CanLit Rewind: Polyamorous Love Song by Jacob Wren

October 23, 2015

Jacob Wren's  Polyamorous Love Song, a novel of intertwined narratives concerning the relationship between artists and the world, gained its publisher BookThug newfound interest in its fiction program. As an artist and performer, as well as a writer, Wren garnered major accolades from media across the country for this darkly funny, sexual, and occasionally violent novel. It received a starred review in Quill & Quire for its ability to "deliver itself like a punch to the gut but also leave a lingering sting." Polyamorous Love Song was also named a Top 100 Globe and Mail book of 2014.

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This year marks forty years of supporting and celebrating some of Canada's finest literary presses for our parent organization, the Literary Press Group of Canada. To help celebrate, for the entire month of October All Lit Up will be highlighting books from our publishers that either helped launch a new voice in CanLit or made an impact at the press it was published with. Go on a CanLit Rewind with us to rediscover some backlist gems!

Jacob Wren's  Polyamorous Love Song, a novel of intertwined narratives concerning the relationship between artists and the world, gained its publisher BookThug newfound interest in its fiction program. As an artist and performer, as well as a writer, Wren garnered major accolades from media across the country for this darkly funny, sexual, and occasionally violent novel. It received a starred review in Quill & Quire for its ability to "deliver itself like a punch to the gut but also leave a lingering sting." Polyamorous Love Song was also named a Top 100 Globe and Mail book of 2014.

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This was the first title acquired by, and edited for the press by BookThug Fiction Editor Malcolm Sutton. Despite the fact that BookThug has published fiction since 2009 through the Department of Narrative Studies, publishing Polyamorous Love Song was a game changer for them. Up until then, BookThug was usually thought of as an almost exclusively poetry press. They believe that the success of Polyamorous Love Song helped change this perception by sending a strong message to readers that BookThug is equally serious about publishing fiction. 

Polyamorous Love Song is a unique novel by an established writer that offers new possibilities for Canadian fiction by experimenting with modes of storytelling while still maintaining a narrative arc that explores themes of life, art, love and politics. Polyamorous Love Song is a great example of how a book can successfully do those things without prescribing to stereotypical CanLit tropes.

You can see Jacob Wren read from Polyamorous Love Song at the BookThug launch (and hear him offer, then quickly rescind, to buy people wanting to debate artists' self-involvement drinks):

You can also read Jacob Wren's  Writers' Block column for All Lit Up, where he talked about his own influences, writing habits, and inspiration.

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Want to Keep Up with the CanLit Rewind(ashians)? You can follow along with the entire series, here.


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