Event poster with the book cover for AGAINST AMAZON AND OTHER ESSAYS on the left with the text "Are you Against Amazon? Support Indie on Cyber Monday" on the right

Against Amazon Virtual Book Launch Video

Last night we had a great time celebrating the launch of Jorge Carrión’s Against Amazon and Other Essays with some of our favourite booksellers from across Canada and the US. We were joined by Doug Minett from The Bookshelf in Guelph, ON, JoAnn McCaig from Shelf Life Books in Calgary, AB, Jason Purcell from Glass Bookshop in Edmonton, AB, Josh Cook from Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA, and Cristina Rodriguez from Deep Vellum Books in Dallas, TX. The group discussed what they loved about Jorge Carrión’s new book, why people should stop shopping at Amazon, how their experiences as booksellers have changed during the pandemic, and which books they’re recommending this holiday season. We also heard from the author Jorge Carrión, as he submitted a pre-recorded video from his home in Spain.

In case you missed it, you can still watch the video now:

 

ABOUT AGAINST AMAZON:
A history of bookshops, an autobiography of a reader, a travelogue, a love letter—and, most urgently, a manifesto.
Picking up where the widely praised Bookshops: A Reader’s History left off, Against Amazon and Other Essays explores the increasing pressures of Amazon and other new technologies on bookshops and libraries. In essays on these vital social, cultural, and intellectual spaces, Jorge Carrión travels from London to Geneva, from Miami’s Little Havana to Argentina, from his own well-loved childhood library to the rosewood shelves of Jules Verne’s Nautilus and the innovative spaces that characterize South Korea’s bookshop renaissance. Including interviews with writers and librarians—including Alberto Manguel, Iain Sinclair, Luigi Amara, and Han Kang, among others—Against Amazon is equal parts a celebration of books and bookshops, an autobiography of a reader, a travelogue, a love letter—and, most urgently, a manifesto against the corrosive influence of late capitalism.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jorge Carrión is a writer and literary critic. He studied at the University of Pompeu Fabra, where he now teaches literature and creative writing. His published works include essays, novellas, novels and travel writing, and his articles have appeared in National Geographic and Lonely Planet Magazine. Bookshops was a finalist in the Premio Anagrama de Ensayo, 2013.

Order your copy today from your local independent bookstore or from our website.

Event Poster with Lennie Goodings' A Bite Of the Apple Book Cover

A Bite of the Apple Virtual Launch Video

We had so much fun last night at the virtual book launch for Lennie Goodings’ memoir, A BITE OF THE APPLE! Lennie had two great discussions: first with author Emma Donoghue and then with Ben McNally from Ben McNally Books. There were also video shout outs from Margaret Atwood and Louise Dennys, plus a book giveaway. Not to mention, you can hear Lennie read a passage from her new book!

In case you missed it, you can still watch the video now:

Want to see more of Lennie Goodings? Lennie will be participating in two events at the Toronto International Festival of Authors today. She will be interviewing award-winning poet Lorna Crozier today at 3:30 PM EDT for the “Poetry of Love & Loss” event, and then she will be interviewing author and journalist Carl Hiaasen at 9 PM EDT for the event “Satirical Masterpiece”. Both events will be streamed live.

Lennie was recently interviewed by Elizabeth Renzetti at The Globe & Mail about her memoir and her groundbreaking work at Virago. Check out the interview here.

ABOUT A BITE OF THE APPLE:

Following the chronology of the press where she has worked nearly since its founding, Lennie Goodings tells the story of the group of visionary publishers and writers who have made Virago one of the most important and influential publishers in the English-speaking world. Like the books she has edited and published—by writers ranging from Maya Angelou and Margaret Atwood to Sarah Waters and Naomi Wolf—Goodings’s contribution to the genre breaks new ground as well, telling a story of women in the world of work, offering much needed balance to the male-dominated genre of publishing memoirs, and chronicling a critical aspect of the history of feminism: how women began to assume control over the production of their own books.

