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Celebrate the Globe and Mail’s Top 100 books of 2022 with some fantastic, independently-published reads.
Showing 1–16 of 20 results
A is for Acholi is a sweeping collection exploring diaspora, the marginalization of the Acholi people, the dusty streets of Nairobi and the cold grey of Vancouver. Playfully upending English and scholarly notation Bitek rearranges the alphabet, hides poems in footnotes and slips stories into superscripts. With writing that is lyric, layered and deeply felt, the poems in A is for Acholi unfold maps of history, culture and identity, tracing a route to a present where the poet dreams of writing a world without empire.
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.
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.
Shortlisted for 2023 Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and a Globe and Mail Best Book of 2022!
Vancouver. A day like any other. Kyle, a successful cosmetic surgeon, is punishing himself with a sprint up a mountain. Charlotte, wife of a tech tycoon, is combing the farm belt for local cheese and a sense of purpose. Back in the city their families go about their business: landscaping, negotiating deals, skipping school. It’s a day like any other–until suddenly it’s not.
When the earthquake hits, the city erupts in chaos and fear. Kyle’s and Charlotte’s families, along with two passersby, are thrown together in an oceanfront mansion. The conflicts that beset these wildly different people expose the fault lines beneath their relationships, as they question everything in an effort to survive and reunite with their loved ones stranded outside the city.
Frances Peck’s debut novel examines the unpredictable ways in which disaster can shake up lives and test personal resilience.
Hired by local mixed martial arts trainer Elijah Lennox to find a missing UFC Championship belt, pro-wrestler PI “Hammerhead” Jed must extract answers from the tight-knit MMA community. Still consuming his weight in banana milkshakes, Jed ventures into a world of jewel thieves, bodybuilders, eccentric yoga enthusiasts, and adorable baby goats. As he infiltrates an exclusive and unique no-holds-barred fight club, Jed might just find himself down for the count …
Five Moves of Doom is a high-altitude and high-attitude entry in A.J. Devlin’s award-winning mystery series, one that finds its hero pushed to his absolute limit, relying on his closest allies to survive, and making choices he never thought he’d have to make.
How do we scale up our imagination of the human? How does one live one’s life in the Anthropocene?
How to Hold a Pebble–Jaspreet Singh’s second collection of poems–locates humans in the Anthropocene, while also warning against the danger of a single story. These pages present intimate engagements with memory, place, language, migration; with enchantment, uncanniness, uneven climate change and everyday decolonization; with entangled human/non-human relationships and deep anxieties about essential/non-essential economic activities. The poems explore strategies for survival and action by way of a playful return to the quotidian and its manifold interactions with the global and planetary. Of loss no scale remains no seawall… Between one’s despairs / they will brighten / Hope’s in-built traces.
WINNER OF THE 26TH ANNUAL DANUTA GLEED LITERARY AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST BOOKS OF 2022
THE GLOBE 100: THE BEST BOOKS OF 2022
CBC BOOKS: THE BEST CANADIAN FICTION OF 2022
Featured on CBC’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers
TIME MAGAZINE’S 10 BEST FICTION BOOKS OF 2022
LITHUB BEST REVIEWED SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS 2022
LITHUB BEST REVIEWED SCI-FI, FANTASY AND HORROR OF 2022
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2023 JOYCE CAROL OATES PRIZE
The debut collection from PEN/Hemingway Award finalist and ‘propulsive storyteller’ (NYT Book Review), with stories that are by turns poignant and pulpy
In the twelve unforgettable tales of Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century, the strange is made familiar and the familiar strange, such that a girl growing wings on her legs feels like an ordinary rite of passage, while a bug-infested house becomes an impossible, Kafkaesque nightmare. Each story builds a new world all its own: a group of children steal a haunted doll; a runaway bride encounters a sea monster; a vendor sells toy boxes that seemingly control the passage of time; an insomniac is seduced by the Sandman. These visions of modern life wrestle with themes of death and technological consequence, guilt and sexuality, as they unmask the contradictions that exist within all of us.
