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CHEMICAL VALLEY, EYES OF THE RIGEL, THE AFFIRMATIONS, HAIL THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN: Media Hits

IN THE NEWS!

CHEMICAL VALLEY

Chemical Valley cover

Chemical Valley by David Huebert (October 19, 2021), has been featured by CBC Books as part of ‘11 Canadian books to read for Earth Day 2022’! The list was posted online on April 22, 2022. Check out the full list here.

Chemical Valley was also reviewed by Peter Szuban in PRISM International! The review was posted online on April 21, 2022. Read the full review here.

Szuban writes,

“The characters in David Huebert’s new short story collection Chemical Valley live in a world that has been molded and shaped by neoliberalism and the oil industry—where the vulnerability of their bodies is constantly being subjected to a vague calculus that includes economic precarity, shifting personal relationships, and a natural environment lurching towards catastrophe. It’s a situation that could easily elicit nihilism, doom, and mourning—a kind of eco-grief—and yet, the various stories in this collection strive and yearn towards a sublime toxicity that finds beauty amidst the debris, and accordingly, in the lives of its inhabitants.”

Get your copy of Chemical Valley here!

EYES OF THE RIGEL

The third novel in Roy Jacobsen‘s The Barrøy Chronicles, Eyes of the Rigel (April 5, 2022), has been excerpted in Lit Hub! The excerpt was posted online on April 21, 2022. You can read the full excerpt here.

Get your copy of Eyes of the Rigel here!

THE AFFIRMATIONS

The Affirmations by Luke Hathaway (April 5, 2022) was excerpted in Lit Hub. The excerpt was published online on April 22, 2022.

You can view the poem, “As the Hart Panteth After the Water Brooks,” here.

Get your copy of The Affirmations here!

HAIL, THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN

Hail, the Invisible Watchman by Alexandra Oliver (April 5, 2022), was reviewed in The Miramichi Reader. The review was published online on April 25, 2022. Check out the full review here.

Alison Manley writes:

Hail, the Invisible Watchman by Alexandra Oliver is a true triumph, with tight, well-constructed poems creating multiple worlds and stories. Oliver’s use of formal structure and metre is flawless, rich and enveloping. […] Oliver flits between contemporary settings to more distant ones, from the mundane every day to pop culture and all strange manners in between. […] The range of this collection is spectacular. The twists that Oliver places in her verses are sly and magical, the way she uses language and metre to craft such strong imagery in a handful of lines is truly masterful.”

Get your copy of Hail, the Invisible Watchman here!

CHEMICAL VALLEY a finalist for the Atlantic Book Awards!

Chemical Valley coverChemical Valley by David Huebert (October 19, 2021), has been named a finalist for both the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction, presented by the Atlantic Book Awards! The shortlist was announced on April 22, 2022 at the Frye Festival. The Thomas Raddall Award is one of Canada’s largest literary awards and comes with a $25,000 prize and the Alistair MacLeod Prize comes with a $1,000 prize.

Winners will be announced at the Atlantic Book Awards Gala on Thursday, June 9, 2022 at Paul O’Regan Hall in Halifax Central Library.

You can see the full list of finalists here.

Get your copy of Chemical Valley here!

ABOUT CHEMICAL VALLEY

A Siskiyou Prize Semi-Finalist • Miramichi Reader Best Fiction Title of 2021

Out there by the dock the ocean and the air are just layers of shadow and darkness. But the creature’s flesh hums through the dark—a seep of violet in the weeping night.

From refinery operators to long term care nurses, dishwashers to preppers to hockey enforcers, Chemical Valley’s compassionate and carefully wrought stories cultivate rich emotional worlds in and through the dankness of our bio-chemical animacy. Full-hearted, laced throughout with bruised optimism and sincere appreciation of the profound beauty of our wilted, wheezing world, Chemical Valley doesn’t shy away from urgent modern questions—the distribution of toxicity, environmental racism, the place of technoculture in this ecological spasm—but grounds these anxieties in the vivid and often humorous intricacies of its characters’ lives. Swamp-wrought and heartfelt, these stories run wild with vital energy, tilt and teeter into crazed and delirious loves.

