Join Stéfanie Clermont (The Music Game) at Vancouver Writers Fest for the event, In the Heart of Montreal: Fiction from La Belle Province. Three exceptional authors compare notes on this city, as shared in their latest works. Stéfanie Clermont confronts violence, betrayal, and class as experienced by three millennial friends in The Music Game. Dimitri Nasrallah’s Hotline “sears the heart” with a story of life as a new immigrant in the 80s. And Heather O’Neill ushers us into her spellbinding novel When We Lost Our Heads. For lovers of Mount Royal or simply top fiction, this is an ode to the myriad, kaleidoscopic lives in urban centres. The event will take place at The Nest on Friday, October 21 at 8PM PDT.
More details here.
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Get your copy of The Music Game here!
Friends since grade school, Céline, Julie, and Sabrina come of age at the start of a new millennium, supporting each other and drifting apart as their lives pull them in different directions. But when their friend dies by suicide in the abandoned city lot where they once gathered, they must carry on in the world that left him behind—one they once dreamed they would change for the better. From the grind of Montreal service jobs, to isolated French Ontario countryside childhoods, to the tenuous cooperation of Bay Area punk squats, the three young women navigate everyday losses and fears against the backdrop of a tumultuous twenty-ﬁrst century. An ode to friendship and the ties that bind us together, Stéfanie Clermont’s award-winning The Music Game confronts the violence of the modern world and pays homage to those who work in the hope and faith that it can still be made a better place.
Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Stéfanie Clermont travelled throughout Canada and the United States, working at a wide variety of jobs, before settling in Montreal in 2012. The Music Game, her first book, won the prestigious Ringuet Prize of the Quebec Academy of Arts and Letters, the Quebec Arts Council’s prize for a new work by a young artist, and the Adrienne Choquette Prize for short stories. It was a finalist for the Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal and was included in Le Combat des livres, the French-language counterpart of Canada Reads.
If one of the great joys of poetry is reading articulations of previously mercurial sensations, then hearing poets talk about their refinement of such ideas is surely another. All the more so when the poets in question are the three on this stage: Alexandra Oliver (Hail, the Invisible Watchman), Otoniya Okot Bitek (A is for Acholi), and Madhur Anand (Parasitic Oscillations). Exploring diaspora and marginalization, domestic and social alienation, and the unraveling of the Anthropocene respectively, each collection offers remarkable portraits of our internal and external worlds, and the often surprising membrane between the two. Come revel in the medium of words with us. Moderated by Shazia Hafiz Ramji.
The panel will take place on Saturday, October 22 at 2PM PDT.
More details & tickets here.
Get your copy of Hail, the Invisible Watchman here!
The poems in Hail, the Invisible Watchman are as tidy as a picket-fence—and as suggestive. Behind the charms of iambs lurks a dark exploration of domestic and social alienation. Metered rhyme sets the tone like a chilling piano score as insidiousness creeps into the neighbourhood. A spectral narrator surveils social gatherings in the town of Sherbet Lake; community members chime in, each revealing their various troubles and hypocrisies; an eerie reimagining of an Ethel Wilson novel follows a young woman into a taboo friendship with an enigmatic divorcée. In taut poetic structures across three succinct sections, Alexandra Oliver’s conflation of the mundane and the phantasmagoric produces a scintillating portrait of the suburban uncanny.
Alexandra Oliver was born in Vancouver, BC. She is the author of three collections published through Biblioasis: Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway (2013; recipient of the Pat Lowther Memorial Award), Let the Empire Down ( 2016), and Hail, the Invisible Watchman (2022). Her libretto for From the Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King, conceived in conjunction with composer Scott Wilson at the University of Birmingham, was performed by Continuum Music in Toronto in December, 2017. Oliver is a past co-editor of Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters (Everyman’s Library/Random House, 2015) as well as of the formalist journal The Rotary Dial. She has performed her work for CBC Radio and NPR, as well as at The National Poetry Slam and numerous festivals and conferences. Oliver holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program and a Ph.D. in English and Cultural Studies from McMaster University. She lives in Burlington, Ontario with her husband and son.
