Fall 2023 Season Reveal! | Book*hug Press

Fall 2023 Season Reveal!

Today, we are thrilled to reveal our Fall 2023 lineup. Our upcoming season features ten incredible works of fiction and poetry! Read on for all the details, including publication dates, pre-order info, and more.

Fall 2023 Fiction

My Work
by Olga Ravn, translated by Jennifer Russell and Sophia Hersi Smith
Literature in Translation Series | Autofiction
$25.00 | On Sale September 5, 2023

From the acclaimed author of the International Booker Prize–shortlisted literary sensation The Employees comes a radical, funny, and mercilessly honest novel about motherhood.

Anna is utterly lost. Still in shock after the birth of her son, she moves to snowbound Stockholm with her newborn and boyfriend, where a chasm soon opens between the couple. Lonely and isolated, Anna reads too many internet articles and shops for clothes she cannot afford. To avoid sinking deeper into her depression, she must read and write herself back into her proper place in the world.

“Olga Ravn has not only added a highly personal and literary page-turner to her body of work: she has made a brave and important contribution to literary history and social debate, which since the 1970s has been in dire need of writing that incorporates lived experience.” —Børsen

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Her Body Among Animals
by Paola Ferrante
Speculative Fiction | Short Stories
$23.00 | On Sale September 12, 2023


In this genre-bending debut collection merging horror, fairy tales, pop culture and sci-fi, women challenge the boundaries placed on their bodies while living in a world “among animals,” where violence is intertwined with bizarre ecological disruptions.

A sentient sex robot goes against her programming; a grad student living with depression is weighed down by an ever-present albatross; an unhappy wife turns into a spider; a boy with a dark secret is haunted by dolls; a couple bound for a colony on Mars take a road trip through Texas; a girl fights to save her sister from growing a mermaid tail like their absent mother.

“The women in Paola Ferrante’s sly and startling collection beguile us with their curiosity, vulnerability and wit as they navigate unsettling metamorphoses that bring them closer to the vast expanses of the sea and stars and farther away from the mundane cruelties of mortality and men. Precise yet poetic, sharply observed yet compassionate and tender, these cautionary tales for future generations burst the bounds of genre and take us into new and exciting literary realms.” —David Demchuk, Scotiabank Giller Prize–nominated author of The Bone Mother and RED X

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by Kathryn Mockler
Literary Fiction | Short Stories
$23.00 | On Sale September 19, 2023

With dreamlike stories and dark humour, Anecdotes is a hybrid collection in four parts examining the pressing realities of sexual violence, abuse, and environmental collapse.

Absurdist flash fictions in “The Boy is Dead” depict characters such as a park that hates hippies, squirrels, and unhappy parents; a woman lamenting a stolen laptop the day the world ends; and birds slamming into glass buildings.

“This Isn’t a Conversation” shares one-liners from overheard conversations, found texts, diary entries and random thoughts: many are responses to the absurdity and pain of the current political and environmental climate.

These varied, immersive works bristle with truth in the face of unprecedented change. They are playful forms for serious times.

“Part coming of age and part end times, Anecdotes is a bold and brilliant mixture of dark humour, understated literary experiments, and a poet’s eye for the truth. Mockler’s writing isn’t afraid to look at the world and see it for what it is. Her stories are so deeply immersive you’ll never want to leave. An absolute must-read if you live on this planet and even if you don’t.” —Carleigh Baker, author of Bad Endings 

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The Legend of Baraffo
by Moez Surani
Literary Fiction
$23.00 | On Sale September 26, 2023

A mythic work of sweeping literary imagination, The Legend of Baraffo speaks to our current social climate and the ingredients for progress.

In Baraffo, a town gripped by revolutionary fervour, a young boy is grappling with the motivations of an arsonist now imprisoned. Why, Mazzu asks, did Babello burn an empty building? Is the mayor, the chief aide, Giulietta—who the boy adores—the prisoner’s supporters, or Babello himself to be believed?

The Legend of Baraffo is a lucid dream of a novel, a fable fierce in its moral clarity and gorgeous at the line level. In the town of Baraffo, Moez Surani has created a place so rich in sensory detail, so wonderfully alive, as to be unforgettable. There is so much here about the nuances of longing and belonging, of intimacy and subjugation, all of it crafted from the simplest human connections—a conversation, a shared meal, a card game. This is a beautiful book, written by a bright new literary talent.” —Omar El Akkad, Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning author of What Strange Paradise

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Sadie X
by Clara Dupuis-Morency, translated by Aimee Wall
Literature in Translation Series | Literary Fiction
$23.00 | On Sale October 10, 2023

Having followed the brilliant virologist Régnier from Montreal to Marseille many years ago, Sadie now works as a researcher in a lab, spending most of her time among microscopic creatures who teach her about life as a parasite. By day, she pushes the limits of her understanding alongside Régnier, who taught her that to study viruses, she must think infectiously, allow herself to be contaminated by dangerous ideas. By night, Sadie loses herself in bars, music, drugs, sensuality. Until she gets a call from the past that lures her back across the Atlantic.

When her estranged father tells her that a bizarre virus has been found in his hospital, Sadie returns to Montreal and her family, and all the unexpected changes time has wrought, to solve this new puzzle. Soon she realizes that the person she thought she was—someone who can leave everything behind—no longer exists. What is left for her instead is sinking into the unknown to find out what happens when ideas come to life.

