On Decline at the Waterloo Public Library

Join Andrew Potter virtually for a discussion of his latest book, On Decline (August 17, 2021)! The discussion will be hosted by the Waterloo Public Library in partnership with Words Worth Books. The online event will take place on Thursday, February 24 at 7PM EDT.

Register here!

ABOUT ON DECLINE

What if David Bowie really was holding the fabric of the universe together?

The death of David Bowie in January 2016 was a bad start to a year that got a lot worse: war in Syria, the Zika virus, terrorist attacks in Brussels and Nice, the Brexit vote—and the election of Donald Trump. The end-of-year wraps declared 2016 “the worst … ever.” Four even more troubling years later, the question of our apocalypse had devolved into a tired social media cliché. But when COVID-19 hit, journalist and professor of public policy Andrew Potter started to wonder: what if The End isn’t one big event, but a long series of smaller ones?

In On Decline, Potter surveys the current problems and likely future of Western civilization (spoiler: it’s not great). Economic stagnation and the slowing of scientific innovation. Falling birth rates and environmental degradation. The devastating effects of cultural nostalgia and the havoc wreaked by social media on public discourse. Most acutely, the various failures of Western governments in their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the legacy of the Enlightenment and its virtues—reason, logic, science, evidence—has run its course, how and why has it happened? And where do we go from here?

ABOUT ANDREW POTTER

Andrew Potter is an associate professor (professional) at the Max Bell School of Public Policy. A former journalist, between 2011 and 2016 Andrew Potter was managing editor and then editor in chief of the Ottawa Citizen, and from 2006 to 2011 he was a public affairs columnist for Maclean’s Magazine. He is also a former Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. Potter is the author of The Authenticity Hoax: How We Get Lost Finding Ourselves, and the co-author, with Joseph Heath, of the best-selling book The Rebel Sell: Why the Culture Can’t be Jammed.

 

Order your copy from Biblioasis here!

A PEN By the Book event: Randy Boyagoda & John Irving

Join Randy Boyagoda (Dante’s Indiana) in conversation with fellow author John Irving (The World According to Garp) for an evening of humour! From God, faith and family to politics and sex, nothing seems to be off limits in their work. In this conversation, two literary friends—a believer and a nonbeliever—discuss how humour in fiction can challenge our cherished beliefs. This virtual event will take place on Thursday, January 20 at 7PM EDT.

Register to join here!

More details here.

Get your copy of Dante’s Indiana from Biblioasis here!

 

ABOUT DANTE’S INDIANA

Winnipeg Free Press Top Read of 2021

Middle-aged, married, but living on his own, Prin has lost his way. Desperate for money and purpose, he moves to small-town Indiana to work for an evangelical millionaire who’s building a theme park inspired by Dante’s Inferno. He quickly becomes involved in the difficult lives of his co-workers and in the wider struggles of their opioid-ravaged community while trying to reconcile with his distant wife and distant God. Both projects spin out of control, and when a Black teenager is killed, creationists, politicians and protesters alike descend. In the midst of this American chaos, Prin risks everything to help the lost and angry souls around him while searching for his own way home.

Following Original Prin, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and Globe and Mail Best Book, Dante’s Indiana is affecting and strange, intimate and big-hearted—an extraordinary journey through the darkly divine comedies of our time.

ABOUT RANDY BOYAGODA

Randy Boyagoda is the author of six books, including the novels Governor of the Northern Province, Beggar’s Feast, and Original Prin. His work has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize, and named a Globe and Mail Best Book of the year and New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. An essayist, book critic and radio columnist, he is a professor of English at the University of Toronto, where he lives with his wife and their four daughters.

Lunch & Learn – Judith McCormack at the JCC Jewish Book Festival

Join Judith McCormack at the 2022 JCC Jewish Book Festival where she’ll be discussing her new book, The Singing Forest! This virtual event will take place on Monday, February 7 2022 at 2PM EDT.

Tickets are available here.

