The West Coast Book Prize Society is thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2018 BC Book Prizes. Congratulations to the authors, illustrators, and publishers!
Winners will be announced on Friday, May 4, 2018 at the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront in Vancouver.
» Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize
» Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize
» Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize
» Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize
» Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize
» Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize
» Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award
Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize
Supported by Friesens
by David Chariandy
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Michael and Francis are the sons of Trinidadian immigrants. Coming of age in The Park, a cluster of town houses and leaning concrete towers in the disparaged outskirts of a sprawling city, Michael and Francis battle against the careless prejudices and low expectations that confront them as young men of black and brown ancestry. Francis, the older of the two brothers, dreams of a future in music. Michael’s dreams are of Aisha, the smartest girl in their high school. But the bright hopes of all three are violently, irrevocably thwarted by a tragic shooting and the police crackdown and suffocating suspicion that follow.
David Chariandy grew up in Toronto and lives and teaches in Vancouver. His debut novel, Soucouyant, received stunning reviews and nominations from eleven literary awards juries. Brother is his second novel.
Everything Is Awful and You’re a Terrible Person
by Daniel Zomparelli
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press
A YouTube star becomes famous after he documents his breakup online. An anxious, lactose-intolerant office worker obsesses over a stranger who says “Nice shorts, bro” to him in passing. A couple wants to open up their relationship to a ghost. A monster just wants to find love in his human skin. In these unconventional, interconnected stories gay men look for love in any way possible. From social media, to finding someone within a dream, the ways in which these characters search for joy becomes both limitless and overwhelming.
Daniel Zomparelli is the founder of Poetry Is Dead magazine and co-podcaster at Can’t Lit. He also co-edits After You, a collaborative poetry project. His first published books were the poetry collections Davie Street Translations and (with Dina Del Bucchia) Rom Com, both published by Talonbooks.
Next Year, For Sure
by Zoey Leigh Peterson
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
After nine years together, Kathryn and Chris have the sort of relationship most would envy. When Chris tells Kathryn about his attraction to Emily, Kathryn encourages him to ask her out on a date—certain that her bond with Chris is strong enough to weather whatever may come. When Chris’ romance with Emily evolves beyond what anyone anticipated, both Chris and Kathryn are invited into Emily’s communal home, where Kathryn will discover new possibilities of her own. In the confusions, passions, and upheavals of their new lives, both Kathryn and Chris will be forced to reconsider their past and what they thought they knew about love.
Zoey Leigh Peterson is the recipient of the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction (The Malahat Review) and the Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award (The New Quarterly).
Son of a Trickster
by Eden Robinson
Publisher: Knopf Canada
Jared can’t count on his mom to stay sober and stick around to take care of him. He can’t rely on his dad to pay the bills and support his new wife and step-daughter. Jared is only sixteen but feels like he is the one who must stabilize his family’s life. But he struggles to keep everything afloat…and sometimes he blacks out. And he puzzles over why his maternal grandmother has never liked him, why she says he’s the son of a trickster, that he isn’t human. Mind you, ravens speak to him—even when he’s not stoned. You think you know Jared, but you don’t.
Haisla/Heiltsuk novelist Eden Robinson is the author of Monkey Beach, which won the 2001 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction.
What We Once Believed
by Andrea MacPherson
Publisher: Caitlin Press
Maybe Collins’ life is upended by the appearance of her mother Camille, who disappeared nine years earlier. Now an acclaimed author of a memoir about motherhood and Women’s Liberation, Camille is distant and confounding, and Maybe tries to piece together her mother’s life—why she left, the truth behind her famous memoir, and the future of their fractured relationship. When Maybe discovers that her mother is writing another book—a book about her return—the betrayal is fierce and painful, and Maybe resolves to teach Camille a lesson that will change things forever.
Andrea MacPherson is the author of When She Was Electric, which placed number 6 on CBC Canada Reads: People’s Choice, and Natural Disasters, which was long listed for the ReLit Awards. Andrea teaches creative writing and literature at the University of the Fraser Valley.
Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize
Supported by the BC Teachers’ Federation
Dead Reckoning: How I Came to Meet the Man Who Murdered My Father
by Carys Cragg
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press
When Carys Cragg was eleven, her father, a respected doctor, was brutally murdered in his own home by an intruder. Twenty years later, and despite the reservations of her family and friends, she decides to contact his murderer in prison, and the two correspond for a period of two years. She learns of his horrific childhood, and the reasons he lied about the murder; in turn, he learns about the man he killed. She mines his letters for clues about the past before agreeing to meet him in person, when she learns startling new information about the crime.
