2007 Winners & Finalists

April 28, 2007 | emceed by William Deverell | Government House, Victoria

» 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
» Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Supported by Friesen, Webcom and Transcontinental Printers
Judges: Audrey Thomas, Bill Schermbrucker and Mary Trentadue

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.

Carol Windley‘s 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.

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Empress of Asia
by Adam Lewis Schroeder
Publisher: Raincoast Books

This sweeping story spans the years between the end of the Second World War and 1995, as Harry copes with the looming death of his wife, Lily. She has revealed an astonishing secret: the address of Michel Ney, the man who saved Harry’s life in the war before being killed by the Japanese—or so Harry had always believed. Harry journeys to Thailand, piecing together details of past years. What secret has lain between Michel and Lily for 50 years?

Adam Lewis Schroeder’s short story collection Kingdom of Monkeys (2001) was shortlisted for the Writers’ Union of Canada’s Danuta Gleed Literary Award. He lives in Penticton, BC.

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by Bill Gaston
Publisher: House of Anansi Press

In Gaston’s marvellous, riotous, Rabelaisian world, gargoyles are physical manifestations of the disfigurements and contortions to which we human beings subject ourselves. Indeed, as Gaston wrote each story in this collection, he sketched a distinct gargoyle to look down over it. For that reason, each story has a strange and unique guardian spirit whose sometimes benevolent, and sometimes malevolent, presence informs the characters and their actions.

Bill Gaston is the author of several story collections and novels, and was the inaugural recipient of the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Timothy Findley Award, which recognizes a stellar body of work by a distinguished male writer in mid-career. He lives in Victoria.

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The Song of Kahunsha
by Anosh Irani
Publisher: Doubleday Canada

It is 1993 and Bombay is on the verge of religious violence. Ten-year-old Chamdi has rarely ventured outside his orphanage and entertains an idyllic fantasy of what the city is like—a paradise he calls Kahunsha, “the city of no sadness.” But when Chamdi runs away, he is thrust into the chaos of the streets and the beginnings of savage violence that soon engulfs the city.

Anosh Irani is the author of the acclaimed novel The Cripple and His Talismans(2004). His play Bombay Black was a 2006 Dora Mavor Moore Award winner for Outstanding New Play. Irani was born in Bombay and moved to Vancouver in 1998.

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What It Takes to Be Human
by Marilyn Bowering
Publisher: Penguin Canada

It is the day after the Second World War is declared in Canada, and Sandy Grey, an idealistic young air cadet, wants nothing more than to enlist. Sandy’s father, a fundamentalist preacher, refuses to give his son permission to fight, fearing that the world is living through its “last days.” When Sandy’s attempt to oppose his father turns violent, the setting of the novel shifts dramatically into the fragmented world of an asylum for the criminally insane, where Sandy is incarcerated.

Marilyn Bowering is an award-winning novelist, poet, and playwright. She has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize and has won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. She lives in Sooke, BC.

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Supported by Abebooks
Judges: Crawford Killian, John Vaillant and Hal Wake

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

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

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Being Caribou: Five Months on Foot with an Arctic Herd
by Karsten Heuer
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Each year, the Porcupine caribou herd ranges the Arctic between its winter-feeding grounds inland and its summer calving grounds on the coastal plain of the Beaufort Sea. Yet beneath its calving grounds lies enough oil to keep the United States going for six months. In an effort to show the world what could be lost if drilling is allowed, Karsten Heuer and filmmaker Leanne Allison accompanied the herd for more than 1,500 kilometres, moving and eventually thinking like caribou.

Karsten Heuer wrote Walking the Big Wild: From Yellowstone to Yukon (2004) and has received the Wilburforce Conservation Leadership Award. He works as a wildlife biologist and park warden in Canmore, Alberta.

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Differences that Matter: Social Policy and the Working Poor in the United States and Canada 
by Dan Zuberi
Publisher: Cornell University Press

Based on in-depth interviews with workers, managers, and union leaders, this new work analyzes the effects of social policies on multinational hotel employees in both Seattle and Vancouver, and shows exactly how government policies on union organizing, health care, employment, social welfare, and urban public investment shape the lives of workers. Zuberi’s research clearly shows that the more progressive and generous policy regime on this side of the border reduces material hardships for hotel workers, particularly those with children.

Dan Zuberi is Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of British Columbia.