Where else can you hear six acclaimed authors—three of them Booker-listed and all of them award-winning—read their work accompanied by professional musicians?
Atmospheric and entirely unique, there’s really no other experience like the Literary Cabaret. Join Musical Director Sally Zori and their band Sally Zori & The Allegories for an evening of creative delights. The band will accompany 2022 Booker-nominee Graeme Macrae Burnet (Case Study), must-read Lebanese-German author Pierre Jarawan, Booker-longlisted Gabriel Krauze, beloved and award-winning Heather O’Neill, Booker-finalist Nadifa Mohamed, and transcendent poet, memoirist, and novelist Joshua Whitehead.
The event will take place on Saturday, October 22 at 8PM PDT.
More details & tickets here.
Grab your copy of Case Study from here!
Shortlisted for the 2022 Gordon Burn Prize • Shortlisted for the 2022 Ned Kelly Awards • Longlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize
The Booker-shortlisted author of His Bloody Project blurs the lines between patient and therapist, fiction and documentation, and reality and dark imagination.
London, 1965. ‘I have decided to write down everything that happens, because I feel, I suppose, I may be putting myself in danger,’ writes an anonymous patient, a young woman investigating her sister’s suicide. In the guise of a dynamic and troubled alter-ego named Rebecca Smyth, she makes an appointment with the notorious and roughly charismatic psychotherapist Collins Braithwaite, whom she believes is responsible for her sister’s death. But in this world of beguilement and bamboozlement, neither she nor we can be certain of anything.
Case Study is a novel as slippery as it is riveting, as playful as it is sinister, a meditation on truth, sanity, and the instability of identity by one of the most inventive novelists of our time.
Graeme Macrae Burnet is among Scotland’s leading contemporary novelists. Best known for his dazzling Booker-shortlisted second novel, His Bloody Project (2015), he is also the author of two Simenon-influenced novels: The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau (2014) and The Accident on the A35 (2017). Burnet has appeared at literary festivals in Australia, the USA, Germany, India, Russia, Spain, France, Korea, Denmark and Estonia. His novels have been translated into more than twenty languages and achieved bestseller status in several countries. He lives and works in Glasgow.
Join us in celebrating the launch of Best Canadian Poetry 2023! The launch will feature several poets included in the anthology, who will be reading from their poems, as well as a Q&A. The event will take place at Massy Books on Saturday, November 26.
Time and details TBA.
Order your copy of Best Canadian Poetry 2023 from Biblioasis here!
Selected by editor John Barton, the 2023 edition of Best Canadian Poetry showcases the best Canadian poetry writing published in 2021.
“My goal,” writes guest editor John Barton of his long career as a literary magazine editor, “was always to be jostled awake, and I soon realized that I was being jostled awake for two—myself and the reader … I came to understand that my job description included an obligation to expose readers to wide varieties of poetry, to challenge their assumptions while expanding their taste.” In selecting this year’s edition of Best Canadian Poetry, Barton brings the same catholic spirit to his survey of Canadian poems published by magazines and journals in 2021. From new work by Canadian favourites to exciting new talents, this year’s anthology offers fifty poems to challenge and enlarge your sense of the power and possibility of Canadian poetry.
John Barton is a poet, essayist, editor and writing mentor. His books include Polari, For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems; Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay-Male Poets; We Are Not Avatars: Essays, Memoirs, Manifestos; and The Essential Douglas LePan, which won a 2020 eLit Award. Formerly the co-editor of Arc Poetry Magazine and editor of The Malahat Review, he now lives in Victoria, where he is the fifth poet laureate.
Anita Lahey’s books include The Mystery Shopping Cart: Essays on Poetry and Culture and two Véhicule Press poetry collections: Spinning Side Kick and Out to Dry in Cape Breton. Anita is an award-winning magazine journalist, past editor of Arc Poetry Magazine, and serves as series editor of the annual anthology, Best Canadian Poetry. A former resident of Toronto, Montreal, Fredericton and Victoria, she maintains fierce familial ties to Cape Breton Island and lives in Ottawa with her family. She grew up in Burlington, Ontario, in a house with a huge backyard a short bike ride from Lake Ontario.