Carys Cragg is an instructor in Child, Family & Community Studies at Douglas College. Her personal essays and reviews have appeared in such venues as The Globe & Mail and The Tyee.
Euclid’s Orchard & Other Essays
by Theresa Kishkan
Publisher: Mother Tongue Publishing
In her new collection of essays Kishkan unravels an intricately patterned algorithm of cross-species madrigal, horticulture, and love. Opening with ‘Herakleitos on the Yalakom,’ a turbulent homage to her father, and ending in ‘Euclid’s Orchard,’ amidst bees and coyotes, her touchstones of natural history and family mythology are re-aligned and mortared with metaphysics and math. Along the way her signature lyricism of place and home sings us from her grandparents’ first homestead near Drumheller via an actual ‘Poignant Mountain’ of her girlhood to her beloved home on the Sechelt Peninsula in BC.
Theresa Kishkan is the author of thirteen books of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. She has been a finalist for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and won the Edna Staebler Personal Essay Prize.
Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition
by Paul Watson
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
In a masterful work of history and contemporary reporting, journalist Paul Watson tells the full story of the Franklin Expedition: Sir John Franklin and his crew setting off from England in search of the fabled Northwest Passage; the hazards they encountered and the reasons they were forced to abandon ship after getting stuck in the ice hundreds of miles from the nearest outpost of Western civilization; and the dozens of search expeditions over more than 160 years, which collectively have been called “the most extensive, expensive, perverse, and ill-starred . . . manhunt in history.”
Paul Watson earned three National Newspaper Awards for foreign reporting and photography, the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography, and the 2006 Hal Boyle Award from the Overseas Press Club of America.
The Reconciliation Manifesto: Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy
by Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson
Publisher: James Lorimer and Company Ltd., Publishers
Manuel and Derrickson offer an illuminating vision of what Canada and Canadians need for true reconciliation. They show how governments are attempting to reconcile with Indigenous Peoples without touching the basic colonial structures that dominate and distort the relationship. They review the current state of land claims, tackle the persistence of racism among non-Indigenous people and institutions, celebrate Indigenous Rights Movements while decrying the role of government-funded organizations like the Assembly of First Nations, and document the federal government’s disregard for the substance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples while claiming to implement it. These circumstances amount to what they see as a false reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.
Arthur Manuel was a widely respected Indigenous leader and activist from the Secwépemc Nation. He was known internationally, having advocated for Indigenous rights and struggles at the United Nations, The Hague, and the World Trade Organization.
Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson served as Chief of the Westbank First Nation from 1976 to 1986 and from 1998 to 2000. He was made Grand Chief by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs in 2012.
The Sacred Herb / The Devil’s Weed
by Andrew Struthers
Publisher: New Star Books
The Sacred Herb / The Devil’s Weed is informative and even enlightening, but above all, it’s a hilarious look at a humble plant that has entertained, inspired, and occasionally terrified so many for so long. One side of this double paperback answers all your questions about the world’s most misunderstood plant, from how “the bikers of the Stone Age” spread it across Europe to why it makes music sound better. The other side is a non-stop trip as Struthers weaves together true stories, collected from 100 friends, of marijuana-inspired misadventures.
Andrew Struthers is the author of Around the World on Minimum Wage (2014), The Last Voyage of the Loch Ryan (2004), and The Green Shadow (1995). His films include The Magic Salmon, TigerBomb: A Symphony in Dynamite, and Spiders on Drugs.
Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize
Supported by Anonymous and International Web exPress
by Onjana Yawnghwe
Publisher: Oolichan Books
In Fragments, Desire, at once a love poem and an homage to Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, Onjana Yawnghwe has created what she refers to as her own “dictionary of love.” Out of loss and loneliness and the need for connection comes her poem of self-realization and affirmation. “In a world in which I felt misunderstood, Barthes’ book seemed to be the only thing that understood me.” Whether read individually or as a long poem, Fragments, Desire is a book of astonishing beauty and originality.
Onjana Yawnghwe was awarded the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Literary Artist in 2012. She was a co-founder of Fish Magic, a micro press specializing in limited-run, handmade chapbooks and was co-editor of Xerography, a little literary journal.