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The Reservoir
by Eric Miller
Publisher: Ekstasis Editions

The Reservoir explores the diverse manifestations of human love in contemplative essays by Eric Miller. Strands of memory, history, childhood, family, war, creativity, and affection weave an elegant tapestry of prose connecting past and present. From a fantasia on Lady Simcoe of Upper Canada in the essay “The Fifth of April 1793” to a study of paternal love in “Fredericton and Fatherhood,” Miller finds humour, depth, and meaning in the relations that link us to each other and to history.

Born in Toronto, Eric Miller has lived in Lake Louise, Virginia, Amsterdam, Fredericton, and Dartmouth. He received the 1996 Academy of American Poets Prize at the University of Virginia. He now lives in Victoria.

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The Wolves at Evelyn: Journeys Through a Dark Century
by Harold Rhenisch
Publisher: Brindle and Glass Publishing

In his brilliant and acclaimed Out of the Interior (1993), Rhenisch peeled back the layers of his father’s story to paint an unforgettable portrait of German culture in the Okanagan. The Wolves at Evelyn traces the history of his mother and her parents, dissident communists fleeing 1920s Germany, seamlessly weaving together threads of literature, history, popular culture, rumour, anecdote, and imagination, to arrive at a vision of a country that never was, and that might still be.

Harold Rhenisch is the author of ten collections of poetry, a novel, and three books of non-fiction. Tom Thomson’s Shack was shortlisted for two BC Book Prizes in 2001. He lives in Cariboo country.

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Supported by the BC Teachers’ Federation
Judges: Michelle Benjamin, Mark Cochrane and Sandy Shreve

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.

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Anatomy of Keys
by Steven Price
Publisher: Brick Books

This tour de force, a book-length poem, embraces a wide variety of poetic and prose forms to tell the story of renowned escapologist, Harry Houdini. Steven Price’s Houdini knows better than most the limitations of life, having bent the efforts of a lifetime to transcend them, and having failed. Ah, but his thinking! “Make it muscular and be apparent in it,” says Houdini’s archivist and advisor. “Words are also escapes.”

Steven Price’s poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and in Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets, edited by Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane. He was born and raised in Colwood, BC, and currently teaches writing and poetry at the University of Victoria.

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Backup to Babylon
by Maxine Gadd
Publisher: New Star Books

Backup to Babylon collects three shorter works by Maxine Gadd, a writer who has based her life and her writing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside for more than two decades. The title work describes the Vancouver of the 1980s, a time of the Francis Street squat, of Solidarity and of political optimism confronted by cynicism. One reviewer called these poems “a book of ancient history, ravings, folly, and struggle.”

Maxine Gadd was a Red Diaper Baby, born to radical Communist parents just outside London, England, on November 12, 1940. She immigrated with her family to Canada in 1946 and lived in a downtown hotel. She later moved to Galiano Island, eventually returning to Vancouver.

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The Good Bacteria
by Sharon Thesen
Publisher: House of Anansi Press

In crisp, intimate, and uncluttered language, Sharon Thesen gives us a layered meditation on energy and endings: the irrepressible energy of life; and the end of the natural world, of home, and of love, youth, and safety. With nods to predecessors who searched for the Ideal in the local—Frank O’Hara, Robert Creeley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and John Berryman—The Good Bacteria is a beautiful addition to Thesen’s considerable achievements.

Sharon Thesen has published seven books of poetry. Two have been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, and her last book, A Pair of Scissors, won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. She was born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, and now lives in Vancouver.

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Moving Day
by Terence Young
Publisher: Signature Editions

In Moving Day, his impressive second collection of poetry, Terence Young bookends the fantastical with a series of lingering glances into his rearview mirror and a few knowing observations on the journey so far. His subjects are those of everyday: love, marriage, children, and the inevitability of change. Some poems touch on the dreamy qualities of memory, its tendency to slip into the magical, and others turn a quirky eye onto child rearing, education, and home repair.

Terence Young lives in Victoria, where he has taught high school for more than twenty-five years and where he contributes to the Victoria School of Writing.

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Sponsored by Sandhill Book Marketing and the BC Branch of the Editors Association of Canada / Association canadienne des réviseurs
Judges: Trevor McMonagle, Patty Osborne and Jessica Walker

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

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).

Clam Gardens: Aboriginal Mariculture on Canada’s West Coast 
by Judith Williams
Publisher: New Star Books

For many years, archaeologists were unaware of the ancient clam terraces at Waiatt Bay, on Quadra Island. Author Judith Williams knew no differently until she spoke with Klahoose elder, Elizabeth Harry (Keekus). Gathering stories from other observers of clam gardens in the Broughton Archipelago and conducting her own survey of Waiatt Bay and Gorge Harbour on Cortes Island, Williams has amassed evidence that the rock structures seen only at the lowest tides were used by native peoples to cultivate butter clams. Her research challenges the notion of pre-contact West Coast indigenous peoples as solely hunters and gatherers.

