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THE DAY-BREAKERS, HAIL THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN, POGUEMAHONE, THE SINGING FOREST, A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE: Top Lists and Reviews!

THE DAY-BREAKERS

The Day-Breakers by Michael Fraser (April 5, 2022) has been featured on the spring reading list by CBC Books as one of “50 great books to read this season.” The list was published online on May 11, 2022. You can read the full list here.

The Day-Breakers was also reviewed by Barb Carey in The Toronto Star. The review was published online on April 28, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Carey writes:

“Michael Fraser brings history alive in his third collection, a stirring tribute to the Black soldiers who fought for the Union in the American Civil War, hundreds of whom were African Canadians. […] The language of the poems is terrific: a fresh, striking vernacular (glossary included) that’s both lyrical and gritty in its immediacy”

Get your copy of The Day-Breakers here!

HAIL, THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN

Hail, the Invisible Watchman by Alexandra Oliver (April 5, 2022) was reviewed in the Los Angeles Review of Books! The review was published online on May 2, 2022. Read the full review here!

Maryann Corbett writes:

“They’re all here in her newest book, the formal and metrical pleasures that earned critical praise and prizes for Alexandra Oliver’s Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway and Let the Empire Down […] Hail, the Invisible Watchman is dark and tangled, even when it hooks the heartstrings and pulls.”

Alexandra Oliver was also interviewed by Sheryl MacKay on CBC North by Northwest! The interview was posted on May 1, 2022. You can listen to the interview here beginning at 4:20, with Alexandra reading at 12:30.

Get your copy of Hail, the Invisible Watchman here!

POGUEMAHONE

Poguemahone by Patrick McCabe (May 3, 2022) was reviewed by Sam Sacks in The Wall Street Journal. The review was published online on May 6, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Sam Sacks writes:

Poguemahone [is] an immense, audacious novel […] a volcanic spray of vernacular, Gaelic-infused memory fragments and character sketches.”

Poguemahone was also reviewed by Ian Mond in the print edition of Locus Mag and featured as part of their list of “New Books: 3 May 2022.” on May 3, 2022. Check it out here!

Ian Mond writes:

Poguemahone is a stunning novel, one of those exceedingly rare books that deserve to be described as a masterpiece.”

Poguemahone was reviewed by Keith Miller in Literary Review (UK). The review, “It Started with a Kiss” was published online on May 4, 2022. You can read the full piece here.

Keith Miller writes:

“I think McCabe is attempting something different from the finely tuned gothic chamber music of his earlier work: he’s aiming for a kind of polyphony. Characters aren’t quite sure who or even how many people they are at any given moment. […] the effect is one of alienation – not that the book isn’t a tremendous pleasure to read, albeit at times slightly uncomfortable. ‘Our national epic has yet to be written,’ all the young literary dudes opine in Ulysses. Poguemahone isn’t ‘about’ Ireland (though it is profoundly ‘about’ the Irish diaspora). But it is a particularly modern kind of epic.”

Patrick McCabe was also featured on Damian Barr’s Literary Salon Podcast on May 3, 2022. Lit Hub featured this podcast episode on May 4, 2022, and Poguemahone was listed on Book Riot as part of: “New Releases and More for May 3, 2022.”

Pick up your copy of Poguemahone here!

THE SINGING FOREST

The Singing Forest by Judith McCormack was recently reviewed in The Miramichi Reader! The article was published online on May 5, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Reviewer Michael Greenstein writes:

“McCormack revives the secret, hovering between what’s buried and what’s above ground, what sings into a surreal blend. The forest whispers to silence the screams. The children are curious, the reader is curious, and McCormack cares.

“A page-turner with substance, where troubled family trees testify, find new growth, and branch out.”

The Singing Forest was also recently reviewed by the Historical Novel Society. The review was posted online on May 2, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Reviewer Shauna McIntyre writes:

“Filled with beautiful sentences like “Strands of DNA sliding down an ancestral ladder,” this novel is worth the effort it takes to wade through the stream-of-consciousness sections.”

Order your copy of The Singing Forest here!

A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE

A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski (April 26, 2022) has been reviewed by Michael Dirda in The Washington Post. The article, “What bookstores and the literary life contribute to … life” was published online today, May 4, 2022. Check out the full article here.

