Fiction Friday: Kevin Hardcastle’s “Bandits,” from his just-released collection Debris

As part of a new series, every Friday we’ll be linking here to a Biblioasis author’s short fiction, as it is found on the web. To celebrate the launch of his fabulous debut Debris, this evening’s offering is Kevin Hardcastle’s Bandits. Originally published in The Puritan in Spring 2013, it can be found in his new collection Debris.

The day I turned eighteen we drank a keg of beer between the five of us and let out over the frozen bay in our sleds. Pa on the lead machine with a pump shotgun strapped to the seat, the barrel fitted with a full-choke. His two younger brothers trailing, whooping and swerving wild on the ice over six inches of snow that fell since early evening. My cousin Ronnie coasted wide on his older sled. He had turned twenty-one in the Hillcrest pen. Ronnie was twenty-five now and he was like my brother. Even more so because Pa would thump him silly on the front lawn when he mouthed off or otherwise goaded the big man enough to warrant some violence.

There was a storm coming from the north and you could see the black clouds rolling even against the lesser black of the moonlit sky. Thunder from the heavens and did it ever fucking boom. Next came bolts of white-blue lightning. Smell of electric all over. The snow came down heavy. It looked to me like the end of the world. We passed between two fishing huts and crossed to the other side of the bay, close to the big houses and cottages planted there. Most of them were empty for the season. They were summer homes for people from the city or second houses for the richest in town. Pa throttled down and so did we all. Crept up rumbling aside a fine cedarwood house with great bay windows, boathouse half as big as our actual house.

For the rest of the story, please go here.

Mia Couto Roundup

There has been a fair bit of coverage for Biblioasis translation series author Mia Couto this week. First, over at the wonderful online magazine Ozy, Tobias Carroll profiles the Mozambican novelist.

Couto is an inventive writer with a habit of rebelliously creating his own syntaxes, blending Portuguese with a “rural African, animist outlook” (as his publisher says) and conjuring up magical realist frameworks — often to explain the political upheaval his country has lived through. And of course Couto himself lived through those times: A journalist during the wartime era, he paused med school to agitate for independence — as a propagandist for the rebels and a journalist editing the party newspaper. It was 1985, in the heat of the 15-year civil war, when Couto’s first book of poems was published. As the revolution advanced, he recalls, it “became something else,” and he lost his belief, he recounts matter-of-factly.

For the complete profile, please go here.

Two reviews of Biblioasis’s latest Couto title, Pensativities: Selected Essays, have also hit this week. Over at Numero Cinq, Benjamin Woodward has, in part, this to say:

Expertly translated from the Portuguese by David Brookshaw, these writings span roughly a decade of Couto’s nonfiction work, and are plucked from three previously published books: Pensatempos: Textos de opinião, E se Obama fosse africano? e outras interinvenções, and Pensagerio frequente. If there is an overarching drive that threads the collection together, it’s Couto’s commitment to recognize history’s numerous flaws, and to use this history to embrace a diverse future, full of “hybridities” of both self and cultural environs.

Over at Words Without Borders, Kristine Rabberman concurs:

Couto’s life and his oeuvre speak to the power of a widened understanding of the world, one that revels in connections between modes of thought and states of being, one that illustrates the power of a life lived across boundaries. He’s a biologist and conservationist who publishes widely across genres, including journalism and lectures, children’s literature and short stories, award-winning novels and scientific reports. Since winning the 2014 Neustadt Prize and being named a finalist for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize, Couto’s international exposure has aided his goal to build bridges between communities through literature. For English-speaking readers new to Couto’s work, 2015 provides new opportunities to explore his vision of a multicultural world, most recently in Biblioasis’ recent publication of Pensativities: Essays and Provocations, translated from the Portuguese by David Brookshaw, Couto’s longtime translator.

Read more:

Anakana Schofield’s Entitled Interview




Over at Open Book Ontario, Anakana Schofield kicks off their new interview series Entitled, which focues on — you guessed it — all things pertaining to book titles.  

Open Book:

Tell us about the title of your newest book and how you came to it.

