BookThug is very pleased to announce that Mike Steeves’s first novel Giving Up is a Finalist for the Quebec Writers’ Federation 2015 Concordia University First Book Award! Yesterday, in the Montreal Gazette, Ian McGillis wrote “Steeves’ book was one of the best-reviewed Canadian debuts of recent years; many were surprised when it didn’t make the national short lists.”
Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors and their publishers. To see the complete list of Finalists in all categories, check out the QWF website. The winners will be announced in Montreal on November 18, 2015. Good luck Mike!
To celebrate, BookThug is offering Giving Up at a 20% discount from now until November 19, on both print and eBook versions. Order your copy now from BookThug.ca today!
About Giving Up:
At times funny, at other times sad, and more than often a mixture of the two, Giving Up by Mike Steeves is a deeply felt account of what goes on in the inner sanctum of a modern couple’s apartment.
In grappling with the line between what happened and what might have happened, Steeves gives voice to the anguish of a generation of people who grew up with great expectations, and are now settling into their own personal failures and compromises: James is obsessed with completing his life’s work. Mary is worried about their problems starting a family, and is scared that their future might not turn out as she’d planned. In the span of a few hours on an ordinary night in a non-descript city, two relatively small events will have enormous consequences on James’ and Mary’s lives, both together and apart.
Praise for Giving Up:
“Mike Steeves is a brilliant, singular voice in Can Lit: funny and fresh and fast! Giving Up burns and glows with the intensity of a blue flame and all the pathos and obsessiveness and truth and absurdity of modern coupledom.” — Miriam Toews, author of All My Puny Sorrows and A Complicated Kindness
“Few first novels in recent memory are as consistently charming, smart, entertaining and incisive as Giving Up. Somehow Mike Steeves has written a page-turner about stray cats and trips to the bank, and a story that treads through the stuff of everyday life with such precision to cast each detail, every gesture and object and silence, with great meaning.” — Pasha Malla, author of People Park and The Withdrawal Method
“Mike Steeves’ Giving Up is like a Facebook-era version of Paula Fox’s 1970s New York classic Desperate Characters: a lucid micro-portrait of an apartment-bound couple facing childlessness, marital landlock and a malevolent feline presence. But its pulse is faster, warmer, more irregular. It’s a chamber piece for two voices sharing disappointingly overhyped takeout, a woozily funny yet deeply decent view of adult love. It broke the shit out of my heart. Read it with someone you adore who you fear half the time can’t stand the sight of you.” — Carl Wilson, author of Let’s Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste
“The monotony and discomfort of innermost thoughts, through normal and abnormal circumstances, are brought to life in this novel, pulling the reader into the exhausting cycle of anxiety in which the narrators have lived for years.” — Publishers Weekly
“Mike Steeves has written a wonderful work of fiction that explores modern coupledom in profound, moving and hilarious ways.” — The Globe and Mail
“It’s kind of like a lighter Barth novel, funny and dark and full of despicable thoughts you very well might realize are akin to the ones that run through the over-stimulated heads of people you recognize.” —National Post
“Steeves’ tone shifts between hilarious and heartbreaking so often and so smoothly that eventually Giving Up inhabits a place where you can hardly distinguish between the two. It’s quite a feat.” —Montreal Gazette
“Giving up never felt so right.” —Montreal Review of Books
Come to a reading by all of the QWF Awards finalists on Thursday, October 29, 6:00 p.m. at Paragraphe Bookstore, 2220 Avenue McGill College in Montreal.
Watch the BookThug video interview with Mike Steeves below.
Mike Steeves attended University of King’s College in Halifax, where he received a BA in Political Science and English Literature. He completed an MA in English Literature at Concordia University. Steeves lives with his wife and child in Montreal, and works at Concordia University. Giving Up is his first full-length book of fiction. Connect with Steeves on Twitter @SteevesMike.