Dirda writes:

“Kociejowski opens his enthralling memoir, A Factotum in the Book Trade, by observing that bookstores have begun to follow record stores into nonexistence. “With every shop that closes so, too, goes still more of the serendipity that feeds the human spirit.” While there may be “infinitely more choice” in buying from online dealers, “to be spoiled for choice extinguishes desire.” As he says, “I want dirt; I want chaos; I want, above all, mystery. I want to be able to step into a place and have the sense that there I’ll find a book, as yet unknown to me, which to some degree will change my life.”

An accomplished poet and beguiling essayist (try The Pebble Chance), Kociejowski has also enjoyed a long-standing career with various London antiquarian bookshops […] Over the years, Kociejowski came to be friends with poet and translator Christopher Middleton, travel writer Bruce Chatwin, “arguably the greatest prose stylist of his generation,” and the Spanish novelist Javier Marías, who as the reigning monarch of the joke Kingdom of Redonda, appointed him poet laureate in English of that tiny uninhabited island.”

Marius Kociejowski has been featured on the podcast by AbeBooks, Behind the Bookshelves, hosted by Richard Davies. In the episode, they discuss Kociejowski’s A Factotum in the Book Trade (April 26, 2022). The episode was published online on May 18, 2022. You can listen to the full episode here.

In the episode, Kociejowski says:

“The general secondhand bookshop is rapidly becoming a thing of the past […] Whereas I have always maintained that the soul of the trade is in bookshops. I think something happens in shops. Something magical.”

Get your copy of A Factotum in the Book Trade here!

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!

POGUEMAHONE: Rave Reviews and Interviews!

IN THE NEWS!

POGUEMAHONE

Poguemahone by Patrick McCabe (May 3, 2022) was reviewed in The Irish Examiner on April 24, 2022. Check out the full review here.

Reviewer Josephine Fenton writes:

“This is a great enormous book by a great Irish author and should be welcomed by everyone in this great country and the world beyond. You might think, on first sight, that Poguemahone was following in the wake of Finnegan in its attempt to be enormously long, very dense and quite inaccessible. But it is not, at all. You can slip into it like a blunt knife through butter.”

Poguemahone was excerpted in RTE – Raidió Teilifís Éireann, published online on April 25, 2022. You can read the excerpt here.

Patrick McCabe was interviewed about Poguemahone in The Guardian. The interview was published online on April 24, 2022. You can read the complete article here.

Tim Adams writes:

“In the pantheon of storied Irish writers—Joyce in Dublin, Yeats on the west coast—McCabe has a special place as the conjuror of the small-town middle. […] The occasion for our lunch is McCabe’s new book, Poguemahone, an extraordinary 600-page free verse novel, already hailed in the Observer as “this century’s Ulysses” […] Once you get tuned to McCabe’s brilliant playful wavelength, after a couple or three pages, you find yourself at home in Aunty Nano’s famous late-night club […] and spending too much time at the ‘premier crash pad in all of north London’, paradiso or inferno, depending on your politics.”

Patrick McCabe was also interviewed in The Independent, published online on April 24, 2022. You can read the full interview here.

Emily Hourican writes:

“The book—a hefty 600 pages—is written in verse form. And, for those of you put off by the very idea, don’t be. It is by turns energetic, hilarious, tragic and terrifying, and easy to follow once you fall into the beat of it—’the beat of a bodhran, which is the beat of Irish history,’ says McCabe.”

 

Order your copy of Poguemahone here!

 

THE DAY-BREAKERS, THE AFFIRMATIONS, HAIL THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN, EYES OF THE RIGEL, A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE, POGUEMAHONE: Media Hits!

IN THE NEWS!

THE DAY-BREAKERS

The Day-Breakers by Michael Fraser (April 5, 2022) has been featured by CBC Books as part of ’27 Canadian books coming out in April we can’t wait to read.’ The list was published online on April 5, 2022. Take a look at the full list here.

Michael Fraser has been interviewed by Valentino Assenza on HOWL (CIUT) about his new collection, The Day-Breakers. The episode aired on April 5, 2022 at 10pm et. You can listen to/download the full HOWL interview here.

Michael Fraser was also interviewed by Pearl Pirie on Pearl Pirie about The Day-Breakers. The Pearl Pirie interview was published online on April 5, 2022. You can read his interview with Pearl Pirie here.

Get your copy of The Day-Breakers here!

THE AFFIRMATIONS

The Affirmations by Luke Hathaway (April 5, 2022), was reviewed by Holly M. Wendt in Ploughshares: ‘Conversation in The Affirmations.’ The review was published online on April 12, 2022. You can read the complete review here.

