing’ society that people with disabilities are automatically pitied because they usually can’t ‘do’ in the same way as everyone else, instead of seeing the potential inner benefits of their lives. Just because you can’t do, can’t work, don’t produce, don’t have a career, doesn’t mean to say that you are not valuable… Even though I live with cerebral palsy (and cannot walk or talk or do anything for myself), my life is still rich and fulfilling. And I am not unique. There are many others like me.” But Main is not one to simply see life through rose-tinted glasses. Two poems entitled ‘Hospital Blues’ recall the ordeal of encountering a condescending physician and being intubated several times during a difficult hospital stay in 2010. “I’m staggered by Dear Butterfly,” says documentary filmmaker and disabled author Bonnie Sherr Klein, “and grateful to Kirsteen and her collaborators who bring it to us. I thank Kirsteen for offering us her grief and pain so baldly and boldly.” Kirsteen Main has presented her poetry at the Kickstart Festival of Disability Arts and Culture and performed at open MIC nights in East Vancouver where she holds centre stage while her poems are read to the audience by her workers or family members. Some of her work has been published by the Poetry Institute of Canada as well as in the 2004 We’Moon datebook. Kirsteen collaborated with her sister Cat in writing a script for a piece called ‘sistershow’, which they performed at the Firehall Theatre for BCBuds in May 2008, and subsequently at other locations. Kirsteen Main also paints at her home in Vancouver. “I’m lucky,” she writes. “No one expects anything of me. It’s like being given an ideal life for inner exploration.” Dear Butterfly is available via the PLAN online bookstore.  https://plan-31.myshopify.com/collections/books/products/dear-butterfly-50-poems-by-kirsteen-main

N is for Nelson
Randy Nelson grew up on Saskatchewan, where he became a conservation officer. In 1977, he came to B.C. and worked as a fisheries officer for the next 35 years. Now retired and living in Kamloops, Nelson has written a book about his experiences protecting our sea life from poachers and polluters. His adventures included grizzly bear attacks, high speed car chases, and confrontations with armed fishermen. His hobby of long distance running helped him catch fleeing felons. He has raced in more than two hundred competitions, including ten marathons. Over the course of his career as a conservation officer he has received the international Pogue-Elms Award and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. He is the most decorated Fishery Officer in B.C. history. His book is Poachers, Polluters and Politics: A Fishery Officer’s Career (Harbour $24.95).  978-1-55017-639-1

O is for Olga
Bruce Grierson has written the biography of Olga Kotelko (2 March 1919 – 24 June 2014), the remarkble nonagenarian track and field athlete. She held over 30 world records and won over 750 gold medals in various age categories, including 17 of them in the 90-95 age categories. What Makes Olga Run? (Henry Holt and Co. 2014) explores what drove this remarkable 94-year-old woman to compete. Grierson studied everything from Kotelko’s diet and sleep patterns, to personality tests, and spare time activities, to try to puzzle out what made this track star tick. What Makes Olga Run? examines the extent to which our health and longevity is determined by DNA, and how much can we shape our destiny. Kotelko, a B.C. resident, was the seventh of eleven children born to Ukrainian immigrant farmers Wasyl and Ann Shawaga in Vonda, Saskatchewan. Bruce Grierson also works as a Contributing Editor to Adbusters magazine; he is also a writer for The New York Times Magazine. He has been nominated for eight Canadian National Magazine awards, and is the co-author of Culture Jam. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and daughter.

Peters, Sheila at Nuchatlitz

Sheila Peters at Nuchatlitz Provincial Park on Nootka Island

P is for Peters
Sheila Peters’ fifth book is a murder mystery set in her home town of Smithers. Shafted: A Mystery (Creekstone $18) follows an auxiliary cop named Margo Jamieson as she investigates a strange death with the help of a local historian. The town’s picturesque façade is sullied by the conflicting agendas of an old prospector, a rich eco-activist, and a mess of misplaced desire in this mountainous region of northern British Columbia. The time period is the early 1990s when there are no cell phones or the Internet and the death must be solved with the use of old-fashioned paper files, face-to-face meetings and land line-based telephones. Jamieson, the protagonist must untangle a web of festering grudges, phony mineral claims, blackmail and murder. Sheila Peters will be doing a week-by-week serial release on her website (http://sheilapeters.com/books/shafted-a-mystery/shafted-the-serial-release/) beginning Friday, August 1. She will also read a chapter a week on the Smithers Community Radio station (www.smithersradio.com) at10:00 am and listeners can tune in online. Sheila Peters has worked as a reporter, weaver, human-rights activist, and English instructor at Northwest Community College, where she also teaches creative writing. Her non-fiction book, Canyon Creek: A Script (1998) was published by her Smithers-based Creekstone Press. She later collaborated with artist Perry Rath for The Weather from the West (2007).

