Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mia Couto a Finalist for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize!



Big news at the Bibliomanse this morning. We were thrilled to learn that contemporary Mozambican author Mia Couto, whose novel Tuner of Silences we published in 2013, and whose Pensativities: Selected Essays we have forthcoming this spring, has just been named a finalist for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize.


The ten finalists for the prestigious biennial prize were announced this morning, a list that includes such luminaries as César Aira , Amitav Ghosh, Fanny Howe, and László Krasznahorkai. The authors come from ten countries with six new nationalities included on the list for the first time. They are from Libya, Mozambique, Guadeloupe, Hungary, South Africa and Congo.

The sixth Man Booker International Prize, which is worth £60,000, recognizes one writer for his or her achievement in fiction.

The 2015 Man Booker International Prize winner will be announced at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on 19 May.

Congratulations to Mia Couto and his English translator David Brookshaw! 


Friday, March 20, 2015

The Search for Solace Within: Glad & Sorry Seasons gets a rave review from Prism

"Catherine Chandler’s Glad and Sorry Seasons is a successful illustration of the ways in which we as humans search for meaning in the face of passing time, the way in which we take pleasure and comfort in ordinary details and are simultaneously baffled and pained by them. The juxtaposition of artificiality, the poet’s expert use of constrained poetic forms—especially her characteristic sonnets—and a piercing sincerity makes this collection aching and beautiful."

Catherine Chandler's Glad & Sorry Seasons gets a rave review from Ruth Daniell in Prism International.  


Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Painful Homecoming: Quill & Quire on Robyn Sarah's My Shoes Are Killing Me + Tour Dates

Montreal poet Robyn Sarah's  latest, My Shoes Are Killing Me, is featured in the new 80th anniversary April issue of Quill & Quire, where reviewer Jason Wiens calls it a collection of "poems recollecting emotion in the (in)tranquility of boomer twilight."  Here's more: 

The title of Robyn Sarah's My Shoes Are Killing Me speaks to the nostalgia that her poems explore: if nostalgia literally means "painful homecoming," then the "shoes" - read as metonymy for the past of her life's journey - cause at times painful reflection on the rest of the voyage...the frame widens to include the broader public spaces of Sarah's Montreal, then extends this frame further to the global scale....the nostalgia encompasses memories of the Jewish diaspora alongside the motto of the poet's province: "a past continuous, a past as presence. Je me souviens. A motto you can make your own."  

Robyn Sarah will reading this spring along the 401 in Ontario as well as the East coast and Montreal. For a listing of upcoming dates, see below. 

April 20th - Montreal, @ The Word, w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 21st - Kingston @ Novel Idea w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 22nd - Toronto @ Dora Keogh w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 23rd - Hamilton @ Bryan Prince Bookseller w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 24th - Windsor @ Biblioasis  w/ Robert Melançon and TBA
May 19th - Halifax @ Halifax Public Library w/  Robyn Sarah and M. Travis Lane
May 20th - Lunenburg @ Lexicon Books w/  Robyn Sarah and M. Travis Lane
May 21st - Moncton @ Attic Owl Reading Series w/ Robyn Sarah and M. Travis Lane

Among the Quick: Sum by Zachariah Wells reviewed in Quill & Quire + Tour Dates

Zachariah Wells's third poetry collection Sum was on deck in the 80th anniversary April issue of Quill & Quire, and reviewer Jason Wiens calls Wells "a poet who delights in sound patterns—internal and end rhyme in particular." Here's more:
Highlights include "Squalid," which recalls "the dollars / squandered down urinal drains in bars / of dubious repute," and "The Parkinsonian Reflexologist," which mixes cliches to sometimes hilarious effect: "if you get caught fucking the dog / deny the devil his Scooby-Doo." "Magic Man," in its celebration of the retired Blue Jays player John McDonald, is a paen to the underdog, one "Consigned to ride pine for lack of thunder / in his bat." Appropriating Hopkins's "The Windhover," Wells traces the inscape of this infielder, "sensei of the second sack."

