Today, we’re excited to reveal our Spring 2022 season, featuring eight titles we’re know you’ll adore.
by Olga Ravn, Translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken
Literature in Translation Series | Literary Fiction | Science Fiction
$20.00 | On Sale March 8, 2022 | Available Now for Pre-order
Shortlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize
Funny and doom-drenched, The Employees chronicles the fate of the Six-Thousand Ship. The human and humanoid crew members alike complain about their daily tasks in a series of staff reports and memos. When the ship takes on a number of strange objects from the planet New Discovery, the crew becomes strangely and deeply attached to them, and start aching for the same things—warmth and intimacy, loved ones who have passed, shopping and child-rearing, and far-away Earth, which now only persists in memory—even as tensions boil toward mutiny, especially among the humanoids.
The Employees “is by turns loving and cold, funny and deliberately prosaic; capable of building a sense of existential horror one minute then quotidian comfort and private grief the next. In deceptively simple prose, threaded on a fully achieved and ambitiously experimental structure, it asks big questions about sentience and the nature of humanity. And about what happiness might be.” —2021 International Booker Prize Judges’ Citation
by Mike Steeves
$23.00 | On Sale April 19, 2022 | Available Now for Pre-order
Peter Simons doesn’t spend much time at home in his bachelor apartment. Thanks to his job at a multinational company, he is often flying around the world, enjoying a life of luxurious solitude in five-star hotels. So when he returns after being away for nine months and notices a strange smell coming from his neighbour’s apartment, he initially tries not to get involved, but when a body is discovered Peter’s carefully cultivated detachment begins to crumble. And when new neighbours move into the vacant apartment he gets caught up in a petty dispute that will bring him to the brink of moral ruin.
Bystander, the sophomore novel from Mike Steeves (author of Giving Up), is a pitiless, bold work of intense psychological realism narrated by a professionally successful but socially bankrupt anti-hero who expects global connection and local anonymity. It excoriates the contingency of contemporary morality, and, at a time of growing isolation, forces the reader to examine what it means to be a good neighbour.
A Convergence of Solitudes
by Anita Anand
$23.00 | On Sale May 17, 2022 | Available Now for Pre-order
CBC Books Selection: Canadian fiction to watch for in spring 2022
A story of identity, connection and forgiveness, A Convergence of Solitudes shares the lives of two families across Partition of India, Operation Babylift in Vietnam, and two referendums in Quebec.
Sunil and Hima, teenage lovers, bravely defy taboos in pre-Partition India to come together as their country divides in two. They move across the world to Montreal and raise a family, but Sunil shows symptoms of schizophrenia, shattering their newfound peace. As a teenager, their daughter Rani becomes obsessed with Quebecois supergroup Sensibilité—and, in particular, the band’s charismatic, nationalistic frontman, Serge Giglio—whose music connects Rani to the province’s struggle for cultural freedom. A chance encounter leads Rani to babysit Mélanie, Serge’s adopted daughter from Vietnam, bringing her fleetingly within his inner circle.
Years later, Rani, now a college guidance counselor, discovers that Mélanie has booked an appointment to discuss her future at the school. Unmoved by her father’s staunch patriotism and her British mother’s bourgeois ways, Mélanie is struggling with deep uncertainty about her identity and belonging. As the two women’s lives become more and more intertwined, Rani’s fascination with Mélanie’s father’s music becomes a strange shadow amidst their friendship.
by Céline Huyghebaert, Translated by Aleshia Jensen
Literature in Translation Series | Literary Fiction
$23.00 | On Sale June 7, 2022 | Available Now for Pre-order
Winner of the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for French-language Fiction
CBC Books Selection: Canadian fiction to watch for in spring 2022
Quill and Quire Spring 2022 Fiction Preview Selection
Remnants is an exploration of our relationships with family and perception, told through a profound investigation of a father’s life and sudden death. With various voices and hybrid forms—including dialogues, questionnaires, photographs, and dream documentation—Huyghebaert builds a fragmented picture of a father-daughter relationship that has been shaped by silences and missed opportunities.
The reader attempts to untangle fact from fiction: multiple versions of Huyghebaert’s father are presented while remnants of his life disappear achingly quickly. What is left of someone who was not important enough to be archived? How do we talk about what no longer exists? This is a transcendent work, ideal for readers of Annie Ernaux, Sophie Calle, and Maggie Nelson.
“Le drap blanc is a mausoleum,” writes Xavier Houssin for Le Monde des Livres, “…built from fragments and miscellaneous moments. Words and actions that could have been different, smells, dreams and daydreams; retellings and family dialogues recounted as though in shadow play—she has collected it all here… Céline Huyghebaert brings us a book that leaves a striking, lasting impression.”
