MAY 9, 2023
Out of Hiding: Holocaust Literature of British Columbia

Alan Twigg


Social critic Stan Persky has described Alan Twigg as “the Robin Hood of Canadian literature.” When Simon Fraser University con-ferred a doctorate in 2022, he was described by the university as “British Columbia’s leading man of letters.”

Inducted as a member of the Order of Canada in 2015, he was also the first and only recipient of the ABPBC Media Award in 1988 and the inaugural recipient of the Gray Campbell Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contributions to literature and publishing, in 2000. He became the second person to accept the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellowship in the Humanities at Simon Fraser University in 2007 “to recognize and support leaders in the humanities who are not necessarily part of the academy.” In the same year he was the first Writer in Residence at the George Price Center for Peace in Belize. In 2010, he received the Pandora’s Collective Publisher’s Award of Merit. In 2011 he received the Mayor of Vancouver’s annual Literary Arts Award. He received the 13th annual Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence in 2016.

He also won a gold medal for Canada in soccer at the World Masters Games in Turin, Italy, in 2013.

Perhaps his most extraordinary accomplishment has been the creation of the world’s most extensive website for and about the foremost whistleblower of World War II, the Auschwitz escapee Rudolf Vrba, at “Few writers,” wrote critic John Moore, “would have sacrificed so much time and energy to promote OTHER writers, for so many years, as he has done. If he’d just written his own stuff, he would have lapped George Woodcock, twice, by now.” In 2020, after 33 years of creating and managing B.C. BookWorld, he decided it was time to opt out of producing Canada’s largest circulation, independent news-paper about books, as well as managing ABCBookWorld, the public reference site for and about more than 12,500 B.C. authors, plus his BCBookLook news service, the Literary Map of BC, the Indigenous Literary Map of BC, the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement, the George Ryga Awardness for Social Awareness and numerous other ventures such as The Ormsby Review.

He gave away these enterprises (to journalists Beverly Cramp and Richard Mackie) in order to devote more time to creating his own books, films and websites.