ABOUT DAVID HUEBERT

David Huebert – cr. Nicola Davison

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 WalrusMaisonneuveenRoute, and Canadian Notes & Queries, and anthologized in Best Canadian Stories and The Journey Prize Stories. David teaches literature and creative writing at The University of New Brunswick.

DANTE’S INDIANA, CHEMICAL VALLEY, THE UNSEEN: Media Hits!

IN THE NEWS!

DANTE’S INDIANA

Randy Boyagoda, author of Dante’s Indiana (September 7, 2021), was interviewed on the Today Faith Podcast! The interview was posted on February 18, 2022. You can listen to the episode here!

Order Dante’s Indiana here!

CHEMICAL VALLEY

Chemical Valley cover

Chemical Valley by David Huebert (October 19, 2021) has been reviewed in Hamilton Arts & Letters! The review appears in issue 14.2, and was posted online on February 22, 2022. Check out the full review here.

Reviewer Jenn Carson writes,

“[A] masterful exploration of dirty nature writing … Chemical Valley’s stories, for all their dystopian demons, are balanced by Huebert’s insistence on penning his characters with an empathetic hand. His gaze may be harsh, like the reality we inhabit, but his love for his fellow man, and our desperate desire for connection, is unwavering.”

Order Chemical Valley here!

THE UNSEEN

The Unseen (April 7, 2020) by Roy Jacobsen, and translated by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw, was reviewed in the North Bay Nipissing! The review of this first book in the Barrøy Chronicles was posted on February 19, 2022. You can check out the full review here.

Order The Unseen here!

Check out the sequel, White Shadow, here!

Preorder the third book in the series, Eyes of the Rigel here!

 

CHEMICAL VALLEY and HOUSEHOLDERS: Double Launch Video

Last night we celebrated the double launch of two exciting Biblioasis books: Kate Cayley’s Householders and David Huebert’s Chemical Valley! Kate Cayley and David Huebert were joined in conversation by author Sofi Papamarko. After each author read from their work, the discussions kicked off in a fascinating range of topics, from communes to petroleum, artificiality to the placement of COVID in short stories. The conversations led into an audience Q&A, and we wrapped up the night with a giveaway of each book!

And in case you missed the live event, don’t worry! You can still watch it here:

 

Get your copy of Householders from Biblioasis here!

Get your copy of Chemical Valley from Biblioasis here!

 

ABOUT HOUSEHOLDERS

A woman impersonates a nun online, with unexpected consequences. In a rapidly changing neighborhood, tensions escalate around two events planned for the same day. The barista girlfriend of a tech billionaire survives a zombie apocalypse only to face spending her life with the paranoid super-rich. From a university campus to an underground bunker, a commune in the woods to Toronto and back again, the linked stories in Householders move effortlessly between the commonplace and the fantastic. In deft and exacting narratives about difficult children and thorny friendships, hopeful revolutionaries and self-deluded utopians, nascent queers, sincere frauds, and families of all kinds, Kate Cayley mines the moral hazards inherent in the ways we try to save each other and ourselves.

Kate Cayley has previously written a short story collection, two poetry collections, and a number of plays, both traditional and experimental, which have been produced in Canada and the US. She is a frequent writing collaborator with immersive company Zuppa Theatre. She has won the Trillium Book Award and an O. Henry Prize and been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. She lives in Toronto with her wife and their three children.

 

ABOUT CHEMICAL VALLEY

Out there by the dock the ocean and the air are just layers of shadow and darkness. But the creature’s flesh hums through the dark—a seep of violet in the weeping night.

From refinery operators to long term care nurses, dishwashers to preppers to hockey enforcers, Chemical Valley’s compassionate and carefully wrought stories cultivate rich emotional worlds in and through the dankness of our bio-chemical animacy. Full-hearted, laced throughout with bruised optimism and sincere appreciation of the profound beauty of our wilted, wheezing world, Chemical Valley doesn’t shy away from urgent modern questions—the distribution of toxicity, environmental racism, the place of technoculture in this ecological spasm—but grounds these anxieties in the vivid and often humorous intricacies of its characters’ lives. Swamp-wrought and heartfelt, these stories run wild with vital energy, tilt and teeter into crazed and delirious loves.

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.

