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2023 ALU Spring Preview
What are some of the books ALU staff can’t wait to get their hands on this 2023 Spring season? Discover (and preorder!) some of our faves in this sneak preview.
For Both Resting and Breeding by Adam Meisner (Scirocco Drama/J. Gordon Shillingford) – April 1, 2023
I love plays and want to read more of them. For Both Resting and Breeding by Adam Meisner immediately caught my attention. A futuristic tale set in a gender-neutral society of 2150, the play follows two historians as they set up a museum for the upcoming sesquicentennial and, in doing so, become enmeshed in the dangerous behaviours of the past. This play has had two productions (2018 and 2020) at Talk is Free Theatre in Barrie, Ontario so far, and I hope there will be more soon. –Laura
All the World’s A Wonder by Melia McClure (Radiant Press) – March 15, 2023
I’ve been looking forward to this novel for some time now! Sweeping through time and place, All the World’s a Wonder weaves the stories of a playwright possessed by her muses, an actress desperate to succeed, and a doctor haunted by a lost love into a compelling, quirky narrative that I know will keep me thinking long after the last page. S. M. Beiko calls it “Compulsive, kinetic, and visceral. McClure brings to hectic life the factions of an artist’s heart, littering the way with secrets, half truths, and a movable feast of unreliable narrators…” I can’t wait to dig in! –Tan
Troll by Logan Macnair (Now or Never Publishing) – April 15, 2023
As someone who has definitely been a “fan” of various things – I’ve been alarmed at how misogynistic, racist, homophobic, and just plain nasty fan communities can get when they’re online (to say nothing of political discussions). Enter Logan Macnair’s Troll (Now or Never Publishing) – where a mild-mannered aspiring actor creates an alt-right alter-ego for a YouTube class assignment. The alter-ego, “Petrol Riley,” quickly gains fans and followers demanding him to be ever more vitriolic and extreme in his views, and reward him for it. The novel is informed by Macnair’s own academic research on online communities and extremism, and I’m looking forward to seeing it play out when the book releases this April. -Lauren
Tucked Away by Phyllis Rudin (Inanna Publications) – June 27, 2023
I’m excited to read Tucked Away, by Phyllis Rudin. As someone terrified of getting lost in The PATH under Toronto, this story of Daphne living in the Montreal Underground City (RÉSO) for a solid year sounds like a great premise. Really, the idea of it makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.
Daphne gets a gig living in the Montreal Underground City and blogging about it – but she must wear an ankle monitor to prove she stays underground for the full year. Her grandmother decides to pile on to Daphne’s new job by sheltering illegal refugees in the RÉSO with her, which infuriates Daphne. But when Daphne meets Chantal, fleeing from her own terrible situation, Daphne must decide if she’s willing to put her own future in peril by rescuing a group of strangers from discovery and ruin.
Both the PATH and the Montreal Underground City have 30km+ of tunnels, connecting stores, hotels, offices and metro stations. Could you live underground for a year? You’d need a lot of Vitamin D and a great sense of direction. This comes out in June 2023 and I’m already dying to get my hands on it! –Barb
We Meant Well by Erum Shazia Hasan (ECW Press) – April 11, 2023
As a huge fiction reader, I was really excited to see this on the list of forthcoming titles. I love reading about characters that are faced with life changing circumstances and learning about their ways of facing them. As an aid worker -Maya, a married mother of one- is faced with a challenge that pulls her away from her life in America. As readers, we’ll get to see how Maya navigates through her desire to help and accepting that sometimes things can go horribly wrong, even if they meant well. -Tahmina
The Rage Letters by Valérie Bah, translated by Kama La Mackerel (Metonymy Press) – June 20, 2023
There are so many great upcoming books for Spring 2023, but if I was told to only choose one title I’m excited for it would be The Rage Letters written by Valérie Bah (Metonymy Press). I have a soft spot for queer short story collections (like Casey Plett’s Dream of a Woman and H. Felix Chau Bradley’s Personal Attention Roleplay), as well as Francophone literature translated to English. The Rage Letters was originally published in 2021 by les Éditions du remue-ménage as part of the Martiales collection; I’m anticipating my own adoration for Kama La Mackerel’s translation, just as much as I love the vibrant cover. Make sure to pre-order now!
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What are you looking forward to reading this spring? Let us know in the comments or on social @alllitupcanada.