ABOUT LENNIE GOODINGS:

Lennie Goodings is Chair of the UK publishing house Virago Press. Her authors include, amongst many others, Margaret Atwood, Maya Angelou, Sarah Waters, Natasha Walter, Sandi Toksvig and Marilynne Robinson. Goodings was part of Virago’s management buy-out team of five who created a newly independent Virago in 1987 and became the Publishing Director in 1992. In 1995 Virago was sold to Little, Brown where Goodings remained the Publisher and Editorial Director. She stepped back from that position in 2017 and became Virago Chair, still editing and commissioning her authors. Lennie Goodings won the Bookseller’s Industry Award: Editor and Imprint of the Year in 2010 and A Lifetime’s Achievement at WOW, London’s Southbank Women of the World festival in 2018. Born in Canada, she came to London in her early twenties and has remained there since.

 

Get your copy of A BITE OF THE APPLE today!

 

Event banner with author headshots

Art of the Short: Video of the Reading with Three 2020 Scotiabank Giller Nominees

On Friday, October 2, 2020, Biblioasis partnered with McClelland & Stewart, Véhicule Press, and Maisonneuve Magazine to put on the event ART OF THE SHORT STORY: A READING WITH THREE 2020 SCOTIABANK GILLER NOMINEES. David Bergen, Souvankham Thammavongsa, and Kaie Kellough had a great discussion about their nominated short story collections with host, Dimitri Nasrallah. We streamed it on both Facebook Live and on YouTube. Thank you to everyone who tuned in! Unfortunately, we had some technical issues, as so some audience members had difficulties watching the video live. Luckily, you can still watch the video now without any disruptions:

This week on October 5th, the shortlist for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize was announced. We are so excited that David Bergen’s Here the Dark is a finalist for the prize! Souvankham Thammavongsa’s How to Pronounce Knife (McClelland & Stewart) is also a finalist, along with three other books: Ridgerunner by Gil Adamson (House of Anansi), Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo (Book*hug), and The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel. Learn more about the shortlist here.

Get your copy of Here the Dark today!

Here the Dark Book Cover Giller Finalist Announcement

HERE THE DARK is a finalist for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize!

We are beyond excited that Here the Dark by David Bergen has been shortlisted for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize! The finalists were announced this morning on a virtual live stream. Sean Michaels, the 2014 Giller Prize winner for the novel Us Conductors, announced David Bergen’s name.

This year’s 2020 Scotiabank Giller jury, comprised of David Chariandy, Eden Robinson, Mark Sakamoto, Claire Armitstead, and Tom Rachman, stated, “Sexual loneliness and moral confusion pull at the delicately wrought characters in David Bergen’s latest work, a story collection of masterly skill and tension. His third appearance on the Giller shortlist — including the 2005 winner, The Time in Between — affirms Bergen among Canada’s most powerful writers. His pages light up; all around falls into darkness.”

In a statement, publisher Dan Wells said, “We are delighted that David Bergen’s Here the Dark has made the 2020 Scotiabank Giller shortlist. Readers know David primarily as a novelist: these stories show he’s a master of shorter forms, stories and novella both, and we’re thrilled that more readers may discover them as a result of this nomination.”

The Scotiabank Giller Prize is one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards. The prize was established in 1994 by Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller, who passed away from cancer the year before. The prize is awarded annually to a Canadian novel or short story collection published that year. The winner receives $100,000 and the shortlisted authors each receive $10,000. The winner will be announced November 9, 2020 on a broadcast hosted by Canadian actor, Eric McCormack, featuring a performance by Canadian jazz pianist and singer, Diana Krall.

Previous winners of the Giller Prize include Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Esi Edugyan, Andre Alexis, Michael Ondaatje, and Mordecai Richler.

Here the Dark is one of two short story collections on the shortlist, the other being How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa. It is also one of three books published by independent presses on the shortlist— Ridgerunner by Gil Adamson (Anansi) and Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo (Book*hug) are shortlisted as well. The fifth shortlisted title is The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel.

The short stories in Here the Dark explore the spaces between doubt and belief, evil and good, obscurity and light. They follow men and boys bewildered by their circumstances and swayed by desire, surprised by love and by their capacity for both tenderness and violence.

