Category Archives: Readings

Lindsay Wong reads from The Woo-Woo

The Cinematheque
1131 Howe St. Vancouver.
Doors open at 5:30pm. Presentation by Lindsay Wong starts at 5:45pm, followed by an audience Q&A.

The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and my Crazy Chinese Family
Written by Lindsay Wong

Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018

In this jaw-dropping, darkly comedic memoir, a young woman comes of age in a dysfunctional Asian family who blame their woes on ghosts and demons when they should really be on anti-psychotic meds.

Lindsay Wong grew up with a grandmother who has paranoid schizophrenia and a mother who was deeply afraid of the “woo-woo” — Chinese ghosts who come to visit in times of personal turmoil. From a young age, she witnessed the woo-woo’s sinister effects; when she was six, Lindsay and her mother avoided the dead people haunting their house by hiding out in a mall food court, and on a camping trip, in an effort to rid her daughter of demons, her mother tried to light Lindsay’s foot on fire.

The eccentricities take a dark turn, however, and when Lindsay starts to experience symptoms of the woo-woo herself, she wonders whether she will suffer the same fate as her family.

At once a witty and touching memoir about the Asian immigrant experience and a harrowing and honest depiction of the vagaries of mental illness, The Woo-Woo is a gut-wrenching and beguiling manual for surviving family, and oneself.

About the author:

Lindsay Wong holds a BFA in Creative Writing from The University of British Columbia and a MFA in Literary Nonfiction from Columbia University in New York City.

Her debut memoir, The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug-Raids, Demons, And My Crazy Chinese Family won the Hubert-Evans Nonfiction Prize in 2019. It was also shortlisted for the 2018 Hilary Weston Prize, 2019 Canada Reads, and long-listed for the 2019 Stephen Leacock Medal in Humour.

Her YA novel, The Summer I Learned Chinese is forthcoming from Simon Pulse in 2020.

Wong resides in East Vancouver.

Additional details about tonight’s event:

A reminder: Attendance is free but please RSVP below by September 16, 2019.

Books will be available for purchase at the event.

Interested attendees of Lucid can purchase tickets to attend the Frames Of Mind screening that immediately follows the Lucid event. See to keep up to date with monthly film screenings.

Feel free to email us with any questions or comments at, and be sure to check out our blog: for updates!

Thank you for supporting Lucid!

Hidden Lives: True Stories from People who Live with Mental Illness

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
5:30-7:00 pm
1131 Howe St. Vancouver.
(Access is by way of the lane between Howe Street and Hornby Street. Knock on the door that says Cineworks.)

Hidden Lives: true stories from people who live with mental illness
(Touchwood, 2017)
Edited by Lenore Rowntree and Andrew Boden

In this ground-breaking collection, well-known and cutting-edge authors bring to light life with mental illness. These evocative essays, by writers who either suffer from or have close family members diagnosed with mental illness or a developmental disorder, aim to break down the stigma that surrounds one of the most devastating of human tribulations. The writers recount their experiences with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, clinical depression, anorexia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and dissociative identity disorder. Hidden Lives gives readers a place to turn and communicates not despair but courage.

“A privileged if uncomfortably close look at one of the most devastating a human tribulations. For all the raw honestly of its revelations, Hidden Lives communicates not despair but courage.” —Gabor Maté, MD

Readings and discussion by co-editors Lenore Rowntree and Andrew Boden

Additional discussion by invited guest Sandra Luckow

The following two (downloadable) short stories will the initial focus of our discussion. Reading ahead of time is not necessary but encouraged. Copies of Hidden Lives will be available for sale at the event.

Attendance is free but please RSVP to by March 17, 2019.  An optional light meal (sandwiches with vegetarian options, chips, and juice) is available at $10.00 per person payable by cash at the event. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate specific dietary requests at this time.

More about Hidden Lives:

About the facilitators:

Lenore Rowntree is a Canadian author and playwright. She is a co-editor and contributor to the collection of life stories Hidden Lives: true stories from people who live with mental illness (Touchwood Editions/Brindle & Glass, 2nd ed. 2017)Her novel Cluck is the darkly comic story of Henry whose mother lives with bipolar disorder and was a finalist for the Great BC Novel contest (Thistledown Press, 2016).

