Time Capsule: The ’10s

Our final edition of Time Capsule takes us back to the early twenty-tens all the way to the present in the era of Kickstarter campaigns, 3-D bio-printing, and millennial madness. (And let’s not forget one of 2017’s rising stars: The Avocado.)


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After catching up on  historical books this January, we’re cracking open time capsules from each decade to see what books – and publishers born during that time – will fall out.

The ’10s

What went on

  • The 2010 G20 summit in Toronto sees a number of protests around issues like gay rights, Indigenous rights, capitalism, and the summit itself. Protests resulted in vandalism of property, destruction of police cars, and close to 1000 arrests.
  • The formal end to Canada’s military operations in Afghanistan are marked by the lowering of the Canadian flag in Kabul in 2014.
  • A wildfire began near Fort McMurray, Alberta in May 2016 that swept through the community and forced the largest wildfire evacuation of about 88, 000 people in Alberta’s history.

Books of note

  • Andre Alexis’ Fifteen Dogs (Coach House Books), a philosophical novel that probes the human potential for happiness, won some of the country’s most prestigious awards including the 2015 Giller Prize and the 2015 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize; the book was also shortlisted for the 2015 Toronto Book Awards, and a finalist for the 2017 CBC Canada Reads. 
  • Vivek Shraya explores race, racism, and identity in her award-winning poetry collection even this page is white (Arsenal Pulp Press), and was very well-received among critics and readers. George Elliott Clarke said of Vivek: “Shraya is the poet-optometrist, correcting our vision and letting us see our identities without rose-coloured glasses, but with naked optics.”
  • Hannah Moscovitch’s This Is War (Playwrights Canada Press), was the first published play to win the Trillium Book Award in the history of the award.
  • Erin Wunker’s Notes from a Feminist Killjoy (BookThug), a collection of essays that attempts to think about why we need the figure of the feminist killjoy, was published in 2016, the year Hilary Clinton ran for President; the year more female celebrities tackled rape culture in the spotlight; and the phrase “topple the patriarchy” was said multiple times in mainstream media.
  • Metis/Icelandic author Carleigh Baker won the City of Vancouver Book Award for her debut short story collection Bad Endings, which looks at the natural environment in mostly urban spaces and examines the threat of environmental collapse.

Publisher birthdays

Fun fact: Pow Pow Press is the English division of Editions Pow Pow, which began in 2010. In 2015, publisher Luc Bossé launched a crowdfunding campaign to translate four French books into English, and begin the company’s English publishing program. * * *And that’s a wrap on our Time Capsule series. Thanks for following along with us as we dug up the literary happenings on decades past.