at the Robson Reading Series

Thursday, March 14, 2013, 7pm

UBC Bookstore at Robson Square

Robson Reading Series events are free and open to the public but registration is recommended. To register for this event, please click here.

Photo credit Lee Towndrow

Born Weird (Random House of Canada) tells the tale of the Weird family who have always been a little off, but not one of them ever suspected that they’d been cursed by their grandmother.

At the moment of the births of her five grandchildren Annie Weird gave each one a special power. Richard, the oldest, always keeps safe; Abba always has hope; Lucy is never lost and Kent can beat anyone in a fight. As for Angie, she always forgives, instantly. But over the years these so-called blessings ended up ruining their lives.

Now Annie is dying and she has one last task for Angie: gather her far-flung brothers and sisters and assemble them in her grandmother’s hospital room so that at the moment of her death, she can lift these blessings-turned-curses. And Angie has just two weeks to do it.

What follows is a quest like no other, tearing up highways and racing through airports, from a sketchy Winnipeg nursing home to the small island kingdom of Upliffta, from the family’s crumbling ancestral Toronto mansion to a motel called Love. And there is also the search for the answer to the greatest family mystery of all: what really happened to their father, whose maroon Maserati was fished out of a lake so many years ago?

Andrew Kaufman is the author of All My Friends Are SuperheroesThe Tiny Wife, and The Waterproof Bible. He was born in Wingham, Ontario, the birthplace of Alice Munro, making him the second-best writer from a town of 3000. His work has been published in 11 countries and translated into 9 languages. He is also an accomplished screenwriter and lives in Toronto with his wife and their 2 children.

LOOMS CAMILLE MARTINThe title of Looms signifies the weaving tool as well as the shadowing appearance of something, These “woven tales” were inspired by Barbara Guest’s statement that a tale “doesn’t tell the truth about itself; it tells us what it dreams about.” The strands of their surreal allegories converse, one idea giving rise to another, and the paths of their dialogue become the fabric of the narrative. In a second meaning, something that looms remains in a state of imminent arrival. Such are these tales, like parables with infinitely deferred lessons.

Camille Martin is the author four collections of poetry: Looms (Shearsman Books), SonnetsCodes of Public Sleep, and Sesame Kiosk (out of print). A chapbook, If Leaf, Then Arpeggio, was recently released from Above/Ground Press.

She has presented and published her work internationally. One of her current poetry projects is “Blueshift Road.” She’s also working on “The Evangeline Papers,” a poetic sequence based on her Acadian/Cajun heritage and her participation in archaeological digs at an eighteenth-century village in Nova Scotia, where her finds included ancestral pipes and wine bottles. Martin earned an MFA in Poetry from the University of New Orleans and a PhD in English from Louisiana State University.


Photo credit Maxime Tremblay

Lava In My BonesIn Barry Webster‘s latest novel, The Lava in My Bones (Arsenal Pulp Press), a frustrated Canadian geologist studying global warming becomes obsessed with eating rocks after embarking on his first same-sex relationship in Europe. Back home, his young sister is a high-school girl who suddenly starts to ooze honey through her pores, an affliction that attracts hordes of bees as well as her male classmates but ultimately turns her into a social pariah. Meanwhile, their obsessive Pentecostal mother repeatedly calls on the Holy Spirit to rid her family of demons. The siblings are reunited on a ship bound for Europe where they hope to start a new life, but are unaware that their disguised mother is also on board and plotting to win back their souls, with the help of the Virgin Mary.

Told in a lush baroque prose, this intense, extravagant magic-realist novel combines elements of fairy tales, horror movies, and romances to create a comic, hallucinatory celebration of excess and sensuality.

Barry Webster‘s first book, The Sound of All Flesh (Porcupine’s Quill), won the ReLit Award for best short-story collection in 2005. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award, the CBC-Quebec Prize, and the Hugh MacLennan Award. Originally from Toronto, he currently lives in East Montreal.


Are you a current UBC Vancouver graduate student who is looking forward to Reading Week 2013? If yes, read on.

Research in a large research library can be a daunting task. The Koerner Library Research Commons offers a regular series of workshops to help you with all the steps of the research process, from literature review to getting published to measuring your research publication impact.

Maximize your Reading Week (February 18-22, 2013) at UBC by registering for Discover, Gather, Create, Share – Graduate Research In A Day happening on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at the Walter C. Koerner Library. (Note: Free and lunch is included but space is limited so register soon.)

Did You Know?

The GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award is for graduate students at UBC Vancouver. These students submit exemplary non-thesis manuscripts or projects that are part of their graduate coursework to cIRcle, UBC’s Digital Repository with approval from their course instructors. Learn more about this Award at:

Above text in italics is courtesy of the UBC Library website | Above image is courtesy of Glenn Drexhage, Communications Manager, UBC Library


UBC Library is once again participating in the LibQUAL+® survey, which gathers feedback on Library collections, services and spaces. 

The web-based survey was sent to a random sample of students and faculty on February 12, 2013. LibQUAL+® closes on March 4, 2013, and the Library will share survey results with the campus community by Fall 2013.

LibQUAL+® is an internationally recognized survey used by more than 1000 libraries to measure service satisfaction among users, and to better understand and respond to user expectations. UBC Library last ran LibQUAL+® in 2010, and in 2013 we join a consortium of nearly 50 Canadian academic libraries using the survey to better understand and respond to student and faculty expectations.

More information about LibQUAL+® is available on the Library’s About Us site, as well as answers to FAQs.

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