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A Prose Reading Series at Famous Last Words. 5:15pm at 392 Pacific Ave.

We can stay warm together on November 25!!

Join us on Sunday November 25 for a warm gathering of fiction, long and short and a teensy bit of poetry to top off the 2018 year of readings.

Famous Last Words at 392 Pacific Ave,  opens its doors at 5:00pm and we usually start the readings at 5:30pm. Get there early to order your drink so all that deliciousness can be shaken and stirred before the readings begin.

We are so excited (once again) to bring you a diverse and beautiful bunch of writers, who will all bring their emotionally provocative work to us. This month of readings will challenge your perceptions of “creative writing” and hopefully leave you thinking about how writing imaginatively from the truth can bring us the deepest and most artistic kind of story.

Mugabi Byenkya  brings us his book, Dear Philomena. which is a collection of thoughts and conversations between Mugabi and the girl his mother expected him to be when he was born.  Dear Philomena is an intense exploration and intimate experiential book that will challenge how you view your own experiences with mental and physical health and well-being.

Adam Lindsay Honsinger is “a writer, musician, and illustrator. He completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph, and his debut novel Gracelessland (Enfield & Wizenty) was published in 2015. His newest book, Somewhere North of Normal (2018), is a collection of short stories that takes the reader to a place where the less stable elements of reality bend: where a dying butterfly may inspire a revelation, where after being electrocuted, an artist’s body becomes a work of art, where a man may wake up after falling four stories to find himself face to face with his ten-year-old self.”

Anubha Mehta is a Canadian writer and artist who was born in India. Her book Peacock in the Snow “is a genre-bending thriller about the power of love, sacrifice and the tireless capacity of people to hope, strive and succeed despite challenging circumstances.”

Kristen den Hartog ‘s second collaboration with her sister Tracy Kasaboski is The Cowkeeper’s Wish: A Genealogical Journey. “The book delves into their maternal British roots, beginning in the 1840s, when their 3xgreat grandfather walked from Wales to London with his cows, in search of a better life. A working-class chronicle stitched into history, the tale follows the family line for nearly a century, through poverty, war, and love, and ends with the authors’ grandparents in London, Ontario, in the 1930s.”

Elee Kraljii Gardiner joins us with her chapbook memoir poetry Trauma Head. “Gardiner’s Trauma Head is a quicksilvered mirror—a startling and exquisite sequence of poems. The ‘unspeakable’ reflected is intensely fierce and sublimely sensual. Difficult, devastating, and meticulously crafted, this work is a rewarding chronicle of persistence through the trauma of recovery and return. Speech and soma are disrupted, shattered, unsheathed and reshaped—and they shimmer with Kraljii Gardiner’s luminous strength and control.” —Sandra Ridley

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October 28 is wide open!!

Join us on Sunday October 28 at 5:15pm at Famous Last Words for an open mic (kind of sort of booked some people in advance because I was too scared writers wouldn’t show up). Still spots available, so come if you have new fiction to share. Think about 5-10 minutes. Think about 1000 words. Think about how great it will be to share your work in front a live audience!

We will host a special guest! Maureen Medved is traveling around to promote her new book!

Black Star is “a dark comedy, both bitingly funny and transgressive, an unflinching and unsentimental exploration of the female experience, academia, and the idea of power that burns in the mind as white as acid.”

Maureen Medved is a novelist, screenwriter, and playwright as well as an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia. She has written essays on television and film for the magazine Herizons. Her work has been distributed and performed world-wide. Her novel The Tracey Fragments was first published in 1998 by House of Anansi Press. Anansi published a film tie-in edition to coincide with the Canadian release of the film in Fall 2007, and Les Allusifs has published a French language version of the book. (The French language edition won a 2008 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation.) Bruce McDonald directed Medved’s screen adaptation of The Tracey Fragments starring Ellen Page, which opened the Panorama program of the 57th annual Berlin International Film Festival and won the Manfred Salzgeber Prize. In 2009, Medved received the Artistic Achievement Award from Women in Film and Television, Vancouver. Black Star is Medved’s second novel; Anvil will be publishing Medved’s third book, her essays on television and film, in 2019. Maureen is currently working on a new novel.

Please sir, May I have some more books?

Murder, The Maritimes, Migration, Mayhem and More!