Anakana Schofield:

Martin John is the title of my second novel. I came to it by literally not wanting to get away from it or the he in my novel. The novel delves inside the mind and literal circuits of a sexually deviant and delusional man called Martin John. It was critical not to avert gaze from him, since in life we tend to imagine deviant behaviour as an aberration, over there, far away from us. Thus we must not avoid him in the title. For we spend much of the novel inside his mind.


What, in your opinion, is most important function of a title?


The title is an entry point, doorway through which we’ll hurl our reading selves. It’s the plaque above the door or label on the doorbell. I’m sure it’s also something of a summation for many writers. Definitely an encapsulation.


What is your favourite title that you’ve ever come up with and why? (For any kind of piece, short or long.)


I think the title of my next novel, if it endures, will be my favourite. So far it’s called Transactional Sex and Two Cups of Tea. I also have a short story called “Strawberry Plants and Cabbages” (published recently in Emily Donaldson’s CNQ issue), which way back a submission respondent once accidentally retitled “Strawberry Pants and Cabbages in a rejection type letter. (Rejecting both my story and my title inadvertently).

For the complete interview, please go here.  

Biblioasis Seeks Press Volunteers for Fall 2015


Biblioasis needs a few good volunteers! Our press office handles nearly every step a manuscript takes on its path to becoming a widely-read book, including acquisition, editing, typesetting, cover design, stock management, publicity, and bookstore sales. Literary titles published by Biblioasis have been reviewed recently in The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Globe & Mail, The Toronto Star, and other major outlets. Volunteering here offers an opportunity to work and learn at one of Canada’s leading independent presses. Students interested in the publishing industry are strongly encouraged to apply.


  • Assisting with author event coordination, including travel arrangements.
  • Bibliodata and stock level monitoring.
  • Logging reviews, press, and other media hits.
  • Updating and maintaining the press website.
  • Assisting with local, national, and international market research.
  • Assisting with catalog and advanced review copy mailings.
  • Assisting with miscellaneous administrative tasks.


  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently on a range of short-, medium- and long-term tasks with minimal supervision.
  • Good verbal and written communications skills.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Proficiency with social media.

What We Can Offer:

  • Travel and lunch stipend.
  • Employee discount on all books in the bookstore.

What We’d Ask of You:

  • A commitment of at least four hours each week.

Access to a car is preferred but not required.

To apply for the position, please email your cover letter and resume to Deadline: August 21, 2015.

Interviews Galore

coverInheritance9781771960168-frontcoverIn Another Country - front


It’s been a busy couple of weeks for us here at Biblioasis, so we’ve got a lot to share with you.

On May 22nd, David Constantine’s In Another Country was reviewed by the National Post’s Philip Marchand who wrote “Constantine[‘s]… background in verse has helped him to hone a very lean style, with maximum effect.”

Over the weekend Russell Smith’s Confidence was reviewed by The Star:

“Thankfully, Russell Smith has no interest in the prevailing wheat germ ethos of CanLit. Here, finally, is fiction we can swallow for taste, not nutrition … Here, finally, is a Canadian fiction writer who admits that humans, even Canadians, have sex hard-wired into the DNA…”

Russell Smith also made some waves on CBC Radio One’s q with Shad yesterday. If you missed it, listen here and let us know your thoughts!

The North Shore News interviewed Shawn Curtis Stibbards who recently launched his debut novel, The Video Watcher, set in Vancouver.

And lastly, be sure to check out Alex Boyd’s “One Question Interview” with Kerry-Lee Powell, author of Inheritance, here.


Praise for David Constantine’s IN ANOTHER COUNTRY


In Another Country - front

We are pleased to announce that David Constantine’s In Another Country received a starred review in Publishers Weekly
this week. Here’s an excerpt:

A brilliant selection [of stories] … The diverse characters [in this collection] include ex-monks, shamed canons, prostitutes, squatters, successful businessmen, and university professors, but a common thread of silent suffering and dignity ties them all together. The tragic and the beautiful in each of their experiences is heightened by the author’s impeccable eloquence and poetic imagery.”

