Your cart is currently empty!
Browse the books that make up Bookville.
Showing 1–20 of 98 results
(M)othering is a universally understood phenomenon that speaks to the act of becoming something unexpected and entirely outside ourselves. And this book is a collection of writing and art about that. 56 contributors illuminate the kind of gritty, body mind soul transformations that only the mothering myth can evoke. Their work will take you to wonder and wildness, kindness, beauty, grief, love.
These writers and artists show us what it means to create, to birth something, to love it, and to suffer loss. They share their truths about being persecuted, fleeing. About trans-generational trauma. Some write of broken women, mothering their mothers and sisters, choosing not to be mothers. Having many mothers. Mothering grown children. Men who want to be mothered. They tackle identity, adoption, abortion, addiction, self-care, sacrifice, nature and nurture, making art, unravelling, invention, loneliness, anger, laughter, and joy. They are queer, Metis, indigenous, French, male, Jewish, Mennonite, descendants of the Blackfoot and the Cree, settlers and immigrants. In unison, they speak about experiences far beyond the pathologizing of the pregnant female body.
Covering Indigenous adventures from Ontario?s Walpole Island to Northern Saskatchewan to the BC coast, #IndianLovePoems is a poetry collection that delves into the humour and truths of love and lust within Indigenous communities. Sharing stories in search of The One, or even better, the One-Night-Stand, or the opening of boundaries this collection fearlessly sheds light on the sharing and honesty that comes with discussions of men, women, sex, and relationships, using humour to explore the complexities of race, culture and intent within relationships.
It’s late spring and young artist Gerry Coneybear and her twenty cats are thrilled to finally be able to spend time in the garden surrounding her 200-year-old house on the Ottawa River. But Gerry is having difficulty keeping her curious cats safe from her new neighbours’ large dog. The couple’s? marriage appears a bit fraught, and when the philandering husband is murdered, the wife is the obvious suspect. Or ought to be. As events unfold next door, Gerry watches from her garden, where she picks rhubarb, weeds, and plants her flowers, catnip and herbs, all supervised by her cats and her friend and part-time housekeeper Prudence. A terrible car crash, an eccentric train engineer (and his equally eccentric wife), and a midnight visit to the house next door all contribute to this cozy mystery coming out all right in the end. And there’s jam-making. And ghosts.
Deluxe redesign of the Gerald Lampert Award-winning classic.
On the occasion of the press’s 40th anniversary, Brick Books is proud to present the fourth of six new editions of classic books from our back catalogue. This edition of A Really Good Brown Girl features a new Introduction by Lee Maracle, a new Afterword by the author and a new cover and design by the renowned typographer Robert Bringhurst.
First published in 1996, A Really Good Brown Girl is a fierce, honest and courageous account of what it takes to grow into one’s self and one’s Métis heritage in the face of myriad institutional and cultural obstacles. It is an indispensable contribution to Canadian literature.
I am looking at a school picture, grade five, I am smiling easily … I look poised, settled, like I belong. I won an award that year for most improved student. I learned to follow really well. –from “Memoirs of a Really Good Brown Girl”
“No other book so exonerates us, elevates us and at the same time indicts Canada in language so eloquent it almost hurts to hear it.” –Lee Maracle, from the Introduction
Finalist for the 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction
Longlisted for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize
Winner of the 2022 Indigenous Voices Awards’ Published Prose in English Prize
Shortlisted for the 2022 Amazon Canada First Novel Award
Longlisted for CBC Canada Reads 2022
Longlisted for First Nations Community Reads 2022
An Indigo Top 100 Book of 2021
An Indigo Top 10 Best Canadian Fiction Book of 2021
“What a welcome debut. Young Eddie Toma’s passage through the truly ugly parts of this world is met, like an antidote, or perhaps a compensation, by his remarkable awareness of its beauty. This is a writer who understands youth, and how to tell a story.” —Gil Adamson, winner of the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for Ridgerunner
Brian Isaac’s powerful debut novel All the Quiet Places is the coming-of-age story of Eddie Toma, an Indigenous (Syilx) boy, told through the young narrator’s wide-eyed observations of the world around him.