Frequent, small loads of laundry
by Rhonda Ganz
Publisher: Mother Tongue Publishing
In her debut collection, poet Rhonda Ganz brazenly mixes darks with lights and dares to peg out the quirky and bizarre, both real and imagined, with all seams showing. From spontaneous combustion to suicide, from pterodactyls to pumpkin pie, Ganz is obsessed with the way people behave in moments of intimacy and domesticity. With her sharp wit and painterly abstractions, she pairs the banal with the absurd to expose the flaws of love—the frayed edges of belief and despair. Strung up, these poems are an authentic clothesline of hearsay, fabrication, doomsaying, and half-truths. Ganz takes the ordinary, gives it a poke and a spin, and snaps it out to dry.
Rhonda Ganz was born in Kenya. She lives in Victoria, BC, where she works as a graphic designer and editor.
An Honest Woman
by Jónína Kirton
An Honest Woman by Jónína Kirton confronts us with beauty and ugliness in the wholesome riot that is sex, love, and marriage. From the perspective of a mixed-race woman, Kirton engages with Simone de Beauvoir and Donald Trump to unravel the norms of femininity and sexuality that continue to adhere today. Kirton recalls her own upbringing, during which she was told to find a good husband who would “make an honest woman” out of her. Exploring the lives of many women, including her mother, her contemporaries, and well-known sex-crime stories such as the case of Elisabeth Fritzl, Kirton mines the personal to loosen the grip of patriarchal and colonial impositions.
Jónína Kirton is a prairie-born Métis/Icelandic poet, author, and facilitator. In 2016 she received the Emerging Artist Award from the City of Vancouver.
Prison Industrial Complex Explodes
by Mercedes Eng
The impetus for Prison Industrial Complex Explodes was the discovery of a cache of Eng’s father’s prison correspondence: letters from the federal government stating their intention to deport him because of his criminal record; letters from prison justice advocate Michael Jackson advising her father on deportation; letters from the RCMP regarding the theft of her father’s property, a gold necklace, while in transport to prison; letters from family members and friends; letters from Eng and her brother. The cold formality of the government letters in accidental juxtaposition with the emotion of the personal letters struck a creative spark that led to the writing of this long poem.
Mercedes Eng is the author of Mercenary English, a long poem about violence and resistance in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood of Vancouver.
The Rules of the Kingdom
by Julie Paul
Publisher: McGill-Queen’s University Press
To seek belonging, to strain against the familiar—these are the polarities many of us live between, feeling the pull of each desire. Offering a particular history, an intimate vantage point from within the various kingdoms we inhabit, Julie Paul’s The Rules of the Kingdom is an exploration of this struggle on a personal level and a universal one. Broken into five sections, the book examines the human struggle to find meaning, comfort, and a sense of home. At turns humorous, playful, contemplative, and coy, the poems in The Rules of the Kingdom question the vagaries of faith and family but ultimately celebrate life and love.
Julie Paul is the author of The Jealousy Bone and The Pull of the Moon. The Rules of the Kingdom is her first book of poetry.
Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize
Supported by Marquis
Changing Tides: Vanishing Voices of Nikkei Fishermen and Their Families
by Kotaro Hayashi, Fumio “Frank” Kanno, Henry Tanaka, and Jim Tanaka (editors)
Publisher: Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre
Changing Tides is a collection of personal stories of Japanese-Canadian fishermen and their families on the BC coast from before the Second World War to the present day. There are stories of hardship, determination, and triumph. Others provide a personal perspective on the injustices, discrimination, and racism encountered and how they persevered to overcome these setbacks. Above all, they illustrate the enduring bonds of family, community, and culture.
Kotaro Hayashi was a retired fish boat packer captain who collected salmon along the BC coast for Nelson Brothers and BC Packers canneries.
Fumio “Frank” Kanno is a retired fisherman who travelled to several areas of the BC coast while fishing for salmon, halibut, herring, and shrimp. Fumio was also a founding member of the Northern Trollers Association.
Henry Tanaka was employed in the fishing industry by various fishing companies during the summer while attending school. His father and grandfathers were commercial fishermen.
Jim Tanaka volunteered and served as president on the board of the Wakayama Kenjin Kai and Steveston Japanese Language School.
Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction
by Travis Lupick
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press
Fighting for Space tells the story of a group of addicts in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside who fought to transform how the city treats its most marginalized citizens. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, they demanded that addicts be given the same rights as any other citizen; against all odds, they won. But just as their battle came to an end, fentanyl arrived and opioid deaths across North America reached an all-time high. It’s prompted many to rethink the war on drugs. Public opinion has slowly begun to turn against prohibition, and policy-makers are finally beginning to look at addiction as a health issue rather than one for the criminal justice system.
