OFF THE SHELF
The Winnipeg Humane Society insists that the greasy pig chase be removed from Dominion Day programming in A Tale of Two Divas: The Curious Adventures of Jean Forsyth and Edith J. Miller in Canada’s Edwardian West by Elspeth Cameron with Gail Kreutzer (J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing). Rudley has no time for Norman and Geraldine’s infernal birdwatching in Almost Unpleasant Picture by Judith Alguire (Signature Editions). An old man decapitates eel after eel at a Hong Kong fish market in Bleaker House by Nell Stevens (Knopf Canada). In Dazzle Ships (ECW Press), Jamie Sharpe is falling in love with himself, but he wants to see other people. In Stray (icehouse poetry), Allison Lasorda decides that she has never wanted anything badly enough to melt her face off for it. A juror in a hick town witnesses the execution of a chambermaid in Nights as Day, Days as Night by Michel Leiris, translated by Richard Sieburth (Spurl Editions). Adam licks two thousand kilometres’ worth of dead bugs off the front of a tour van in Dirty Windshields by Grant Lawrence (Douglas & Mcintyre). The Lover’s car catches on fire and she passes out drunk in a churchyard in The Supine Cobbler, a play by Jill Connell (Coach House Books). David Byrne serenades a lamp in The Sweets of Home by Rob Kovitz (Treyf Books). A gaggle of drunks stumble down the path that Dickens once walked in Be My Wolff by Emma Richler (Knopf Canada). Rainbreathing peach trees thicken the mist around them in Hoarfrost & Solace by Fan Wu (espresso chapbooks). In Fail Better: Why Baseball Matters (Biblioasis), Mark Kingwell says that New Haven is a blue-collar sports town that tolerates the denizens of Yale as long as they don’t get too cocky. In Bad Endings (Anvil Press), Carleigh Baker says you should wear a suit when you fly in case you get upgraded to business class. Sarah de Leeuw packs a hitchhiker into her car and doesn’t argue about the can of beer she keeps in her hand in Where It Hurts (Newest Press). Booze, drugs, academia and sex are a few of the ways one can stave off the pressure of unrequited love, according to Leanne Dunic in To Love the Coming End (Bookthug). Jyoti assumes that Dr. Asli has prints of muscular Greek men in his living room because he’s interested in the human body in An Extraordinary Destiny by Shekhar Paleja (Brindle & Glass). Jake launches a campaign to clean up gassy effusions from the Insatiable Maw of the Copper Cliff smelter in Wintersong by Mick Lowe (Bakara Books). A Senegalese family takes their pet sheep to the beach for a bath and everyone makes a fuss over it in Sun of a Distant Land by David Bouchet, translated by Claire Holden Rothman (Véhicule Press). Two babysitters toss back Jell-o shots after the kids have gone to bed in Blue Field by Elise Levine (Biblioasis). In The Analyst (Biblioasis), Molly Peacock asks: don’t we all deserve a good slump? Bootleg margarine gets smuggled into Newfoundland and dyed yellow in The Bosun Chair by Jennifer Delisle (Newest Press). Harvey Amani Whitfield tells the history of Loyalist families settling in British North America in North to Bondage (UBC Press), the first ever book on slavery in the Maritimes. Charlotte’s father keeps a loaded gun next to his bed and discharges it out the window every morning in Mad Richard by Lesley Krueger (ECW Press). Michael M. Nybrandt has a vivid dream in which he coaches Tibet’s national football team in Dreams in Thin Air, illustrated by Thomas E. Mikkelsen and translated by Steffen Rayburn-maarup (Conundrum Press). A droopy-eyed klutz falls drunk into the gold, wind-whispered foothills in Otolith by Emily Nilsen (icehouse poetry). In All Saints by K.D. Miller (Biblioasis), Kelly says that Anglicans don’t really forbid anything, they just decide they’re above it.
Jen Sookfong Lee says that the stories in Everything Is Awful and You’re a Terrible Person by Daniel Zomparelli (Arsenal Pulp Press) “will take up residence in your head”; Zoe Whittall calls it a “weird, perfect gem of a book”; Vivek Shraya calls it “quipping prose that fuses poetry and digital communication”; the comedian John Early says, “This is admittedly the first book I’ve read since Grindr was invented.” NPR Books says that The Little Washer of Sorrows by Katherine Fawcett (Thistledown Press) “injects the weird into the mundane”; Rebecca on Amazon.ca says that after reading each story, she felt like she just ate at the fanciest, wildest, most risky restaurant in town; Penny on Goodreads says she enjoyed the book but by the time she got to the end, she’d had enough. Sonnet L’abbé calls The Bosun Chair by Jennifer Delisle (Newest Press) “a treasure-box of Newfoundland lore.” The Winnipeg Free Press says that the poems in A perimeter by rob mclennan (New Star Books) “crash fragment against fragment in an elegy for “u((n)in)t(e)rr((u)pte)d) s(l))ee)p.” Jennifer Nelson calls Common Place by Sarah Pinder (Coach House Books) “generous, beautiful and difficult,” and Sue Sinclair says it’s “a friend of the abject landscape.” Katherena Vermette says that This Accident of Being Lost by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (House of Anansi) “blends song and story, humour and truth”; Naomi Klein calls it “playful, pissed off and ferociously funny”; Thomas King calls Simpson “one of the more articulate and engaged voices of her generation.”
To Katherine Fawcett for being shortlisted for the 2016 Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic and nominated for the 2017 Relit Award for Short Fiction for her collection The Little Washer of Sorrows (Thistledown Press).