Wendt writes:

“The depth of references offers opportunities for entry and distance alike. Ranging freely across centuries of works, sacred and secular, Hathaway’s book, published last week, is as deftly conversant with John Donne as with Auden, as expert in its command of music, metrical and lexical as the maritime landscape. […] The object […] of The Affirmations, is not simply reifying what has come before, but challenging, re-imagining, and reclaiming what has been made into a tool of oppression.”

Order The Affirmations here!

HAIL, THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN

Hail, the Invisible Watchman by Alexandra Oliver (April 5, 2022), has received a starred review from Annick MacAskill on Quill & Quire. The review was published online on April 1, 2022. Check out the full review here.

MacAskill writes:

“This last sequence, a series of English sonnets spoken in the voices of two of Wilson’s characters as well as a third-person narrator, is particularly well realized. Oliver proves herself a master at her chosen form; the sonnet and its demanding rhyme scheme serve as a springboard for the narrative moments and reflections she depicts. […]

Oliver displays a fidelity to rhyming verse not often found in contemporary Canadian poetry. The formal aspects of Oliver’s writing do not detract from, but rather enable her quick wit and clear-eyed assessments.”

Order Hail, the Invisible Watchman here!

EYES OF THE RIGEL

The third novel in Roy Jacobsen’s The Barrøy Chronicles, Eyes of the Rigel (April 5, 2022), has been reviewed in Publishers Weekly! The review was posted online on January 28. Though the review states that this is the last of the series, I’m pleased to let you know that Roy has surprised us with a fourth novel, and we will be continuing Ingrid’s journey in Spring 2023. You can read the full review here.

The reviewer writes:

“[An] expressive story of a woman’s search for her lover in post-WWII Norway. The translators inventively capture Ingrid’s dialect (“An’ thas knew this all th’taim”) as well as the power of the tense interactions between the characters. This delicate account of yearning perfectly caps the strong series.”

Order Eyes of the Rigel here!

Check out the first two books in the series, The Unseen and White Shadow, here!

A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE

A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski (April 26, 2022) has been reviewed by Danny Heitman in the Wall Street Journal as part of the article ‘5 Tales of Top-Shelf Book People.’ The article was published online on April 7, 2022. You can read the full article here.

Heitman writes:

“His polished sentences faintly resonate with Proustian echoes … Mr. Kociejowski … has a loose sense of narrative that perfectly simulates an afternoon ramble through a vintage bookshop. A dizzying diversity of books and authors strike against each other, creating sparks of insight. In the space of a few pages, he mentions Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Green, Emily Dickinson, William Hazlitt, J.L. Carr and Patrick Leigh Fermor, offering concise assessments of each. Frequent footnotes, rendered as chatty asides, deepen his memoir’s digressive charm.”

A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski (April 26, 2022) has also been reviewed in the Ottawa Review of Books by Timothy Niedermann! The review was published online on April 4, 2022. Have a look at the full review here.

Niedermann writes:

“Despite having a library with upwards of 1,000 volumes, Kociejowski does not feel he himself is a collector, however. He calls himself a “bibliophile”: a book lover. And this is the essence of A Factotum in the Book Trade. It is about love for books.

A Factotum in the Book Trade is an extraordinary work that will give all readers an increased appreciation for what books are and the many intricate roles that books play in our lives.”

A Factotum in the Book Trade was reviewed by Michael Turner in the British Columbia Review. The article, ‘Where the Magic Happens,’ was published online on April 8, 2022. You can read the full article here.

Turner writes:

“[I]n the book’s swirling opening chapter […], we find him reflecting on a working life (mostly in the antiquarian book trade) […] Mortality sets off this reflection (“What is forever when set against the universe? About the length of a sticking plaster”) (p. 1), then books (“‘The world is made,’ says Stéphane Mallarmé, ‘in order to result in a beautiful book.’ All else — the filling of an order, the cataloguing of a book — is mere procedure”) (p. 2) and bookselling (“The book trade is naturally secretive even when it pretends otherwise. What one might think is an open book is actually a closed one”) (p. 3).

It is this interplay between books (Kociejowski has authored books of poetry and travel writing) and bookselling (a staging ground into which enter books, employees and casual customers, but also literary archives, personal libraries, collectors and celebrated authors like Patti Smith, Robert Graves and Bruce Chatwin) where the magic happens.”

Order A Factotum in the Book Trade here!

POGUEMAHONE

Poguemahone (May 3, 2022) by Patrick McCabe has been reviewed by Sean O’Brien for The Telegraph. The review was published online on April 5, 2022. You can read the full review here.