Wells will be presenting from Sum as part of IFOA's 7th Annual Battle of the Bards on Wednesday, March 25th @ 7:30PM. He will also be embarking on an Ontario and Montreal tour with Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon in late April, as well as an East Coast tour with Robyn Sarah and M. Travis Lane in May. For full listings, see the dates below.

April 20th - Montreal, @ The Word, w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 21st - Kingston @ Novel Idea w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 22nd - Toronto @ Dora Keogh w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 23rd - Hamilton @ Bryan Prince Bookseller w/ Robyn Sarah and Robert Melançon
April 24th - Windsor @ Biblioasis  w/ Robert Melançon and TBA
May 9th - PEI @ Confederation Center Public Library w/ M. Travis Lane
May 19th - Halifax @ Halifax Public Library w/  Robyn Sarah and M. Travis Lane
May 20th - Lunenburg @ Lexicon Books w/  Robyn Sarah and M. Travis Lane
May 21st - Moncton @ Attic Owl Reading Series w/ Robyn Sarah and M. Travis Lane

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Wordsmith and a Worldsmith: Traymore Rooms reviewed by Akashic



Our friends at Akashic Books in Brooklyn, just posted a wonderful, appreciative review of Norm Sibum's sprawling 700-pager The Traymore Rooms on their weekly "In Good Company" online review. Intern Alex Whelan's astute take and fine stylings —"At times, Traymore smacks of an exceptionally erudite episode of Cheers where everybody knows both everybody’s name and the full text of Virgil’s Eclogues." C'mon!— show that he's got quite a future ahead of him. He sees in Sibum's "screwball genre-hopping and erratic plotting" echoes of "Restoration sex comedy" and "the paranoid conspiratorial satire of Thomas Pynchon," not to mention a "Hemingway-like elegy for younger and better days." But ultimately, Whelan sees at the core of this ambitious novel a heartfelt peon to friendship: 



"None of Traymore’s zeal would land, however, if not for the truth at the center of the novel: Calhoun’s—and Sibum’s—genuine, unashamed love for his friends. In the great tradition of Nick Carraways marveling quietly upon their Gatsbys, Calhoun seems well aware that he’s no match for the company that he keeps...For Traymore’s protagonist, there is no prospect more horrifying than not occupying himself with fellow Traymoreans from sun-up to sundown."

Thanks Akashic and Alex! 


Cynical, Duplicitous, and Vulnerable: 'Confidence' by Russell Smith Reviewed in Quill & Quire's 80th Anniversary Issue

We were all excited to get the 80th Anniversary issue of Quill & Quire in the mail — and thrilled to see that it had reviews of three Biblioasis authors: Russell Smith, Zach Wells, and Robyn Sarah.

All of the reviews were exceptional, but Carla Gillis' full page guest review of Russell Smith's Confidence (May 1st CAN | June 1st US) was especially smart and thoughtful. At the start of the piece, Gillis focused on the trademark cynicism and biting humor that Smith, the Governor General Award-nominated author of How Insensitive, and provocative arts columnist for The Globe and Mail is known for. "In the world of these stories," she writes, "love is a game, secrets pile up, needs go unmet, compromises and negotiations are constantly being made." In the last stories in the collection, however, Russell delves into deeper waters:
Just as the cynicism starts to rankle rather than amuse, something shifts. Relationships remain negotiations, but also appear more broken in and nuanced. Love based on something beyond the physical and convenient creeps in. Two stories at the end, featuring the collection's oldest and most magnanimous characters, soften the book's unflinching tone and deliver, finally, emotional resonance by hinting at the vulnerable humanity and the truest, simplest desires beyond the exhaustive chase of pleasure.
To launch the book, Russell and Biblioasis are hosting a party at The Garrison (1197 Dundas Street West) in Toronto on April 21, starting at 7:00 p.m. Also featured: the world premiere of "Boys Underwear Girls," a short film by Gunilla Josephson, and dancing to the rhythms of DJs Deadline and Shawn Benjamin. Anyone who knows Russell will understand why this is destined to be the launch party of the spring. You can check out its Facebook event page here.

Also! If you live in Toronto and can't wait to hear Russell read from his new collection (who wouldn't?), he'll be appearing at Toronto Public Library's venerable "eh List Author Series," at the Readymede Branch next Tuesday, March 24, at 7:00 p.m. Special, early copies of Confidence will be on sale. More info here.