Constantine’s collection is also receiving praise from booksellers across North America. Laurie Greer from Politics and Prose says that Constantine’s stories “pulse with the sounds and rhythms of water, rhythms that draw characters and readers alike into uncommon and exceptionally profound emotional depths,” while Stephanie Crowe of Page and Palette writes “This is an absolutely marvelous collection of stories that go to the heart of the human experience. Beautifully written, Constantine’s ability to paint his literary picture is unmatched. This collection is a real winner and not to be missed!”

Be sure to check out Constantine’s North American debut with In Another Country which will be available on June 9th in Canada, and July 14th in the U.S.



Praise for Confidence and My Shoes Are Killing Me





















We have new reviews for Russell Smith’s Confidence and Robyn Sarah’s My Shoes Are Killing Me to share with you!


My Shoes Are Killing Me was reviewed by 49th Shelf and by Jeweller’s Eye.

“Natural, musical, meditative, warm, and unexpectedly funny, this is a restorative and moving collections from one of Canada’s most well-regarded poets.”—49th Shelf

“As [Wallace] Stevens writes in The Plain Sense of Things, ‘The absence of the imagination had itself to be imagined.’ Robyn Sarah is one of our poet’s in Canada who has attended most readily and vigorously to this hard work, and we are forever indebted to her for it.” —Jeweller’s Eye


Confidence was reviewed by The Globe & Mail, the Quill and Quire, Morley Walker from The Winnipeg Free Press, Shelagh Rogers on CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter, W Dish, and in THIS Magazine.

“Smith, a long-time Globe and Mail columnist, is a gifted anthropologist of the urbane. Those gifts are on full display throughout Confidence.” —The Globe and Mail

“Darkly hilarious … Russell Smith continues his assault on what he sees as the tame sensibility of Canadian literary fiction … Confidence finds Smith at the top of his game.”—Morley Walker, The Winnipeg Free Press

“In the world of these stories, love is a game, secrets pile up, needs go unmet, compromises and negotiations are constantly being made … [Yet the final pieces] soften the book’s unflinching tone and deliver, finally, emotional resonance by hinting at vulnerable humanity and the truest, simplest desires behind the exhaustive chase of pleasure.”—Quill & Quire

“When I pick up a book by Russell Smith I’ve come to expect to read about sex, and ambition, and a city that can be exciting and superficial, and glitters with the promise that it doesn’t always deliver. There is all that in his new collection of short stories.” —Shelagh Rogers, CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter

“Darkly funny, Confidence skewers modern relationships with just enough hope and romance left at the bottom of Pandora’s box to remind us why we suffer through the tribulations of love…This is not the stodgy CanLit you were assigned in school – Russell Smith’s writing is sharp and sultry…” —W Dish

“It’s a delicious darkness that pervades Russell Smith’s latest short store collection, Confidence… Unflinchingly honest reading.” —THIS Magazine



New Reviews for Kathy Page, Catherine Chandler, and Cynthia Flood

Red Girl Rat Boy

Glad and Sorry Seasons

Paradise and Elsewhere












We are pleased to announce that Kathy Page’s Paradise & Elsewhere,, Catherine Chandler’s Glad and Sorry Seasons, and Cynthia Flood’s Red Girl Rat Boy have all been reviewed in Canadian Literature!


“The genius of [Page’s] book is the way magic seeps into the stories. It seems so inevitable. Somewhere deep in the ancient part of our brains, there must still be a grasp of the connectedness of all things, of the endless flux of creation and destruction.” —Amanda Leslie-Spinks, Canadian Literature

“Chandler boasts a strong collection of poetry that presents an argument for a return to older poetic forms to further explore the experiences of women and women writers in the present.” Philip Miletic, Canadian Literature

“Linguistic dexterity is Flood’s primary strength.” —Sam Knowles, Canadian Literature






An Interview with Russell Smith


Russell Smith’s recent interview with Canada Writes for Confidence is up and can be found here.

If you haven’t picked up Smith’s Confidence yet, we think Morley Walker’s glowing review might convince you to:


Frank O'Connor


The Freedom in American Songs

By the Book: Stories and Pictures9781771960168-frontcover

We would like to congratulate Diane Schoemperlen, Russell Smith, and Kathleen Winter for making the 2015 longlist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award!

Follow the link below to see which other authors made this year’s list:

Frank O’Connor