May promises to be all that it’s meant to be…our big book send off! Fall will be here before you know it (sorry, but it’s true) so you need to join us on Sunday May 27 at 5:15 for your last reading feeding!

These are also the last readings before you really start to organize and manage your schedule of summer reading! These books are essential inventory!

David Huebert  Peninsula Sinking “brings readers an assortment of Maritimers caught between the places they love and the siren call of elsewhere. From submarine officers to prison guards, oil refinery workers to academics, each character in these stories struggles to find some balance of spiritual and emotional grace in the world increasingly on the precipice of ruin. Peninsula Sinking offers up eight urgent and electric meditations on the mysteries of death and life, of grief and love, and never shies away from the joy and horror of our submerging world.” Biblioasis

Mehri Yalfani’s “stories provide a glimpse of life in post-revolutionary Iran, where the new regime that replaced the old one continues the suppression and prosecution of political activists, only more harshly and mercilessly.” “The Street of Butterflies feature Iranian women dealing with displacement, cultural change, and struggles for survival and adaptation as immigrants in North America. At the same time, the challenges they face also reveal the racial, gendered and cultural anxieties of these same individuals who carry with them the biases of their country of origin to the norms of the new land.”

Chris Laing brings us his next book in the Max Dexter series. “The last person I wanted to see again was my mother. But she turned up anyway.” ​Max Dexter’s mother is apparently in town to meet with Hamilton Mob bosses. But she abandoned Max as a child almost twenty-five years ago. So why in hell should he meet her now? It’s a week before Christmas in 1947 and Max and Isabel are feeling the heat from those dark forces who don’t believe in “Peace on Earth”

Who the Hell is Lizzie Violet?  “Lizzie Violet is a writer, horror aficionado, and lover of all things Zombie.  She was that creepy little girl you caught reading Poe in cemeteries & continues to do so as an adult. Her shelves are filled with tales of horror, death & creepy little dolls. Those who visit her lair, beware, as there are horrific surprises lurking, waiting, anticipating. Don’t let her sunny smile and quiet demeanour fool you.  Those are the creatures you should truly be watching out for.”

Escape the April Ice Storm with a good book!!

We have 5 great books coming to Junction Reads on April 29! We are hosting a great mix of Young Adult fiction and Adult fiction with  Glynis GuevaraUrsula PflugAndrew DaleySally Cooper and Ele Pawelski.

Join us at Famous Last Words for a perfect evening of readings and discussion.  We have a new start time (5:15pm), which gives staff time to open up and get set up.

Glynis Guevara will share her YA novel Under the Zaboca Tree, “At ten, Melody Sparks, better known as Baby Girl, is excited to move to the tropical island of Trinidad with her single-parent dad, but she silently longs for her mother, a woman she can’t recall ever meeting and doesn’t have a photo of. She fits in to her new life in Paradise Lane quite well: she loves her school and makes new friends. However, her longing for blood family remains strong. But Baby Girl is suddenly and unexpectedly uprooted from her comfortable life in Paradise Lane by and forced to reside in Flat Hill Village, a depressed, crime-ridden community. She struggles to adjust to life in this village with the help of new friends, Arlie, a village activist and Colm, a young man who mentors her to write poetry. When Baby Girl witnesses a serious crime, her father insists she move in with relatives she doesn’t know very well, where she ultimately uncovers the truth about her mother. Under the Zaboca Tree is a contemporary coming of age novel that explores multiple issues including the challenges of being a motherless adolescent, searching for one’s identity, the unbreakable bonds of family, and the ability to adapt to difficult situations.” Inanna Publications

Ursula Pflug brings us her her novel  whose protagonist, “seventeen-year-old Camden splits her time between her father, a minor rock star, and her mom, a scruffy “hardware geek” who designs and implements temporary and sustainable power systems and satellite linkups for off-grid music and art festivals, tree-sits, and attends gatherings of alternative healers. Lark, Camden’s father, provides her with brand-name jeans, running shoes, and makeup, while her mother’s world is populated by anarchists, freaks, geeks, and hippies. Naturally, Camden prefers staying with her dad and going to the mall with his credit card and her best friend, but one summer, when Lark is recording a new album, Camden accompanies her mother, Laureen, to a healing camp on a mountain in Northern California. After their arrival, Laureen heads to San Francisco, ostensibly to find her lover, but she never comes back. Alone, penniless, and without much in the way of camping skills, Camden withdraws. Things begin to look up when she is befriended by Skinny, a young man in charge of the security detail at the camp who knew her mother as a child. The summer ends and Camden heads back to Toronto to find her dad, and it’s only there that she learns Laureen’s disappearance is tied, unexpectedly, to the secrets Skinny tried to keep from her for months, until, finally, he couldn’t.” Inanna Publications