Check back soon for posts about Zach Wells and Robyn Sarah! Both are coming shortly.


Friday, March 13, 2015

K.D Miller Next Chapter Interview Online

For those of you who didn't get a chance to tune in, K.D. Miller was on The Next Chapter earlier this week talking to Shelagh Rogers about All Saints. Good news is the episode is now online for you to stream at your convenience. And for those of you who prefer the warm analog buzz of the radio, it was also be aired this Saturday, March 14th, at 4PM.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

"He who speaks of collage speaks of the irrational" - Max Ernst

Rain Taxi, one of our favourite American journals, has just run a thoughtful review of Diane Schoemperlen's By The Book in their new Spring 2015 issue. Featuring original reviews of the best in underground poetry, fiction, non-fiction, art and comics, it is definitely a journal to check out and consider subscribing to. Thanks to the talented Benjamin Woodard for the review. Here's a small taste:


"In By The Book, Schoemperlen has created an admirable, daring collection, one willing to drive its experimental nature to extremes. It is a book suitable to bookstores and galleries alike. The lyricism contained on each page is marvelous, and the combination of text and imagery make the collection a truly distinctive title in the big, wise sea of literary convention."

The Book Doctor Is In


Ever wondered how a book is put together? Or how to repair that old volume you inherited from your grandmother? What about that stack of antique books that has been sitting in your basement—ever wonder whether they could be restored? The Book Doctor is here to answer all of these questions and more! Biblioasis would like to cordially invite you to drop by the shop, 1520 Wyandotte St. East, on Saturday March 28th, from 1-4 p.m., as world-class bookbinder and restorer Dan Mezza will be offering appraisals and repair suggestions on a drop-in basis.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Kathy Page announced as BC Book Prize fiction finalist

We're thrilled to announce that Kathy Page's Paradise & Elsewhere, already boasting a 2014 Giller nod, is now a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Other finalists include Michael Springate, Caroline Adderson, Brian Payton, and Aislinn Hunter. Adderson's upcoming novel, A History of Forgetting, will be released by Biblioasis this spring. Congratulations to all the finalists!






Friday, March 06, 2015

All Saints to be featured on The Next Chapter

We're pleased to announce that K.D. Miller will be featured on the upcoming episode of The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers, to be aired Monday, March 9th at 1PM. She will be talking about her most recent collection, the 2014 Writer's Trust finalist All Saints.


Los Angeles Review calls Canary "an utter delight"


A laudatory review of Nancy Jo Cullen's Canary, written by Lori A. May, appears in the most recent issue of the Los Angeles Review. Here's a taste:

Cullen’s stories put a spotlight on the messy lives we sometimes lead but rarely can explain. Romances are kindled, then wither to nothing in a matter of pages. Yet within those few pages of each story, entire worlds open up with poignancy, hope, and satisfying endings—even when we leave characters as messy as we found them. Such is life, after all, and Cullen nails that experience with precision.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Glad & Sorry Seasons a 'Best Selling Love Poetry Canadian Book' on Alibris

Catherine Chandler's Glad and Sorry Seasons is listed alongside books by Leonard Cohen, Irving Layton, and Gregory Scofield on Alibris's 'Best Selling Love Poetry, Canadian Books' section.

The second collection by the winner of the Howard Nemerov Award, published this past spring, is available through Biblioasis and wherever fine books are sold.


Monday, March 02, 2015

45 Years a Critical Success

45 Years, a feature film adapted from the title story of David Constantine's In Another Country, which we are publishing this spring, recently premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival. The film, directed by Andrew Haigh, blew away the critics, garnering incredibly positive reviews from the likes of Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Guardian, and was crowned the festival's "first unqualified success" and "the first great film of 2015" by Jessica Kiang of indieWIRE. "It's an extraordinary concept," writes Kiang, "taken from a short story by David Constantine."
Constantine's masterful story, in which an elderly couple's marriage is shaken by the arrival of a letter detailing the discovery of the husband's lost love, is beautiful, brutal, musical, and gut-wrenching. Culled from four books and over three decades, In Another Country: Selected Stories, is a revelation that will bring you close to tears. We can hardly contain our excitement over this release. 