IN THE MEDIA: Cooper & Huebert + Ondjaki & Pheby

It’s mid-June, which means the Bibliomanse is abuzz from production all the way to publicity. Fall books are being finalized, media coverage continues to roll in, and we’re starting to look ahead to next year’s books.  Mid-June also means Gemini season, so in honor of the Twins, please enjoy this pleasantly paired round-up of recent media hits.

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Dynamic duo Paige Cooper and David Huebert, short fiction superstars of spring and last fall, both appear on CBC Books’ “18 writers to watch in 2018.”

And double the love from our friends at Publishers Weekly. Of Ondjaki’s Transparent City, they write: “darkly pretty…peppered with poetry…These disparate stories are woven into a beautiful narrative that touches on government corruption, the privatization of water, the dangers of extracting oil for wealth, and the bastardization of religion for profit.. The novel reads like a love song to a tortured, desperately messed-up city that is undergoing remarkable transformations.” In a second review, PW calls Alex Pheby’s Playthings “intricate and intelligent…effectively transports readers into Schreber’s experience and tragedy.”

Biblioasis 2017 Media Year in Review

2017 was a big year for us here at the Bibliomanse!  We released a ton of great new titles, two new Bibliofolk arrived as Casey Plett and Jonny Flieger joined the team, Biblioasis books made it onto some very prestigious awards lists, and we had a lot of great coverage in the media. Here are just a few highlights of some of the spectacular reviews and coverage our books received this past year:

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Alejandro Saravia’s Red, Yellow, Green had a great review in Montreal Review of Books“a labyrinthine narrative that lodges like shrapnel—bracing and painful…playfully absurdist, funny, brilliant, and courageous… Saravia’s accomplishment in Red, Yellow, Green is to make you care, and deeply”
Montreal Review of Books: History vs. Oblivion

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Kevin Hardcastle and John Irving spent some time “Bro-ing down” at the International Festival of Authors together. Kevin’s new novel In the Cage has been collecting heaps of praise from places such as Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Maclean’s, National Post, and Foreword Reviews.
In Conversation: Kevin Hardcastle & John Irving
Maclean’s: Five Must Read Books for October
Toronto Star: Twenty-Five must-read books this fall
National Post: Book Review

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The Vancouver Sun recognized their Vancouver daughter, Cynthia Flood, and her new short story collection What Can You Do, saying it  “…makes for page-turning reading…Flood’s writing is sparse and direct, and tackles the challenging topics unfolding in her stories with welcome clarity.”

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Quill & Quire wrote that David Huebert’s Peninsula Sinking “…establishes Huebert as one of Canada’s most impressive young writers … the stories are far-reaching, but tightly woven, each focused on characters in significant moments of development or change.”
Quill & Quire Review

 

 

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The late Norman Levine’s collected short stories, I Don’t Want to Know Anyone Too Well, took some people by surprise this year. André Forget wrote in The Walrus “If Levine lacks for a Canadian readership, it could be in part because there is no definitive, breakout collection of his stories…that might change with I Don’t Want to Know Anyone Too Well. If great writing has a mark, surely this is it.”
Ian McGillis raised the stakes even higher for Levine, writing in The Montreal Gazette that Levine’s short stories should be compared to Gallant, Munro, and even Chekhov, believing “Norman Levine deserves it and his time has come.”
The Walrus: Will a Posthumous Story Collection Help Canada Forgive Norman Levine?
Montreal Gazette: Neglected story master Norman Levine gets his due in new collection

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 Robyn Sarah’s long-awaited selection of poems, Wherever We Mean to Be, was named one of CBC books’ “Canadian Poetry Collections to Watch For” and Anita Lahey wrote a beautiful profile on Sarah for The Walrus.
CBC: 16 Canadian poetry collections to watch for
The Walrus: Robyn Sarah’s Exquisitely Untrendy Poetry

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The Toronto Star wrote of Molly Peacock’s The Analyst, that “The poems bear witness to loss and change in the lives of two women, but they also offer a remarkable account of the restorative power of creativity… [Peacock’s] poetry’s orderly grace can seem paradoxical when she’s describing intense, chaotic emotions. But that lyrical craft is exactly what makes these poems resonate.”
Toronto Star: Poetry transforms Molly Peacock’s relationship with her analyst