Travis Lupick received the Canadian Association of Journalists’ Don McGillivray Award for best overall investigative report of 2016 and two 2017 Jack Webster awards for excellence in BC journalism.
Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws: Yerí7 re Stsq’ey’s-kucw
by Marianne Ignace and Ronald E. Ignace
Publisher: McGill-Queen’s University Press
Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws is a journey through the 10,000-year history of the Interior Plateau nation in British Columbia. Told through the lens of past and present Indigenous storytellers, this volume details how a homeland has shaped Secwépemc existence while the Secwépemc have in turn shaped their homeland. Marianne Ignace and Ronald Ignace, with contributions from ethnobotanist Nancy Turner, archaeologist Mike Rousseau, and geographer Ken Favrholdt, compellingly weave together Secwépemc narratives about ancestors’ deeds. Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws points to the ways in which Indigenous laws and traditions can guide present and future social and political process among the Secwépemc and with settler society.
Marianne Ignace is professor of linguistics and First Nations studies at Simon Fraser University.
Chief Ronald E. Ignace is a Secwépemc historian, storyteller, and politician, and adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University.
Surrey: A City of Stories
by K. Jane Watt
Publisher: City of Surrey
Take a trip down memory lane to Surrey’s past with this coffee table-style book. Surrey: A City of Stories was designed so you could flip to any page, take in an amazing old picture, read a quick story, and be transported to a different time. It’s an ideal keepsake for any Surrey resident, including millenials, boomers, and seniors.
K. Jane Watt is an award-winning writer, researcher, and editor. She has worked with a range of clients to capture the varied history of British Columbia as it is expressed in relationships between people, place, and the regional economies that have shaped settlement patterns, agriculture, and development. She chairs the British Columbia Historical Federation and is the book review editor for British Columbia History.
Where It Hurts
by Sarah de Leeuw
Publisher: NeWest Press
Where It Hurts is a highly charged collection of personal essays, haunted by loss, evoking turbulent physical and emotional Canadian landscapes. Sarah de Leeuw’s creative non-fiction captures strange inconsistencies and aberrations of human behaviour, urging us to be observant and aware. The essays are wide in scope and expose what—and who—goes missing. With staggering insight, Sarah de Leeuw reflects on missing geographies and people, including missing women, both those she has known and those whom she will never get to know. The writing is courageously focused, juxtaposing places and things that can be touched and known—emotionally, physically, psychologically—with what has become intangible, unnoticed, or actively ignored.
Sarah de Leeuw‘s Geographies of a Lover won the 2013 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. She also received the 2008 CBC Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction for Columbus Burning.
Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize
Supported by Teresa James
by Anne Fleming
Publisher: Groundwood Books
When Kid accompanies her parents to New York City for a six-month stint of dog-sitting and home-schooling, she sees what looks like a tiny white cloud on the top of their apartment building. Rumor says there’s a goat living on the roof, but how can that be? As Kid soon discovers, a goat on the roof may be the least strange thing about her new home, whose residents are both strange and fascinating.
Anne Fleming is the author of Pool-Hopping and Other Stories (shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the Danuta Gleed Award, and the Governor General’s Award), Anomaly, and Gay Dwarves of America. She is a long-time and highly regarded teacher of creative writing. The Goat is her first full-length work for young readers.
Heartwood Hotel Book 1: A True Home
by Kallie George
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
When Mona the mouse stumbles across the wondrous world of the Heartwood Hotel in the middle of a storm, she desperately hopes the staff will let her stay. As it turns out, Mona is precisely the maid they need at the grandest hotel in Fernwood Forest, where animals come from far and wide for safety, luxury, and comfort. But it’s not all acorn soufflé and soft, moss-lined beds. Danger lurks nearby, and as it approaches, Mona has to use all her wits to protect the place she’s come to love. Because this hotel is more than a warm shelter for the night. It might also be a home.
Kallie George works as an author and editor in Vancouver, BC. She is also a public speaker and leads workshops for aspiring writers.
Runner: Harry Jerome, World’s Fastest Man
by Norma Charles
Publisher: Red Deer Press
Harry Jerome is one of Canada’s forgotten heroes. From a skinny little kid growing up in St. Boniface, MB, he rose to become “the fastest man in the world,” a title he held for an incredible eight years. He achieved this, despite having to battle the prejudices he and his family had to overcome, on account of their African-Canadian heritage. In this engaging and inspiring novel, acclaimed children’s writer Norma Charles has woven together Harry’s fascinating life story from facts gathered through research; interviews with his family, friends, and coach; and also from her own memories of his races at UBC when she was a student there.