Biblioasis will be releasing In Another Country in Canada this coming May, and June in the USA. The North American right to 45 Years have been acquired by Sundance Selects, and the film will see North American screenings in the near future. More info to come soon! 

Suffering Fools Badly: Career Limiting Moves reviewed in The Rover


A wonderful review of Zachariah Wells's witty and engaging essay collection Career Limiting Moves by Brian Campbell in The Rover. Here's a taste:

As we progress through the Essays and Reviews section, we discover in Wells a thorough reader and masterful critic. Poets he takes down a notch with his trenchant pen include perennial favourites Don MacKay (“His poems are fun, smart, easy to like. But like a stranger you meet on a train, I don’t think much about them afterwards”), Anne Simpson (“a tourist in the realms of human misery and suffering”), and Patrick Lane (“singing the sadsack song of his self-image”). But in all cases, he does indicate strengths of said poets, although I think his assessment of Simpson could have been more balanced. Lengthy essays that take up the cause of unjustly neglected poets like Peter Van Toorn and Peter Sanger, as well as an award-winning piece on Bruce Taylor, are standouts. The poets’ work is quoted fully enough that we gain direct experience of what these poets are like.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Kathleen Winter @ Rower's in Toronto, March 2nd

Torontonians! Kathleen Winter will be reading at Rower's alongside Waubgeshig Rice, George Murray, and Elisabeth de Mariaffi this Monday, March 2nd @ Central, 603 Markham. Readings start at 6:50 sharp.


Biblioasis Bonanza @ Lit Live in Hamilton, this Sunday March 1st

For those of you who are in Hamilton this weekend, Lit Live has a wonderfully distinguished and stacked bill featuring Elisabeth de Mariaffi, George Murray, and Biblioasis trio Ray Robertson, Nancy Jo Cullen, and Diane Schoemperlen. The event takes place at 7:30 PM on Sunday, March 1st @ Homegrown on 27 King William St., and will be opened by emerging writers Taylor Wilson and Geoffrey Line. 

Hope to see you there!


Monday, February 23, 2015

Diane Schoemperlen in Quill & Quire, The Bull Calf


In the December issue of Quill & Quire, Diane Schoemperlen offers up a introduction to found text and collage, and the genesis of her latest book, By the Book: 

The stories in By the Book are in the tradition of the objet trouvé – taking the form of a found narrative or conversation or meditation – each being an expanded, exploded, and embroidered rearrangement of the original material. The selection and ordering of the sequences in each story was a very labour-intensive and time-consuming process, but one that I found immensely enjoyable and satisfying.
Reading and rereading each old book with a pencil in hand, I searched for its hidden treasures and marked each sentence that resonated for me. Then I moved them around like puzzle pieces, working out of instinct and my love of language and its unpredictable largesse, until the whole thing began to gel. More often than not, I was happily surprised by the power of the juxtapositions and how far I could take them. It was a matter of simultaneously trying to control the material while remaining open to accident, chance, and serendipity.
In The Bull Calf, Sarah Bezan offered up a positive take on By the Book:
Perhaps the most successful section of the book, entitled “By the Book or: Alessandro in the New World,” reads between the lines of the Nuovissima Grammatica Accelerata: Italian-Inglese Enciclopedia Popolare (1900), a book intended to be read by new Italian immigrants to the United States. The original text, which includes advice, notes on grammar and nomenclature, and a background on the American Constitution, also traces correspondence that can be used by its readers to navigate “everyday situations such as discussing the weather, looking for work, getting a hair cut, buying groceries, and visiting the doctor,” as Schoemperlen writes in the section’s introduction (2). Interspersed with extracts from the Nuovissima (indicated by Schoemperlen with the use of boldface), this section imagines a real world of love and loss in the character of Alessandro, who longs for his home country, and for the beautiful young women of the New World, in equal measure...Redeeming personal accounts and stories left untold between the lines of remaining documents, By The Book toys with the notion of completeness. Pieced together “the old-fashioned way by the traditional cut-and-paste method with real paper, real scissors, and real glue” (xi), her most recent book explores the enigmatic possibilities of juxtaposing unfamiliar elements in a bold creative practice of scission and adhesion.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cast Your Vote: All Saints and Paradise & Elsewhere up for 2015 CBC Bookies

Prepare your ballots, dear readers: it is time again for the annual CBC Bookies.



