Counterculture

Where ‘words wander about’

“It seems to me that Kevin’s book documents his research into myriad formal and semantic possibilities, engaging in a practice that endeavours to stretch poetic narratives and structures.” —Steven Ross Smith reviews A Bouquet Brought Back from Space, by Kevin Spenst (Vancouver: Anvil Press Publishers, 2024) $18.00 / 9781772142259

The horror! The horror! The horror!

A meister with horror tropes, a debut novelist turns terror-at-home into a mind-bending, spine-tingling entertainment. —Zoe McKenna reviews We Used to Live Here, by Marcus Kliewer (New York: Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 2024) $34.99 / 9781982198787

The ‘expressive, unearthly power of weird’

An assassin, an animal ghost, and a reality TV episode hosted by twin psychics are just a samplings of the goings-on in the finalé of a small town-set comic trilogy. —Ron Verzuh reviews The Vicar Vortex, by Vince R. Ditrich (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2024) $21.99 / 9781459747319

An ‘artist of radical commitment’

“The sheer intellect and sharp-eyed creator in these works has given history and perspective on a time and place of artistically fevering production, forging its own way.” —Cathy Ford reviews Another Order: Selected Works, by Judith Copithorne (edited by Eric Schmaltz) (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2023) $34.95 / 9781772015539

Grim ends, fresh starts

Probing, technical collection of poetry touches on Romantic literature, German philosophers, and the natural world as its author searches for connection. —Harold Rhensich reviews A Blueprint for Survival, by Kim Trainor (Hamilton: Guernica Editions, 2024) $21.95 / 9781771838627

From ‘little stories to universal truths’ 

“Black moves seamlessly between genres, with poetry in her prose and music in her paintings that accompany and fortify” many of her surreal, Kafkaesque stories. —Michael Greenstein reviews Little Fortified Stories, by Barbara Black (Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2024) $23.00 / 9781773861401

Therapeutic psychedelics?

A cutting edge psychiatrist faces her own traumatic past and the mysterious deaths of her clientele in a thriller where tension mounts page after page. —Valerie Green reviews High Society, by Daniel Kalla (Toronto: Simon & Schuster, 2024) $24.99 / 9781668032510

‘A game is afoot’

An entertaining, raucous, and deeply weird novel splices together a boxing comeback story, veganism, bout fixing, and… Sherlock Holmes. —Logan Macnair reviews Pet, Pet, Slap, by Andrew Battershill (Toronto: Coach House Books, 2024) $23.95 / 9781552454763

Humane acceptance (amid absurdity)

A poetry collection’s “distinctive power” is founded on a “keen but understated awareness of the interplay between the human world and the natural environment.”—Christopher Levenson reviews Moving to Delilah, by Catherine Owen (Calgary: Freehand Books, 2024) $19.95 / 9781990601583

Indigi-queer philosophy 101 

Debut story collection by celebrated young author reveals him as “fully in control of his voice, confident of his reach, and utterly fearless.” —Daniel Gawthrop reviews coexistence, by Billy-Ray Belcourt (Toronto: Hamish Hamilton, 2024) $27.95 / 9780735242036

Cruising, laughing, dying (and Liberace)

Reissued story collection features a “confident gay voice, full of quips and sharply off-kilter but richly descriptive comments that stay on the literary side of arch.” —Drew Rowsome reviews Channel Surfing in the Sea of Happiness, by Guy Babineau (Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2024) $24.95 / 9781770867499

A ‘fine calibration of absurdity and reality’

“Sentence by sentence, Lacroix is helping to keep literature weird, just the way it should be. Weird is good; this book is weird; this book is good.” —Jessica Poon reviews How It Works Out, by Myriam Lacroix (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2024) $32.00 / 9780385698405

Geopolitical thrills

Political nail-biter spans three continents, delves into brutal realpolitik, and features a plot that requires a reader’s “concentrated effort.” —Valerie Green reviews The Black State, by John Delacourt (Surrey: Now or Never Publishing, 2024) $19.95 / 9781989689608

‘Parataxis … gone wild’

An exuberant experimental novel with some “lustrous little thought diamonds” also features abundant and frustrating “anarchy in sentences.” —Peter Babiak reviews The Apple in the Orchard, by Brian Dedora (Gananoque: Guernica Editions, 2024) $22.95 / 9781771838603

Upsetting the order of things

Debut poems and capitalist criticism in the form of “intricate napkin doodles,” they are “spectacular gestures but not always particularly easy or comfortable reads.” —Harold Rhenisch reviews Tomorrow is a Holiday, by Hamish Ballantyne (Vancouver: New Star Books, 2024) $16.00 / 9781554202089

The agony, the Ecstasy, the ‘90s

A “zippy marvel of truth bombs,” the novel captures the yearning of adolescence “with hyper-specificity, on-point sonic references, and zero condescension.” —Jessica Poon reviews Sugar Kids, by Taslim Burkowicz (Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2024) $24.00 / 9781773636757

Pop cultural analytics

In which “two astute chroniclers of pop culture … explore the fun and the monstrosity of our everyday entertainments.” —Carellin Brooks reviews You’re Gonna Love This, by Dina Del Bucchia (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2024) $19.95 / 9781772016123 and Jump Scare, by Daniel Zomparelli  (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2024) $19.95 / 9781772016109

‘Seriously, someone turn this book into a movie’*

Grimness, marvellous one-liners, complex characterization, and expert pacing turn a crime thrillerl into “a good, downright scathing read.” —Jessica Poon reviews Ocean Drive, by Sam Wiebe (Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2024) $24.95 / 9781990776694

Pacific Northwest noir

Graphic novel set in grey-hued Raincouver examines “the strange and troubling inner workings of human beings.” —Zoe McKenna reviews What’s Fear Got To Do With It?, by Ivana Filipovich (Wolfville: Conundrum Press, 2023) $18.00 CAD / 9781772620887

Reverence, diligence, duty

A “biodiverse” poet offers advice, wake-up calls, and calls to action in an inspired and passionate volume. —Mary Ann Moore reviews Hazard, Home, by Christine Lowther (Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2024) $20.00 / 9781773861241

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