Bergen and Wagamese to do Battle in CBC’s Canada Reads

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CBC’s Canada Reads: Turf Wars released the names of its panelists and book choices for 2013 today, and WCA is happy to announce that Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse and David Bergen’s The Age of Hope have made the cut, and will now face off with three other titles in CBC’s annual book-battle.

The Canada Reads debates will play out in front of an audience in Toronto and on CBC Radio One from Feb. 11 to Feb. 14, 2013.

WCA Authors fill Globe 100 list

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The Globe & Mail’s annual Globe 100 list has been released, and Westwood Creative Artists is thrilled to announce that WCA authors’ titles fill the list of the top books of the year. We would like to offer our warmest congratulations to all of the authors, and provide the Globe’s citations below.


Indian Horse

By Richard Wagamese, Douglas & McIntyre

In Richard Wagamese’s novel, Saul Indian Horse introduces himself in the first line of his “memoir”: Anishinabeg, of the Fish clan, from the shores of the Winnipeg River. But it soon becomes clear that this pastoral and traditional sense of himself has not come easily, that he has had to fight numerous battles to achieve self-knowledge and self-acceptance. — Jane Smiley

Dr. Brinkley’s Tower

By Robert Hough, Anansi

John Romulus Brinkley, born poor in 1885 Appalachia, made a fortune by claiming to cure impotence by implanting goat glands into men. In the 1930s, Mexico let him build a 50,000-watt “border blaster,” and the construction of this massive radio transmitter provides the backdrop for Robert Hough’s hilarious novel. — Steven Hayward

The Juliet Stories

By Carrie Snyder, Anansi

The Juliet Stories is a well-crafted and imaginative novel-in-stories that explores and reflects on the impact of a few monumental years in the life of the book’s namesake. It combines straight-ahead realism with fractured, dream-like prose, in a successful exploration of the merits and pitfalls of family life. — Zoe Whittall

Everybody Has Everything

By Katrina Onstad, Emblem/M&S

In Katrina Onstad’s ambitious, assured, gripping novel, Ana and James, a 40-ish professional couple, are settling into a life without children when their friends Marcus and Sarah are in a car accident, leaving Ana and James to care for their two-year-old son.  —Zoe Whittall

The Magic of Saida

By M. G. Vassanji, Doubleday Canada

M. G. Vassanji continues his ongoing exploration of history and its lingering effects on the present in this story of Kamal Punja, a well-off, late-middle-aged doctor in Edmonton, who returns to his birthplace on the coast of Tanzania in search of the Saida of the title, whom he knew as a child. — Robert J. Wiersema

The World

By Bill Gaston, Hamish Hamilton Canada

Fifty-one-year-old retired shop teacher Stuart loses everything after he accidentally burns down his uninsured house. But the story is not depressing – anything but. Stuart’s disaster is recounted with affection and without so much as a pinch of melodrama, and the realism is as spot-on as a Ken Danby print. — Diane Baker Mason

Mad Hope

By Heather Birrell, Coach House

In this collection, Heather Birrell explores characters whose reasonable expectations of the world have been devastated by sudden death or other tragedies, leaving them yearning for alleviation of grief, pain or regret. Birrell’s exceptional gift for narrative achieves a seemingly effortless originality and accuracy. — Kelli Deeth


The Complete Journals of L. M. Montgomery

The PEI Years, 1889-1900

edited by Mary Henley Rubio and Elizabeth Hillman Waterston, Oxford

This welcome addition to our knowledge of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s life and legacy captures the thoughts and observations of a highly articulate woman, one whose bestselling Anne of Green Gables was several years away, but who would eventually become one of Canada’s most enduring authors. — Benjamin Lefebvre

The Pursuit of Perfection

A Life of Celia Franca

by Carol Bishop-Gwyn, Cormorant

The founder of the National Ballet of Canada had a phobia about people knowing too much about her, creating a flamboyant persona to hide her origins as the daughter of poor working-class Jews in London. So many ballet biographies veer in the direction of sycophancy, but this wonderfully candid life is both superbly insightful and judiciously written. — Deirdre Kelly


A Memoir of Extremes

by Kamal Al-Solaylee, HarperCollins

Kamal al-Solaylee’s memoir of growing up gay in Arab countries crosses many lines of identity: class, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion and degrees of religious observance. This beautiful book about a family’s tortured relationship to history – and a region’s fraught relationship to modernity – is everything a great memoir should be: It’s as moving as it is complex. — Matthew Hays