“Fu joins recent maestros Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Friday Black, 2018), Charles Yu (Sorry Please Thank You, 2012), and Seong-nan Ha (Bluebeard’s First Wife, 2020) in creating irrefutably fantastic fiction.” – Booklist, starred review
“Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century is one of those rare collections that never suffers from which-one-was-that-again? syndrome. Every story here lights a flame in the memory, shining brighter as time goes by rather than dimming. Kim Fu writes with grace, wit, mischief, daring, and her own deep weird phosphorescent understanding.” – Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Ghost Variations: One Hundred Stories
“When a collection is evocative of authors as disparate as Ray Bradbury and Stephanie Vaughn, the only possible unifier can be originality: and that’s what a reader finds in Kim Fu’s Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century. The strangest of concepts are tempered by grounded, funny dialogue in these stories, which churn with big ideas and craftily controlled antic energy.” – Naben Ruthnum, author of A Hero of Our Time
“How I loved the cool wit of these speculative stories! Filled with wonder and wondering, they’re haunted too by loss and loneliness, their imaginative reach profoundly rooted in the human condition.” – Peter Ho Davies, author of A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself
“Precise, elegant, uncanny, and mesmerizing–each story in this collection is a crystalline gem. Kim Fu’s talent is singularly inventive, her every sentence a surprise and an adventure.” – Danya Kukafka, author of Notes on an Execution
“Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century is for the adventurous reader–someone willing to walk into a story primed for cultural critique and suddenly come across a plot for murder, or to consider the dangers of sea monsters alongside those posed by twenty-first-century ennui. Each story is spectacularly smart, hybrid in genre, and bold with intention. The monsters here are not only fantastical figures brought to life in hyper-reality but also the strangest parts of the human heart. This book is as moving as it is monumental.” – Lucy Tan, author of What We Were Promised
“Kim Fu’s Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century crushes the coal-dark zeitgeist between its teeth and spits out diamonds, beautiful but razor-sharp. This will be one of the best short story collections of the year.” – Indra Das, author of The Devourers
Shortlisted for the 2023 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
A journalist and folklorist explores the truths that underlie the stories we imagine—and reveals the magic in the everyday.
“I’ve always felt that the term fairy tale doesn’t quite capture the essence of these stories,” writes Emily Urquhart. “I prefer the term wonder tale, which is Irish in origin, for its suggestion of awe coupled with narrative. In a way, this is most of our stories.” In this startlingly original essay collection, Urquhart reveals the truths that underlie our imaginings: what we see in our heads when we read, how the sight of a ghost can heal, how the entrance to the underworld can be glimpsed in an oil painting or a winter storm—or the onset of a loved one’s dementia. In essays on death and dying, pregnancy and prenatal genetics, radioactivity, chimeras, cottagers, and plague, Ordinary Wonder Tales reveals the essential truth: if you let yourself look closely, there is magic in the everyday.
Shortlisted for the Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize • Winner of the 2023 ReLit Award for Fiction
Homage to Jean Genet’s antihero and a brilliant reimagining of the ancient form of tragedy, Querelle of Roberval, winner of the Marquis de Sade Prize, is a wildly imaginative story of justice, passion, and murderous revenge.
As a millworkers’ strike in the northern lumber town of Roberval drags on, tensions start to escalate between the workers—but when a lockout renews their solidarity, they rally around the mysterious and magnetic influence of Querelle, a dashing newcomer from Montreal. Strapping and unabashed, likeable but callow, by day he walks the picket lines and at night moves like a mythic Adonis through the ranks of young men who flock to his apartment for sex. As the dispute hardens and both sides refuse to yield, sand stalls the gears of the economic machine and the tinderbox of class struggle and entitlement ignites in a firestorm of passions carnal and violent. Trenchant social drama, a tribute to Jean Genet’s antihero, and a brilliant reimagining of the ancient form of tragedy, Querelle of Roberval, winner of France’s Marquis de Sade Prize, is a wildly imaginative story of justice, passion, and murderous revenge.
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE QWF MAVIS GALLANT PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION
THE GLOBE 100: THE BEST BOOKS OF 2022
From LAMBDA Literary Award winner Sina Queyras, Rooms offers a peek into the defining spaces a young queer writer moved through as they found their way from a life of chaos to a life of the mind
Thirty years ago, a professor threw a chair at Sina Queyras after they’d turned in an essay on Virginia Woolf.
