It’s officially a new year and as always, it’s time for New Year’s resolutions. One of the top ten resolutions that is on everyone’s list is to read more. And no wonder! Reading increases your empathy, focus, memory and imagination, it can lower stress levels, help with mental health issues and overall ward off the signs of aging. As if that wasn’t reason enough to add “read more” to your resolutions, we’ve also rounded up a top ten list of award winning local authors who are making waves with their works. These authors are sure to make you head straight to Munro’s to browse the shelves and make 2022 your year to get back into reading! 

Edeana Malcolm

If you’re a fan of historical fiction, Victoria resident Edeana Malcom’s books will hit the spot. With seven published short stories and three award winning stories, Malcolm delves into the lives of her own forebears to find characters and situations to inspire her works. “When I read a book, I want to be taken away to another world, but I want to learn something too.” 

Karen Rivers

Born in Nanaimo, British Columbia and raised in Victoria, Karen Rivers is a real Vancouver Islander. She studied writing at the University of Victoria and earned a B.A. in international relations from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Today, Rivers lives in a little house in Victoria with her kids, dogs and birds and spends her days walking around Victoria, taking photos and of course, writing. In her debut book, The Tree Tattoo Rivers explores the illicit love affair between a young woman and older man where secrets are revealed and lives are forever changed. 

Bill Gaston 

Born in Tacoma, Washington and raised in Winnipeg, Toronto and North Vancouver, Gaston is a beloved Canadian novelist, playwright and short story author. He currently lives in Victoria with his wife, fellow writer Dede Crane and works at the University of Victoria. His fiction has been shortlisted for the Giller Prize, twice for the Governor General’s Award and his most recent novel, The World, won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. The World intertwines the five heartbreaking stories where the cruelty of life overshadows it’s joys but ultimately leads to a deeper understanding of what makes life, and the relationships within it, beautiful.

Gary Geddes

Gary Geddes was born in Vancouver, completed a doctorate at University of Toronto and has taught at various institutions in Canada and abroad. Known primarily for his poetry, Geddes has a broad literary history, writing and editing fifty books of poetry, fiction, drama, translation, criticism, non-fiction, and anthologies. He has won a dozen national and international literary awards, including the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence and the Gabriela Mistral Prize from the government of Chile. His most recent work Minefields of Indigenous Health Care is more than just a searing exposé on the shameful history of Indegenous Health Care in Canada, Minefields is a testament to the perseverance and the power of memory and a call to us all to demand a safe and equitable future. He lives on Thetis Island with his wife, novelist Ann Eriksson.

Patrick Lane

In 2019, Canada lost one of its pre-eminent poets and novelists with the passing of Partrick Lane. Winner of numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, the Canadian Authors Association Award, the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence and three National Magazine Awards, Lane leaves a legacy of a distinguished career that spanned more than fifty years. Lane’s Red Dog Red Dog is an epic novel, set in the mid 1950s in a small town in the Okanagan. Focusing on the brothers Eddy and Tom Stark, this novel explores the complicated loyalties, fierce love and deep humanity that bind brothers together despite differences, circumstances or time. 

Gary Hynes

Gary Hynes was one of the most prominent figures in Victoria’s culinary scene. The former sommelier, chef and innkeeper, was the founder and until his passing in 2018, the editor of the incredibly popular local culinary bible EAT magazine and author of Island Wineries of British Columbia the winner of the Gourmand International Wine Books Award 2011 for Canada. If you’re on Vancouver Island and want to do some winery tours, Island Wineries is the go-to book to prepare for your excursion. ​​Starting with the history of winemaking in the region, Island Wineries includes conversations with local wine producers, suggested tasting excursions and maps as well as details of the Island’s meaderies, cideries, breweries, recipes and food pairings.  

Robert Wiersema

Robert Wiersema is most often associated with his work as one of Canada’s most recognized and respected book reviewers, with his work appearing regularly in The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, National Post, and numerous other publications. Wiersema is also the author of three novels, a novella, a collection of short stories, and a book of nonfiction. He lives in Victoria where he is a professor of creative writing at Vancouver Island University.

Steven Price

Steven Price is an award winning poet and author who lives in Victoria. His novels, Into That Darkness was short-listed for the 2012 BC Fiction Prize and By Gaslight, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2016. Also an acclaimed poet, his first book of poetry anatomy of Keys won Canada’s 2007 Gerald Lampert Award for Best First Collection, was short-listed for the BC Poetry Prize, and was named a Globe and Mail Book of the Year and Omens in the Year of the Ox won the 2012 ReLit Award. He lives in Victoria, BC with his partner, novelist Esi Edugyan.

Esi Edugyan

Born in Calgary, Esi Edugyan is a Ghanaian Canadian novelist whose award winning works have become an essential voice in Canadian literature. Suffused with Black histories, her work focuses on the Black diaspora and explores what it means to belong, what the idea of ‘nation’ is and how that changes through time, cultures and countries. Both her novels Half-Blood Blues and Washington Black won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011 and 2018, respectively, making her only the third writer to win the award twice. She lives in Victoria BC with her partner, Steven Price.

Majorie Celona

Born and raised in Victoria BC, Marjorie Celona is the author of two bestselling novels Y and How a Woman Becomes a Lake. Published in eight countries, Y won France’s Grand Prix Littéraire de l’Héroïne for Best Foreign Novel, was a #1 Indie Next Pick, and was longlisted for Canada’s Giller Prize. Celona’s Y is the heart wrenching tale of Shannon, a savvy and watchful foster kid who was abandoned by her mother as a newborn at the local YMCA. After years of abuse and multiple foster homes, Shannon is surprised to find herself in a place she could call home. Heartbreaking and triumphant, Y in an unforgettable tale of the resilience of the human spirit. 

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