Andrew Boden‘s articles on mental illness have appeared in Open Minds Quarterly and Other Voices. His stories and essays have appeared in The Journey Prize Stories: 22Prairie FireDescantVancouver Review, and the anthology Nobody’s Father: Life Without Kids. Andrew is vice-president and director of the Institute for Cross-Cultural Exchange, a Canadian children’s literacy charity.

Sandra Luckow teaches documentary and narrative film production at Columbia University, Barnard College and Yale School of Art. Her film THAT WAY MADNESS LIES will be screened at the Cinematheque on March 20th at 7:30 PM as part of the Frames of Mind Mental Health film series.

Note: Sandra’s comments this evening will be informed by a book she highly recommends: I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! How To Help Someone With Mental Illness Accept Treatment by Dr. Xavier Amador

Additional details about tonight’s event:

A reminder: Attendance is free but please RSVP by March 17, 2019. (An optional light meal is available at $10.00 per person payable by cash at the event.)

Interested attendees of Lucid can purchase tickets to attend the Frames Of Mind screening that immediately follows the Lucid event. See

Feel free to email us with any questions or comments at info@nulllucidbookclub.comm, and be sure to check out our blog: for updates!

Thank you for supporting Lucid!

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

All+My+Puny+SorrowsTuesday, September 22, 2015
Alumni Room
UBC Medical Student & Alumni Centre (MSAC)
2750 Heather Street, Vancouver, BC  Canada  V5Z 4M2
(Corner of 12th and Heather)

SHORTLISTED 2014 – Scotiabank Giller Prize

Miriam Toews is beloved for her irresistible voice, for mingling laughter and heartwrenching poignancy like no other writer. In her most passionate novel yet, she brings us the riveting story of two sisters, and a love that illuminates life.

You won’t forget Elf and Yoli, two smart and loving sisters. Elfrieda, a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die. Yolandi, divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men as she tries to find true love: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive. Yoli is a beguiling mess, wickedly funny even as she stumbles through life struggling to keep her teenage kids and mother happy, her exes from hating her, her sister from killing herself and her own heart from breaking.

But Elf’s latest suicide attempt is a shock: she is three weeks away from the opening of her highly anticipated international tour. Can she be nursed back to “health” in time? As the situation becomes ever more complicated, Yoli faces the most terrifying decision of her life.

All My Puny Sorrows, at once tender and unquiet, offers a profound reflection on the limits of love, and the sometimes unimaginable challenges we experience when childhood becomes a new country of adult commitments and responsibilities. In her beautifully rendered new novel, Miriam Toews gives us a startling demonstration of how to carry on with hope and love and the business of living even when grief loads the heart.

(from )

Discussion facilitated by George Fetherling, a prolific poet, novelist, cultural commentator and memoirist. He has published 50 books of poetry, fiction, criticism, history and biography, including the novel Walt Whitman’s Secret and the poetry collection The Sylvia Hotel Poems

Supported by the Public Education Program, UBC Department of Psychiatry and the Institute of Mental Health.


Globe & Mail Review of All My Puny Sorrows by Jared Bland

Hold that date! – Our next reading will be on November 24, 2015


High Clear Bell of Morning

high_clear_bellcmyk_300Wednesday, November 12, 2014
7:15pm – 9:00pm Gibson Room, Green College, UBC

Canadian novelist and biologist Ann Eriksson will be reading from her new novel, High Clear Bell of Morning, a gripping tale of a father’s love and the extent to which he will go to protect his daughter with schizophrenia.  Ann combines a background in ecology with her life experiences to create works of fiction grounded in nature and populated with compelling characters.

High Clear Bell of Morning illustrates the strain on families facing mental illnesses, and draws attention to the inadequate system that is meant to help. At the same time, it celebrates the natural world and sends a cautionary warning of what we all have to lose.

