ALU Summer Book Club: 2022 Edition

June 30, 2022

We're unofficially subtitling our seventh (!) annual summer book club "The Summer of Andrés." Why? Because our two summer picks happen to be by folks named André. In July we have the culmination of André Alexis' quincunx,  Ring (Coach House Books). And in August, we read  After Realism (Véhicule Press), an anthology of millennial writers edited by André Forget. Read on to discover more about our 2022 ALU book club picks.

(And, psst: they're 15% off right here on All Lit Up from now until the end of August!)

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July Pick: Ring. "Ring is a “meditation” on love that includes, naturally, a long narrative poem about Aphrodite, along with Alexis’s engaging, precise and funny writing." —Toronto Star


From their very first encounter, it would seem that Gwen and Tancred were made for one another. Like all good romances,  Ring will bring them together . .. eventually. But first there is, of course, a wrinkle.

Gwenhwyfar's mother, Helen Odhiambo Lloyd, upon intuiting that her daughter is in love, gives her a ring that has been passed down, with three mysterious books, from endless generations of mothers to their daughters. The ring grants the bearer an opportunity to change three things about her beloved – but the ring demands things in return for its miracles.

Complete with a long narrative poem about Aphrodite, Ring turns the literary romance upside down and shakes out its pockets as it meditates on the past, on magic, on honour, on faith, and yes, on love.

Following on the heels of  PastoralFifteen DogsThe Hidden Keys, and  Days by MoonlightRing completes Alexis's Quincunx, a group of five genre-bending, philosophically sophisticated, and utterly delightful novels.


Coming up this July:

July 6: We chat with Editorial Director of Coach House Alana Wilcox about bringing Ring to life, and read an excerpt from the book.

July 13: Author  André Alexis answers our pressing questions about the book.

July 20:  The ALU team discusses Ring and shares our book club Qs for you to use with your own clubs at home.

July 27:  We recommend follow-up reads for those who couldn't get enough of  Ring.



August pick: After Realism. "What the stories in After Realism display in aggregate... is a willingness to stretch form and subject to their limits, adapting or rejecting traditional techniques and approaches at will... the volume provides a provocative snapshot of the forces dragging CanLit — kicking and screaming — into the 21st century." —Steven W. Beattie


After Realism: 24 Stories for the 21st Century is the first anthology to represent the generation of millennial writers now making their mark. Diverse, sophisticated, and ambitious in scope, the short stories in this ground-breaking book are an essential starting point for anyone interested in daring alternatives to the realist tradition that dominated 20th century English-language fiction. After Realism offers twenty-five distinctive talents who are pushing against the boundaries of the "real" in aesthetically and politically charged ways--forging their styles from influences that range from myth to autofiction, sci-fi to fairy tale, documentary to surrealism. Even those who continue to work in the realist tradition are doing so critically, with an eye to renovation. The selection is accompanied by comprehensive and provocative essay by editor André Forget that explains the themes, tendencies and concerns of this group. In bearing witness to an extraordinary flowering of contemporary fiction, After Realism will supply a new standard for Canadian writing.

Contributors include: Jean-Marc Ah Sen, Carleigh Baker, Paige Cooper, David Huebert, Jessica Johns, Cody Klippenstein, Julie Mannell, Sofia Mostaghimi, Téa Mutonji, Fawn Parker, Casey Plett, Rudrapriya Rathore, Naben Ruthnum, John Elizabeth Stintzi, and Gavin Thomson.


Coming up this August:

August 3: We speak with Véhicule Press editor Carmine Starnino about how After Realism came to be, and share an excerpt from the book.

August 10:  Anthology editor André Forget answers our questions about After Realism.

August 17: The ALU team meets up to chat all things After Realism and share our discussion questions for you to use with your own book club.

August 24: What's after After Realism? Our recommended follow-up reads let you know.


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Don't forget: ALU book club picks are 15% off now through August 31, 2022 (and we have free shipping in Canada!). Be sure to pick up  Ring and  After Realism so you can follow along with all of our book club fun, here and on  TwitterInstagram, and  Facebook with the hashtag #ALUbookclub, all summer long.


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