All Lit Up Press Picks for the Holidays: ECW Press

Serving up three gift-worthy books for the holidays, the editors at ECW Press share why they love these particular reads: a scathing social critique-slash-apocalypse story; an extraordinary memoir about transition and escaping through video games; and a fascinating generational Holocaust story.


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The Marigold by Andrew F. Sullivan

Selected by Jen Albert, ECW editor:

The Marigold is a scathing social critique wrapped in the guise of a fungal apocalypse story, taking aim at urban mismanagement—the propensity of those in charge to set aside public interest in the name of corporate profit, leaving less for us all. As a sentient mind-controlling sludge twists its way through Toronto, its residents suffer environmental disasters, housing crises, the pressures of the hustle and gig economy, and Big Brother–like corporate surveillance in a dystopian future that feels too-near. The rampant greed and corruption is a difficult and familiar pill to swallow, and the reader begins to wonder if the fungus should take the city after all…”

Find The Marigold here on All Lit Up or use the Shop Local button to purchase from your local indie bookstore.

My Body is Distant by Paige Maylott

Selected by Jen Sookfong Lee, ECW editor:

“This memoir—about Paige’s transition, cancer diagnosis, and a lifetime spent escaping through video games—is the perfect gift for the holidays. Paige writes about her life with wit and a fine eye for nuance and detail, immersing us into the video games she has always loved, but also into a challenging time when her health was precarious and she was simultaneously grappling with her gender identity. It’s an extraordinary book about love, our senses of self, and how we explore online and IRL.”

Find My Body is Distant here on All Lit Up or use the Shop Local button to purchase from your local indie bookstore.

The Matryoshka Memoirs: A Story of Ukrainian Forced Labour,

the Leica Camera Factory, and Nazi Resistance by Sasha Colby

Selected by Susan Renouf, ECW editor:

“I loved this book for so many reasons. On one level, it’s the Holocaust story that’s not often told, that of Ukrainian forced labour kidnapped to keep the factories running because the German men were all called up. On another, it’s this beautiful, generous, often hilarious, story of three generations of strong-willed women today: Sasha Colby, the author, her mother, and her grandmother, Irina, a Second World War forced labour survivor. On summer visits to her grandmother’s home, Sasha gradually teases out the story of Irina’s past-the truth of the labour camps, the story of Elsie, the Leica heiress who rescues Irina, and the desperate struggle to outwit the Russians in the post-war DP camps. It could be a novel, but it’s a true story written with verve and passion, humour and sparkling wit.”

Find The Matryoshka Memoirs here on All Lit Up or use the Shop Local button to purchase from your local indie bookstore.

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For more Press Picks for the Holidays, click here.