We put away our preemptive end-of-summer blues to look ahead to one of our favourite seasons: fall book bingeing. Check out what some of us at All Lit Up are putting at the top of our TBR piles this fall.
I'll forever have a literary girl-crush place in my heart for short story superstar Mavis Gallant, Canada's more continental Alice Munro. When I heard that Linda Leith Publishing was releasing What Is To Be Done?, her only work of drama, this fall, my eyebrows may have shot clean off my face. With promises that it has all of the aspirational-yet-encumbered young women in her short stories that so moved me and other readers everywhere, as well as a politically comedic setting beginning in the Second World War, when the Allies' chief players were Communist Russia and Monarchist Britain, I can't wait to crack into this play (and hopefully see it on stage, too; that's an open hint to any reading theatre companies).
Ghost Boys by Shenaaz Nanji (Mawenzi House) Available Now
At first glance, Ghost Boys will draw you in with the promise of camel racing and desert adventure. But it's story tackles the real-life struggles of child slaves in the Middle East and the gruelling abuse faced by camel jockeys. Our young hero, Munna, starts out as a slave himself, but realizes he must help set others free instead of doing what is expected. By chance, he will meet a young Canadian girl and her father - together, they discover a way to help Munna and his friends, and still win the race!
"The commons," as an activist concept, refers to things that should belong to everyone: clean air and water, public spaces, public services, language, knowledge, culture, justice, and more. This way of thinking informs many anti-capitalist and anti-privatization activism, and other social, economic and environmental justice movements. But how can we discuss the commons and shared ownership without considering the settler-colonial context of present-day North America? In Unsettling the Commons (ARP Books), Craig Fortier interviews 51 anti-authoritarian organizers and shows that "radical left movements have often either erased or come into clear conflict with Indigenous practices of sovereignty and self-determination." I'm looking forward to being challenged and asking myself some hard, but important questions about my role as a settler activist.
I've admired Jasmina Odor's talent as a short fiction writer: her stories are evocative and gripping, and they've lingered with me long after reading them. I was THIS EXCITED to learn that her debut collection of short stories, You Can't Stay Here, is being published this fall. The undercurrent of this collection is trauma, and the affects of life during wartime. In it are stories of families, Croatian immigrants and refugees in Canada, soldiers who are torn from loved ones, and people looking for home. Sounds heavy and full of emotional twists and reflections, so I'm steeling to read it in bits, or maybe I'll end up devouring it. Either way this one is going up on the top of my fall list.
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