 Q is for Quirk-e
“Every brave voice deserves a hearing,” according to Wayson Choy, in response to the sixth anthology from the Quirk-e collective, The Bridge Generation: A Queer Elders’ Chronicle from No Rights to Civil Rights (self-published  $16). The anthology of short prose and graphic memoirs reflects upon the shared journey of homosexuals in Canada who can recall times when gays were “once defined as sick outlaws, imprisoned in jails and mental institutions, strapped down and ‘cured’ with electric shocks.” Edited by host artists Claire Robson and Kelsey Blair, with introductions by Dr. Elise Chenier, Department of History at SFU, The Bridge Generation has been published in collaboration with Simon Fraser University’s Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. The members of Quirk-e describe themselves as a “discordant and unruly choir, insisting, despite the odds, on showing the height, depth and breadth of their experiences.” 978-1-4834-0635-0.

Richards Death Was in the PictureR is for Richards
Linda Richard’s 2009 novel Death Was in the Picture won the Panik Award for Best Los Angeles-Based Noir ficiton. Now, with If It Bleeds (Orca $9.95), Richards enters the Rapid Reads niche. Her new heroine Nicole Charles didn’t attend journalism school to become a gossip columnist, but with jobs scarce she takes on the beat with the Vancouver Post. As Nicole struggles with the stigma attached to her type of journalism, she begins to think she’ll never have a real reporting job. When she discovers the body of an up-and-coming artist in a dark alley–stabbed in the throat with an antique icepick–she finds herself in the middle of the biggest story of the year. Sorta Yaletown meets Trotsky. 9781459807341

Shidmehr, Nilofar garden

Nilofar Shidmehr

S is for Shidmehr
Born and raised in Iran, Nilofar Shidmehr came to Canada in 1997 and has earned her MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Before leaving Iran, Shidmehr translated Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye, from English to Farsi. Due to Iran’s divorce laws, Shidmehr’s daughter must remain in Iran. Shidmehr hopes one day to bring her to Vancouver. Her new poetry collection Between Lives (Oolichan $17.95) brings to light the violence and injustice of women’s lives in Iran and in the diaspora. “These poems,” writes Rachel Rose, “are the untold stories of contemporary Persian women’s lives, lives portrayed with intimacy and lyricism, despite their subjugation. These are poetics meditations that only a poet simultaneously intimate with a place, and exiled from it, can offer. In this book, men and women are like ‘fire and cotton,’ and must be kept apart; they are ‘flammable with the slightest spark.’ Nilofar Shidmehr’s poems burn with a fierce, haunting fire.” Shidmehr’s novella in verse in 2008, Shirin and Salt Man (Oolichan $17.95), depicts a contemporary young woman from Kermanshah in the modern Islamic Republic of Iran who is under the thumb of her fundamentalist husband Khosro. To escape from his dominance, she imagines herself to be a princess depicted in an ancient Persian story called Shirin and Khosro. Gradually she decides to emancipate herself by running away from her husband in favour of Farhad, the mythical lover of princess Shirin, who takes the form of a 1700-year-old mummy from the Iranian National Museum in Tehran, the Salt Man. This book was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Shidmehr has since earned her Ph.D in Education at the Center for Cross Faculty Inquiry in Education. Her next scholarly project is to investigate “how the lyrical and performative modes of inquiry can be included in discourse analysis, literary criticism, and critical reading and writing practices to integrate and advance literacy.” She lives with her husband in Yaletown, Vancouver, where she is writing a collection of short stories about the lives of Iranians in Iran and Canada. Nilofar Shidmehr’s first book of poetry in Farsi, Two Nilofars: Before and After Migration, also reflects her concerns as educational activist within the Iranian women’s movement.978-0-88982-301-3

T is for Theemes
Prior to entering the world of finance, while doing doctoral work in child psychology at UBC, Tracy Theemes worked with financially challenged families in the downtown eastside of Vancouver. That experience made her question what role poverty and wealth played in the spiral of disadvantage. Returning to Vancouver after successful careers in New York and Los Angeles, Theemes became convinced that women needed a different approach to financial planning. Her work with women across a broad socio-economic spectrum encouraged her to write, The Financially Empowered Woman: Everything You Really Want to Know about Your Money (Greystone/LifeTree Media $19.95). Theemes’ five-step planning guide explores the social and emotional roots behind money problems, and offers advice to help women get their financial life on track and gain control of their financial lives. Certified Investment Advisor Tracy Theemes is a co-founder of the Sophia Financial Group. 978-1-928055-00-6