The title novella is about a young woman who rejects the laws of her cloistered Mennonite community, where she must adhere to rigid gender roles and not ask many questions. But she can’t stop asking questions and reading books and being curious about her cousin’s life at university. The story is told with compassion and insight, with a great understanding of the complexity of the characters’ situation.David Bergen Headshot

It’s a collection that isn’t afraid to ask difficult questions, display the contradictions within people and ask us to sit with them. Bergen has said he is not interested in easy answers to difficult questions. He portrays characters bewildered by circumstances and invites us to empathize with them.

Here the Dark deftly renders complex moral ambiguities and asks what it means to be lost—and how we might be found.

Bergen won the Giller Prize in 2005 for his novel The Time in Between and he was shortlisted in 2010 for The Matter with Morris. In total, Bergen has been nominated for the Giller five times. Here the Dark is his first title published with Biblioasis.

David Bergen has published eight novels and a collection of short stories. His work has been nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Impac Dublin Literary Award, and a Pushcart Prize. In 2018 he was given the Writers’ Trust Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life.

Get your copy of HERE THE DARK now!

Double Virtual Launch Video for Jason Guriel and Carmine Starnino

Did you miss the double virtual launch last night for FORGOTTEN WORK and DIRTY WORDS: SELECTED POEMS 1997-2016? You can still watch it here!

We had a great event with Jason Guriel and Carmine Starnino. The two of them read from each other’s books, had a discussion, and answered questions from the audience. Watch the video here:

Order your copy of Jason Guriel’s Forgotten Work here. It’s available in both paperback and limited-edition hardcover. The limited edition is exclusive to Biblioasis.com. Visit Gaspereau Press’s website to learn more about Carmine Starnino’s latest book.

About Forgotten Work

In the year 2063, on the edge of the Crater formerly known as Montréal, a middle-aged man and his ex’s daughter search for a cult hero: the leader of a short-lived band named after a forgotten work of poetry and known to fans through a forgotten work of music criticism. In this exuberantly plotted verse novel, Jason Guriel follows an obsessive cult-following through the twenty-first century. Some things change (there’s metamorphic smart print for music mags; the Web is called the “Zuck”). Some things don’t (poetry readings are still, mostly, terrible). But the characters, including a robot butler who stands with Ishiguro’s Stevens as one of the great literary domestics, are unforgettable.

Splicing William Gibson with Roberto Bolaño, Pale Fire with Thomas Pynchon, Forgotten Work is a time-tripping work of speculative fiction. It’s a love story about fandom, an ode to music snobs, a satire on the human need to value the possible over the actual—and a verse novel of Nabokovian virtuosity.

Praise for Forgotten Work

“This may be the first rock ‘n’ roll novel written in iambic pentameter … strange and affectionate, like Almost Famous penned by Shakespeare. A love letter to music in all its myriad iterations.”Kirkus

“A feast of allusions—musical, literary, and cinematic—is the book’s most entertaining aspect, and it speaks to the powerful currents flowing between artists and artworks across disciplines, as well as to the effect of art on its consumers … Guriel’s bountiful celebration of connections between art finds an inspiring, infectious groove.”Publishers Weekly

“What do you get when you throw John Shade, Nick Drake, Don Juan, Sarah Records, and Philip K. Dick into a rhymed couplet machine? Equal parts memory and forgetting, detritus and elegy, imagination and fancy, Forgotten Work could be the most singular novel-in-verse since Vikram Seth’s The Golden Gate. Thanks to Jason Guriel’s dexterity in metaphor-making, I found myself stopping and rereading every five lines or so, to affirm my surprise and delight.”—Stephen Metcalf

“This book has no business being as good as it is. Heroic couplets in the twenty-first century? It’s not a promising idea, but Forgotten Work is intelligent, fluent, funny, and wholly original. I can’t believe it exists.”—Christian Wiman

Stoop City Virtual Launch Video

Last night we had a blast launching Kristyn Dunnion’s new short story collection, Stoop City! Thank you to Paige Cooper, Sybil Lamb, and Shannon Quinn for joining us. Don’t worry if you missed it—you can watch it below!

Get a copy of Stoop City here. Get a copy of Paige Cooper’s collection, Zolitude, here.