We're pleased to say that this year both All Saints by K.D. Miller and Paradise & Elsewhere by Kathy Page are up for the 2015 Short Story Category! Click here to vote. (Note: if you wish, you can skip categories by pressing the "Next" button). Voting is open until Monday, February 23rd. 



Monday, February 02, 2015

Ondjaki interviewed in Numero Cinq + John Ralston Saul shows love for Good Morning Comrades on Twitter

Earlier today on Twitter, John Ralston Saul, President of PEN International and author of The Comeback, expressed his admiration for Good Morning Comrades, Ondjaki's "magical 1st novel."

To learn more about this up-and-coming star of Angolan fiction, check out this great interview with Benjamin Woodard, just posted on Numero Cinq. Woodard also wrote an excellent review of Granma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secret, Ondjaki's second novel in English, released in 2014.

Biblioasis is currently at work at translating Os Transparentes, winner of the 2013 Jose Saramago Prize, and generally considered Ondjaki's masterwork.



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Happy 10th! David Worsley on Once and Thought You Were Dead

The Biblioasis titles that first worked for me were by Rebecca Rosenblum and Terry Griggs. Once and Thought You Were Dead had a younger urban focus and a lighter touch that I think are still a bit underrepresented in Canadian fiction. There's not a hell of a lot of mystery to getting introductory readers interested in a book. They need to see even a bit of themselves in it, and find something to identify with. It doesn't hurt when talent wins out in the process. With that in mind, Random House has apparently let Terry's book, Rogues Wedding, go out of print. It would look great in a Biblioasis reprint series.

- David Worsley, Words Worth Books 


30% Off All Used Books in February @ Biblioasis Bookstore

To say thanks for having recently voted us Windsor's 1# Bookstore in the Windsor Independent's annual Windy Indy awards for 2014, we're going to be holding a 30% off sale on all used books in the shop. If you're a diehard book addict and have had your eye on something for awhile, or if you're new to the shop and are looking to check us out for the first time, it's the perfect opportunity to browse and pick up some real gems at a steal. The sale includes rare books as well, but excludes 1$ books and used special orders.  Whether you're looking for fiction, philosophy, history,  religion, poetry, children's books, reference books, art books, biography or music, we've got something for everyone. Thanks again for the love, Windsor, and see you in February!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"Powell actually cuts into you, leaves a mark": Michael Dennis Loves Inheritance

Michael Dennis, one of Canada's most ardent and prolific poetry bloggers, is head-over-heels with Kerry-Lee Powell's Inheritance, which he says "could be the best book of poems I've read since my own father died." He calls the book "a scourging, searing swat of emotional intensity" and expresses great admiration for the way Kerry-Lee  "mines the internal conflict" of her family legacy and "makes it public". 
Kerry-Lee Powell uses her personal history like a spring board. Watch as she jack-knives into your thoughts. These poems stay with you. The jack-knife in this case isn't the dive. Powell actually cuts into you, leaves a mark.

Inheritance was also chosen by Carmine Starnino as one of his "Top 10 Canadian Poetry Books of the Year" on the Vehicule Blog, a list which also includes fellow Biblioasis poet Catherine Chandler's excellent Glad and Sorry Seasons, which we released last spring. Sina Queyras also included Inheritance as one of her three favourite debuts in her 2014 poetry round-up over at Lemon Hound.

And if all that doesn't convince you to pick up a copy, head over to Verse Daily where today's featured poem is Kerry-Lee's "The Girls Who Work at the Makeup Counter," excerpted from Inheritance.


More (and More) Praise for Kathy Page


Now that we've had a few moments to recover from the inundation of year-end lists that closed out 2014, here's a brief recap of some nice things that were said about Kathy Page's Alphabet as we were on the cusp of ringing in 2015.