It’s 1956, and six-year-old Eddie Toma lives with his mother, Grace, and his little brother, Lewis, near the Salmon River on the far edge of the Okanagan Indian Reserve in the British Columbia Southern Interior. Grace, her friend Isabel, Isabel’s husband Ray, and his nephew Gregory cross the border to work as summer farm labourers in Washington state. There Eddie is free to spend long days with Gregory exploring the farm: climbing a hill to watch the sunset and listening to the wind in the grass. The boys learn from Ray’s funny and dark stories. But when tragedy strikes, Eddie returns home grief-stricken, confused, and lonely.
Eddie’s life is governed by the decisions of the adults around him. Grace is determined to have him learn the ways of the white world by sending him to school in the small community of Falkland. On Eddie”s first day of school, as he crosses the reserve boundary at the Salmon River bridge, he leaves behind his world. Grace challenges the Indian Agent and writes futile letters to Ottawa to protest the sparse resources in their community. His father returns to the family after years away only to bring chaos and instability. Isabel and Ray join them in an overcrowded house. Only in his grandmother’s company does he find solace and true companionship.
In his teens, Eddie’s future seems more secure—he finds a job, and his long-time crush on his white neighbour Eva is finally reciprocated. But every time things look up, circumstances beyond his control crash down around him. The cumulative effects of guilt, grief, and despair threaten everything Eddie has ever known or loved.
All the Quiet Places is the story of what can happen when every adult in a person’s life has been affected by colonialism; it tells of the acute separation from culture that can occur even at home in a loved familiar landscape. Its narrative power relies on the unguarded, unsentimental witness provided by Eddie.
Away From Her meets Strangers on a Train in this follow-up to cult bestseller And the Birds Rained Down
After And The Birds Rained Down, a stunning meditation on aging and freedom, Jocelyne Saucier is back with her unique outlook on self-determination in this unsettling story about a woman’s disappearance.
Gladys might look old and frail, but she is determined to finish her life on her own terms. And so, one September morning, she leaves Swastika, her home of the past fifty years, and hops on the Northlander train, eager to put thousands of miles of northern Quebec between her and the improbably named village, and leaving behind her perennially tormented daughter, Lisana.
Our mysterious narrator, who is documenting these disappearing northern trains, is eager to uncover the truth of Gladys’s voyage, tracking down fellow passengers and train employees for years to learn what happened to Gladys and her daughter, and why.
With this special 20th Anniversary edition, Richard Van Camp re-releases his first bestselling collection of short stories. There is pain in these stories and there is loss. There is death, but there is also rebirth, and there is always the search from each of the narrators for personal truth. This collection of hilarious and profound stories is where beloved recurring characters Torchy, Sfen, Snowbird, Clarence and Brutus first appeared. Larry Sole from The Lesser Blessed>/i> also appears in this collection, alongside many other characters, all of them linked by themes of hope, the spirit of friendship, and hunger.
Richard has gone on to publish four other short story collections, but Angel Wing Splash Pattern is where his love of the short story–“those perfect universes”–all began. This beautifully redesigned 20th anniversary edition, with a new introduction by the author and two new graphic-novel style stories, proves once again that Richard Van Camp is a master of the short story.
A GLOBE AND MAIL BEST BOOK OF 2022
AS FEATURED IN TORONTO STAR, ZOOMER MAGAZINE, AND ON CBC’S ONTARIO MORNING AND GLOBAL TV
For readers who love Mark Haddon, Miriam Toews, and Sally Rooney
Paisley Ratchford is trying to keep it together, but in eight weeks, the Toronto apartment building she lives in will be demolished. A last-ditch effort to reclaim her abandoned childhood home on Amherst Island plunges Paisley into memories of growing up in the tight-knit community, and into the obsessive compulsive disorder that has only ever offered a semblance of control. Her compulsion to count in sets of eight had little effect on thwarting bullies, her father’s bad luck, and her mother’s mental illness—all of which return to haunt her.
When help arrives in the form of Paisley’s old classmate and tormentor Garnet Mulligan, her predicament only worsens. For a shot at a future, Paisley needs to stare down her past, including all the habits that have stopped her from thriving. At Last Count is a wise and often laugh-out-loud funny tale that proves we don’t always need to believe everything our brain tells us.
