ALU Book Club: Follow-up Reads After Polar Vortex

July 22, 2020

For our final week of our July book club, we've rounded up four follow-up reads to Shani Mootoo's Polar Vortex (Book*hug Press) that'll keep the reading times rolling.

See more details below

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Remember: get 15% off  Polar Vortex until August 31 with promo code ALUBOOKCLUB!






If the unreliability of the narrator brought out your inner psychologist...


This is Agatha Falling by Heather Nolan (Pedlar Press)



Heather Nolan's novella featuring an unreliable narrator leading us through a dreamlike downtown St. John's is perfect for those who liked the fragmented, unreliability of Polar Vortex best: the creeping suspicion that things are not what they seem are present in both books. Just like Priya's recollections are fragmented, the narrator's memories in This Is Agatha Falling are flawed; her past and present collide concealing a full picture until the very end.





If desire had you on the edge of your reading...


Underneath the Water with the Fish by Carol Malyon (Inanna Publications)




With all the desire, tension-filled relationship drama of Polar VortexUnderneath the Water With the Fish is a collection of short stories that explore the below-surface thoughts and longings of women. The characters in these stories are leaving relationships, beginning new ones, dealing with themselves and their partners, and are often living on the margins. A sure-fire good read if you're looking for #femcanlit with a smattering of humour and heart.





If the place-based setting of Polar Vortex really set the scene...


One Hundred Days of Rain by Carellin Brooks (Book*hug Press)



Like Polar Vortex, One Hundred Days of Rain examines a place-based LGBTQ relationship, mostly told from the narrator's point of view, that implodes over a period of time. While Priya and Alex's story unfolds over the course of a day, the story in Carellin Brook's novel develops over exactly one hundred days, exposing the inner-workings of a life that's come apart. The narrator mourns her recent breakup, waking every day to Vancouver's moody sky and city streets slick with rain. Similar to Polar Vortex, the physical setting and surroundings mirror the narrator's internal isolation making for a deep, meditative read. 






If you couldn't stop dissecting the identity politics in Polar Vortex...


Wanting in Arabic by Trish Salah (Mawenzi House)



Despite being a poetry collection, Wanting in Arabic mirrors Polar Vortex in more ways than one: it's achingly evocative, political, and concerns itself with sexual and racial identity. The poems in Trish Salah's collection are a linguistic treat about Arab trans and lesbian identities, exploring transsexuality, gender, and the nuances of identity.





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That's a wrap on our July edition of #ALUbookclub! Catch up on the month's happenings with our  introduction to July book clubstaff discussion, and  interview with Shani Mootoo. Remember you can still  pick up your own copy of Polar Vortex for 15% off until August 31st. (Just use promo code ALUBOOKCLUB at checkout.)

Also, make sure you  get a copy of August book club pick, Ursula Pflug's a magical, wondrous short story collection Seeds and Other Stories (Inanna Publications).




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