David Evanier, a former fiction editor of The Paris Review, is credited with founding Event magazine in 1971 as a young creative writing instructor at newly created Douglas College. "I wanted to implement my ideals and convictions about literature in a magazine that published only the best, most alive writing," he recalled in 2015. "I wanted each issue to be a notable event, a memorable event." Event magazines has since published 90% Canadian content and its contents have garnered numerous National and Western Magazine Awards, as well as Journey Prize and a Pushcart Prize. Evanier lent his name to a fundraising initiative for Event in 2015.

As a young man, David Evanier worked on a kibbutz in Isreal, at the New York Times as a copy boy and editorial assistant, and at the New Leader as an Assistant Editor. Being able to truthfully say he had worked at The New York Times enabled him to work and teach at Douglas College. He has been a writer-in-residence at the McDowell Colony five times and a Fellow of the the Yaddo Wurlitzer Foundation. Early in his career, his writing appeared in Transatlantic Review, December, Tamarack Review, The Nation, Choice, Dissent and Midstream, and was broadcast on CBC's Anthology. He also taught creative writing at Douglas College and edited Event magazine. He has since taught at UCLA and now lives in Brooklyn. While Evanier was at work on a biography of Woody Allen, the filmmaking team of Merchant / Ivory was making a movie based on his book, Making the Wise Guys Weep.

His first novel was published by Cherie Smith's fledgling Vancouver imprint called November House. "Cherie Smith," he recalled in 2015, "was a passionate, spirited, tigress of independent publishing. She was closely aligned with Jacob Zilber, the editor of Prism International at UBC. I think November House came about partly because of the inspiration of one remarkable first novel that Prism published, Summer of the Black Sun, by Bill T. O'Brien. That was a remarkable discovery written by a young man who was, as I remember, driving a truck at the time. I later published a wonderful story by him in Event. Jake Zilber worked closely with Bill in developing that novel. I think you would find that Summer of the Black Sun holds up beautifully. I still teach it. November House was, I think, partly financed by Cherie's brilliant husband, Julian (Buddy) Smith, who ran a number of bookstore warehouses in Vancouver. Bill O'Brien died very young.

"I will never forget how Cherie accepted my novel, "The Swinging Headhunter" for publication. I was laid up with a serious bout of hepatitis, and very depressed. She chose that moment to call me and tell me she was taking my novel for publication. It made for a rapid recovery. It was a very exciting time for November House to emerge, with Bill's novel, the work of Alice Munro galvanizing the publishing world, and such vibrant Canadian films being made as Gordon Pinsent's The Rowdyman, which I paid special tribute to in Event. I cannot think of Cherie without thinking of Bill O'Brien, Jake Zilber, Alice Munro, Gordon Pinsent, and Buddy Smith all of whom remain vibrant figures for me."




EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN WRITING: Fiction Editor; The Paris Review; Assistant Professor, UCLA

AWARDS: Aga Khan Fiction Prize; McGinniss Ritchie Short Fiction Award


The Nonconformers. Ballantine Books, 1970.

The Swinging Headhunter. November House, 1973.

The One-Star Jew. Northpoint. 1983.

Red Love. Scribner's. 1991.

Making the Wiseguys Weep: The Jimmy Roselli Story. Farrar Straus, 1998.

Who's Sorry Now (with Joe Pantoliano). Dutton, 2005.

The Great Kisser. Rager Media. 2006.

Roman Candle. Rodale. 2008.

All the Things You Are: The Life of Tony Bennett. Wiley, 2012.

Woody. St. Martin's Press. 2915.
(Farrar Straus, 1999)

[BCBW 2015]