O’Brien writes:

“McCabe, best known for The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto (both Booker shortlisted in the 1990s, and adapted into films), is not the first prose writer to seek the lingering prestige of poetry without having to write it. In fact it’s easy to ignore the verse, except as an effective scoring method: the reader hears the book as something spoken aloud, or whispered, or snarled, or insinuated or spat into his ear. The voice is an insistent companion who, having got hold of an elbow, has no plans to stop until his hour is exhausted or the auditor collapses under the weight of memory, bile, repetition and implication.”

Patrick McCabe was interviewed on BBC Front Row for Poguemahone. The interview aired on April 12, 2022. Poguemahone was also publicly announced as a May Indie Next pick by the American Booksellers Association on April 12, 2022.

You can listen to the full BBC episode here and view the May Indie Next list here.

Preorder Poguemahone here!

A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE, POGUEMAHONE, SAY THIS, CHEMICAL VALLEY, DANTE’S INDIANA and ORIGINAL PRIN: Rave Reviews!

IN THE NEWS

A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE

A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski (April 26, 2022) has been reviewed in the April edition of the Midwest Book Review by James Cox. The review will be published online in the coming weeks.

Cox writes:

“An absolute ‘must’ for the personal reading lists of all authors, publishers, booksellers and dedicated bibliophiles, A Factotum in the Book Trade is an absorbing, entertaining, informational, and inherently fascinating combination of memoir and book trader insights and commentaries. One of those life stories that will linger on in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf, this paperback edition of Marius Kociejowski’s A Factotum in the Book Trade should be on the Biography/Memoir shelf of every community, college, and university library.”

Preorder A Factotum in the Book Trade here!

POGUEMAHONE

Poguemahone (May 3, 2022) by Patrick McCabe has been reviewed by Anthony Cummings for The Daily Mail. The review was published online on April 1, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Cummings writes:

“No one who read McCabe’s 1992 novel The Butcher Boy could forget its chilling depiction of a troubled schoolboy in 1960s Ireland. His latest, a dizzying verse novel 600 pages long, is equally likely to haunt the mind. It has so many layers that we’re never sure where we are, but very roughly speaking, it centres on Una, an Irish woman recalling life in a London squat during the 1970s. The story of how she fell for a poet—and then caught him in flagrante—is intercut with the painful tale of her mother, Dots, a call girl in 1950s Soho. All this and more unfolds in a spectral tornado of voices, which calls into question the status of the narrator, Dan…”

Preorder Poguemahone here!

SAY THIS

Say This (March 1, 2022) by Elise Levine has been featured by 49th Shelf as part of their ‘Editors’ Picks for April 2022′ list. The list was published online on April 1, 2022.

You can check out the full list here.

Get your copy of Say This here!

CHEMICAL VALLEY

Chemical Valley cover

Chemical Valley by David Huebert (October 19, 2021), has been reviewed in bUneke Magazine! The review appears in their March issue, and was posted online on March 30, 2022. You can read the full review here.

The reviewer writes,

“Huebert works to create a world that seems almost futuristic then slowly reveals that he speaks of now and how our choices are destroying our health and our planet. He makes us feel the emotional side of well-developed characters as they face the world in fear and wonder.”

Grab your copy of Chemical Valley here!

ORIGINAL PRIN & DANTE’S INDIANA

The first two novels in Randy Boyagoda’s loose trilogy, Original Prin (September 25, 2018) and Dante’s Indiana (September 7, 2021), were featured in an article in the latest issue of Image Journal. The feature was posted online on March 31, 2022, and is in the print version of their latest issue. You can read the full article here.

Doug Sikkema writes:

“Boyagoda’s novel might be one of the best ways to ‘remember Dante forward’—to remember him in the present tense. By channeling Dante in a satirical vein, Boyagoda helps us see the impulses shaping the American and global economic order as spiritual forces—and the decisions made by individuals, communities, and even nations as products of disordered desire.”

Get your copy of Original Prin here!

Get your copy of Dante’s Indiana here!

 

THE SINGING FOREST, ON PROPERTY, THE AFFIRMATIONS, THE DAY-BREAKERS, HAIL THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN, THINGS ARE AGAINST US, POGUEMAHONE: Media Hits!