Dosanjh, Ujjal bookjacketU is for Ujjal
B.C.’s premier from 2000 – 2001, Ujjal Dosanjh was born in a small village in Dosanjh Kalan, Punjab, India in 1947. He migrated to England at the age of 17 and moved again to Canada in 1968. He worked at a sawmill in Vancouver while studying political science at Simon Fraser University and later earned a law degree from the University of British Columbia. These seem like humble beginnings for a man who rose to hold the top political office in the province but Dosanjh was born into a politically active family as both his father and maternal grandfather were involved in India’s independence movement from Britain. Following in their footsteps, Dosanjh became involved in civil rights during his student years and never stopped. He hit the news several years after establishing a private law practice when he publicly denounced using violence in the campaign to secure an independent Sikh homeland in India. This followed from the terrorist bombing of Air India flight 182 in 1985. Dosanjh was beaten by a man with a metal bar outside his law office and almost killed. But he continued to speak out against extremism. A new book by Douglas P. Welbanks, The Ujjal Dosanjh Story Unbreakable (Chateau Lane/Sandhill, $19.95) chronicles his years as B.C.’s Attorney General when he battled for the rights of immigrant women, just treatment for farm workers and social justice, while standing against racial discrimination and religious persecution. Dosanjh served as a Member of Parliament for the Liberal Party from 2004 – 2011. 978-0-9784824-4-2

V is for Varney
Based in Royston on Vancouver Island, veteran publisher and Intermedia Press co-founder Ed Varney has continued to write, print and sell “strange and beautiful handmade books for advanced readers” from out of Courtenay, including Perro Verlag’s alluring The Book of Nada, a petite philosophical treatise that Varney initially described as being found in his archives dating back to the early 1970s. He later revealed he had written it in the Seventies and updated it for publication under a pseudonym. “I ascribed it to an unknown author because I thought that was an amusing frame to put around it. Apparently everyone fell for it. If you are interested, I have a manuscript of the Diaries of Adolf Hitler….” Varney has also recently produced 300 copies of his own prose for Dreaming With One Eye Open (Vortext #3 $9). His most recent chapbook of poems is Bird (Poem Factory, 2011). Nada 978-1-897243-80-0; Dreaming 0-9738334-2-4; Bird 1-895593-29-5

Wiebe, Sam b&w

Sam Wiebe

W is for Wiebe
Sam Wiebe’s novel Last of the Independents (Dundurn $17.99) won the 2012 Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Novel, and was subsequently published in 2014. The novel introduces readers to a 29 year-old private investigator, named Michael Drayton who runs an agency in Vancouver that specializes in missing persons. Characters range from a local junk merchant, a crooked private eye, and a drug-addicted car thief to a necrophile and a disreputable psychic trying to bilk the mother of a missing girl. Sam Wiebe’s stories have appeared in Thuglit, Spinetingler and Criminal Element’s Malfeasance Occasional e-collection. He lives in Vancouver. 9781459709485

X is for Xwemelch’stn
The texts in Colin Browne’s The Properties (Talon $19.95) range from a twenty-first-century visitation by Herman Melville at a diner in New York City to an unknown history of the Lions Gate Bridge that begins in the Coast Salish village of Xwemelch’stn and ends with an assassination in Egypt. Igor Stravinsky, Sigmund Freud, Duke Ellington, Jeanne d’Arc, Walter Guinness, George Bowering, André Breton and more appear. 9780889226852

Y is for Yahgulanaas
Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas spoke at Indian Summer: A Festival of Arts, Ideas and Diversity in Vancouver this July as part of the “ARTPOLITIK” event in which three presenters discussed the graphic novel as an extension of an older form of storytelling. The other presenters were Orjit Sen—one of India’s most renowned graphic artists—and David Wong—a Vancouver-based architect and author of Escape to Gold Mountain. Yahgulanaas also participated in a speakers’ series at the festival called “5 x 15” (Five brilliant speakers—fifteen minutes each) at the Fox Cabaret (2321 Main Street) on July 10. Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is most widely known as the originator of a new genre of cartoons he calls Hadia Manga, or Manhwa, with his graphic novel, Red: A Haida Manga (D&M, 2009). The hardcover version was nominated for a Bill Duthie Booksellers Choice Award, a Doug Wright Award for Best Book and 2010 Joe Schuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Cartoonist. Manga is the Japanese word for comics; Mahwa is the Korean word for comics. Yahgulanaas uses the term to establish that his Haida cartoons are positioned somewhere between two continents. Set somewhere off the northwest coast of B.C., his Red: A Haida Manga (D&M $19.95) is the story of an orphan named Red and his sister, Jaada, who captured and taken away when their village is raided. Seething with rage, Red wants to find his sister and take revenge on her captors. A paperback version was released in May, 2014.

Z is for Zimbabwe
Although born in Calgary, Alberta, Julia Leggett grew up in Zimbabwe. Her years there influenced her book Gone South and Other Ways to Disappear: Eight debut short stories (Mother Tongue, $19.95), a collection of short stories focusing on the relationships women have with their bodies, lovers, female friends and health. Eufemia Fantetti, author of A Recipe for Disaster & Other Unlikely Tales of Love describes Leggett’s collection as “A smart, surefooted collection that will steal your heart. Julia Leggett’s debut offers engaging stories about the choices between love and despair with swift and sharp insights, page after page.” Leggett has served on the poetry editorial board for Prism magazine. Her work has appeared in Force Field: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia, edited by Susan Musgrave (Mother Tongue 2013). She lives in Victoria, BC, where she is working on her masters in counselling psychology and a book of poetry. She also holds a MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Gone South is her first book.978-1-896949-39-0

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