Whether speaking of erotic love, domestic life, spiritual wilderness, or family entanglements, the poems of Auguries, the much-anticipated second collection from Yukon poet Clea Roberts, are saturated with their northern landscape. Roberts is well versed in the distances and dynamics between tedium and ecstasy, light and dark, isolation and solitude, freeze and thaw, flow and stillness. Her poems are spare and clean, each like a single larch in an immense white plain; their exactness startling and arresting. As the Gerald Lampert Award jury citation for her celebrated first book noted, “Her images . . . are not only crisp and precise, but manage to speak about the physical conditions of this place and its emotional landscape in one and the same lyrical breath . . .”
Written during a period in which Roberts both became a parent and lost a parent, the poems in Auguries lend themselves to prayer, surrender, celebration, reconciliation, meditation, and auspice.
how to breathe
and the beautiful,
slow with cold. (from “Cold Snap”)
“Clea Roberts writes poems of clear, quiet beauty. They contain the silence of perception: alive to the world with open eye and open heart.” — Anne Michaels
A gender-fluid trickster character leaps from Cree stories to inhabit this racous and rebellious new work by award-winning poet Louise Bernice Halfe.
There are no pronouns in Cree for gender; awâsis (which means illuminated child) reveals herself through shape-shifting, adopting different genders, exploring the English language with merriment, and sharing his journey of mishaps with humor, mystery, and spirituality. Opening with a joyful and intimate Introduction from Elder Maria Campbell, awâsis – kinky and dishevelled is a force of Indigenous resurgence, resistance, and soul-healing laughter.
If you’ve read Halfe’s previous books, prepared to be surprised by this one. Raging in the dark, uncovering the painful facts wrought on her and her people’s lives by colonialism, racism, religion, and residential schools, she has walked us through raw realities with unabashed courage and intense, precise lyricism. But for her fifth book, another choice presented itself. Would she carve her way with determined ferocity into the still-powerful destructive forces of colonialism, despite Canada’s official, hollow promises to make things better? After a soul-searching Truth and Reconciliation process, the drinking water still hasn’t improved, and Louise began to wonder whether inspiration had deserted her.
Then awâsis showed up–a trickster, teacher, healer, wheeler-dealer, shapeshifter, woman, man, nuisance, inspiration. A Holy Fool with their fly open, speaking Cree, awâsis came to Louise out of the ancient stories of her people, her Elders, from community input (through tears and laughter), from her own full heart and her three-dimensional dreams. Following awâsis’s lead, Louise has flipped her blanket over, revealing a joking, mischievous, unapologetic alter ego–right on time.
“Louise Halfe knows, without question, how to make miyo-iskotêw, a beautiful fire with her kindling of words and moss gathered from a sacred place known only to her, to the Old Ones. These poems, sharp and crackling, are among one of the most beautiful fires I’ve ever sat beside.” –Gregory Scofield, author of Witness, I Am
“Louise makes awâsis out of irreverent sacred text. The darkness enlightens. She uses humor as a scalpel and sometimes as a butcher knife, to cut away, or hack off, our hurts, our pain, our grief and our traumas. In the end we laugh and laugh and laugh.” –Harold R. Johnson, author of Peace and Good Order: The Case for Indigenous Justice in Canada
“This is all about Indigenizing and reconciliation among ourselves. It’s the kind of funny, shake up, poking, smacking and farting we all need while laughing our guts out. It’s beautiful, gentle and loving.” –Maria Campbell, author of Halfbreed (from the Introduction)
“There really isn’t any template for telling stories as experienced from within Indigenous minds. In her book awâsis – kinky and dishevelled, Cree poet Louise Bernice Halfe – Skydancer presents a whole new way to experience story poems. It’s kinda like she writes in English but thinks in Cree. Lovely, revealing, funny, stunning. A whole new way to write!” –Buffy Sainte-Marie
In an unnamed town in the summer of 1998, Judy is an isolated and inexperienced teenager on the cusp of adulthood struggling to craft an identity for herself—especially as the artist she wants to be.