IN THE NEWS

THE SINGING FOREST

The Singing Forest by Judith McCormack (September 21, 2021) was highlighted during a book segment on CBC’s The Next Chapter. Author Wendy McKnight was on the show to recommend three historical fiction novels, including The Singing Forest! The conversation aired on March 26, 2022, and was replayed on March 28, 2022. You can listen to or read the full conversation here, where the comments about The Singing Forest start at 6:45.

Wendy McKnight says:

“I think I may have saved the best for last. I just found this book so beautifully written, even despite the fact that it’s at times very horrifying and upsetting. [Judith McCormack] does a really masterful job of weaving a story from present-day Toronto and then going back to pre-World War II Belarus … And so that idea that people can go through times and can still maintain their dignity and their sense of self is such a strong theme that it’s just so beautifully done.”

Get your copy of The Singing Forest here!

ON PROPERTY

Rinaldo Walcott, author of On Property (February 2, 2021), is being featured by the Writers’ Trust Amplified Voices campaign, an effort to highlight books that were published by BIPOC or racialized Canadian authors during the COVID-19 pandemic. A video conversation between Rinaldo Walcott and Canisia Lubrin was released today, where they discuss On Property. You can watch the full video conversation here.

Learn more about the Writers’ Trust Amplified Voices campaign here.

“So the challenge for the persistence of human life is how will we redistribute everything that has come out of the dread and the horror but also the intimacies of these encounters.” —Rinaldo Walcott

Order On Property here!

THE AFFIRMATIONS

The Affirmations by Luke Hathaway (April 5, 2022), was reviewed by Jackie Wong in The Tyee: “On Affirmations and Letting Life Change Us.” The review was published on March 23, 2022. Check out the full review here.

Wong writes:

“There’s something healing about watching people wrestle with and arrive on the other side of a long winter of the land and spirit, whether onscreen or on the page. Accordingly, Luke Hathaway’s The Affirmations is just the thing to read now as we defrost from another pandemic winter and notice the green buds on tree branches, a promise of renewal almost in spite of all we’ve seen.”

Order The Affirmations here!

THE DAYBREAKERS & HAIL, THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN

The Day-Breakers by Michael Fraser and Hail, the Invisible Watchman by Alexandra Oliver (April 5, 2022), have been reviewed on Marrow Reviews by Catherine Owen. The review was published online on March 24, 2022. Take a look at the full review here.

Owen writes:

“Two new poetry titles from Biblioasis, as distinct as can be envisioned, apart from their attentions to the specificities of sound, reassure this reviewer that a variety of approaches to the motivations behind poetry persists. Alexandra Oliver’s Hail, the Invisible Watchman points to the validity of artifice in craft beyond emotion’s call (an Eliotian acolyte perchance?), while Michael Fraser’s stunning collection The Day-Breakers attends to how feeling exists within diction, inside an era’s particular lexicon of pain and triumph.”

Order The Day-Breakers here!

Order Hail, the Invisible Watchman here!

THINGS ARE AGAINST US

Lucy Ellmann, author of Things Are Against Us (September 28, 2021), was interviewed by Nahlah Ayed on CBC Ideas. The episode aired on Thursday, March 24, and was posted online earlier that evening. Listen to the full interview here.

From the interview:

Nahlah Ayed: We hear it everywhere, group chats, social media, political commentary: people are overwhelmed with not just what’s happening in the world, but also by the amount of information that we get about what’s happening in the world. How do you cope with the ‘too-muchness’ of everything?

Lucy Ellmann: Well, one way is to read 18th-century novels. Nineteenth-century will do, too. They’re very involving. They’re beautiful. They’re funny. They’re full of satire. A kind of thing that no longer exists. Almost no one understands satire anymore. I think it’s because, I don’t know, education doesn’t exist, I guess, or we just all lost our sense of humour.

I think you have to get back to humour and nature. And I think, taking a walk and getting away from the machines. But if you go for a walk, everyone else is still on a machine out there. So they need their machines forcibly confiscated when they leave their house so that at least outdoors, there’s some kind of community life where you actually face each other.

Order Things Are Against Us here!

POGUEMAHONE

Poguemahone (May 3, 2022) by Patrick McCabe has been reviewed by Kirkus Reviews. The review will be published online on March 30, 2022.

The reviewer writes:

“A searing family drama and bittersweet evocation of nostalgia for lost youth.