 

Welcome to Stoop City, where your neighbours include a condo-destroying cat, a teen queen beset by Catholic guilt, and an emergency clinic staffed entirely by lovelorn skeptics. Couples counseling with Marzana, her girlfriend’s ghost, might not be enough to resolve past indiscretions; our heroine could need a death goddess ritual or two. Plus, Hoofy’s not sure if his missing scam-artist boyfriend was picked up by the cops, or by that pretty blonde, their last mark. When Jan takes a room at Plague House, her first year of university takes an unexpected turn—into anarcho-politics and direct action, gender studies and late-night shenanigans with Saffy, her captivating yet cagey housemate.

From the lovelorn Mary Louise, who struggles with butch bachelorhood, to rural teens finding—and found by—adult sexualities, to Grimm’s “The Golden Goose” rendered as a jazz dance spectacle, Kristyn Dunnion’s freewheeling collection fosters a radical revisioning of community. Dunnion goes wherever there’s a story to tell—and then, out of whispers and shouts, echoes and snippets, gritty realism and speculative fiction, illuminates the delicate strands that hold us all together.

Praise for Stoop City

“No one writes like Kristyn Dunnion, not even those of us who really, really want to. These are stories that live under your skin and force new colours into the spectrum, that rip open and fold inward at the same time. You read them and wonder about the talent that allowed them to be told. Just how many lives has Dunnion lived exactly, to be able to write like this? Because you believe every word and walk beside every character. I am a long-time fan of Kristyn’s work and now I think I may be head-over-heels in love.”—Cherie Dimaline, Kirkus Prize-winning author of The Marrow Thieves

“Like her feral, tormented citizens, Dunnion swaps registers, altitudes, myths, and meanings with heartbroken elan. These stories are merciful and naked; these sentences never miss.”—Paige Cooper, author of Zolitude

Stoop City is a tender snarl of an album, a glorious collection of wreckage and beauty and insight. Dunnion’s care shines through each carefully crafted page.”—Casey Plett, author of Little Fish

Poster with Reaching Mithymna cover

Reaching Mithymna Virtual Launch Video

Did you miss the virtual launch last night for Steven Heighton’s new memoir, Reaching Mithymna? Watch it here!

Click here to buy Reaching Mithymna.

 

ABOUT REACHING MITHYMNA:

In the fall of 2015, Steven Heighton made an overnight decision to travel to the frontlines of the Syrian refugee crisis in Greece and enlist as a volunteer. He arrived on the isle of Lesvos with a duffel bag and a dubious grasp of Greek, his mother’s native tongue, and worked on the landing beaches and in OXY—a jerrybuilt, ad hoc transit camp providing simple meals, dry clothes, and a brief rest to refugees after their crossing from Turkey. In a town deserted by the tourists that had been its lifeblood, Heighton—alongside the exhausted locals and under-equipped international aid workers—found himself thrown into emergency roles for which he was woefully unqualified.

From the brief reprieves of volunteer-refugee soccer matches to the riots of Camp Moria, Reaching Mithymna is a firsthand account of the crisis and an engaged exploration of the borders that divide us and the ties that bind.

ABOUT STEVEN HEIGHTON:

Steven Heighton’s most recent books are The Nightingale Won’t Let You Sleep and The Waking Comes Late, which received the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Poetry. His work has received four gold National Magazine Awards and has appeared in Granta, Tin House, London Review of Books, Best American Mystery Stories, Best American Poetry, TLR, and five editions of Best Canadian Stories. His novel Afterlands was cited on year-end lists in the USA, the UK, and Canada, and is in pre-production for film. In 2020 he will publish two books, a nonfiction account of the Middle Eastern refugee influx on Lesvos, Greece, and a children’s book drawing on the same events.

ABOUT SADIQA DE MEIJER:

Sadiqa de Meijer’s debut collection, Leaving Howe Island, was a nominee for the 2014 Governor General’s Award for English-language poetry and for the 2014 Pat Lowther Award. Her second collection, The Outer Wards, was released in April of this year by Vehicule Press. Her forthcoming book, alfabet/alphabet, will be published with Palimpsest Press in September 2020. She lives with her family in Kingston, Ontario.

