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Viva Magenta! Check out these perfectly purple/pink reads in honour of 2023’s colour of the year.
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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.
A man runs for his life from the promise of death held by trees; a lost VHS tape offers footage of a lost, grisly history; a diaspora clings to magical shards of home and more in this collection of genre fiction by authors from across the Canadian Prairies.
A follow-up to 2018’s hit, Parallel Prairies.
A widower has a secret he’ll admit only to himself: Midge’s death from pneumonia comes as a relief. Yet now that he’s free of her hectoring demeanor, somehow he still feels her presence. Does he feel guilty? Or does that weather-beaten apple tree in the orchard bear an uncanny resemblance to her hunched and beaten posture?
Longlisted for Canada Reads; Finalist, City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize
In this intimate and moving graphic memoir, Teresa Wong writes and illustrates the story of her struggle with postpartum depression in the form of a letter to her daughter Scarlet. Equal parts heartbreaking and funny, Dear Scarlet perfectly captures the quiet desperation of those suffering from PPD and the profound feelings of inadequacy and loss. As Teresa grapples with her fears and anxieties and grasps at potential remedies, coping mechanisms, and her mother’s Chinese elixirs, we come to understand one woman’s battle against the cruel dynamics of postpartum depression.
Dear Scarlet is a poignant and deeply personal journey through the complexities of new motherhood, offering hope to those affected by PPD, as well as reassurance that they are not alone.
WINNER OF THE 2023 RELIT AWARD FOR SHORT FICTION
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2023 INDIGENOUS VOICES AWARDS
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2023 CAROL SHIELDS PRIZE FOR FICTION
For fans of Chuck Palahniuk, Joyce Carol Oates, and Karen RussellGod Isn’t Here Today ricochet between form and genre, taking readers on a dark, irreverent, yet poignant journey led by a unique and powerful new voice.
Driven by desperation into moments of transformation, Cunningham’s characters are presented with moments of choice—some for the better and some for the worse. A young man goes to God’s office downtown for advice; a woman discovers she is the last human on Earth; an ice cream vendor is driven insane by his truck’s song; an ageing stripper uses undergarments to enact her escape plan; an incubus tires of his professional grind; and a young woman inherits a power that has survived genocide, but comes with a burden of its own.
Even as they flirt with the fantastic, Cunningham’s stories unfold with the innate elegance of a spring fern, reminding us of the inherent dualities in human nature—and that redemption can arise where we least expect it.
While the poor have always been monitored and surveilled by the state when seeking financial support, the methods, techniques, and capacity for surveillance within and across government jurisdictions has profoundly altered how recipients navigate social assistance. Welfare surveillance has exacerbated social inequality, especially among low income, Indigenous, and racialized single mothers. Krys Maki unpacks in-depth interviews with Ontario Works caseworkers, anti-poverty activists, and single mothers on assistance in Kingston, Peterborough, and Toronto, and employs intersectional feminist political economy and critical surveillance theory to contextualize the ways neoliberal welfare reforms have subjected low-income single mothers to intensive state surveillance. Maki centres their experiences to examine how their status as lone parents prompted fraud investigations and invasive questioning about their relationship status, and triggered investigations by other governing bodies such as child welfare agencies. This book also examines the moral and political implications of administering inadequate benefits alongside punitive surveillance measures. Despite significant restraints, anti-poverty activists, caseworkers, and recipients have discovered individual and collective ways to resist the neoliberal agenda.
Longlisted for the 2023 Carol Shields Prize for Fiction
A riveting exploration of the complexity within mother-daughter relationships and the dynamic vitality of Vancouver’s former Hogan’s Alley neighbourhood.
1930s, Hogan’s Alley—a thriving Black and immigrant community located in Vancouver’s East End. Junie is a creative, observant child who moves to the alley with her mother, Maddie: a jazz singer with a growing alcohol dependency. Junie quickly makes meaningful relationships with two mentors and a girl her own age, Estelle, whose resilient and entrepreneurial mother is grappling with white scrutiny and the fact that she never really wanted a child.
As Junie finds adulthood, exploring her artistic talents and burgeoning sexuality, her mother sinks further into the bottle while the thriving neighbourhood—once gushing with potential—begins to change. As her world opens, Junie intuits the opposite for the community she loves.
Told through the fascinating lens of a bright woman in an oft-disquieting world, this book is intimate and urgent—not just an unflinching look at the destruction of a vibrant community, but a celebration of the Black lives within.
Little Red Warrior is the last remaining member of the Little Red Warrior First Nation. One day, he discovers a development company has begun construction on his ancestral lands. In a fit of rage, Little Red attacks one of the engineers and is arrested for assault and trespassing on his own lands. In jail he meets his court-appointed lawyer, Larry, who agrees to help Little Red get his lands back. Larry convinces his wife, Desdemona, to allow Little Red to move into their basement while they sort out Red’s case. Desdemona and Red strike up an uneasy relationship. When Red notices that one of Desdemona’s eyes is slightly lazy she becomes increasingly neurotic, convinced that Little Red is up to something. Despite herself Desdemona, who is not accustomed to being thrown off her game, is increasingly drawn to Red’s apparently hypnotic Indigenous charisma. As sparks begin to fly between them Larry prepares to fight for Little Red’s Land Rights. An unexpected intervention by a greater power occurs in the court case, and nothing will ever be the same.