Irish novelist McCabe’s new work is a leap beyond his previous accomplishments in fiction; a sprawling, epic novel in verse, the book builds on the tradition of lyric poetry as a method of storytelling, shot through with a postmodern Beat sensibility. The tale begins in the present as narrator Dan Fogarty arrives at the nursing home where his sister, the mercurial Una Fogarty, lives. From there, the narrative quickly moves back in time to the early 1970s to a communal house in London’s Kilburn district, where the siblings spent their early adulthood among an endless parade of flatmates, besotted poets, and various other hippies and hangers-on. At the center of this bohemian gyre is the Scottish poet Troy McClory, and the anything-but-rosy romance between Troy and Una becomes something of a leitmotif throughout the story. Swirling around this torrid relationship, the book details the siblings’ childhood during WWII and their coming-of-age against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, while the lingering specters of alcoholism, mental illness, and suicide are never far from the margins of the text. Despite these bleak themes, the novel is not without its share of humor—early ’70s pop-culture references abound, and the Joycean linguistic play is a pleasure to read. Structurally, the book is a marvel; McCabe’s inventive use of enjambment and stanza layout push the boundaries of what is possible in narrative storytelling. The vernacular, drunken verse format may be daunting at first, but after a few pages the narrative develops a hypnotic rhythm, as if one is sitting on a barstool listening to the narrator unspool his story over a pint (or three). At this point, the reader has merely to hang on and enjoy the ride.

A moving saga of youth, age, and memory—by turns achingly poetic, knowingly philosophical, and bitterly funny.”

Order your copy of Poguemahone here!

HOUSEHOLDERS

Householders cover

Kate Cayley, author of Householders (September 2021), was interviewed by James Tennant for Get Lit CFMU.

The episode aired on March 24, 2022 and is available online here.

Get your copy of Householders here!

POGUEMAHONE, SAY THIS, THE MUSIC GAME, SHIMMER: Reviews & Interviews!

IN THE NEWS

POGUEMAHONE

Patrick McCabe has been interviewed in The Times in regards to his forthcoming novel Poguemahone (May 3, 2022). “Pat McCabe: A lifetime’s search for the voice” was published online on March 18, 2022. You can read the full interview here.

An excerpt from the interview:

“In the early stages of creating his new novel, though, there were times when he wondered if he was throwing it all away. Poguemahone is a free-form experiment that reads like a psychedelic ballad. Narrated by an Irishman living in England, it’s McCabe’s weirdest and wildest work to date. ‘And it’s my best,’ he insists. ‘I worked so hard on it. I’m not a great fan of indiscipline. It might look like this is wild, but everything ties up in it, and that’s not always the case with me. It won’t be for everybody, but it is for me.'”

The Globe and Mail posted their ‘Spring 2022 Books Preview’ and it includes Poguemahone (May 3, 2022) by Patrick McCabe! You can view the full list here.

Of Poguemahone, Emily Donaldson writes:

“The Irish writer, twice a Booker bridesmaid for novels including The Butcher Boy, takes an audacious stylistic turn with this 600-page novel-cum-snowballing-free-verse-monologue by an Irishman caring for his 70-year-old dementia-afflicted sister in England, which the Guardian has boldly declared this century’s Ulysses.”

Preorder Poguemahone from Biblioasis here!

SHIMMER

Also included in the Globe and Mail‘s ‘Spring 2022 Books Preview’ was Alex Pugsley’s short story collection, Shimmer (May 17, 2022)! Check it out on the list here.

Of Shimmer, Emily Donaldson writes:

“Dialogue, character study and a fair dose of profanity star in the latest collection of short stories by the Halifax writer whose previous work has elicited comparisons to Robertson Davies and John Irving.”

Preorder your copy of Shimmer here!

THE MUSIC GAME

The Music Game (February 8, 2022) by Stéfanie Clermont, trans. by JC Sutcliffe, has been reviewed in Quill & Quire! The review was posted online on March 17, 2022, and will be in their March 2022 print issue. Read the full review here.

Reviewer Cassandra Drudi writes:

“A richly created world that spans cities and years … Despite the often dark subject matter, The Music Game is hopeful and optimistic, too: it is a portrait of people who have built community on their own terms.”

Pick up your copy of The Music Game here!

SAY THIS 

Say This (March 1, 2022) by Elise Levine, was interviewed on Across the Pond podcast. It was published online on March 22, 2022. You can listen to the full episode here.

Get your copy of Say This here!

THE MUSIC GAME, SAY THIS, CHEMICAL VALLEY, POGUEMAHONE, A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE, ON DECLINE: March Media Medley!

IN THE NEWS!