Andrew Daley  brings us his second book: “a thriller, a love story, an elegy, and a confession, Resort recounts the misadventures of actors/con artists, Jill Charles and Danny Drake. Broke and desperate in Acapulco, Danny agrees to Jill’s scamming of an eccentric older English couple, leading them across Mexico to Veracruz. Along the way, Danny begins to suspect Jill hasn’t told him the truth about herself or the English couple, who may have nefarious designs of their own. Set in Mexico, Toronto, and points in between, Resort is an engrossing, moving, and darkly comic journey through the shadowy side of a sunny world.” Tightrope Books

Ele Pawelski joins us with her thought-provoking novella, The Finest Supermarket in Kabul. “January 2011, a suicide bomb detonates in Kabul’s Finest Supermarket, an upscale convenience store. Three distinctive characters are swept up in the aftermath: Merza, a new parliamentarian plagued by ominous threats after winning his seat; Alec, an American journalist looking for a scoop on modern daily life in the ravaged capital; Elyssa, a Canadian lawyer training female magistrates while side-stepping unwanted attention from a powerful male judge. These unique perspectives intersect in the dramatic and savage attack, leaving each less certain than before.” Quattro Books

Sally Cooper will share her third book, Smells Like Heaven. “Set in the fictional town of Fletcher, the connected stories in Smells Like Heaven span thirty years. Fletcher is a town the characters strive to escape, but keep returning to, as they stumble through life searching for ways to connect and transcend their claustrophobic pasts. Following two sisters—Devon and Christine—as well as their friends and lovers, this collection exposes the core of what it means to be transformed by love.” ARP Books

 

Spring Reading is better than summer reading!!

The Spring promises fresh flowers, rainy rain and sunnier sunshine (alliteration has never been my strong suit) and it also brings new books!

Why not come out to meet and mingle with some great writers and snag a few new books? And you won’t have to swipe the sweat from your sandy brow like all those summer readers will have to!

This month, we have memoir, short stories and some fabulous long stories!

Christopher Cameron   brings his memoir Dr. Bartolo’s Umbrella Memoir and Other Tales from my Surprising Operatic Life  to us this month. “Dr. Bartolo’s is a funny, touching, irreverent memoir about Christopher Cameron’s thirty-year career as an opera and concert singer on stages across the country. Cameron might have been a nondescript face in a crowd, but when he sang, he was somebody.”

With a feared MMA cage fighter as protagonist, Kevin Hardcastle’s In the Cage weaves together a grittily masterful tale of violence, family, and resilience as Kevin Hardcastle penetrates what it means to survive in the rural underclass.”

Part mystery, part elegy, Karen Smythe ‘s This Side of Sad begins with an ending: the violent enigma of a man’s death. Was it an accident, or did James commit suicide? In the shattering aftermath, his widow, Maslen, questions her own capacity for love and undertakes a painful self-inquiry, examining the history of her heart and tracing the fault lines of her own fragile identity.

“In the linked stories of Kasia Jaronczyk’s Lemons, the lives of Basia and her family are seen through a kaleidoscopic lens that follows them over twenty years from communist Poland, to their new home in Canada, then back to Poland, to make sense of everything that has happened in the interim.”

Terri Favro  bring us “a gritty tragi-comic fairy tale of sexual obsession and longing, based in equal parts on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone, with Once Upon A Time In West Toronto is the story of outsiders reinventing themselves in Toronto’s immigrant neighbourhoods from the 1970s to the present.”

February 25: Let’s say goodbye to the blahs…together!

5 new readings and 6 fabulous writers! Nothing affirms my faith in a promising future filled with diverse and unique #canlit voices, than a reading such as this!