- Over at Salon's "What to Read Awards: Top critics choose the best books of 2014" feature, Laurie Muchnick, a fiction editor of Kirkus Reviews and the president of the National Book Critics Circle, was asked "What book sits outside your list, but has either been overlooked or deserves more attention? Something you really liked deserving of an extra look?" Guess what she chose?:
One book that I would like to have seen get more attention is Alphabet by Kathy Page, from the small Canadian press Biblioasis. It’s a sort of Clockwork Orange update: A man convicted of murdering his girlfriend volunteers for a special program designed to reprogram criminals by making them face their crimes head-on, but he’s not prepared for the humiliation involved.

-  And at The Boston Globe, the amazing Liberty Hardy of RiverRun Bookstore (who also kindly included Biblioasis as the only Canadian Press in her BookRiot "Must-Read Books from Indie Presses" round-up) chose Alphabet as her Pick of the Week for the week of December 13th.

- Moving on to The Brooklyn Paper, Jess Pane, bookseller at one of our most beloved Indies, Greenlight Bookstore, championed Alphabet as her favourite book of the year: 
This is my favorite book of the year. Kathy Page puts you inside the head of Simon. He’s in jail and doesn’t understand his rage. He’s murdered his girlfriend. He learns the alphabet and begins writing anonymous letters to women. He pretends to be someone else — someone who loves art — until someone figures him out and asks him for the truth, and it all unravels. This book is about identity, the prison system, and how to love yourself when you’ve been beaten down.
 - And last but not least, if you still have a moment to spare, I swear you'll not regret dropping in at The Rumpus for Leland Cheuk's fantastic and appreciative dual review of Alphabet and Paradise and Elsewhere. Here's a taste:
Studies have shown that reading literary fiction increases a reader’s ability to empathize. In her first books to be published in the U.S., Giller Prize-nominated British author Kathy Page puts that theory to a rigorous test. Would you like to spend 300 pages in the mind of a murderer? How about fourteen stories replete with the vengeful whispers from those vanquished by the injustices of globalization? In both the novel Alphabet and the story collection Paradise and Elsewhere, Page demonstrates that she is a master provocateur, unafraid to ask unpleasant questions about contemporary society...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Second Printing of Local Sensation & National Bestseller From The Vault Due to Arrive Later This Week

That's right, the second printing of the bestselling local photo-history From The Vault, one of Windsor and Essex County's most sought-after holiday gift items this past December, is due to arrive back from the printers later this week. 


The response on this book, both locally and nationally, was unprecedented for us here at Biblioasis: within the course of less than six weeks, we sold through the entirety of the 7,000 copies that made up the first printing, making it not only a bestseller locally, but nationally. We received special orders from as far as the Western States, the UK, and even Australia. From The Vault was covered by The Windsor Star, CBC News, CTV News, and various other prominent media outlets, and was sold-out at local bookstores and retailers within the first couple weeks of December. 

The book, which retails for 39.95$ + tax, will be available for sale in Biblioasis Bookstore and online as of Friday, January 29th, and will be available throughout Windsor and the county in multiple traditional and non-traditional retailers as of February 1st. To reserve a copy at Biblioasis Bookstore, or for more info, including where you can locate a copy in a retailer near you, give us as call at 519-968-2206 or send us an email at info@biblioasis.com.

Let's make it 7,000 more, Windsorites! 



CNQ's Website Gets a Makeover

Canadian Notes and Queries' online presence has just gotten a whole lot prettier.

A new redesigned website has been launched for the feisty literary print tri-annual, featuring select articles from back issues, exclusive online content, and pithy blog posts regularly updated by editor Alex Good. We've also renewed our commitments to the Twittersphere. To keep up with some of the most lively and combative discussions on contemporary Canadian lit and culture, follow us here


And as an aside to all you subscribers: be on the lookout for CNQ 92, which will shipped and hitting the newsstands in the 2nd or 3rd week of February. It's a doozy of an issue, with pieces by Stephen Henighan on Mavis Gallant's cross-dressing Romanian mother, Jennifer Franssen on a Latin renaissance in East Scarborough, Patricia Robertson on writing the necessary, Alex Good on the long, long shadow of CanLit's golden generation, JC Sutcliffe on translations of Inuit and Innu fiction, Kasper Hartman on the golden age of indie video games, and much more. If you haven't subscribed yet, what are you waiting for? Save on the trip and the price of the newsstand and receive an exclusive collectible with each issue! 