THE MUSIC GAME

An excerpt of The Music Game (February 8, 2022) by Stéfanie Clermont, trans. by JC Sutcliffe, has been published in Literary Hub! The excerpt was published online on February 28, 2022.

Read the full excerpt here.

The Music Game was also featured on the blog, Buried In Print. Read the full article here.

In the post, they write:

“Readers get a clear sense of that fog of youthfulness (where inherently ideas contain dichotomies like ‘clarity’ and ‘confusion’) but also a sense of lived-in and vibrant Montreal (and Ottawa) … It’s not the kind of story that makes you feel like you need to know what happens—because, actually, very little “happens”—but it’s the kind of storytelling that makes me care about the characters’ daily lives and lifelong dreams.”

In celebration of International Women’s Day, CBC Books put together a list of ’22 women writers in Canada you should read in 2022.’ Included on the list is The Music Game by Stéfanie Clermont, trans. by JC Sutcliffe. You can view the full list here.

The Music Game was listed by both Literary Hub and 49th Shelf as recommended reads for March! You can read the full list from Literary Hub here, and the full list from 49th Shelf here.

In her recommendation for Literary Hub, bookseller Kay Wosewick writes:

The Music Game is a delicious sneak peek into Millennial life, one that acknowledges few boundaries, alternates between excess and emptiness, repeatedly taste-tests and spits out adulthood, and ebbs and flows within the surrounding cacophony. Simultaneously exciting and unsettling.

The Music Game was reviewed in the latest issue of the Montreal Review of Books! The review is printed in their Spring 2022 issue and was posted online on March 2, 2022. You can check out the full review here.

In her review, Roxane Hudon writes:

“Clermont is relentless in her writing, and pain seems to await these characters at every corner, but by concluding this way, with everyone together and alive sharing music and stories, she’s showing us that, even for a generation often teetering on the edge, there is beauty, and friendship, and hope.”

The Music Game was reviewed in the Winnipeg Free Press! The review was posted online on March 12, 2022. Read the full review here.

In her review, Sara Harms writes:

“Montreal author Stéfanie Clermont’s award-winning debut is a stunning, incisive immersion into a community of young radical activists finding love, experiencing violence, rejecting hegemony, and struggling to survive financially in a world of dead-end jobs.”

The Music Game was also reviewed in The Charlatan, posted online on March 10, 2022. Read the full review from The Charlatan here.

In her review, Melissa White writes:

“Canadian author Stéfanie Clermont delivers in her debut novel, The Music Game, pushing the boundaries of narrative structure through intimate portrayals of young adulthood … Similar to the extremely successful Irish-millennial author Sally Rooney, she portrays the complex feelings and emotions of her characters in simple terms, thus making them feel universal.”

Pick up your copy of The Music Game here!

SAY THIS

Elise Levine, author of Say This (March 1, 2022), was interviewed in The Baltimore Fishbowl. It was published on March 2, 2022. Read the full interview here.

An excerpt from the interview:

BFB: […] Has form always been a central consideration in your writing?

EL: I’ve always understood form and style as elements in service of character. But with Say This I felt greater freedom to formally experiment. Here I was writing a novella— when I’d previously written short stories and novels—and then a second one, so why not take things further? Especially in light of the characters’ experiences with the unsayable, the unanswerable, which called out for me to push hard on the use of fragments and white space as a kind counter-text.

Say This was reviewed in Toronto Star. It was published online on March 11, 2022, and can be read here.

An excerpt from the review:

“Levine repeats the phrase “everything has already happened” in both novellas and the line is key to the book as a whole. It is both the truth and wishful thinking: the crime is done, it’s already happened, this much is true. But for these characters, the crime is never in the past. It is always happening, a constancy of pain and loss that will forever shape their lives.

Say This is a breathtaking, daring exploration of that constancy, of the lingering power of trauma, and the roots and branches of violence and despair.”

Author Elise Levine was also interviewed by PEN America on March 3, 2022. You can find the full interview here.

An excerpt from the interview:

I used fragments as a way of working against the truisms and conventional handlings of narratives surrounding violent crime. By their very nature, fragments embody what is missing; they convey a sense of absence, what remains unvoiced, including hard-to-name desires and the power imbalances that fuel abuse and thrive on the silences surrounding them. The fragments in the book highlight these silences and absences, reflecting how partial, how broken the characters’ understanding might be, and how difficult if not impossible it is for them to access an all-encompassing, consoling truth.

Say This was also named an Editors’ pick for March 2022 by 49th Shelf. You can see the full list here.