Norma Charles is an award-winning children’s author. She is the author of several bestselling picture books including See You Later, Alligator and All the Way to Mexico.
Saying Good-bye to London
by Julie Burtinshaw
Publisher: Second Story Press
Francis is a shy fifteen-year-old when he meets edgy, confident sixteen-year-old Sawyer at a party. Sparks fly… and Sawyer gets pregnant. They hardly know each other, but now must deal with both their relationship and the reality of a baby. Francis has a lot of growing up to do, and now it seems like he is being forced to do it all at once. When his life collides with Sawyer’s, Francis is forced to confront his own stereotypes about loss, sexuality, and family.
Julie Burtinshaw is an award-winning author of six books, five of them novels for young adults, including The Darkness Between the Stars, The Perfect Cut, The Freedom of Jenny, Adrift, and Dead Reckoning. She teaches writers’ workshops in high schools across Canada.
Zero Repeat Forever
by G. S. Prendergast
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
He has no voice or name, only a rank: Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind. Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall. Sixteen-year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her fellow campers can only stay put. Await rescue. Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other.
G.S. Prendergast is the author of Wicket Season, The Frail Days, and two novels in verse: Capricious and Audacious, which won the Westchester Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the CLA Young Adult Book Award and the White Pine Award.
Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize
Supported by Kate Walker and Vancouver Kidsbooks
The Alphabet Thief
by Bill Richardson, illustrated by Roxanna Bikadoroff
Publisher: Groundwood Books
When night falls, along comes a peculiar thief who steals each letter of the alphabet, creating a topsy-turvy world as she goes. It seems that no one can stop her, until the Z’s finally send her to sleep so that all the other letters can scamper back to where they belong. Bill Richardson’s zany rhymes and Roxanna Bikadoroff’s hilarious illustrations will delight young readers with the silly fun they can have with language.
Bill Richardson is a writer and broadcaster. His books include Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast, which won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and After Hamelin, a novel for children that was a winner of the Silver Birch Award.
Roxanne Bikadoroff’s illustrations have been published internationally for more than twenty-five years. She has won numerous awards, many of them National Magazine Awards, including Best Illustration (Gold).
by S.E. Hume, illustrated by Jessica Bromley Bartram
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Charles is a classic story about a lost crow who finds a home in a young person’s heart. At times funny and whimsical, it is also a story of the power of the natural world and the ties of love that are never broken.
S.E. Hume wrote Midnight on the Farm and teaches at the University of Victoria.
Jessica Bromley Bartram is an illustrator, graphic designer, and embroidery enthusiast who lives in Ottawa.
A Day with Yayah
by Nicola Campbell, illustrated by Julie Flett
Publisher: Tradewind Books
Set in the Nicola Valley in BC, a First Nations family goes on an outing to gather edible plants and mushrooms. The grandmother, Yayah, passes down her knowledge of the natural world to her young grandchildren.
First Nations author Nicola I. Campbell lives in BC with her son. Her books have won many awards, including the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, and the Anskohk Aboriginal Children’s Book of the Year Award.
Julie Flett is an award-winning Cree-Métis author, illustrator, and artist. She has received many awards, including the 2016 American Indian Library Association Award for Best Picture Book and the 2017 Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize.
The Nameless City: The Stone Heart
by Faith Erin Hicks
Publisher: First Second
Kaidu and Rat have only just recovered from the assassination attempt on the General of All Blades when more chaos breaks loose in the Nameless City: deep conflicts within the Dao nation are making it impossible to find a political solution for the disputed territory of the City itself. To complicate things further, Kaidu is fairly certain he’s stumbled on a formula for the lost weapon of the mysterious founders of the City. But sharing it with the Dao military would be a complete betrayal of his friendship with Rat. Can Kai find the right solution before the Dao find themselves at war?
Faith Erin Hicks‘ graphic novels include the Nameless City trilogy, Zombies Calling, The War at Ellsmere, Friends with Boys, and the Eisner Award–winning The Adventures of Superhero Girl.
by Ian McAllister and Nicholas Read
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
The Great Bear Rainforest is a majestic place full of tall trees, huge bears, and endless schools of salmon. Award-winning photographer and author Ian McAllister’s luminous photographs illustrate the story of a lone wolf who swims to one of the small islands that dot the rainforest’s coast. The island provides him with everything he needs—deer, salmon, fresh water—everything, that is, but a mate. When a female wolf arrives on the island’s rocky shores, she and he start a family and introduce their pups to the island’s bounty.