5:00pm at Famous Last Words: 392 Pacific Ave

Tehmina Khan brings us an incredible collections of short stories! Published by Mawenzi House, Things She Could Never Have is Tehmina’s debut into Canadian publishing. And how beautifully Canadian this collection is! Stories that show us the many dimensions of Pakistani and Muslim culture, with characters, both privileged and marginalized, struggling to find space in the world. ““Whisperings of the Devil” takes us into the mind of a mistreated maidservant’s boy who gets seduced into the role of a suicide bomber. In “To Allah We Pray,” two privileged and educated young men, one of them home from Toronto, gallivant through the streets of Karachi, finally walking into a doomed mosque. “Things She Could Never Have” is a love story about two young trans women living in Karachi. “Born on the First of July” opens the door into the home of a Toronto girl who has left to join ISIS and the devastated family she leaves behind. “The First” will astonish many readers by its depiction of sexual encounters of young college girls in Pakistan.”

Sylvain Prud’homme’s novel Les Grands has been translated by Wellcome Prize winner Jessica Moore as The Greats and published by Book*hug in Toronto.  Originally published in France, Les Grands was winner of both the 2015 Prix Littéraire de la Porte Dorée and the 2014 Prix Georges Brassens, “The Greats is a novel of mourning, love, and the thirst for justice that tells the story of a population who knew hope and independence but now live under the oppressive rule of an army dictatorship. BookThug is very proud to introduce the work of Sylvain Prudhomme, a steadily rising literary star in France, to English readers.”

Terry Watada will read from his novel, The Three Pleasures published by Anvil Press. Every Canadian should know about the Japanese internment camps. Although history lessons have changed over the years, as we learn more, and more is shared, we cannot experience it as deeply and honestly as we will through the three main characters in Terry’s book.  “The story is told through three main characters in the Japanese community: Watanabe Etsuo, Morii Etsuji and Etsu Kaga, the Three Pleasures. Etsu in Japanese means “pleasure”; the term is well-suited to these three. Morii Etsuji, the Black Dragon boss, controls the kind of pleasure men pay for: gambling, drink and prostitution – the pleasures of the flesh. Watanabe Etsuo, Secretary of the Steveston Fishermen’s Association, makes a deal with the devil to save his loved ones. In the end, he suffers for it and never regains the pleasures of family. And there is Etsu Kaga, a Ganbariya of the Yamato Damashii Group, a real Emperor worshipper. His obsession becomes destructive to himself and all involved with him. He enjoys the pleasure of patriotism until that patriotism becomes a curse.”

Catherine Graham brings us her debut novel, Quarry, a story about family secrets, deep, damaging, but ultimately strengthening as our protagonist struggles to uncover and face her family’s past. “Set in southern Ontario during the 1980’s, acclaimed poet Catherine Graham’s debut novel is layered like the open-pit mine for which it is named. Caitlin Maharg, an only child, lives in a house by a water-filled limestone quarry whose gothic presence is elemental to the story. With loving parents and what appears to be an idyllic upbringing, much has been kept from her and she learns that her mother is dying. But there are things Caitlin knows in a wordless way, the way she knows every inch of the quarry. By the time she’s in her last year of university, her losses multiply. And when a series of family secrets emerges, Caitlin learns to rely on her inner strength. She gains the confidence she needs to confront her maternal grandmother and carry out her father’s last wish.”

Lesley Trites offers us her debut collection of short stories, A Three-tiered Pastel Dream, published by Véhicule Press. There is no secret that women have had to BE everything for so many, but without ever getting the credit or acknowledgement. It’s no wonder so many have secrets! Lesley “unearths pearls of wisdom from the secret lives of women who could easily live next door, drop off their kids at the same school, or work in the next cubicle. A career-focused woman finds her life taken off course by an unexpected pregnancy and its challenging aftermath; a troubled doctor abandons her family on her daughter’s birthday, the three-tiered pastel layer cake in the passenger seat beside her; a young mother must contend with how to explain her husband’s suicide to their child.”

 

Image of vintage Bay and Yonge (from Pinterest)

January 28 at Famous Last Words!

Join us for the first fantastic readings of 2018!

As you may know, we LOVE short fiction here at Junction Reads and this month of readings are an all-you-can-read buffet of inspirational, provocative, surreal, heartbreaking and funny stories from 4 of the best writers in Canada today! See you at Famous Last Words on Sunday January 28 at 5:00pm!

More brand new short stories from Emily Anglin who brings us The Third Person, published by Book*hug.