The Rise of the New Global Super-rich and the Fall of Everyone Else

by Chrystia Freeland, Doubleday Canada

In her book about the rise of the super-wealthy, Chrystia Freeland focuses not on the lifestyles of the rich and fatuous, but on the societally corrosive effects of growing income inequality. Freeland’s analysis of this problem is rich and worthwhile, and admirably free of St. Tropez helicopter glam shots. — Paul Kedrosky


Sex, Scandal, and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection

by Deirdre Kelly, Greystone

If this book was commissioned as a result of The Black Swan effect, Globe and Mail writer Deirdre Kelly certainly delivered in the line of brief lives en pointe. Her best read like those superior program essayettes. Her entry on the most tragic, and gifted, Emma Livry, is almost a ballet libretto. — Veronica Horwell


Travels Along the Barricades

by Marcello Di Cintio, Goose Lane

This is a remarkable book, and Di Cintio is a thoroughly engaged, and engaging, traveller and wordsmith. He shares tea with desert nomads, visits holding camps filled with broken-dreamed West African and Punjabi migrants, and – most dangerous of all, perhaps – travels the U.S.-Mexican border alongside a gun-toting yet oddly endearing redneck environmentalist. — Will Ferguson

GG Winners Announced!

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The 14 winners of the Governor General’s Literary Awards were announced by the Canada Council for the Arts, and WCA is happy to announce that Susin Nielsen has won the award in the Children’s Literature — Text category for The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, and Isabelle Arsenault, the illustrator for Kyo Maclear’s Virginia Wolf has won in the Children’s Literature — Illustration category.

The Canada Council for the Arts funds and administers the GGs, the most significant literary award program in Canada, providing close to $ 450,000 in prize money. They are awarded in both English and French in seven categories: fiction, poetry, drama, non‑fiction, children’s literature (text and illustration) and translation.

Healy, Nason and Quigley Longlisted for IMPAC

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Three WCA clients have been longlisted for the prestigious 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award: Dermot Healy for Long Time, No See, Riel Nason for The Town that Drowned, and Sarah Quigley for The Conductor.

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is the largest and most international prize of its kind. It involves libraries from all corners of the globe, and is open to books written in any language. The shortlist will be announced in April.

For more information, please visit:

Fowler and Di Cintio Longlisted for BC Book Award

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The jury for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, one of Canada’s largest literary non-fiction prizes, has released its longlist of finalists for 2013, and WCA is happy to report that Robert Fowler’s A Season in Hell: My 130 Days in the Sahara with Al Qaeda (HarperCollins) and Marcello Di Cinto’s Walls: Travels Along the Barricades (Goose Lane Editions) have been chosen .

One hundred and forty-three books were nominated for the $40,000 prize by 45 publishers from across the country. From that entry, the prize jury selected a longlist of ten books.

Hough and Onstad Longlisted for Scotiabank Giller Prize

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WCA is thrilled to have two authors longlisted for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize: Robert Hough, for his novel Dr. Brinkley’s Tower, published by House of Anansi Press, and Katrina Onstad for her novel Everybody Has Everything, published by McClelland & Stewart/Emblem.

The Scotiabank Giller Prize is Canada’s most distinguished literary prize, awarding $50,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English.

Hay, Itani, Fowler and Oliver up for Ottawa Book Awards

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WCA is happy to announce that four WCA clients have been nominated for Ottawa Book Awards. The Ottawa  book awards recognize the top English and French books published in the previous year. Congratulations Elizabeth Hay, Frances Itani, Robert Fowler and Craig Oliver!

Elizabeth Hay: Alone in the Classroom

Frances Itani: Requiem

Robert R. Fowler: A Season in Hell: My 130 Days in the Sahara with Al Qaeda

Craig Oliver: Oliver’s Twist: The Life and Times of an Unapologetic Newshound

Life of Pi to open New York Film Festival

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One of the biggest selling Canadian novels in history, Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, will have its movie debut at the New York Film Festival on September 28th.

Life of Pi stars newcomer Suraj Sharma as Pi Patel, a teenager who is stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger following the sinking of a ship carrying zoo animals.

Martel’s novel, published in 2001, won the 2002 Man Booker Prize.