There is little help around her. Her only friends are increasingly obsessed with a cultish belief in a coming “Big Shadow.” Her mother is afraid of life and finds solace in TV shows. At her lowest point, Judy meets Maurice Blunt, a visiting summer poetry class professor who is a “has-been” fixture of the 1970s NYC punk music scene. Judy believes Maurice—a man more than twice her age desperately seeking lost adoration—is the ticket out of her current life. Soon, she begins taking secret weekend trips to visit him.
Judy’s visits to his apartment in New York bring hopes of belonging to the city’s cultural world and making a living as a video artist. With each trip and frustrated promise, however, she feels the creeping realization that there is a price to pay for her golden ticket entry into this insular and moribund scene. Judy must navigate the shifting power dynamics with her aging gatekeeper and the possibility of building an early adult identity alone.
An affecting novel of psychological nuance and dark humour, Big Shadow explores the costs of self-deceit, fandom, and tenuous ambitions, exposing the lies we’ll tell ourselves and the promises we’ll make to edge closer to what we want… or what we think we want.
After years of running from her dysfunctional past, Sarah returns home to the family farm in Saskatchewan to find her mom Kathleen yelling into the wind, setting off a turbulent new chapter in her life. Instead of finding comfort in “home,” Sarah learns nothing is how she remembers it, and with Kathleen’s growing dementia, nothing will ever be the same again.
Two of Sarah’s older siblings, Jolene and Steven, are more focused on the future ownership of the farm and are planning a supper that could help influence that decision. But Sarah turns her attention to Kathleen, who keeps chasing things that aren’t there: a fox, a hill, the answers to questions only Sarah’s adopted brother Tom holds the key to. When an unexpected outcome shocks the family at the supper, much more than the farm is at stake.
Blow Wind is a beautiful portrait—with musical accompaniment—of a family that together must build new paths forward while learning how to love, let go, and forgive.
Étaples, France, 1918. Nurses Christy, Maggie, and Bab have crossed oceans to care for wounded Canadian soldiers in the Great War. Despite the terrible injuries they must deal with, they manage to stay hopeful as the dangers of the front draw closer to their hospital.
As each woman becomes accustomed to her duties and patients, they reveal more personal details to one another and through letters to loved ones. Maggie misses her close friend she lived with back home and worries for their future together. Christy writes to her soldier husband, but she knows there’s a difference between the life she should lead with him and the one she wants. Bab longs for what she can’t have: her beloved grandpa, a married soldier, a child. Through it all, the three women find friendship, independence, power, and influence in a place where men, once again, are trying to destroy the world.
Body Trade follows Rosie and Tanya, two young Canadian women who decide to leave the Northwest Territories and head south on an ill-conceived road trip through California, Mexico and Central America. The story takes a life-defining twist when their search for freedom and adventure brings them into contact with predators of the Central American sex trafficking trade.
When Tarah Schwartz miscarried for the first time at almost 5 months, she assumed this would be just a blip on the way to motherhood. But more miscarriages would follow, threatening her stability, her relationships, and changing her profoundly. In this memoir, Tarah puts words to excruciating loss as she recounts her unexpected and deeply inspiring journey to motherhood. As a longtime news reporter, she spent years working in front of a television camera, telling stories that reflected the power of the human spirit to survive. This time she tells her own.
It’s business as usual at the residence of Titus and his motley crew. Champagne baths, reckless scientific experimentations, casual littering. It’s all fun and games, until their house decides it has had enough and goes looking for a better life… leaving the gang without a place to call theirown! Will Titus and his friends find a new home, or convince their old one to come back?
Thom shows an ever-growing mastery of visual storytelling in this brilliant follow-up to his 2017 debut VII. Once again eschewing words altogether, the Montréal-based author channels the chaotic yet precise slapstick of Chuck Jones’ Looney Tunes while infusing it with a subtle sense of existential dread. Casa Rodeo is about finding one’s place in the world, both literally and figuratively.
Winner of the 2023 Crime Writers of Canada Award for Best Crime First Novel
“Sam Shelstad has a funny, lively, engaging, peculiar mind—charming and surprising.” —Sheila Heti, bestselling author of Motherhood and Pure Colour
This debut novel set in southern Ontario captures call-centre life, faded tourist attractions, and suburbia with oddball wit and sharp realism.