“[CNQ]…may be the best literary journal in the land.” — John Fraser, National Post



Michael Dirda Praises The Pebble Chance in The Washington Post


"What draws a reader to a particular book?" asks Michael Dirda, over at The Washington Post. "A friend’s recommendation? A sign inscribed “Best Sellers” over a table in a bookstore? A review? For serious readers, it can be something hard to put into words, something highly subjective."

In the case of Marius Kociejowski's The Pebble Chance, Dirda confesses that even prior to the time of reading "there were several tugs on my attention, starting with the word “feuilletons.”" 
He elaborates:
Not often seen in English, this French word, associated with newspapers, might be translated in various ways: columns, trifles, “casuals” or even essays. That inimitable humorist S.J. Perelman used to refer to his comic pieces as “feuilletons.” Second, this Biblioasis paperback is slightly taller than most trade paperbacks, and its front and back covers are folded back on themselves to create dust-jacket flaps, a design feature common to European books. The Pebble Chance is consequently elegant in appearance and a pleasure to handle. Third, the author photograph of Kociejowski, with his handsome Slavic face and prematurely gray hair, makes him look like a Central European poet, a Zbigniew Herbert or Czeslaw Milosz.
And as for The Pebble Chance's content? Once he was drawn in, Dirda discovered a work whose virtues were equal to his initial intrigue, and found much to admire:
The Pebble Chance links together a meditation on Bernini’s sculpture of Apollo and Daphne, Kociejowski’s “continuing poetic silence,” the Italian game of bocce, and the place of skill and chance in artistic creation. It is a little tour-de-force, and...proffers the reader equal measures of autobiography, insight and quirky charm.

A rave stand-alone review of this sui genesis collection of literary essays in one of America's leading papers. Read the full review here.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Colette Maitland and Cynthia Flood on 2014 ReLit Short Fiction Shortlist

Great news: two Biblioasis short story collections, Cynthia Flood's Red Girl Rat Boy and Colette Maitland's Keeping The Peace, have been shortlisted for the 2014 ReLit Prize. The ReLit, whose mandate is "Ideas, Not Money," celebrates yearly the best new work published by Canada's indies, and The Globe and Mail has called it “The country’s pre-eminent literary prize recognizing independent presses." This year, the ReLit has mixed things up by eliminating longlists in favour of long shortlists. The shortlists are broken down by novels, poetry, and short fiction. 

Red Girl Rat Boy was also included in The National Post's recent roundup, "2014 Things of 2014: 20 Books Plus 3 Comics," where it was distinguished as one of their top three short story collections of the year. 

Best of luck to Cynthia and Colette and all the nominees! 

Happy 10th! Marilyn Gear Pilling on Robyn Sarah's Little Eurekas

Robyn Sarah’s Little Eurekas is a book that has meant a good deal to me. I open it regularly and for a variety of reasons. From it, I may gain inspiration or add to my knowledge of specific poets or read about one or another of a wide variety of topics that pertain to poetry. Or I may want to enter a world where poetry is taken seriously and filtered through the sensibility of a writer and critic whose work I greatly admire. At times I open the book just to be in her company for an hour or two. This is a work that enlightens, entertains, surprises, and communicates the beauty, depth and necessity of poetry.

- Marilyn Gear Pilling

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New York Times Review of Diane Schoemperlen 'By the Book'


Bit of overdue, but noteworthy news: The New York Times Sunday Book Review featured By the Book: Stories and Pictures by Diane Schoemperlen in their December Holiday Issue. Dan wrote a great post about the enthusiastic coverage her book's been getting over the past month, and how we all feel about its success. Very gratifying to see that others in the media understand and appreciate this beautiful, brave, risk-taking collection, too.

If you're interested in learning more about Diane's process, and how she collected, chose, and assembled the collages that run with the stories in By the Book, you're in luck: not only did Diane write an essay about the subject for The Story Prize blog, she was also featured on a recent episode of CBC's Definitely Not the Opera with Sook-Yin Lee. You can listen to her interview here. (It starts around 39:15.)