 

ABOUT THE SINGING FOREST

In a quiet forest in Belarus, two boys make a gruesome find that reveals a long-kept secret: the mass grave where Stalin’s police buried thousands of murder victims in the 1930s. The results of the subsequent investigation—30,000 dead—has far-reaching effects, and across the Atlantic in Toronto, young lawyer Leah Jarvis finds herself tasked with an impossible case: the trial of elderly Stefan Drozd, a former member of Stalin’s forces, who fled his crimes in Kurapaty for a new identity in Canada. Though Leah is convinced of Drozd’s guilt, she needs hard facts. Determined to bring him to justice, she travels to Belarus in search of witnesses—and finds herself piecing together another set of evidence: her mother’s death, her father’s absence, the shadows of her Jewish heritage. Lyrical and wrenching by turns, The Singing Forest is a profound investigation of memory, truth, and the stories that tell us who we are.

ABOUT JUDITH MCCORMACK

Judith McCormack was born in Evanston, and grew up in Toronto, with several years in Montreal and Vancouver. She is Jewish through her mother, and her maternal grandparents came from Belarus and Lithuania, with her father contributing his Scots-Irish heritage. Her writing has been shortlisted for the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Commonwealth Writers’ Fiction Prize, the Journey Prize and the Amazon First Novel Award, and her short stories have appeared in the Harvard Review, Descant, The Fiddlehead, Coming Attractions and Best Canadian Stories. She also has several law degrees, which first introduced her to story-telling, and is a recipient of the Law Society Medal and The Guthrie Award for access to justice.

Order from Biblioasis here!

Taste of Iceland Toronto

Andri Snær Magnason will be in attendance as a guest at the Taste of Iceland event in Toronto! The event will be giving away copies of his book, On Time and Water (March 30, 2021).

The pre-registration form for the event is available here.

Roland Gulliver, director of the Toronto International Festival of Authors, welcomes literary enthusiasts to Fleck Dance Theatre for an engaging discussion about the beloved Icelandic tradition of Jólabókaflóð, also known as the “Christmas book avalanche.” During the round table, Icelandic Writer and Poet Thora Hjörleifsdóttir, Icelandic Writer Einar Kárason, Canadian author of The Bjorkan Sagas, Harold R. Johnson, and internationally bestselling Canadian Novelist Shari Lapena discuss the Jólabókaflóð custom and parallels to Canadian culture. In line with Jólabókaflóð traditions, Inspired by Iceland: North America is gifting a wrapped book to each attendee after the event for guests to open with their families during the upcoming holiday celebrations.

ABOUT ON TIME AND WATER

A few years ago, Andri Snær Magnason, one of Iceland’s most beloved writers and public intellectuals, was asked by a leading climate scientist why he wasn’t writing about the greatest crisis mankind has faced. Magnason demurred: he wasn’t a specialist, he said; it wasn’t his field. But the scientist persisted: “If you cannot understand our scientific findings and present them in an emotional, psychological, poetic or mythological context,” he told him, “then no one will really understand the issue, and the world will end.”

Based on interviews and advice from leading glacial, ocean, climate, and geographical scientists, and interwoven with personal, historical, and mythological stories, Magnason’s response is a rich and compelling work of narrative nonfiction that illustrates the reality of climate change—and offers hope in the face of an uncertain future. Moving from reflections on how one writes an obituary for an iceberg to exhortation for a heightened understanding of human time and our obligations to one another, throughout history and across the globe, On Time and Water is both deeply personal and globally-minded: a travel story, a world history, and a desperate plea to live in harmony with future generations. Already a massive bestseller in Iceland, and selling in two dozen territories around the world, this is a book unlike anything that has yet been published on the current climate emergency.

ABOUT ANDRI SNÆR MAGNASON

Andri Snær Magnason is one of Iceland’s most celebrated writers. He has won the Icelandic Literary Prize for fiction, children’s fiction, and non-fiction. In 2009, Magnason co-directed the documentary Dreamland, which was based on his book Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation (forthcoming from Open Letter). In 2010, Magnason was awarded the Kairos Prize, presented to outstanding individuals in the field of intercultural understanding. Magnason ran for president of Iceland in 2016 and came third out of nine candidates.

 

Get your copy of On Time and Water from Biblioasis here!