“Writer and freelance editor Emily Anglin grew up in Waterloo, Ontario, and now lives in Toronto. Emily Anglin’s creative work has appeared in The New Quarterly, the Whitewall Review, and in the chapbook The Mysteries of Jupiter. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Concordia University and a PhD in English Literature from Queen’s University, and also completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the University of Michigan’s English Department. Prior to her graduate studies, she studied English at the University of Waterloo. The Third Person is her debut book.”

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Sarah Meehan Sirk  will read from her debut collection of extraordinary short fiction, The Dead Husband Project, published by Penguin Random House.

“SARAH MEEHAN SIRK is a writer, radio producer and broadcaster. Her short fiction has appeared in The New Quarterly, PRISM international, Room, Joyland and Taddle Creek, and is anthologized in The Journey Prize Stories. At the CBC, she co-produced and hosted the 2015 Radio One series Stripped, worked on Q (now q) and DNTO, and was a founding producer of Day 6 with Brent Bambury. Before that, she produced a Toronto crime show, hosted sports programs, filed human rights reports with Ghanaian journalists in West Africa, and co-produced and hosted a short TV series on minor hockey that was nominated for a Gemini Award (it lost to the Olympics). She lives in Toronto with her young family and is working on her first novel.”

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When work is described as heartbreaking and hilarious, I get chills! Short fiction packs so much of the human experience into very few pages.  Christopher Gudgeon brings his new collection, Encyclopedia of Lies, published by Anvil Press, to our listeners.

“Chris Gudgeon is an author and poet and screenwriter. He’s contributed to dozens of periodicals – including Playboy, mad, National Lampoon, Geist, Event and Malahat Review — and written seventeen books, from critically acclaimed fiction like Song of Kosovo and Greetings from the Vodka Sea, to celebrated biographies of Stan Rogers and Milton Acorn, to a range of popular history on subjects as varied as sex, sexuality, fishing and lotteries. Gudgeon has more than 150 professional TV and film credits including creating, writing, and producing the Gemini-award winning series Ghost Trackers and the documentary, The Trick with the Gun. In his varied and spotty career, Gudgeon has worked a variety of jobs across Canada, the United States, and Europe including psychiatric orderly, rent boy, bartender, rock musician, rodeo clown, TV weatherman, and youth outreach worker. Gudgeon, who is bisexual, has been in an open relationship with author/self-help guru Jasper Vander Voorde since 2009. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Victoria, B.C.”

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Michael Mirolla’s The Photographer in Search of Death is a magical and hyper-realistic collection of stories. About his work, Michael has said, “In this world, everything is possible and transformations occur all the time.” Who doesn’t want to live in that world?

“Born in Italy, and arriving in Canada at the age of five, Michael Mirolla calls himself a Montreal-Toronto corridor writer (because he spends so much time travelling between the two cities). He’s a novelist, short story writer, poet and playwright. Publications include two novels, the recently-released The Facility, and Berlin (a 2010 Bressani Prize winner and finalist for the 2009 Indie Book and National Best Books Awards); two short story collections – The Formal Logic of Emotion (recently translated into Italian and released in 2010) and Hothouse Loves & Other Tales; and two poetry collections: the English-Italian Interstellar Distances/Distanze Interstellari (2008), and Light And Time (2010), His short story, “A Theory of Discontinuous Existence,” was selected for The Journey Prize Anthology, while another short story, “The Sand Flea,” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His short fiction and poetry has been published in numerous journals in Canada, the U.S. and Britain, including anthologies such as Event’s Peace & WarTelling Differences: New English Fiction from QuebecTesseracts 2: Canadian Science FictionThe Anthology of Italian-Canadian Writing (Guernica), New Wave of Speculative Fiction Book 1, and The Best of Foliate Oak.”

 

November 26 with Guest Host Brent van Staaduinen

Getting prepared for our second reading of the season and our last of 2017. This year has been a great one for so many of our readers. Many have been nominated and won some awards and others have completed another book.

November 26 at 5:00pm

Famous Last Words, 392 Pacific Ave (in the heart of the Junction)

We’re thrilled to have a guest host this month! Brent van Staalduinen lives in Hamilton, Ontario and has published many short stories and his novel, Saints, Unexpected was a finalist for the 2017 Hamilton Literary Award. Brent is the winner of The Bristol Short Story Prize, The Lush Triumphant Literary Award, The Fiddlehead Best Short Story Award, The Writer Magazine’s “Our Darkest Hour” Prize and The Short Works Prize. We have been lucky enough to have him read from his work at Junction Reads and we are even more grateful he will be hosting this month.