Judith Williams is assistant professor emeritus in the University of British Columbia’s Fine Arts department.

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Emily Carr
by Ian M. Thom, Charles C. Hill, and Johanne Lamoureux
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

This ambitious and groundbreaking book—based upon an equally ambitious exhibition co-created by the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Art Gallery—revisits Emily Carr and her world through the eyes of three distinguished senior curators, as well as nine equally distinguished critics and essayists.

Ian M. Thom is senior curator, historical, at the Vancouver Art Gallery. A well-known authority on British Columbia art, he has published widely.

Charles C. Hill, curator of Canadian art at the National Gallery of Canada, studied at McGill University and the University of Toronto.

Johanne Lamoureux is a professor of art history at the Université de Montréal.

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Good Intentions Gone Awry: Emma Crosby and the Methodist Mission on the Northwest Coast
by Jan Hare and Jean Barman
Publisher: University of British Columbia Press

Unlike most missionary scholarship that focuses on male missionaries, Good Intentions Gone Awry chronicles the experiences of a missionary wife. It presents the letters of Emma Crosby, wife of the well-known Methodist missionary Thomas Crosby, who came to Fort Simpson, near present-day Prince Rupert, in 1874 to set up a mission among the Tsimshian people.

Jan Hare is Anishinaabe and a member of the M’Chigeeng First Nation. She teaches in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia.

Jean Barman is a well-known historian of British Columbia and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

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by Rachel Lebowitz
Publisher: Pedlar Press

Hannus is a poetic biography about the life of the author’s great-grandmother, Ida Hannus, a Finnish-Canadian suffragist and socialist living in Vancouver and in the BC Finnish commune, Sointula, through the turn of the century to the Cold War. Approached from different angles, employing a collage of techniques, Hannus is a constantly shifting—and consistently engaging—narrative that raises questions about the reliability of history and biography.

Rachel Lebowitz completed her bachelor’s degree at Simon Fraser University and her master’s at Concordia University. She recently lived in Halifax, and is now back in her hometown of Vancouver, where she is studying to become an elementary school teacher. Hannus is her first book.

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Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by the BC Library Association
Judges: Christianne Hayward, Barbara Nickel and Mary Schendlinger

Odd Man Out
by Sarah Ellis
Publisher: Groundwood Books

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.

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Gemini Summer
by Iain Lawrence
Publisher: Random House of Canada

Danny and his brother, Beau, live in the small town of Hog’s Hollow. His dad fears that the Vietnam War will soon become a nuclear war and begins to build a large fallout shelter. His mom dreams of writing a great novel and keeps her journals hidden in the laundry room. Beau loves everything about space travel but Danny just wants a dog. Eventually Danny takes in a pet that he risks everything to protect.

Iain Lawrence is a journalist, travel writer, avid sailor, and the author of many acclaimed novels, including Ghost BoyLord of the Nutcracker Men, and the High Seas Trilogy. He lives in the Gulf Islands.

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Josh & the Magic Vial
by Craig Spence
Publisher: Thistledown Press

Transporting readers from contemporary British Columbia to Victorian England and the evil empire of Syde, Josh & the Magic Vial is an adventure-fantasy that pits young Josh Dempster against the diabolical sorcerer Vortigen. With his artistic talents, magical vial, and band of friends in tow, Josh embarks on a quest to restore the balance of past and present, and to protect Earth from the evil Syde—that’s no simple feat for a twelve-year-old!

Craig Spence is a communications manager with the Langley School District and has worked as a writer and journalist for more than twenty-five years. Josh & the Magic Vialis his first published book. He lives in Langley, BC.

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Safe House
by James Heneghan
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

In 1999, one year after the Good Friday peace accord, sectarian violence still runs rampant in Belfast, endangering Liam Fogarty’s father―a peacemaker to the Catholic community. When twelve-year-old Liam’s parents are brutally murdered in front of him, he sees the face of one of the attackers and then runs for his life, finding shelter with a neighbouring family. Taken to a police safe house, Liam is betrayed and forced to run again, from the very people who should have protected him.

James Heneghan is the author of a number of award-winning books for young readers, including Hit Squad and Waiting for Sarah. Born in Liverpool, England, he now lives in Vancouver.