CHEMICAL VALLEY Halifax Launch

Don’t miss this in-person launch event! David Huebert, author of Chemical Valley (October 19, 2021), will be joined in conversation by fellow authors Alexander MacLeod, Asha Jeffers, and Shannon Webb-Campbell for a night of readings hosted by the Halifax Central Library. Local bookstore Bookmark Halifax will be doing book sales. The event will take place on Thursday, December 9 at 7PM.

More details on the Halifax Central Library website here.

 

ABOUT CHEMICAL VALLEY

Oil-soaked and swamp-born, the bruised optimism of Huebert’s stories offer sincere appreciation of the beauty of our wilted, wheezing world.
From city-dwelling preppers to long term care nurses, dishwashers to professional hockey enforcers to refinery workers, Chemical Valley’s caring and carefully-wrought stories cultivate rich human emotional worlds in all the dankness of our bio-chemical animacy. Full-hearted, laced throughout with bruised optimism and a sincere appreciation of the profound beauty of our wilted, wheezing world, Chemical Valley does not shy away from urgent modern questions—the distribution of toxicity, environmental racism, the future of technology, the climate, and the human body—but it grounds these anxieties in vivid and often humorous intricacies of its characters’ lives. These are stories about big questions, but they are not scared of sentiment. Swamp-wrought, they run wild with vital energy, tilt and teeter into crazed and delirious loves.

ABOUT DAVID HUEBERT

David Huebert’s writing has won the CBC Short Story Prize, The Walrus Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for the 2020 Journey Prize. David’s fiction debut, Peninsula Sinking, won a Dartmouth Book Award, was shortlisted for the Alistair MacLeod Short Fiction Prize, and was runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. David’s work has been published in magazines such as The Walrus, Maisonneuve, enRoute, and Canadian Notes & Queries, and anthologized in Best Canadian Stories and The Journey Prize Stories. David teaches at The University of King’s College in K’jipuktuk/Halifax, where he lives and writes.

 

Order your copy of Chemical Valley here!

Smashing! Read & Resist Book Club: A Ghost in the Throat

Join Malvern Books as they discuss their December pick, A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa for their Smashing! Read & Resist book club, a monthly discussion on works by women, women-identified, trans, and nonbinary writers, focusing on books from small and independent presses. This meeting will take place virtually via Zoom on December 5, 2021 at 4PM UTC / 5PM EDT. If you’d like to join in the online chat, PLEASE RSVP becky@malvernbooks.com with “Smashing book club” in the subject line.

More details available on their website here.

 

ABOUT A GHOST IN THE THROAT

An Post Irish Book Awards Nonfiction Book of the Year • A Guardian Best Book of 2020 • Shortlisted for the 2021 Rathbones Folio Prize • Shortlisted for the 2021 Republic of Consciousness Prize • Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Biography Prize

When we first met, I was a child, and she had been dead for centuries.

On discovering her murdered husband’s body, an eighteenth-century Irish noblewoman drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary lament. Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill’s poem travels through the centuries, finding its way to a new mother who has narrowly avoided her own fatal tragedy. When she realizes that the literature dedicated to the poem reduces Eibhlín Dubh’s life to flimsy sketches, she wants more: the details of the poet’s girlhood and old age; her unique rages, joys, sorrows, and desires; the shape of her days and site of her final place of rest. What follows is an adventure in which Doireann Ní Ghríofa sets out to discover Eibhlín Dubh’s erased life—and in doing so, discovers her own.

Moving fluidly between past and present, quest and elegy, poetry and those who make it, A Ghost in the Throat is a shapeshifting book: a record of literary obsession; a narrative about the erasure of a people, of a language, of women; a meditation on motherhood and on translation; and an unforgettable story about finding your voice by freeing another’s.

ABOUT DOIREANN NÍ GHRÍOFA

Doireann Ní Ghríofa is author of six critically-acclaimed books of poetry, whose awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and a Seamus Heaney Fellowship (Queen’s University). Her debut book of prose is the bestselling A Ghost in the Throat, which finds the 18th-century poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill haunting the life of a contemporary young mother, prompting her to turn detective, and of which the Sunday Times writes: “Sumptuous, almost symphonic, in its intensity … As readers, we should be grateful for her boldness. Without it, we would not have had one of the best books of this dreadful year.”

Get your copy of A Ghost in the Throat at Biblioasis!