Good Mom on Paper: Writers on Creativity and Motherhood
Edited by Stacey May Fowles and Jen Sookfong Lee
Creative Nonfiction | Essays | Anthology
$20.00 | On Sale May 3, 2022 | Available Now for Pre-order
Quill and Quire Spring 2022 Nonfiction Preview Selection
The experience of motherhood is fundamental, yet rarely discussed in connection with literary or creative life. How do we navigate the twin devotions of love and art? How does motherhood disrupt the creative process? How does it enhance it?
Good Mom on Paper is a collection of twenty essays that goes beyond the clichés to explore the fraught, beautiful and complicated relationship between motherhood and creativity. These texts disclose the often-invisible challenges of a literary life with little ones: the manuscript written with a baby sleeping in a carrier, missing a book launch for a bedtime, crafting a promotional tour around childcare. But they also celebrate the systems that nurture writers who are mothers; the successes; the intricate, interconnected joys of these roles.
Honest and intimate, critical and hopeful, this collection offers solace and joy to creative mothers and asks how we can better support their work. Mothers have long been telling each other these vital stories in private. Good Mom on Paper makes them available to everyone who needs them.
With contributions by Heather O’Neill, Lee Maracle, Jael Richardson, Carrie Snyder, Alison Pick, Meaghan Strimas, Sofia Mostaghimi, Rachel Giese, Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Erin Wunker, Jónína Kirton, Jennifer Whiteford, Teresa Wong, Nikkya Hargrove, Lesley Buxton, Amber Riaz, Adelle Purdham, Harriet Alida Lye, and Kellee Ngan.
A portion of each sale will be donated to the Mothers Matter Centre: a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering isolated, at-risk mothers.
by Shani Mootoo
$20.00 | On Sale March 15, 2022 | Available Now for Pre-order
Quill and Quire Spring 2022 Poetry Preview Selection
From internationally celebrated writer and visual artist Shani Mootoo (author of Polar Vortex) comes Cane | Fire, an immersive and vivid collection that marks a long-awaited return to poetry.
Throughout this evocative, sensual collection, akin to a poetic memoir, past and present are in conversation with each other as the narrator moves from Ireland to San Fernando, and finally to Canada. The reinterpretations and translation of this journey and its associated family history give meaning to the present. Through these deeply personal poems, and Mootoo’s own artwork, we begin to understand how a life can not only be shaped, but even reimagined.
“From the first exquisite poems to the collection’s lyrical and vulnerable culmination, Shani Mootoo undertakes a daunting and necessary vision: to extricate personal history and recast it,” writes Doyali Islam, author of heft, “What emerges is bravely unruly, with viscerally felt lines that merge evocatively with Mootoo’s visual art. This work dissolves the stuffy confines of poetry, not needing to be ‘anything but [its] majestic self.’” “A powerful and deeply intelligent confrontation of self and what is sustained in the embers,” adds Governor General’s Literary Award-winning author Madhur Anand.
by Shannon Webb-Campbell
$20.00 | On Sale April 5, 2022 | Available Now for Pre-order
Expansive and enveloping, Webb-Campbell’s collection asks, “Who am I in relation to the moon?” These poems explore the primordial connections between love, grief, and water, structured within the lunar calendar.
The poetics follow rhythms of the body, the tides, the moon, and long, deep familial relationships that are both personal and ancestral. Originating from Webb-Campbell’s deep grief of losing her mother, Lunar Tides charts the arc to finding her again in the waves. Written from a mixed Mi’kmaq/settler perspective, this work also explores the legacies of colonialism, kinship and Indigenous resurgence. Lunar Tides is the ocean floor and a moonlit night: full of possibility and fundamental connections.
“There is an arc of light in Shannon Webb-Campbell’s Lunar Tides that passes through a mother’s death, a poet’s birth, and the moon in orbit over Atlantic. These are poetics of nature told from the lip of Eastern Canada where a desire to know reveals a desire to remember,” writes Tawhida Tanya Evanson, author of Book of Wings.
by Daniel Sarah Karasik
$20.00 | On Sale April 7, 2022 | Available Now for Pre-order
A non-binary faun wishes their body had a variety of sex organs, interchangeable daily. A prison abolitionist scrutinizes Rothko paintings on the carceral state’s boardroom walls. The insurrectionary tactics of mass social movements spread, like a secret handshake, from Chile to Hong Kong to Toronto.
Shaped by Daniel Sarah Karasik’s experience of grassroots social and political advocacy, these poems are an offering to those engaged in struggles for a better world—and an acknowledgement of the sometimes contradictory meanings of those struggles. How do individual erotic desires relate to collective desires for deliverance from alienation and exploitation? How might we dream of a more humane future, and work towards building it, without minimizing the challenges that stand in our way?
“Karasik’s poems grapple, with immense care and attentiveness, with our difficult present, addressing labour politics, the police, the law, imperialism, fascism, gender—all the while imagining (and nourishing!) other possible futures, other possible arrangements for living and loving. I want to be in that possible place that Karasik so generously conjures in these poems.” —Bahar Orang, author of Where Things Touch: A Meditation on Beauty