2020 Giller Prize nomination announcement featuring Here the Dark's book cover

HERE THE DARK nominated for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize!

We are thrilled to announce that Here the Dark by David Bergen has been nominated for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize! The 2020 nominees were announced this morning by Ian Williams, the winner of last year’s award for his novel Reproduction, on a virtual live stream.

In a sHere the Dark book covertatement, publisher Dan Wells said, “All of us at Biblioasis are thrilled about David’s selection for this year’s Giller longlist. We feel quite strongly that Here the Dark is his strongest book to date.  We’re particularly happy, in this pandemic-stricken year, when so many important books were a little lost or overlooked, for David’s wonderful collection to get a little more of the attention it deserves.”

David Bergen said, “I am thrilled that Here the Dark is on the Giller longlist. To be acknowledged by the jury, and to be with such a great company of writers—astonishing. So happy for my publisher, Biblioasis, as well.”

The Scotiabank Giller Prize is one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards. The prize was established in 1994 by Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller, who passed away from cancer the year before. The prize is awarded annually to a Canadian novel or short story collection published that year. The winner receives $100,000 and the shortlisted authors each receive $10,000. The shortlist will be announced virtually October 5, 2020.

Previous winners include Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Esi Edugyan, Heather O’Neil, Andre Alexis, Michael Ondaatje, and Mordecai Richler.

The jury members for this year’s prize are Canadian authors David ChariandyEden Robinson and Mark Sakamoto (jury chair), British critic and Editor of the Culture segment of the Guardian, Claire Armitstead, and Canadian/British author and journalist, Tom Rachman.

On choosing the longlist, the jury stated, In this tumultuous year, the jurors took the responsibility bestowed upon us by the Scotiabank Giller Prize most seriously. We were determined to find the most powerful pieces of fiction published this year … We are proud of the collection of books that has emerged from our lengthy debates; and we believe that this longlist is but one clear reflection of the talent and global relevance of Canadian writers. To the nominees, we offer our sincere gratitude and our heartfelt congratulations.”

Here the Dark is one of three short story collections nominated for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Dominoes At The Crossroads by Kaie Kellough and How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa. Other longlisted titles include Ridgerunner by Gil Adamson, Watching You Without Me by Lynn Coady, All I Ask by Eva Crocker, The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue, Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi,  Five Little Indians by Michelle Good, Indians on Vacation by Thomas King, Consent by Annabel Lyon, Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo, The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel, and the first graphic novel to be nominated for the Giller Prize, Clyde Fans by Seth.

The short stories in Here the Dark explore the spaces between doubt and belief, evil and good, obscurity and light. Following men and boys bewildered by their circumstances and swayed by desire, surprised by love and by their capacity for both tenderness and violence, and featuring a novella about a young woman who rejects the laws of her cloistered Mennonite community, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winner David Bergen’s latest deftly renders complex moral ambiguities and asks what it means to be lost—and how we might be found.

This is the fifth time Bergen has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. He won in 2005 for his novel The Time in Between. Here the Dark is his first title published with Biblioasis.

David Bergen has published eight novels and a collection of short stories. His work has been nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Impac Dublin Literary Award, and a Pushcart Prize. In 2018 he was given the Writers’ Trust Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life.

Get your copy of Here the Dark now!

 

THE DISHWASHER wins the 2020 First Novel Award!

We are pleased to announce that The Dishwasher by Stéphane Larue (trans. Pablo Strauss) has won the 44th annual First Novel Award! This award honours the achievements of Canadian authors and their debut novels. The the grand prize is $60,000. The Dishwasher is the first work of translation to win the First Novel Award.

In a statement, Biblioasis publisher Dan Wells said, “We’re thrilled by the news. We feel very fortunate indeed to have brought this Quebec bestseller to an English-speaking audience. It’s a powerful moral story with universal appeal, and its success in translation is testament to the artistry of Stéphane’s writing, both its thematic and structural brilliance and its astonishing control of language. And as a press with a very active translation program, we consider this a victory as well for Stéphane’s translator, Pablo Strauss, and for translated literature as a whole. Translations are often treated as secondary in awards recognition, but should of course be valued as the complex works of art that they are. This is the first time that a translation has won this major English prize—indeed, it may be the first time in Canada that a work of translation has won any major English-language prize—and we’re especially proud that it will introduce this important piece of Québécois literature to a wider audience.”

