Tag: Canadian literature

For young scientists and buzzworthy

Picture book for elementary school-age readers teaches “vivid ways to tell us where we live and how the world works.” —Ron Verzuh reviews The Bee Mother, by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson) (Winnipeg: Highwater Press, 2024) $24.95 / 9781774920800

‘Gloriously, stubbornly, interestingly themselves’

In intriguing, complex layers a historical novel portrays queer lives during Europe’s witchomania. It’s a keeper, especially if you’re “of the camp that believes that metacommentary is captivating.” —Jessica Poon reviews Curiosities, by Anne Fleming (Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2024) $35.00 / 9781039004979

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

The times and their tenor

A “bubbly sensibility” blends well with a sobriety in stories that address “the serious matters of our loves and our times.” —Carellin Brooks reviews Disembark, by Jen Currin (Toronto: House of Anansi, 2024) $22.99 / 9781487011895 

A trailblazer’s history for kids

A prettily-drawn, well-told tale about the founding of the famous gardens, but maybe a touch light on child-friendly details. —Ron Verzuh reviews Jennie Butchart: Gardener of Dreams, by Haley Healey (illustrated by Kimiko Fraser) (Victoria: Heritage House, 2024) $19.95 / 9781772034813

Community in short, short form

An appealing portrait of small town life, misery through love. But 26 stories in 30 pages raises questions. —Brett Josef Grubisic reviews The Price of Cookies, by Finnian Burnett (Toronto: Off Topic Publishing, 2024) $15.00 / 9781738988525

Returning from exile

A poet “at the height of his powers” meditates on his literary tradition, provincial history, and aging. —Harold Rhenisch reviews The Capital City of Autumn, by Tim Bowling (Hamilton: Wolsak and Wynn, 2024) $20.00 / 9781989496862

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

Dealbreakers and other heartaches

Pervaded with sadness, a novelist’s sobering debut story collection examines the disappointments of romantic relationships. —Candace Fertile reviews Death by a Thousand Cuts: Stories, by Shashi Bhat (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2024) $24.95 / 9780771095115

Nature in an ‘epoch permeated by hopelessness’

“[A]ccessible, literal, and often essential writing in lyrical form about the value of living in remote areas, the vitality of other species, and a vision for a more aware and rooted future.” —Catherine Owen reviews How Can You Live Here?, by Tom Wayman (Okotoks: Frontenac House, 2024) $19.95 / 9781989466698

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

At ‘the edge of cataclysm,’ poetry

“In putting together pain, loss, and good feeling, the poems articulate a human capacity for gear shifting amidst dissonance—however imperfect.” —Marguerite Pigeon reviews Fine, by Matt Rader (Madeira Park: Nightwood Editions, 2024) $19.95 / 9780889714663

‘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

Elegizing Dad

Poet’s third volume delves into the poignant memories of an observant child whose father faced “impossible problems.” —Mary Ann Moore reviews Midway, by Kayla Czaga (Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2024) $21.99 / 9781487012601

‘Fresh and new and age-old all at once’

Delightful debut YA novel “speaks … to all readers who care about becoming adult in a positive, life-embracing, world-loving way.” —Alison Acheson reviews Crash Landing, by Li Charmaine Anne (Toronto: Annick Press, 2024) $18.99 / 9781773218427

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

The Old Norse world, rewoven

Epic poetry that’s a “respectful, evocative, beautiful even, and artful” reimagining of premodern Scandinavia magic. —Harold Rhenisch reviews Sigrene’s Bargain with Odin, by Zoë Landale (Toronto: Inanna Publications, 2023)
$19.95 / 9781771339681

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