“After winning just about everyone over with her first novel, Mère d’invention, Clara Dupuis-Morency is back with Sadie X, an equally ambitious work set in the world of virus research. This ‘novel of unlearning,’ which feels like an astonishing mix of Maylis de Kerangal and Virginie Despentes, is a high-wire act that could not be more timely.” —Chantal Guy, La Presse

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As the Andes Disappeared
by Caroline Dawson, translated by Anita Anand
Literature in Translation Series | Autobiographical Fiction
$23.00 | On Sale November 14, 2023

Caroline is seven when her family flees Pinochet’s regime, leaving Chile for Montreal on Christmas Eve, 1986. She fears Santa won’t find them on the plane but wakes to find a new Barbie at her side, her mother preserving the holiday even amidst persecution and turmoil. It’s a symbol of care repeated throughout the relocation as her parents work tirelessly to provide the family with a new vision of the future.

Once in Canada, Caroline accompanies her parents as they clean banks at night; she experiences racist micro-aggressions at school, discovers Québécois popular culture, and explores her love of reading and writing in French. Slowly, the Andean peaks disappear from her drawings. As her family increases their wealth and status—moving to a better apartment every six months in Montreal’s working-class east-end neighbourhood and then a house in the suburbs—the fracture between her parents’ identity and her own grows. When Caroline realizes an apartment she’s partying in is one her mother cleans, the division between her parents’ life and her own becomes explicitly clear.

“The power of this largely autobiographical novel lies in its refusal to let anger give rise to gratitude. Nor is gratitude permitted to soften the rage of knowing that the comfort of the rich continues to be built with the egregiously paid labour of those who cannot push back.” —Le Devoir

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Fall 2023 Poetry

People You Know, Places You’ve Been
by Hana Shafi
$20.00 | On Sale October 12, 2023 

The latest poetry and artwork collection from Hana Shafi examines the everyday connections we make to the people and places we encounter. Despite the infinite variations of our lives, every urban dweller has sparred with a neighbour they disliked, seen beautiful strangers on public transit, told secrets to their hairdresser. We interact with these supporting characters on a daily basis—and often we are them for others.

Shafi celebrates the Antiheroes of the world (the alcoholic at your local bar, teenage girls); examines those in Beautiful Leading Roles (the hot professor, the rich couple); lauds older generations of Wizards and Crones; and flags the Nemeses (men who think they’re allies, competitors for produce at farmer’s markets). We sink into recognition at depictions of Palaces such as the greasy spoon, Dungeons of public transit, and the Liminal Spaces of checkout counters or waiting rooms (including that one at the end of the cosmos).

People You Know, Places You’ve Been is a spellbinding collection of poems and drawings that thoughtfully describes the discomfort and beauty of everyday life. Shafi skillfully pairs humour and tenderness to depict familiar people and places through a lens of nostalgia, rage, and feminist thought.” —Ambivalently Yours, author of Fire and Other Feelings

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Queers Like Me
by Michael V. Smith
$20.00 | On Sale October 12, 2023

Confessional and immersive, Michael V. Smith’s latest collection is a broad tapestry that explores growing up queer and working class, then growing into an urban queer life.

In these poems, we are immersed in the world of a young Smith as he shares the awkward dinners, the funerals, and the uncertainty of navigating fraught dynamics, bringing us into these most intimate moments of family life while outrunning deep grief. Smith moves from first home to first queer experiences: teenage crushes, video cameras, post-club hookups, fears and terrors, closeted lovers, and daydreams of confronting your childhood bully.

“Michael V. Smith’s Queers Like Me is a beautiful, funny, honest book. There were so many moments when I felt a loving kinship with Smith through queerness, through family, through home. Each page feels alive and so deeply human. This is a book to read and to be read through—a brilliant dive into belonging.” —Jordan Abel, Griffin Poetry Prize–winning author of Injun and NISHGA

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by Sandra Ridley
$20.00 | On Sale October 24, 2023

Griffin Poetry Prize finalist Sandra Ridley offers a breathtaking, harrowing immersion in cruelty behind different veils: the medieval hunt, ecological collapse, and intimate partner violence.

Sparked by a haunting chance encounter with a fox, and told in six chapters of varying form, Vixen is as visceral as it is mysterious, sensuous as it is terrifying.

“Thicket” introduces us to stalking being akin to hunting; the similar threat of terror and—too often—a violent end. “Twitchcraft” locates the hunt in the home, the wild in the domestic, while “Season of the Haunt” explores the unrelenting nature of hunting. “Stricken” asks common questions that often implicitly justify such violence: Is the harassment ‘bad enough’ to allow us to label it criminal? Has all control been taken? Is the fear reasonable?

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She Who Lies Above
by Beatriz Hausner
$20.00 | On Sale November 7, 2023

In She Who Lies Above, Beatriz Hausner brings Hypatia of Alexandria, the fourth-century Byzantine mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher, to life. She does so through layered ventriloquism: publishing amorous correspondence from the feminist icon’s friend and former student, Synesius the Cyrene, and scribing Hypatia’s replies in turn.

These letters are “discovered” by Bettina Ungaro, a librarian and archivist by day, poet by night. She, in turn, collates the correspondence to build a vision of the couple’s relationship while writing a kind of postmodern critique of contemporary book and reading culture. These interjections both borrow from and juxtapose writing from ancient times, and, in doing so, explore the evolution of modern knowledge keeping.

“Knowingly, with invention and grace, and as she conjures the boundless delights of body and mind, Beatriz Hausner tells us the story of the ill-fated scholar, Hypatia, and her student and lover, Synesius. An enchantment.” —Rikki Ducornet, author of The Plotinus

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