Writers confirmed for 2015:
Caroline Adderson is so readable that one could be forgiven for not noticing how assiduously constructed her work is. She has written two collections of short stories and four novels. The list of award nominations and wins could paper a wall. Her latest is Ellen in Pieces, a wonderful hybrid novel in which each chapter could stand alone as a story.
She is not the first person to write about caring for a parent suffering from Alzheimer's disease, but she is probably the first to have approached it as something other than a long, painful goodbye. Her book, The Long Hello: Memory, My Mother and Me, documents the seven years she spent as her mother's caregiver and offers a different way of looking at the frightening, debilitating disease. Borrie discovered that her mother's words took on deeper meaning and even humour when she stopped correcting her mistakes and faulty memories.
His five books have nothing, thematically or stylistically, in common. Baroque-a-Nova, his first novel, is about the young and reckless; Neil Young Nation is a road trip memoir about his fascination with the iconic musician; Beauty Plus Pity is his unconventional take on the Asian immigrant experience in present day Vancouver; My Year of the Racehorse chronicles his brief experience as a racehorse owner, and his latest, Northern Dancer, a finalist for the Hubert Evans Prize for Non-Fiction, is a biography of the legendary Canadian thoroughbred that became a national hero.
He is a former professional skateboarder with an MFA in creative writing and a well-received book of short stories entitled The Beggar's Garden under his belt. His debut novel, If I Fall, If I Die, concerns an eccentric agoraphobe who lives with his mother and panics at the thought of leaving the house until he is introduced to the world of skateboarding. Michael Christie is a rising literary star and a young writer to watch. He's certainly not your average sk8er boi.
Nick Cutter/Craig Davidson
Everyone loves a good twofer, right? Here's the deal: you buy a ticket for Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Craig Davidson and you get gore meister and splatter specialist Nick Cutter free. Ok, so they're the same guy, but still, it's a heck of a deal. The latest of Craig's four male oriented books is Cataract City. Nick Cutter's three books, The Troop, The Deep and The Acolyte (coming soon) are flat out old school horror stories that out bleed Stephen King's. Davidson or Cutter, the action is non-stop and the writing is superb.
The Great War: A discussion with Mark Forsythe and Michael Winter
There is nothing great about the so called Great War. At least eight million soldiers and an equal number of civilians were killed. Between 1914 and 1918 young men from all parts of Canada enlisted to fight in the killing fields of Europe. More than 60,000 of them never came home. Michael Winter and Mark Forsythe live on opposite sides of the country and both have written books to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. Michael's book is Into the Blizzard: Walking the Fields of the Newfoundland Dead. Mark's book, written with Greg Dickson, is From the West Coast to the Western Front: British Columbians and the Great War.
Former psychologist Barbara Fradkin's fascination with why people turn bad caused her to turn to a life of crime. Crime writing, that is. None So Blind, the tenth in the series featuring Ottawa Police Inspector Michael Green, was published in the fall of 2014. Barbara Fradkin is a two-time recipient of the Arthur Ellis Award.
Karyn L. Freedman
Karyn L. Freedman received British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction for her book One Hour in Paris: A True Story of Rape and Recovery. The jury citation noted that the book explores how our society shames and silences victims of sexual violence and "has the potential to catalyze the kind of dialogue that can lead to social change". Karyn Freedman is Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy at the University of Guelph.
She writes poetry, non-fiction and fiction. She has been doing it exceptionally well for almost 30 years. She is one of Canada's most respected writers and she has the accolades, awards and book sales to prove it. Like her earlier novels, Coventry and The Lost Garden, her seventh novel, The Evening Chorus, is set during the Second World War. True to form, Helen Humphreys gifts her fans with an insightful and fascinating story that sets human love and sorrow in a historical context.
Living Wild: Rosella Leslie and Nikki Van Schyndel
In her fourth book, Cougar Lady: Legendary Trapper of Sechelt Inlet, Sunshine Coast writer Rosella Leslie pieces together the life of Asta Bergliot (Bergie) Solberg, who wrangled cougars, bears and conservation officers if they dared cross her path. She lived off the grid and thought nothing of rowing 25 miles down a dark, windy inlet. Rosella Leslie is one of the founders of this festival.
Nikki Van Schyndel's Becoming Wild is her personal story of survival in the pristine Broughton Archipelago, a maze of isolated islands near northern Vancouver island. Sometimes predator and sometimes prey, Nikki and a companion spent 19 months in the remote rainforest fending off harsh weather, hungry wildlife and the threat of starvation.
She is a multi-award-winning author, Genie Award-nominated actor, Governor General's Award-winning playwright and Gemini Award-winning broadcaster. Her novels sell in the millions worldwide. Her latest is Adult Onset, a pseudo-autobiographical novel that, once again, has critics and readers raving.
