Tag: Canadian literature

‘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

A ‘glimpse / to a new world’

A “must-read” collection of poems reveals the poet’s critical examination of both the worlds he belongs to and his place within them. —Harold Rhenisch reviews Teeth, by Dallas Hunt (Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2024) $19.95 / 9780889714526

The plot to kill Frederick C. Trudd

A retired criminal lawyer revisits his past and “the most significant trial of his career.” The results are engrossing. —Bill Paul reviews The Long-Shot Trial: An Arthur Beauchamp Thriller, by William Deverell (Toronto: ECW Press, 2024) $26.95 / 9781770417540

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

Coping with a final goodbye

“[F]or those who want to understand something of human journeys—and how to mourn, how to live with grief—” this YA novel “is a study in how we might navigate.” —Alison Acheson reviews Where Was Goodbye?, by Janice Lynn Mather (Toronto: Simon & Schuster Canada, 2024) $23.99 / 9781665903950

STWS? Read on.

Sophomore YA novel offers “a beautiful, heartwarming story about memory and grief with a speculative twist and a sprinkling of romance that’s sure to delight teen readers.”—Greg Brown reviews The Space Between Here and Now, by Sarah Suk (Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2023) $24.99 / 9780063255135

The rhythms of mourning

With sculpted sound and rhythmic exuberance a delightful and pensive volume of poems examines the living and the lived. —Michael Greenstein reviews Talking to Strangers, by Rhea Tregebov (Montreal: Signal Editions, 2024) $13.99 / 9781550656602

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

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