Ian McAllister is a recipient of the North America Nature Photography Association’s Vision Award and the Rainforest Action Network’s Rainforest Hero Award.
Nicholas Read is a journalism instructor at Langara College. He collaborated with Ian McAllister on several books, including A Bear’s Life, The Seal Garden, and The Great Bear Sea.
Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award
Supported by Ampersand, the British Columbia Booksellers Association, Sandhill Book Marketing, and the Western Book Reps Association
by Carleigh Baker
Publisher: Anvil Press
Carleigh Baker likes to make light in the dark. Whether plumbing family ties, the end of a marriage, or death itself, she never lets go of the witty, the ironic, and perhaps most notably, the awkward. Despite the title, the resolution in these stories isn’t always tragic, but it’s often uncomfortable, unexpected, or just plain strange. Character digressions, bad decisions, and misconceptions abound. In Bad Endings, Baker takes troubled characters to a moment of realization or self-revelation, but the results aren’t always pretty.
Carleigh Baker is a Cree-Métis/Icelandic writer who lives as a guest on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. In 2012, she won the Lush Triumphant award for short fiction. Bad Endings won the Vancouver Book Award and was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.
Dirty Windshields: The Best and the Worst of the Smugglers Tour Diaries
by Grant Lawrence
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre
The Smugglers came of age during the height of the grunge explosion in the early 1990s. In Dirty Windshields, Grant chronicles the band’s booze-fuelled, sweaty, broke, and wayward attempts at rock and roll glory as they trekked across Canada, the United States, and eventually, Europe and the Pacific Rim. In their sixteen years of touring, the Smugglers experienced all the highs and lows the road can offer, from playing a gig at New York’s legendary CBGB club to starting a riot in a Denver nightclub to having their performance tuxes stolen in Australia.
Grant Lawrence is the author of The Lonely End of the Rink and Adventures in Solitude. He hosts the award-winning CBC Radio 3 Podcast. He is married to musician Jill Barber and they live in Vancouver, BC, with their two children.
by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd
Publisher: Harbour Publishing
With bright and bold illustrations of the wild and magical West Coast by celebrated artist Roy Henry Vickers, this sturdy board book will delight babies and toddlers as they begin to experience and recognize the sights and sounds of the natural world. Hello Humpback!, a “first words” book, introduces iconic West Coast animals, from hungry sea otters to hopping orcas, and is sure to become an instant classic.
Roy Henry Vickers is a renowned carver, painter, and printmaker. He is the co-author of the Northwest Coast Legends series, all of which were shortlisted for the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award.
Robert (Lucky) Budd is the co-author of the Northwest Coast Legends series and the author of Voices of British Columbia, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award, and Echoes of British Columbia, which won second prize in the BC Historical Federation’s writing competition in 2014.
On Island: Life Among the Coast Dwellers
by Pat Carney
Publisher: TouchWood Editions
In this story collection, Pat Carney follows the rhythms of day-to-day life in coastal BC. Featuring a revolving cast of characters—the newly retired couple, the church warden, the musician, the small-town girl with big city dreams—Carney’s keen observations of the personalities and dramas of coastal life are instantly recognizable to readers who are familiar with life in a small community. With her narrative of dock fights, pet shows, family feuds, logging camps, and the ever-present tension between islanders and property-owning “off-islanders,” Carney’s witty and perceptive voice describes how the islanders weather the storms of coastal life.
Pat Carney served as a former Member of Parliament, cabinet minister, and senator. She was awarded the Order of Canada for her leadership role in these fields. Carney is the author of Trade Secrets: A Memoir.
Spindrift: A Canadian Book of the Sea
by Anita Hadley and Michael L. Hadley (editors)
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre
Given that Canada has the longest coastline in the world and its motto is “From Sea unto Sea,” it is not surprising that virtually every Canadian writer has been inspired to write about some aspect of the sea at some point in their work. As this book shows, those watery passages are some of the very best writing the nation has produced. Journeying coast to coast to coast, Spindrift: A Canadian Book of the Sea invites the reader on an evocative voyage.
Anita Hadley co-authored Gens de Chez Nous, which draws on a rich collection of French-Canadian literature. She also collaborated with her father, renowned cinematographer Osmond Borradaile, on his memoir Life Through a Lens.
Michael L. Hadley is an award-winning writer, multidisciplinary scholar, yachtsman, and former naval officer. He is the author of God’s Little Ships: A History of the Columbia Coast Mission.