Top 10: It's My Party

September 14, 2016

Tomorrow we celebrate our two years of internet life, and it has us wondering: how do other CanLit-ers get down? These ten books featuring party scenes and/or other literary bacchanals are sure to give us tips on what (or what NOT) to do for our second Birthday.

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Welcome to All Lit Up’s Top 10 – a literary list of ten things we’re thinking about right now.

Tomorrow we celebrate our two years of internet life, and it has us wondering: how do other CanLit-ers get down? These ten books featuring party scenes and/or other literary bacchanals are sure to give us tips on what (or what NOT) to do for our second Birthday.

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10. One-night stands
From Digressions of a Naked Party Girl by Sky Gilbert (ECW Press)

More the aftermath of parties than parties themselves, Gilbert’s poetic confessions of one-time lovers or pop-news happenings are alternately hilarious and heartfelt (sometimes on the same line: “I've never eaten pie as delicious as your smile / and never / put my hands in gooey fingerpaint as nice / as your curly / hair since General Franco gave up Spain”).

 

9. 90s Bush Parties
From The Goddess of Fireflies by Geneviève Pettersen (Vehicule Press)

Geneviève Pettersen’s Archambault Award-winning novel follows 14-year-old Catherine, who finds solace from her divorcing parents in PCP-variant mescaline and bush parties in rural Quebec. If you’re keeping score, this is a “don’t” for 2nd Birthday celebrations.

kawa_bushparty

8. Yacht Soiree
From Bunny and Shark by Alisha Piercy (BookThug) 

Ex-Playboy bunny Bunny (her name, at least for the purposes of this narrative) serves a lesson in gatecrashing in Alisha Piercy’s 2nd-person novel: even if someone tries to murder you and you get mauled by a shark, there’s still party dresses to steal and champagne to drink.

 

7. Dinner Party
From The Banquet of Donny & Ari by Naomi Guttman (Brick Books)

This novella in verse recounts a meal between a twentieth-century, Montreal-dwelling, married Dionysus (Donny) and Ariadne (Ari), weaving in their mythology, children, pets, fights, and food.

SNL_thanksgivingdinner

6. Wartime Dances
From Taking a Chance on Love by Mary Razzell (Ronsdale Press)

This YA novel about 17-year-old Meg heading to dances as young men return from the Second World War overseas hits that classic tension: as a young lady, do you settle down and get married to a “safe” man or ignore the haters and follow your dreamzzzz? (The plethora of z’s clearly shows our preference.)

 

5. Cabarets
From Kiki by Amanda Earl (Chaudiere Books) 

Amanda Earl’s collection of poetry stars roaring twenties’ self-made star Kiki de Montparnasse; performer and artist, felon and fetish item. Her delicious collection indicts you in Kiki’s revelry, making you a willing participant before you even realize it.

 

minelli_decadence

4. Royal Parties
From Lady Crawford by Julie Cameron Gray (Palimpsest Press)

While the above Kiki made her own stardom, Lady Crawford in this collection of poetry marries into it – specifically, into gentry. The lavish parties mask Lady Crawford’s identity – like the many glasses of champagne she imbibes – fizzing away.

 

3. Alternative Protest
From Dance, Gladys, Dance by Cassie Stocks (NeWest Press) 

Usually “loveable” means affable, adorable, and someone you want to speak down to. Not so with Cassie Stocks’ nonetheless loveable misfits (a failed painter, an addict screenwriter, a homeless teen, a rueful ghost) in Dance, Gladys, Dance, who band together when the local youth arts community centre is under threat.

community_protest

 

2. Knife Party
From Knife Party at the Hotel Europa by Mark Jarman (Goose Lane Editions) 

TBH we think that this one speaks for itself.

 

1. Dog party
From Why Do Dogs Sniff Bottoms? by Dawn McMillan (Breakwater Books)

This adorable picture book that starts with a party of dogs hanging out is not just for kids, because don’t you want to go to a party full of dogs?

 

corgis_running

Exactly.

 

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