Andri Snær Magnason Film Screening in Toronto

Join Andri Snær Magnason, author of On Time and Water (March 30, 2021), for the screening of his film The Hero’s Journey to the Third Pole – A Bipolar Musical Documentary with Elephants in Toronto! The documentary was directed by Andri Snær Magnason & Anní Ólafsdóttir. Part road movie, part musical, part serious inquiry into the caverns of the mind, The Hero’s Journey to the Third Pole is at once an artful, sensitive and amusing examination of mental health, told through an unexpected story of friendship. The screening will take place live on December 3, 2021 at 7PM EDT at the Fleck Dance Theatre.

Register to attend here!

 

ABOUT ON TIME AND WATER

A few years ago, Andri Snær Magnason, one of Iceland’s most beloved writers and public intellectuals, was asked by a leading climate scientist why he wasn’t writing about the greatest crisis mankind has faced. Magnason demurred: he wasn’t a specialist, he said; it wasn’t his field. But the scientist persisted: “If you cannot understand our scientific findings and present them in an emotional, psychological, poetic or mythological context,” he told him, “then no one will really understand the issue, and the world will end.”

Based on interviews and advice from leading glacial, ocean, climate, and geographical scientists, and interwoven with personal, historical, and mythological stories, Magnason’s response is a rich and compelling work of narrative nonfiction that illustrates the reality of climate change—and offers hope in the face of an uncertain future. Moving from reflections on how one writes an obituary for an iceberg to exhortation for a heightened understanding of human time and our obligations to one another, throughout history and across the globe, On Time and Water is both deeply personal and globally-minded: a travel story, a world history, and a desperate plea to live in harmony with future generations. Already a massive bestseller in Iceland, and selling in two dozen territories around the world, this is a book unlike anything that has yet been published on the current climate emergency.

ABOUT ANDRI SNÆR MAGNASON

Andri Snær Magnason is one of Iceland’s most celebrated writers. He has won the Icelandic Literary Prize for fiction, children’s fiction, and non-fiction. In 2009, Magnason co-directed the documentary Dreamland, which was based on his book Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation (forthcoming from Open Letter). In 2010, Magnason was awarded the Kairos Prize, presented to outstanding individuals in the field of intercultural understanding. Magnason ran for president of Iceland in 2016 and came third out of nine candidates.

 

Get your copy of On Time and Water from Biblioasis here!

Catherine Fogarty in conversation with Lenny Epstein

Join in virtually for a conversation between Catherine Fogarty, author of Murder on the Inside (April 13, 2021), and filmmaker Lenny Epstein! The event will be held on Tuesday, November 23 at 7PM, and is hosted by the Prince Edward County Public Library and Archives.

To register, call (613) 476-5962 or go online here!

 

ABOUT MURDER ON THE INSIDE

“You have taken our civil rights—we want our human rights.”

On April 14, 1971, a handful of prisoners attacked the guards at Kingston Penitentiary and seized control, making headlines around the world. For four intense days, the prisoners held the guards hostage while their leaders negotiated with a citizens’ committee of journalists and lawyers, drawing attention to the dehumanizing realities of their incarceration, including overcrowding, harsh punishment and extreme isolation. But when another group of convicts turned their pent-up rage towards some of the weakest prisoners, tensions inside the old stone walls erupted, with tragic consequences. As heavily armed soldiers prepared to regain control of the prison through a full military assault, the inmates were finally forced to surrender.

Murder on the Inside tells the harrowing story of a prison in crisis against the backdrop of a pivotal moment in the history of human rights. Occurring just months before the uprising at Attica Prison, the Kingston riot has remained largely undocumented, and few have known the details—yet the tense drama chronicled here is more relevant today than ever. A gripping account of the standoff and the efforts for justice and reform it inspired, Murder on the Inside is essential reading for our times.