Colleen Weagle works in a call centre and lives in a bungalow with her mother in a quiet Toronto suburb. In her spare time she writes spec scripts for a CBC riding-school drama (her mother’s favourite) and plays an online game set in a resort populated by reindeer. It’s a typical life. Except three months ago Colleen’s husband Leonard—who led a similarly monotonous life—was found in a bog in the middle of the night, a two hours’ drive from home. Dead.
With a flatly optimistic belief in the power of routine, Colleen has been soldiering on, trying not to think too hard about all the unknowns surrounding the death. But when a local news photo twigs Colleen’s memory of a mystery attendee at Leonard’s funeral she snaps into action.
In the maddening company of her ornery co-worker Patti, she heads to Niagara Falls on a quest to find the truth behind the death. Amid the slot machines and grubby hotels, the pair stumble into the darker underworld of a faded tourist trap. What they find will lead straight to an episode from Colleen’s adolescence she thought she’d put firmly behind her.
Bleakly madcap, with deadpan dialogue, Shelstad’s debut novel is a noir anti-thriller reminiscent of Twin Peaks and the work of Ottessa Moshfegh and early Kate Atkinson. He captures call-centre life, ramshackle tourist attractions, and suburbia with wit and sharp realism, and reveals the undercurrents of melancholy and the truly bizarre that can run beneath even the most seemingly mild-mannered lives.
Summer 1936, Wilkes County, North Carolina during the great depression. The Flagg family resides in the middle of the Appalachia – one of the hardest hit areas in the country. As the depression drags on the Flagg family watch their molasses business decimated. Jedediah, the family patriarch and his sons Morgan and Ezra struggle to produce a few meager gallons a week. That is until their sister Ava arrives home and takes control of the family business and starts running moonshine. Ava bails out ex-con Bobby Barlow and tells him he is working for the Flagg family now. With threats mounting from rival clans and the local cops breathing down Bobby’s neck, he and Ava devise a plan to play them all, one against the other. They don’t necessarily do it by legal means but that doesn’t bother them. To live outside the law, you must be honest.
From Leacock finalist Ali Bryan, a witty and immensely fun dramedy about a family’s memorial trip to the City of Love, where chaos ensues at every turn.
It’s been ten years since Claudia’s mother died after a tragic collision with a banana boat. Her kids are now teenagers, her brother’s wife has left him, and her ex has had a spiritual awakening that has him hinting at reconciliation—all things she can handle.
But when her septuagenarian father decides to remarry after a brief courtship with a woman who is decidedly different than their mother, the entire family is thrown off course, and plans a long overdue memorial trip to the only place their mother ever dreamed of going: Paris. However, minutes after take-off, the trip takes an unpredictable turn and sets off a chain of events that threatens to derail the closure the family desperately seeks.
Chance meetings, poolside confessions, run-ins with mimes, climate protests, and a man with a death wish force Claudia to reconsider everything she thought she knew about love, both the familial and the romantic, the tragic and the sublime. How well do we really know those closest to us? And how well do we really know ourselves?
In this follow-up to her award-winning novel Roost, Ali Bryan explores thorny family dynamics with her trademark offbeat humour and insight. Coq is a darkly comedic contemporary family drama that explores grief, identity, and second chances in the one-and-only City of Love.
Country of Poxes is the story of land theft in North America through three diseases: syphilis, smallpox and tuberculosis. These infectious diseases reveal that medical care, widely considered a magnanimous cornerstone of the Canadian state, developed in lockstep with colonial control over Indigenous land and life.
Pathogens are storytellers of their time. The 500-year-old debate over the origins of syphilis reflects colonial judgments of morality and sexuality that became formally entwined in medicine. Smallpox is notoriously linked with the project of land theft, as colonizers destroyed Indigenous land, economies and life in the name of disease eradication. And tuberculosis, considered the “Indian disease,” aroused intense fear of contagion that launched separate systems of care for Indigenous Peoples in a de facto medical apartheid, while white settlers retreated to sanatoria in the Laurentians and Georgian Bay to be cured. In this immersive and deeply reflective book, physician and activist Dr. Baijayanta Mukhopadhyay provides riveting insights into the biological and social relationships of disease and empire. Country of Poxes considers a future of health in Canada that heeds redress and healing for Nations brutalized by the Canadian state.