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Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen
by Glen Huser
Publisher: Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press

At fifteen, Tamara has survived foster care through brains, will, and attitude. Now she has to get through her high-school teacher’s latest project—volunteering at a senior’s home. When she’s assigned to cranky, wealthy, and frail Jean Barclay, the two warily size each other up and realize they can help each other: Jean wants to attend an opera in Seattle and Tamara wants to enrol in modelling school in Vancouver. Together they plan the road trip of a lifetime.

Glen Huser’s books for young readers include Stitches, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Literature in 2003. He grew up in small-town Alberta but now lives in Vancouver.

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Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by Kate Walker and Company, Michael Reynolds and Associates, Craig Siddall and Associates
Judges: Elisa Guitérrez, Brian Hornberg and Bill Valgardson

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

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.

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Abby’s Birds
by Ellen Schwartz
Illustrated by Sima Elizabeth Shefrin
Publisher: Tradewind Books

Abby makes an unlikely friend in her neighbourhood—her elderly Japanese neighbour, Mrs. Naka. All spring and summer, the two delight in the robins that live in the maple tree that straddles their yards. Mrs. Naka teaches Abby how to make tori—origami birds. Later, when Mrs. Naka has an accident, Abby uses her new skill to conjure up a surprise to comfort her ailing neighbour.

Ellen Schwartz is the author of twelve books for children. She lives in Burnaby.

Illustrator Sima Elizabeth Shefrin’s Middle East Peace Quilt has toured North America since 1999. She commutes between Vancouver and Gabriola Island. This is her first book.

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The Kids Book of Canadian Immigration
by Deborah Hodge
Illustrated by John Mantha
Publisher: Kids Can Press

Canada is a diverse land with a rich immigration history. Our roots begin with the Aboriginal peoples and extend to a wide array of newcomers, who over hundreds of years have arrived from more than 200 cultures. Each cultural group has a fascinating story to tell. Their stories, past and present, and their amazing contributions to this country are told in these pages.

Deborah Hodge, an award-winning author of fifteen books for children, lives in Vancouver.

John Mantha is a Toronto-based artist and illustrator. Thus far, John has illustrated fourteen books, several of them award nominees and winners.

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The Queen’s Feet
by Sarah Ellis
Illustrated by Dusan Petricic
Publisher: Red Deer Press

Queen Daisy has a great deal of trouble with her feet. They have a mind of their own and do not like behaving in a royal way. A meeting has to be called to find a solution to Queen Daisy’s problem, and what a solution it turns out to be.

Sarah Ellis’s awards include the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, and the Vicky Metcalf Award. She lives in Vancouver.

Dusan Petricic imigrated to Canada after a distinguished career as an illustrator in his native Yugoslavia. He has received the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Certificate of Honour and an Alberta Book Award. He lives in Toronto.

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Zoe and the Fawn
by Catherine Jameson
Illustrated by Julie Flett
Publisher: Theytus Books

An adventure begins when Zoe finds a lone fawn in the forest and helps search for its mother. But who could be the mother: a bunny, a fish? Join Zoe and her father as they encounter many woodland animals and learn their Native names along the way. Zoe and the Fawn is a delightful educational family story.

Catherine Jameson is a Shuswap Okanagan (Syilx) mother, and this is her first book. She lives in Penticton.

Julie Flett is Cree Métis and previously illustrated The Moccasins (2005). She based her computer-generated images on a variety of textured and coloured papers. She lives in Vancouver.

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Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award

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

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

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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Nobody’s Mother: Life Without Kids 
by Lynne Van Luven (editor)
Publisher: Touchwood Editions

Lynne Van Luven brings together a thoughtful group of twenty-one women of various ages and backgrounds whose frank essays about remaining childless are probing, provocative, and entertaining. Some of the essayists are childfree intentionally, others by circumstance, and yet others by a simple twist of fate. But all the contributors to this lively anthology have one thing in common: they are content with their lives and do not view themselves as freaks or failures because they have not had children.

Lynne Van Luven has worked as either a journalist or teacher for the past thirty-something years. She has taught journalism and non-fiction at the University of Victoria since 1997.

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Raven Travelling: Two Centuries of Haida Art
by Daina Augaitis, Lucille Bell, Nika Collison, Vince Collison, Robert Davidson, Jacqueline Gijssen, Guujaw, Marianne Jones, Peter Macnair, Bill Reid, Isabel Rorick, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Don Yoemans
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

This assemblage of powerful work explores the extraordinary achievement of Haida art, as art.

Daina Augaitis has been chief curator and associate director at the Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada since 1996.

Nika Collison—singer, drummer, and weaver—is also Bill Reid’s granddaughter. She lives in Skidegate on Haida Gwaii.