 

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Even celebrities couldn’t keep their hands off of Biblioasis books this year!  Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex in the City fame raved about Carys Davies, saying  “Oh my God! Oh my God! It was so great! The Redemption of Galen Pike. A collection of short stories. I never read short stories. This book is so wonderful. One of the clerks at Three Lives Bookstore convinced me to get that book. It’s fantastic!”
Sarah Jessica Parker & The Redemption of Galen Pike
The Redemption of Galen Pike was also an Indie Next pick and a Women’s National Book Association pick for their National Reading Group Month Great Group Reads 2017 List.
National Reading Group: Great Group Reads
Indiebound List

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The long-form review lives on over at Music and Literature. It’s a disservice to their careful and thoughtful review of Elise Levine’s Blue Field to excerpt such a short quote but needs must. Hannah Leclair writes “Reading the novel is a sensation akin to drifting weightlessly beneath the surface of the text…dazzling, textured, tightly woven.”
Music & Literature Review

The Winnipeg Review agreed, saying “Elise Levine’s new novel takes place in a state of not suspense, but suspension. It is set, tellingly, in the rough space between two deaths in the protagonist’s life—first Marilyn’s parents, back to back, then her best friend. The novel ceaselessly evokes the hanging feeling of being deep underwater: all is muted, slow, and yet sensation is almost unbearably heightened … Levine is, undeniably, an outstanding wordsmith. Her writing style moves in multiple directions, making high stakes out of small movements while turning panic into poetry.”

Winnipeg Review

In The New York Times

The Newspaper of Record took notice of a number of Biblioasis books this year. The New York Times featured glowing reviews for Alison Moore’s The Lighthouse, Mark Kingwell’s Fail Betterand Jorge Carrion’s Bookshops.

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The Lighthouse—New York Times’ On the Road in Germany, Accompanied by Troubling Memories
Fail Better—New York Times’ Now Batting: 14 New Baseball Books
Fail Better—New York Times’  How to Throw a Baseball
Bookshops—New York Times’ A Love Affair With Bookstores

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Biblioasis’ Awards

 

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Author, editor, and Bibliofriend John Metcalf won an Ottawa Book Award for his collection The Museum at the End of the World. Metcalf also edited Biblioasis’ successful relaunch of Best Canadian Stories (Biblioasis authors David Huebert, Paige Cooper, Cynthia Flood, K.D. Miller & Grant Buday are among those included in the anthology!).
2017 Ottawa Book Awards

 

Patricia Young was a finalist for the Victoria Butler Book Prize for her collection of poems Short Takes on the Apocalypse.
Victoria Butler Book Prize

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Boundary, written by Andrée A. Michaud and translated from the French by Donald Winkler, was named to the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist. World Literature Today says Boundary is “a haunting novel, rich with the details of the families’ daily lives and brilliant internal monologue, but the translation doesn’t draw attention to itself, a common flaw in translators too conscious of the masterful prose they are rendering. This is particularly appropriate here as Michaud’s remarkable writing seems entirely relaxed, belying what can only be very meticulously composed. Boundary has been recognized by a number of prizes in Canada, including the author’s second Governor General’s Award for Fiction. She deserves to be better known as one of the best writers in North America.”

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Scotia Bank Giller Prize: 2017 Long List Announced
World Literature Today: Book Review

And last but not least, Elaine Dewar was a Governor General’s Literary Award Finalist for her controversial book The Handover: How Bigwigs and Bureaucrats Transferred Canada’s Best Publisher and the Best Part of Our Literary Heritage to a Foreign Multinational. The book is all about the shady backroom deals that went on in order to package McClelland & Stewart off to international megapublisher Random House, robbing Canadians of one of the most definitively Canadian presses in the name of bigger profits and global monopolization.
Read the Maclean’s article on the deal and Dewar’s book here!

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Phew. All that and we’ve barely skimmed the surface. There’s so much more to discover–all of our authors have been killing it and there’s so much great coverage and great responses to their amazing work out there.  Come down to the shop or stumble around the website here and find out more.  Congratulations to all our amazing Biblioasis authors and thank you so much to all our readers!  See you in the New Year!