Queyras returns to that contentious first encounter with Virginia Woolf to recover the body and thinking of that time. Using Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own as a touchstone, this book is both an homage to and provocation of the idea of a room of one’s own at the centre of our idea of a literary life.
How central is the room? And what happens once we get one? Do we inhabit our rooms? Or do the rooms contain us? Blending memoir, prose, tweets, poetry, and criticism, Rooms offers a peek into the defining spaces a young queer writer moved through as they found their way from a life of chaos to a life of the mind, and from a very private life of the mind to a public life of the page, and from a life of the page into a life in the Academy, the Internet, and on social media.
“With Virginia Woolf alongside them, Queyras journeys through rooms literal and figurative, complicating and deepening our understanding of what it means to create space for oneself as a writer. Their hard-won language challenges us to resist any glib associations of Woolf’s famous ‘room’ with an easy freedom. Inspiring and moving, Queyras’s memoir testifies to Woolf’s continuing generative power.”—Mark Hussey, editor of Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts (2011) and author of Clive Bell and the Making of Modernism (2021)
“In this beautiful, perceptive book, Sina Queyras moves deftly between the words and wake of Virginia Woolf and their own formation as writer, lover, teacher, friend, and person. Rooms is expert in its depiction of personal and literary histories, and firmly aware of its moment of composition. Reading these pages, I was enticed by Queyras’s curiosity and openness, thrilled by the sharp edges of their anger. Tight prose, electric thinking, self-discovery – it’s all here, all abuzz. Rooms is alive.” – Heather Christle, author of The Crying Book
“It is impossible not to question the world as we thought we knew it by the end of this book. Sina Queyras painstakingly aims their extraordinary nerve and talent at Virginia Woolf’s idea of a room of one’s own: ‘It’s a mistake to consider the room without all of its entanglements.’ Taking Woolf’s cue, Queyras explores writing that is not world-building but something far more generous and transformative; as Woolf wrote, ‘Literature is open to everybody.’” – CAConrad, author of AMANDA PARADISE: Resurrect Extinct Vibration
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WINNER OF THE 2023 KOBO EMERGING WRITER PRIZE
A GLOBE AND MAIL BEST BOOK OF 2022
49TH SHELF EDITOR’S PICK FOR SEPTEMBER 2022
A reclamation of female rage and a horrifyingly deformed Bildungsroman.
Frances is quiet and reclusive, so much so that her upstairs roommates sometimes forget she exists. Isolated in the basement, and on the brink of graduating from university, Frances herself starts to question the realities of her own existence. She can’t remember there being a lock on the door at the top of the basement stairs—and yet, when she turns the knob, the door won’t open. She can’t tell the difference between her childhood memories, which bloom like flowers in the dark basement, and her dreams. Worse still, she can’t ignore the very real tapping sound now coming—insistently, violently—threatening to break through her bedroom wall.
With the thematic considerations of Mary Shelley and Shirley Jackson’s work, and in the style of Herta Muller and Daisy Johnson, Tear is both a horrifyingly deformed Bildungsroman and a bristling reclamation of female rage. Blurring the real and the imagined, this lyric debut novel unflinchingly engages with contemporary feminist issues and explores the detrimental effects of false narratives, gaslighting, and manipulation on young women.
The Big Melt is a debut poetry collection rooted in nehiyaw thought and urban millennial life events. It examines what it means to repair kinship, contend with fraught history, go home and contemplate prairie ndn utopia in the era of late capitalism and climate change. Part memoir, part research project, this collection draws on Riddle’s experience working in Indigenous governance and her affection for confessional poetry in crafting feminist works that are firmly rooted in place. This book refuses a linear understanding of time in its focus on women in the author’s family, some who have passed and others who are yet to come. The Big Melt is about inheriting a Treaty relationship just as much as it is about breakups, demonstrating that governance is just as much about our interpersonal relationships as it is law and policy. How does one live one’s life in a way that honours inherited responsibilities, a deep love for humour and a commitment to always learning about the tension between a culture that deeply values collectivity and the autonomy of the individual? Perhaps we find these answers in the examination of ourselves, the lands we are from and the relationships we hold.