Why I go to Writers Festivals

January 24, 2018

So a few months ago, I attended an event at the 2017 Vancouver Writers Festival where my close friend, poet, novelist, and educator Aislinn Hunter, was interviewing renowned author Eileen Myles. I went, not because I was familiar with Myles’ work, though what I found on YouTube more than piqued my interest, but because I was intrigued to see what would happen when these two writers tangled minds.

The Weirdness of Literary Prizes

August 8, 2017

"I think of writers as mostly a horizontal tribe, people who work beside each other, people who avoid hierarchies. And then we publish a book, if we’re lucky, and our publishers, if they’re good publishers, enter our book into contests. And suddenly, we’re pitted against other writers for a prize that only one of us can win."



Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award - The Mercy Journals

January 20, 2017

Claudia Casper’s third novel, The Mercy Journals (Arsenal 2016), first reviewed by Joan Givner in BC BookWorld, has won the 2017 Philip K. Dick Award for the best work of science fiction published in paperback for the first time in the USA in 2016.

The announcement was made on April 14, 2017 at the Norwescon 40 conference, in SeaTac, Washington. The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust and is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society.

I Am My Own Pet

November 16, 2016

Walking in the forest with my 7-month dog, Lucy. The rain has let up for a spell. Blue sky cuts through the mist and big dark cloud. I’m thinking about the huge bags of kibble I feed Lucy and the microbe environment  created in her stomach and intestines, and I think how little the company that makes that food knows, how little I know, or vets know, about what the food we give our dogs does to them. About what they really need to be healthy. And then it comes to me. I am my own pet. I feed myself, groom myself, and take myself out for exercise.

Cain and Abel, The Rumpus

July 27, 2016

Barbara Buchanan and I go deep into the Cain and Abel story: "I read the story of Cain and Abel closely, using the Jewish Publication Society of America translation, and studied the midrash on the text. The language is so rich and layered, from “Am I my brother’s keeper?” to “You shall be more cursed than the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.” The story in the Torah is short but its power resonates throughout our literature and our culture.

Trump's Wall Foretold

July 27, 2016

Givner's thoughtful analysis iof The Mercy Journals s a gift. "Claudia Casper's new novel adds to a growing body of work designated as "cli-fi", a genre distinct from sci-fi and fantasy, because the horrors described are not futuristic fantasies but predictions of a certain future. Fans of Casper's highly successful first novel, The Reconstruction, will find The Mercy Journals darker and more complex. Both explore what it means to become fully human and, specifically, the part played by memory in that process."

CBC and Spotify - 7 Tangles with The Mercy Journals

June 3, 2016

Here are links and a few choice quotes from recent reviewers and Q&As


Great company - Louise Erdrich, Matti Freeman, Emma Straub, Alissa York, Carmen Aguirre:


Excerpt from Q&A (linked below) with CBC Books' Jane van Koeverden ("Casper's fearless new novel"):

Yiddish Policeman's Union: the Pleasure of Arriving Late to the Ball

June 3, 2016

I just finished reading The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon. That this novel exists feels like a kind of miracle. I want to send a cry of delight out to the universe of reader's joy. The mysterious alchemy Chabon achieves of Yiddishkeit, Jewish history, alternative history, Alaska, Tlingit culture, detective noir is like finding a diamond at the beach. It's an utterly subversive work.


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