Vancouver is a literary hotspot. More than 1,500 authors live in the B.C. region and the province boasts the highest number of book readers in Canada. As a centre of the publishing industry, the region produces about 250 new books every year.



Vancouver's Famous Writers
Local lad Douglas Coupland topped North American bestseller lists (and coined the moniker of a generation) with Generation X, and popular follow-ups like J-Pod and Girlfriend in a Coma – he has even produced his own quirky Vancouver “guidebook” called City of Glass.

William Gibson still has the science fiction market talking and Michael Turner is considered one of Canada’s most original and versatile writers – his Hard Core Logo has been adapted to radio, stage and film. Timothy Taylor has garnered local, national and international plaudits for his literary output, most notably the novel Stanley Park.

The city also has a rich contemporary non-fiction side, with local authors James Mackinnon and Charles Montgomery leading the pack and winning national and international awards.

The grand, Colosseum-shaped Vancouver Public Library ( is the best place in town to check out the city’s literary bent. Opened in 1995, one of its most popular programs is the One Book One Vancouver campaign where the city becomes a giant book club focused on a single title written by a local author or with a local theme.


Five Hot Picks: Fiction

  • Stanley Park by Timothy Taylor, relating modern-day Vancouver through a story that mixes the life of a local chef with the park’s dark secrets
  • Generation X by Douglas Coupland, the book that labelled a generation, is the satirical story of three underemployed and overeducated young refugees from yuppie wannabeeism
  • The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy, a searing portrayal of growing up in a Vancouver Chinese immigrant family in the 1930s
  • The Vancouver Stories, an evocative series of shorts on the city by, among others, Douglas Coupland, Alice Munro, Ethel Wilson, Malcolm Lowry, William Gibson and Timothy Taylor
  • Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid by Evelyn Lau, an honour student when she ran away from home for a life of prostitution at the age of 14. Lau's personal experience became the basis for this novel of life on the streets



Five Hot Picks: Non-Fiction

  • History of Metropolitan Vancouver by Chuck Davis, a seminal, highly evocative guide to the emergence and development of the city
  • Greenpeace: the Inside Story by Rex Wexler, relating the history of the environmental movement from its start in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neigh-bourhood
  • City of Glass by Douglas Coupland, a colourful and quirky homage to Vancouver from one of the city’s most famous living writers
  • Wreck Beach by Carellin Brooks, uncovering the history of the city’s in-famous naturist beach
  • City of Glass by Douglas Coupland, a colourful and quirky homage to Vancouver from one of the city's most famous living writers.
  • From Naked Ape to Super Species: A Personal Perspective on Humanity and the Global Eco-crisis by David Suzuki, a state-of-the-environment plea from the famed local ecologist

Story Idea
Buy a copy of Douglas Coupland’s quirky City of Glass, then visit the sites he mentions. A celebrated visual artist, Coupland has also created art installations around the city: the Digital Orca next to the Convention Centre and the Terry Fox Memorial in front of BC Place Stadium. Consider trying to get a comment or two from the West Vancouver-based Coupland for your story – following him on Twitter (@DougCoupland) is a good way to start