Get your copy of Say This here!

POGUEMAHONE

Poguemahone by Patrick McCabe (May 3, 2022) has been reviewed in Publishers Weekly. The review was published online on March 8, 2022, which you can read here. Poguemahone has also been selected as an Indie Next pick for May!

Publishers Weekly writes:

“McCabe draws the reader into a rambling web replete with Gaelic folklore, IRA agitation, and a soundtrack of glam and progressive rock. Lively and ambitious in form, this admirably extends the range of McCabe’s career-long examination of familial and childhood trauma.”

Preorder Poguemahone from Biblioasis here!

A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE

A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski (April 26, 2022) was featured in Hamilton Review of Books as part of “What We’re Reading: Editors’ Picks, Spring 2022.” The article was published online on March 9, 2022. You can read the full list here.

Preorder A Factotum in the Book Trade today here!

CHEMICAL VALLEY

Chemical Valley cover

Chemical Valley by David Huebert (October 19, 2021) was named a semi-finalist for the Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature! The announcement was made on March 7, 2022. Congratulations, David!

Chemical Valley also received an excellent review from Kirkus! The review was posted online on February 25, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Kirkus wrote:

“Huebert has a razor-sharp wit and an exacting eye for human foibles … [he] manages to offer intimate portraits of human lives without ever letting readers forget the climate bubbling just outside their windows … A masterful assemblage of environmentally minded tales.”

Order your copy of Chemical Valley here!

 

ON DECLINE

On Decline cover

Andrew Potter, author of On Decline (October 19, 2021) was a guest on the podcast Lean Out with Tara Henley. Host Tara Henley is a former CBC reporter, journalist, and bestselling author. The episode was published online yesterday, March 16, 2022. You can listen to the full episode here.

Pick up your copy of On Decline here!

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!

 

THE MUSIC GAME: Rave Reviews from the Toronto Star and more!

IN THE NEWS

THE MUSIC GAME

The Music Game (Feb. 8, 2022) by Stéfanie Clermont, trans. by JC Sutcliffe, has been reviewed in the Toronto Star! The review was published online on February 18, 2022. Read the full review here.

In his review, Steven Beattie writes:

“In her debut fiction, Montreal writer Stéfanie Clermont locates a 21st Century equivalent to the 1920s’ “lost generation” in a group of young people trying to find meaning and connection in a world of dead-end jobs, unaffordable housing, and romantic disappointments … The Music Game inhabits a liminal space between different bodies, psyches and geographies. Its characters can display the worst hipster traits — turning up their noses at Bruno Mars on a café stereo while genuflecting at the altar of Godspeed You! Black Emperor — and genuine insights into their inner selves and the nature of the world around them. If they share undeniable commonalities with lost generations before them, they are nonetheless, in Clermont’s hands, rendered specific and unique.”

Stéfanie Clermont was interviewed by Kenn at Shelf Life Books for their podcast, Book StormThe episode was published online on February 11, 2022. You can listen to the full interview here.

The Music Game was included on Boswell Book Company’s blog as a staff recommendation. Read the list of recommendations here.

Bookseller Kay Wosewick writes:

The Music Game is a delicious sneak peek into a generation (Millennials, of course) that acknowledges few boundaries, alternates between excess and emptiness, repeatedly taste-tests and spits out adulthood, and ebbs and flows within the cacophony that surrounds them. Yeah, a bit scary. But also exciting.”

The Music Game was also reviewed in the McGill Tribune and Apt613. Both reviews were published online on February 15, 2022.

In their review for the McGill Tribune, Louis Lussier-Piette writes:

The Music Game’s structure is what sets it apart. Each chapter tells a self-contained story from the point of view of someone within Sabrina’s inner circle, be it a long-lost friend or a neighbour … Clermont’s reflection on activism is skillfully nuanced, exploring both the hopefulness and cynicism that often come with political engagement.”

Read the full review here.

In their review for Apt613, Emmanuelle Gingras writes:

“[An} audacious, honest, and liberating masterpiece … The Music Game sends us on a journey through this contemporary reality. It enumerates all the ways that we love and destroy one another … The Music Game is about relationships, yet also about all the ways we desperately try to escape reality … anyone who’s ever experienced depression or anxiety will find healing through Stéfanie’s loyal and beautiful ways of describing the inexplicable. She allows for contradiction; depth and lightness meet in a disturbing but cathartic way.”

Read the full review here.

Order your copy of The Music Game from Biblioasis here!