The Meter is Running: Billeh Nickerson, Elizabeth Bachinsky and Sheri-D Wilson
Billeh Nickerson is the author of five books of poetry, the former editor of PRISM International and Event, two highly respected literary journals, and the former Chair of the Creative Writing Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He was also writer-in-residence at Queen's University and Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon.
Elizabeth Bachinsky's fifth collection of poetry is The Hottest Summer in Recorded History. Her poetry has been adapted for stage and screen and has been nominated for a number of awards including the Pat Lowther Award, The George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature, and the Governor General's Award for Poetry.
Sheri-D Wilson is the founder of the Calgary Spoken Word Festival and the Spoken Word Program, Banff Centre. She is the award-winning author of nine collections of poems and has produced two spoken word CDs and four award-winning video poems. She is the editor of The Spoken Word Workbook: inspiration from poets who teach, an educational tool for teaching and writing Spoken Word.
New Voices: Doretta Lau and Aaron Shepard
There are many strong new voices to choose from every year. This year we have stayed close to home with two young writers working in different genres and from different perspectives. Their subject matter is timely, relevant and very much Canadian. Both have MFAs in creative writing and both are putting their educations to very good use.
Doretta Lau is a Canadian of Chinese descent with ties to both Vancouver and Hong Kong. She is a journalist who covers arts and culture for a number of publications in both markets. Her first book is a volume of short stories entitled How does a single blade of grass thank the sun? It explores the experiences of a number of young Asian-Canadians and their unique perspectives of the world.
Aaron Shepard has written award-winning short fiction and been published in a number of literary journals. His debut novel, When is a Man, has been described as lyrical, compassionate, erotic and raw and exuberant in tone. It touches on a number of issues including prostate cancer and the consequences of massive hydroelectric dams. Aaron lives in Victoria and is a lover of all things outdoors.
She is the author of two novels and two books of poetry. Her first novel, Far to Go was nominated for the Man Booker Prize and was a widely-acclaimed international bestseller. Her latest book, Between Gods, is a rivetingly readable memoir that rewards readers with intimate access to the author's struggle to reclaim her religious and cultural identity.
He is a member of the Anishinaabe First Nation. He has been producing documentaries and dramas for CBC since 2006 and is currently a video journalist for CBC, Ottawa. He is the author of Midnight Sweatlodge, a collection of short stories, and Legacy, his first novel which "… places [him] at the forefront of a new wave of Native writers." Richard Wagamese.
She is the author of two volumes of short stories, the second of which, The Juliet Stories was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award. Her new novel, Girl Runner, spans some 85 years and concerns a former Olympic athlete. This breakout novel will elevate Snyder to the top echelon of Canadian writers.
This year's Festival will close, both figuratively and literally, on a high note. Many Sunshine Coasters will know that, six-and-a-half years ago, local musician Simon Paradis suffered a life-threatening brain injury and a life-altering spinal cord injury after falling from a scaffold on a construction site. Simon's wife, Kara Stanley, has written Fallen: A Trauma, A Marriage, and the Transformative Power of Music, an astoundingly frank and detailed memoir of their lives during his long healing process. The figurative high note is that Simon is now well enough to be playing music again and the literal high note will come when he and his musical friends take the stage to accompany Kara's reading.
She is one of a handful of Canadian writers who have been most influential in exposing the world to Canadian literature. She is the author of eight internationally-acclaimed novels including Trillium Award-winner Away, which spent two-and-a-half years on the Globe & Mail's bestseller list; The Underpainters, winner of the Governor General's Award; The Stone Carvers, a finalist for both the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Award, and Sanctuary Line, also a Giller finalist. Her latest novel is Night Stages, set in the 1940s and 50s in rural Ireland and Canada.
The ice is melting, a way of life is threatened, hitherto hidden resources are now accessible, and the greedy are waving money and spouting promises in order to gain access. In her book, The Right to be Cold, Inuit environmental activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Sheila Watt-Cloutier spells out exactly what is at stake for the people (her people) of Canada's far north. The inhabitants of the Arctic depend on cold and ice to sustain their hunting and fishing traditions. Watt-Cloutier fears that climate change and a hit and run by resource hungry outsiders will irrevocably relegate those traditions to the past. Sheila Watt-Cloutier will deliver the 2015 Bruce Hutchison Memorial Lecture.
His screenwriting credits run to more than 150 episodes for a variety of TV series, and he is the creator and producer of the CBC hit, Arctic Air. His trophy shelf sags under two Geminis, four Leos, a Jessie and a Writers Guild Screenwriting Award. The Toronto Star called his latest novel, Will Starling, "a note-perfect historical novel of body-snatching, murder and evil fun."
World War I was arguably the 20th century's most senseless and needless waste of human life. In his latest book, Into the Blizzard, Michael Winter retraces the path of the thousands of men of the Newfoundland Regiment who went to fight in the trenches of France, most of whom never came home. The author wonders if the 100-year-old war "is becoming an event without direct effect on us."
The latest of his five novels is Minister Without Portfolio, a Giller Prize nominee that has nothing to do with Canadian politics.