ABOUT CATHERINE FOGARTY

Catherine Fogarty is a storyteller. She is the founder and president of Big Coat Media, with offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and North Carolina. An accomplished television producer, writer and director, Catherine has produced award-winning lifestyle, reality and documentary series for both Canadian and American networks. Catherine is the executive producer of the Gemini nominated series Love It or List It. In addition to that franchise, Catherine has produced several other lifestyle and documentary series including Animal Magnetism (W Network), My Parents’ House (HGTV), and Paranormal Home Inspectors (Investigative Discovery Canada). Catherine also produced and directed I Don’t Have Time for This, an intimate documentary about young women with breast cancer. Originally trained as a social worker, Catherine studied deviance and criminology. She worked with numerous at-risk populations including street youth, people with AIDS, abused women, and social services.

Order your copy of Murder on the Inside from Biblioasis here!

Windsor: Then & Now Launch

Join us for our first IN-PERSON book event in almost two years! We’re excited to be celebrating the launch of our latest history book, Windsor: Then & Now by Andrew Foot, and photographed by Ian Virtue. Stop by for a drink, pick up a signed copy of the book, and to chat with Ian and Andrew about the process of putting this together.

The event will be held on Tuesday, November 30 at 7PM EDT, at the Chapter Two Brewing Company.

ABOUT WINDSOR: THEN & NOW

Windsor, Ontario: the City of Roses, the Automotive Capital of Canada, South Detroit. Whatever name you know it by, this is a city that has flourished and transformed over the years, growing and changing with its industrial nature. In Windsor: Then & Now, architectural specialist Andrew Foot partners with landscape photographer Ian Virtue to explore the life of this mid-sized, blue-collar town through photographs. By contrasting historic images, stretching from the turn of the century to the modernist 1970s, with photographs of today’s Windsor, we see a cityscape in vivid relief. From the Gothic towers of St. Mary’s Academy, levelled for a suburban neighbourhood, to the vibrant downtown Norwich Block replaced by the skyscraping Chrysler tower, Windsor: Then & Now shows us a city balancing a rich heritage with a taste for the new—a constant flux, shifting and renewing itself with the times.

ABOUT ANDREW FOOT

Andrew Foot is Windsor’s leading architectural historian. He has documented the built history of Windsor and Essex County online for the past two decades. Andrew exhibited twice at the Art Gallery of Windsor, and published a companion guidebook to one of the exhibitions entitled Windsor Modern. Andrew has been actively involved in the preservation of Windsor’s heritage since 2004 as a volunteer member of the former Windsor Heritage Committee and currently as a member of the Heritage Standing Committee. His research on local architectural history can be found online at internationalmetropolis.com. He enjoys travelling and taking in architecture and culture around the world. Andrew lives with his wife in Windsor.

ABOUT IAN VIRTUE

Ian Virtue is a landscape and commercial photographer based in Essex County. He and his camera have travelled the world, capturing the mountains of Nepal, the rolling wildness of Canada’s west, the beaches of Thailand, and more. You can find his photographic rediscovery of his hometown during the COVID-19 pandemic at ianvirtue.com/the-windsor-project. Ian also works with Arctic Basecamp, a climate advocacy organization focused on speaking science to power. When Ian isn’t out taking photos he can be found in the kitchen making home-cooked meals, hiking, or enjoying a glass of wine on Pelee Island with his fiancée Katie.

 

Get your copy of Windsor: Then & Now here!

Quickie Reads with Kristyn Dunnion & Shannon Quinn

Join in virtually for this fast and furious live literary event featuring Poetess Shannon Quinn, reading from her new collection Mouthful of Bees, published by Mansfield Press (November 2021), and Authoress Kristyn Dunnion, reading from the ReLit Award winning Stoop City, published by Biblioasis (September 22, 2020). The event will be hosted on Zoom on December 7 at 7PM EDT. There will also be a book giveaway!

More details available on Kristyn Dunnion’s author page on Facebook here.

Link to join here!

 

ABOUT STOOP CITY

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.

ABOUT KRISTYN DUNNION

Kristyn Dunnion grew up in Essex County, the southernmost tip of Canada, and now lives in Toronto. She is the author of six books, including Tarry This Night and The Dirt Chronicles, a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her short fiction is widely published, most recently in Best Canadian Stories 2020FoglifterOrca: A Literary Journal, and Toronto 2033. Dunnion works supporting homeless adults with serious mental illness, and has been a healthy food advocate for marginalized communities in Davenport-Perth, where she resides.

 

Get your copy of Stoop City from Biblioasis here!