Robert Davidson, a Northwest Coast native of Haida descent, is a master carver of totem poles and masks.

Peter Macnair is former curator of anthropology at the Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria.

Bill Reid, born in Victoria to a German-Scots-American father and a Haida mother, ranks among Canada’s finest artists.

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Vancouver Remembered
by Michael Kluckner
Publisher: Whitecap Books

More than twenty years ago, artist Michael Kluckner created Vancouver: The Way It Was (1984), combining a historical narrative with a unique mix of his watercolour illustrations and a diverse collection of photographs and vintage postcards. In Vancouver Remembered, Kluckner continues his exploration of the city and its multi-layered past. Dozens of new, contemporary watercolours and a tremendous range of previously unpublished images that concentrate on the city and its neighbourhoods since the Second World War make Vancouver Remembered an essential record of the city’s recent history.

Michael Kluckner is a writer, artist, and heritage activist who sold his small farm in Langley, BC, in November 2006 and now lives in Australia.

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Yetsa’s Sweater
by Sylvia Olsen
Illustrated by Joan Larson
Publisher: Sono Nis Press

On a fresh spring day, young Yetsa, her mother, and her grandmother gather to prepare the sheep fleeces piled in Grandma’s yard. As they clean, wash, and dry the fleece, laughter and hard work connect the three generations. Through Yetsa’s sensual experience of each task, the reader joins this family in an old but vibrant tradition: the creation of Cowichan sweaters.

Sylvia Olsen, who operated a Cowichan sweater shop for sixteen years on Tsartlip Reserve near Victoria, is the author of six novels for young people.

Joan Larson is an award-winning artist who lives in the Qualicum Beach area.

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Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence

Supported by The Honourable Lieutenant Governor of BC
2007 Jury: Gail Bull, Jack Hodgins, and Paul Whitney

Patrick Lane

The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence was established in 2003 by the Honourable Iona Campagnolo to recognize British Columbia writers who have contributed to the development of literary excellence in the Province. This year the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence is awarded to Patrick Lane.

“It has been said of his prose that it can be savoured like the music of Mozart. It has been said of his early poetry that it resonates with the voice of the land and those who live close to the rugged world. He has said, himself, that he has written his way out of poverty and into a way of life. In doing so, Patrick Lane has also written himself into a central position in the Canadian literary scene. He is considered by admiring readers—including scholars, critics, and fellow writers—to be one of the finest poets of his generation, a reputation that extends far beyond our national borders and has been further enhanced and expanded by his recent prose memoir There is a Season, widely acknowledged as a masterpiece. Sometimes requiring us to confront violence, injustice, death, and regret, as well as instances of compassion, beauty, and wisdom, his often understated images are delivered with such stark precision, stunning insight, and subtle compassion that they may linger, disturb, and provoke understanding long after the page has been turned. His books have won most of the prestigious literary awards in Canada, including the Governor General’s Award, the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize,  the Canadian Authors Association Award, and the BC Award for Canadian Non-fiction. He remains a generous mentor to younger poets even as he continues to pursue his own adventures with words. Courageous, compelled, enduring—like the carpenter in one of his early poems, Lane-the-writer keeps ‘pushing the floor another level higher / like a hawk who every year adds levels to his nest / until he’s risen above the tree he builds on / and alone lifts off into the wind / beating his wings like nails into the sky.'”
— Jury member Jack Hodgins

Patrick Lane was born in 1939 in Nelson, BC, and grew up in the Okanagan region of the BC Interior, primarily in Vernon. In Vancouver he co-founded a small press, Very Stone House, with bill bissett and Seymour Mayne. He then drifted extensively throughout North and South America working at a variety of jobs from labourer to industrial accountant, but much of his life has been spent as a poet, having produced twenty-four books of poetry to date. His poetry and fiction have been widely anthologized and have been translated into many languages.

He has been a resident writer at the University of Manitoba, Concordia University, the University of Alberta, the Saskatoon Public Library, and the University of Toronto. He taught English Literature at the University of Saskatchewan from 1986 to 1990, and Creative Writing at the University of Victoria from 1991 to 2004. Presently, he leads private writing retreats and teaches at schools such as the Banff Writing Workshops, Booming Ground at UBC, the Victoria Writing School, and the Sage Hill Experience in Saskatchewan. He has appeared at literary festivals around the world and has read and published his work in many countries, including England, France, the Czech Republic, Italy, China, Japan, Chile, Colombia, the Netherlands, and Russia.

Lane now makes his home in Victoria, BC, with his companion, the poet Lorna Crozier. He is the father of five children and grandfather of five.