This gig as host at Junction Reads is a  natural extension of his ardent supporter of writing and writers in and beyond the GTA.

We welcome 5 unique voices to our stage this month!!

Daniel Karasik is an actor, playwright and author of Faithful and Other Stories, the story collection coming to us on November 26. Daniel has won the CBC Short Story Prize, the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award, and The Malahat Review’s Jack Hodgins Founders Award for Fiction. His previous books include Hungry, a poetry collection, and three volumes of plays. His award-winning plays been produced across Canada, in the United States, and frequently in translation in Germany.

Sanjay Talreja is a filmmaker whose work has appeared on television and theatrical screens in Canada, the US, and India. He has written a novella, and is currently working on  a detective novel. His collection of short stories, Downward this Dog, will bring a bit of fun to our stage this month. Sanjay has won several awards for his films. He lives in Toronto.

Pasha Malla’s writing has appeared in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies, including The New YorkerMcSweeney’sThe Walrus, the Journey Prize Stories, a ‘Notable Story’ in Best American Nonrequired Reading (edited by Dave Eggers), Toronto NoirTaddle Creek, and GreenTOpia. The Withdrawal Method, his first book, was longlisted for the Giller Prize, shortlisted for The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Best First Book) and won both the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and the Trillium Book. Pasha brings his novel, Fugue States to our stage and we look forward to hearing him read.

Grace O’Connell is a Toronto-based writer and editor and the author of Magnified World and Be Ready for the Lightning, which we will hear from this month. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in publications including The Walrus, Taddle Creek, the Globe & Mail, the National Post, the Toronto Star, ELLE Canada, Sharp Magazine for Men, Quill & Quire, and the Journey Prize Stories. She has been nominated for the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award and two National Magazine Awards for fiction, and was the 2014 winner of the Canadian Author Association’s Emerging Writer Award. She lives in Toronto.

Sky Curtis was born in Toronto, Canada and has lived in England as well as the Canadian maritimes, travelling to both places frequently. Under her birth name of Kathryn MacKay, Sky has worked as an editor, author, software designer, magazine writer, scriptwriter, poet, teacher, and children’s writer. She has published over a dozen books. Passionate about literacy and involved with youth, her entertaining syndicated children’s column appeared in weeklies across the country for almost ten years. Her poetry has appeared in several literary journals, including The Antigonish Review, Canadian Forum, and This Magazine. Sky brings her mystery novel, Flush: A Robin MacFarland Mystery to us this month!

October 29!

The summer will sadly be finally over and that sad goodbye can only be buoyed by a good book or a delicious cocktail! Join us Sunday October 29 at 5:00pm at Famous Last Words!

Bethlehem Terrefe Gebreyohannes brings us her  beautiful, thrilling and heart-wrenching memoir, Fire Walkers, about her family’s escape from a totalitarian regime of a 1980 Ethiopia. What started out as a vacation ended after 15 months in Lethbridge Alberta. We cannot wait to hear Beth read from her personal story.

Sam Shelstad “Infused with dark humour, each of the sixteen stories (in Cop House) included in the collection explores the absurdity of life when the things that really matter are placed just out of reach.”

Melinda Vandenbeld Giles  “An evocative and sweeping tale of myth and magic, from a seventeenth-century escaped slave community in northern Brazil to 1930s Rio de Janeiro, Clara Awake will take you on a sensual journey of intense passion, intrigue and love.

Camilla Grudova joins us the day before she flies to Winnipeg for her prairie launch of The Doll’s Alphabet. “The stories’ principal emotion is melancholy disgust, often tinged with longing and dread. Grudova name-checks Hans Christian Andersen, Isak Dinesen, and Ovid; her characters metamorphose into wolves, insects, machines.”

Dane Swan    He doesn’t Hurt People Anymore: “These seven slices of urban life offer a poet turning his hand to fiction with masterful results. Swift, precise, unflinching but compassionate, Swan’s tales are bound together by his insight into the compromises we make to stay afloat, and the moments when we confront the deals we’ve made or betrayed. Into the ways we hurt, and the ways we heal.”

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