More about the book :

About Ann Ericksson:

June Readings

June 11, 2014, 7:15-9:00pm
Gibson Room, Green College

For the June meeting of the Lucid Book Club and Reading Series, we will be featuring a diverse group of writers and mental health practitioners from the local communities, presenting their writing projects. The event will showcase a variety of work, ranging from memoir to poetry, fiction and self-help.

reclaim-quinn thedolphin_canadian harbour_cover broken-word-alan-hill when-quietness-came Continue reading

Gang Stalking in Timothy Taylor’s Blue Light Project

May 14th 2014
Coach House, Green College 

For this Lucid Book Club and Reading Series Meeting, local author Timothy Taylor will be joining us to discuss his latest novel, The Blue Light Project.  Psychiatric commentary will also be provided by Dr. Randall White, director of the BC Psychosis program at UBC Hospital.

Our meeting will be focusing specifically on the mental health aspect of mass delusions within the book, and how time periods affect the delusions people suffer from.  Participants may find it helpful to read the following article in conjunction with the book:


Rising Sun, Falling Shadow

Rising Sun, Falling ShadowApril 9, 2014,  7:15pm – 9:00pm at the Coach House, Green College UBC

Local author Daniel Kalla will be joining us to read from his most recent novel Rising Sun, Falling Shadow, and discuss his dual career as an emergency room physician and writer.

Daniel Kalla produces engrossing novels with an intensity that matches the challenge of his other role as Department Head of Emergency Medicine at an urban teaching hospital in Vancouver. His first five novels, medical thrillers, focus on themes that lie at the heart of his professional life, delving into topics as diverse as superbugs, pandemics, addiction, DNA evidence and patient abuse. His seventh novel, The Far Side Of The Sky, is a historical novel set against a startling, yet little known, chapter of the Second World War, when 20,000 Jews fled Germany to find shelter in only one city: Shanghai, “The Paris of the East”. His latest, Rising Sun, Falling Shadow, continues the story – A story of espionage, betrayal, and one family’s struggle to survive in war-torn Shanghai.

“A vivid, realistic novel that rewards the emotional investment it encourages.” –The Vancouver Sun

“Despite its grim subject matter, this gripping historical novel communicates a hopeful message about the power of love and friendship to overcome hatred.” — Booklist

Author reading sponsored by Canada Council, Isaac Waldman Jewish Public Library and UBC Department of Psychiatry.

Bad Animals: A Father’s Accidental Education in Autism by Joel Yanofsky

Wednesday, March 12, 2014- 7:15 pm

Writer and Lucid Book Club participant Lenore Rowntree will be reading from and leading a discussion about Bad Animals: A Father’s Accidental Education in Autism by Joel Yanofskywinner of QWF Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-fiction
“A veteran book reviewer, Yanofsky has spent a lifetime immersed in literature (not to mention old movies and old jokes), which he calls shtick. This account of a year in the life of a family describes a father’s struggle to enter his son’s world, the world of autism, using the materials he knows best: self-help books, feel-good memoirs, literary classics from the Bible to Dr. Seuss, old movies, and, yes, shtick. Funny, wrenching, and unfailingly candid, Bad Animals is both an exploration of a baffling condition and a quirky love story told by a gifted writer.”

Writers… show their capacity for greatness when they point their talent at something they love. Joel Yanofsky has done just that: written a marvellous book about a child he adores — his son.

– David Gilmour, author of The Film Club

Feel free to email us with any questions or comments at, and be sure to check out our blog: for updates!

Thank you for supporting Lucid!

children of air india: un/authorized exhibits and interjections

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 – 7:15 pm

Poet Renée Sarojini Saklikar will be reading from her new book, children of air india, a poetic exploration of Air India Flight 182, Canada’s worst act of aviation terror.

Renée Sarojini Saklikar writes thecanadaproject, a life-long poem chronicle about her life from

India to Canada, from coast to coast. Work from thecanadaproject appears in literary publications including The Georgia Straight,The Vancouver Review, PRISM international, Poetry is Dead, SubTerrain,Ricepaper, CV2,Ryga: a journal of provocations, Geistand Arc Poetry Magazine and is forthcoming in the recent anthologies, Alive at the Center: Contemporary Poems from the Pacific Northwestand Force Field: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia. Renée is married to Adrian Dix, Leader of the Official Opposition in British Columbia. children of air india is her debut collection.

Feel free to email us with any questions or comments at, and be sure to check out our blog: for updates!

Thank you for supporting Lucid!