What was beyond doubt by the time I got back was that a new Transfixion had arrived in the form of Hermia Druitt, the woman in this photograph. This was confirmed by the sensations: flashes from Arcadia. Moonlight, of a kind, sighed up and down the tube of my spine, but above all, that indescribable note which accompanied all my Transfixions was present: humming beneath the high fine rush–probably not dissimilar to holy rapture–was an almost violent familiarity. The feeling of not only recognising, but of having been recognised.
A new Transfixion.
Shola von Reinhold’s lavish debut novel lays bare, through ornate, layered prose, the gaps and fault lines in the archive. Through obsessive research on an overlooked Black modernist poet, the narrator buckles under the vacuousness of the art world and also curates a queer historical scene, breaking it open and reveling in it. Originally published in the UK by Jacaranda as part of the Twenty in 2020 Black British writers series, LOTE won both the James Tait Black Prize and The Republic of Consciousness Prize in 2021.
Drug-runners threaten the West Coast!
A semi-conscious man looks about a boat’s cabin as a woman presses a wet cloth to his forehead. She’s young, her nails are short, and her small hands are calloused. When another man tries to enter, she grabs a gun: “If you come down here, Joe, I’ll shoot you.”
For a moment, the intruder doesn’t move. “I don’t want your damn’ old hulk,” he tells her. When the woman threatens a second time, he leaves. “You’d better too,” he says. “She’s near sunk.”
So begins the story of Clint, a reform school runaway, and Devvy, an orphaned farm girl saddled with a deceitful drunk of a stepmother. Clint and Devvy are pushed together as they struggle against the corrupt, criminal, violent adults trying to exert control over their lives.
Perilous Passage first appeared in 1949 as a serial in the Saturday Evening Post. It has since been published in hardcover, paperback, and in Swedish translation. This Ricochet Books edition marks the first new edition since 1952.
Gathering together powerful voices of feminist writers, peace activists, and matriarchal studies scholars from around the globe, The Legacy of Mothers reconceptualizes mothers, motherhood, and mothering as an alternative human logic to create a new sociopolitical order. The contributors draw on ancient knowledges, Indigenous perspectives, and African traditions like Motherism to argue for the reordering of our world according to a distinctly transformative feminism. The book then explores where this new logic is already taking root,demonstrating that a better world is not just possible but already evolving./p>
A memorable, edgy debut exploring the climate crisis and young women on the verge of transformation
Edgy and darkly humourous, these stories introduce us to women grappling with climate, fertility, and their relationships with each other, all as they teeter on the verge of transformation. A figure skater in a warming world quits, only to find herself embroiled in the politics of ice; a graduate student becomes progressively unhinged as she reports on the unravelling of her Patagonia research project; an artist finds an unconventional use for her own frozen eggs; a park ranger at Joshua Tree National Park goes to extreme lengths to save his beloved tortoises.
In this daring debut, Georgina Beaty offers a bold, nuanced look at our turbulent times, fearlessly probing the ambitions and confusions of her generation. Wholly unexpected yet wildly entertaining, The Party Is Here slants the world to speak to the uncanny truth of modern life.
Voices of a Generation gathers three Canadian plays that crack open millennial stereotypes to reveal a generation’s complex and varied experiences.
zahgidiwin/love by Frances Koncan follows Namid through multiple generations: as a survivor of abuse in a residential school in the 1960s, as a missing woman held in a suburban basement in the 1990s, and as the rebellious daughter of a tyrannical queen in a post-apocalyptic, matriarchal society. A comedy about loss in the era of truth and reconciliation, zahgidiwin/love uses a mash-up of theatrical styles to embody the millennial creative impulse to remix and remake while presenting a vital perspective on what decolonization might look like both on and off stage.
The Millennial Malcontent by Erin Shields is a gender-swapped adaptation of Sir John Vanbrugh’s Restoration Comedy The Provoked Wife, following a group of millennials during a night out as they search for love and sex and document it all on social media. Satirizing every trope from social media stardom to economic precarity to slacktivism, Shields reveals the loneliness lurking under every smiling profile photo.
In Smoke by Elena Belyea, Aiden’s ex Jordan arrives at Aiden’s door to confront her about the allegation that Jordan sexually assaulted her two years ago, forcing them to discuss their conflicting memories of their last night together and whether and how they’re going to move forward. With Jordan meant to be performed by either a cis-male or cis-female actor, Smoke is a nuanced examination of issues and perceptions surrounding sexual assault and consent.
Farinata Feck, a poet of mixed heritage, is a man of many appetites; yet he is most consumed by the search to find his romantic ideal. Yo-yoing between Regina and Winnipeg, Farinata crosses paths with colonial ghosts, cosplay enthusiasts, a Faulknerian gossip, a rogue tree-cop, and a sweet potato activist. With equal parts playfulness and decadence, Garry Thomas Morse renders the Beckettish adventures of the lovelorn libertine with hypnotic surrealism. A dizzying display of literary opulence and allusion, Yams Do Not Exist finds footholds in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, footnoting a twisting, prairie roadmap to romance, by turns hellish and sublime.