Since its establishment in 1976, the Amazon Canada First Novel Award has launched the careers of some of Canada’s most beloved novelists, including Michael Ondaatje, Joan Barfoot, Joy Kogawa, W. P. Kinsella, Nino Ricci, Rohinton Mistry, Anne Michaels, André Alexis, Michael Redhill, Mary Lawson, Colin McAdam, Joan Thomas, and David Bezmozgis.

The Dishwasher was selected from a shortlist which included The Western Alienation Merit Badge by Nancy Jo Cullen, Going Dutch by James Gregor, Mooncalves by Victoria Hetherington, Aria by Nazanine Hozar, and When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald. Each finalist will receive $6,000.

This year’s jury consisted of Liz Harmer, Shani Mootoo, and Anakana Schofield.

On the judging process, Anakana Schofield said, “We agreed, we disagreed, we discussed, we compromised as all jurors must. I was looking for a lively and disciplined relationship with language, probing ideas, and significant promise. I was delighted to also discover invention, formal ambition, and an unusually uplifting appetite for the ludic in some of the works. Our shortlist offers a literary spectrum that samples the prodigious in scale to the quiet and dire ordinary, which is quite the achievement for first novelists.”

The Dishwasher was also nominated for CBC’s Canada Reads earlier this year. The New York Times Book Review called it “Vivid and moving.”

Author Stéphane Larue was born in Longueuil in 1983. He received a master’s in comparative literature at L’Université de Montréal and has worked in the restaurant industry for the past fifteen years. He lives in Montréal.

Translator Pablo Strauss Pablo Strauss grew up in British Columbia and has lived in Quebec City for over a decade. His translations of Quebec fiction include Daniel Grenier’s The Longest Year (a finalist for the 2016 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation), and Maxime Raymond Bock’s Baloney (Coach House Books, 2016) and Atavisms (Dalkey Archive Press, 2015). He has also published shorter translations and reviews in Granta, Geist, and The Montreal Review of Books. Pablo has worked as a dishwasher in nine restaurants in three cities.

It’s October in Montreal, 2002, and winter is coming on fast. Past due on his first freelance gig and ensnared in lies to his family and friends, a graphic design student with a gambling addiction goes after the first job that promises a paycheck: dishwasher at the sophisticated La Trattoria. Though he feels out of place in the posh dining room, warned by the manager not to enter through the front and coolly assessed by the waitstaff in their tailored shirts, nothing could have prepared him for the tension and noise of the kitchen, or the dishpit’s clamor and steam. Thrust on his first night into a roiling cast of characters all moving with the whirlwind speed of the evening rush, it’s not long before he finds himself in over his head once again. A vivid, magnificent debut, with a soundtrack by Iron Maiden, The Dishwasher plunges us into a world in which everyone depends on each other—for better and for worse.

 

Get your copy of The Dishwasher now!

The Last Goldfish Virtual Launch

Did you miss last night’s virtual launch of Anita Lahey’s new memoir The Last Goldfish? Never fear! You can watch it here!

Anita was joined by Carmine Starnino, Molly Peacock, and Monique Holmes.

Get your copy of The Last Goldfish here.

 

Twenty-five years ago and counting, Louisa, my true, essential, always-there-for-everything friend, died. We were 22.

When Anita Lahey opens her binder in grade nine French and gasps over an unsigned form, the girl with the burst of red hair in front of her whispers, Forge it! Thus begins an intense, joyful friendship, one of those powerful bonds forged in youth that shapes a person’s identity and changes the course of a life.

Anita and Louisa navigate the wilds of 1980s suburban adolescence against the backdrop of dramatic world events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall. They make carpe diem their manifesto and hatch ambitious plans. But when Louisa’s life takes a shocking turn, into hospital wards, medical tests, and treatments, a new possibility confronts them, one that alters, with devastating finality, the prospect of the future for them both.

Equal parts humorous and heartbreaking, The Last Goldfish is a poignant memoir of youth, friendship, and the impermanence of life.