Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative


B.C. Book Prizes Announced

September 25, 2023

The BC and Yukon Book Prizes were awarded over the weekend. The winners are:

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize - Billy-Ray Belcourt, A Minor Chorus (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin Random House Canada)

Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize - Karen Bakker, The Sounds of Life: How Digital Technology Is Bringing Us Closer to the Worlds of Animals and Plants (Princeton University Press)

Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize - Otoniya J. Okot Bitek, A is for Acholi (Wolsak & Wynn)

Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize - Cole Pauls, Kwändǖr (Conundrum Press)

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize - Rachel Hartman, In the Serpent’s Wake (Penguin Random House Canada)

Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize - Jessika Von Innerebner, That’s My Sweater! (Scholastic Canada)

Jim Deva Prize for Writing That Provokes - Michael J. Hathaway, What a Mushroom Lives For: Matsutake and the Worlds They Make (Princeton University Press)

Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award - Chief Robert Joseph, Namwayut: We Are All One: A Pathway to Reconciliation (Page Two Books)

Aside from mildly regretting the lack of history titles among the winners, I am surprised that BC-based publishers took home only one of the eight prizes, though I have no idea what that means.

I should also mention that Robin Stevenson, a prolific author of books for young readers, was awarded this year's Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence.

Congratulations to all the winners.

July 31, 2023

Congratulations to Robin Fisher. His biography of the noted museologist/anthropologist Wilson Duff was recently awarded top prize by the BC Historical Federation at its annual meeting, held this year in Princeton.

 Officially the prize is the BC Lieutenant Governor's Award for Historical Writing but by any name it is a deserving winner, as I have...

July 2, 2023

June 5, 2023

In 1929 Virginia Woolf published her essay, “A Room of One’s Own”, based on lectures she had given the previous year at Cambridge University. In it, Woolf made her famous observation that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

I doubt that the essay was widely known in Vancouver. Even so there was a group of young local women who knew the truth of...

May 10, 2023

Last evening I attended a launch for a new edition of Pauline Johnson’s classic story collection, Legends of Vancouver, first published in 1911. (Except that the new book has a new title, Legends of  the Capilano, for reasons that are explained.) Editor Alix Shield has added several new stories as well as...

April 30, 2023

News broke a couple of weeks ago that plans are being formulated to release the captive orca known as Lolita back into the wild, sort of.

Lolita has been held in a small tank in a Florida marine park ever since she was captured in Puget Sound in 1970. During the 1960s and 1970s dozens of animals were taken from the Northwest Coast for sale to amusement parks and aquariums around the world....