Hopes RIDE HIGH

Here are 20 ti­tles com­ing down the pike in the first months of 2014

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - BOOKS - By Mor­ley Walker

IN a classic case of hope trump­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, pub­lish­ers re­lease thou­sands of new books each year. Things will not be any dif­fer­ent in 2014. The vast ma­jor­ity of ti­tles will sink with­out a trace, or they’ll stay on shelves for a cou­ple weeks be­fore be­ing re­placed by the next crop. Yet hope re­mains in­tact. Be­low are 20 ti­tles listed chrono­log­i­cally by re­lease date. Half of them are fiction, the other half non-fiction, but pub­lish­ers are pplac­ing their bets for suc­cess on all of them in the first mmonths of the new year. The In­ven­tion of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (re­leas­ing Jan. 7) The Se­cret Life of Bees au­thor en­ters into the ter­ri­tory of The Help and 12 Years a Slave with a story about a 19th-cen­tury Amer­i­can woman who be­comes a fem­i­nist and abo­li­tion­ist. Radiance of To­mor­row by Ish­mael Beah (Jan. 7) African writer Ish­mael Beah’s 2007 mem­oir about be­ing a boy sol­dier, A Long Way Gone, es­tab­lished him as a for­mi­da­ble voice. He de­but novel cen­tres on two long­time friends who re­turn to their home­town in SSierra Leone af­ter the civil war. The Days of Anna Madri­gal by Ar­mis­tead Maupin (Jan. 21) This is the ninth and fi­nal vol­ume in the U.S. au­thor’s Tales of the City se­ries chron­i­cling gay life in San Fran­cisco. The ti­tle char­ac­ter, the trans­gen­der land­lady of 28 Bar­bary Lane, em­barks on a road trip at age 992. Boy, Snow, Bird by He­len Oyeyemi (March 4) With four ear­lier nov­els al­ready under her sash, this Afro-Bri­tish au­thor has es­tab­lished her­self as one of the more com­mand­ing voices in mod­ern fiction. Small-town Mas­sachusetts is the set­ting for her con­tem­po­rary re­work­ing of the Snow White fairy tale, in wwhich race plays a key role. Bark by Lor­rie Moore (Feb. 25) The Wis­con­sin-based lit­er­ary writer, best known for her 1998 story col­lec­tion Birds of Amer­ica, re­turns with a new col­lec­tion of eight sto­ries de­pict­ing var­i­ous as­pects of the con­tem­po­rary U.S. ex­pe­ri­ence. Fire in the Un­name­able Coun­try by Kahlib Is­lam (March 11) This Cana­dian de­but comes with the seal of ap­proval from lit­er­ary grande dame Mar­garet At­wood, who taught the au­thor creative writ­ing at the Univer­sity of Toronto. A para­ble about po­lit­i­cal op­pres­sion and sur­veil­lance, the novel is sup­posed to com­bine el­e­ments of Wil­liams S. Bur­roughs, Philip K. Dyck and The Ara­bian Nights. All My Puny Sor­rows by Miriam Toews (April 15) The Toronto-based CanLit star and for­mer Win­nipeg­ger tack­les her fam­ily demons again in a novel that fol­lows two Men­non­ite sis­ters in their 40s, one of whom is suc­cess­ful and sui­ci­dal, while the other is di­vorced and broke and “wants to keep her sis­ter alive.” The Con­fab­u­list Steven Gal­loway (April 29) The life and death of ma­gi­cian Harry Hou­dini pro­vides the template for this piece of his­tor­i­cal fiction from the Van­cou­ver-based lit­er­ary writer, who is best kknown for his 2008 novel, The Cel­list of Sara­jevo. The Girl Who Was Satur­day Night by Heather O’Neill (May 6) IIn the works for some time has been this sopho­more eef­fort from the Mon­treal writer whose de­but novel, Lul­labyes for Lit­tle Crim­i­nals, was a CanLit hit in 2007. The new one fol­lows the ad­ven­tures of a pair of Mon­treal twins who are the daugh­ters of a fa­mous but fic­tional Que­bec folksinger. The Rise and Fall of Great Pow­ers by Tom Rach­man (May 27) From the Cana­dian-born au­thor of The Im­per­fec­tion­ists, the poignant 2011 com­edy set in an English­language Euro­pean news­pa­per, comes a story about a fe­male book­seller “who trav­els the world to make sense of her puz­zling past.” Unsink­able by Silken Lau­mann (re­leas­ing Jan. 14) The ad­vance pub­lic­ity on this be­lated mem­oir by the Cana­dian Olympic cham­pion hints at a “much darker hid­den story” than merely over­com­ing the phys­i­cal chal­lenges of her 1992 row­ing ac­ci­dent. My Jour­ney by Olivia Chow (Jan. 21) The Toronto left-wing city coun­cil and widow of NDP leader Jack Lay­ton of­fers a mem­oir that touches on her Hong Kong child­hood and deals with her re­la­tion­ship with her abu­sive fa­ther. Call Me Bur­roughs: A Life by Barry Miles (Jan. 28) From the au­thor of the autho­rized life of Paul McCart­ney comes the first ma­jor bi­og­ra­phy of Beat writer Wil­liam S. Bur­roughs in more than 25 years, pub­lished to co­in­cide with the cen­ten­nial of his birth. Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story by Robyn Doolit­tle (Feb. 4) This tell-all about the mayor of Toronto is by the Toronto Star re­porter who has been in­stru­men­tal in air­ing the big man’s dirty laun­dry in re­cent months. It’s hard to imag­ine there be­ing still more to tell, but we shall see. Tales From Beyond the Tap by Randy Bach­man (March 25) The for­mer Win­nipeg­ger, pop-mu­sic leg­end and CBC Radio pro­gram host of­fers a se­quel to his 2011 best­seller, Randy Bach­man’s Vinyl Tap Sto­ries, with more in­sight and back­ground into the life of a mu­sicin­dus­try pro­fes­sional. Cul­ture and the Death of God by Terry Ea­gle­ton (March 25) Those look­ing for an an­ti­dote to the athe­ist tub-thump­ing of Richard Dawkins and Christo­pher Hitchens will want to check out the high­brow pro-re­li­gion mus­ings of this re­spected Bri­tish lit­er­ary scholar. Other­hood by Me­lanie Notkin (April 3) The Mon­treal-born en­tre­pre­neur and au­thor stands up for child­less women every­where in this work of pop so­ci­ol­ogy, which ar­gues that be­ing a mother is not — and should not be — the rea­son why ev­ery woman was put on Earth. Updike by Adam Be­g­ley (April 8) The great Amer­i­can au­thor John Updike, who died in 2009, was the em­bod­i­ment of the term “man of let­ters.” This lit­er­ary bi­og­ra­phy will cover his life and pro­lific out­put in nov­els, po­etry, short sto­ries and crit­i­cism. Se­crets of a Hut­terite Kitchen by Mary-Ann Kirkby (April 15) The Saskatchewan au­thor and jour­nal­ist, who had a na­tional best­seller with her self-pub­lished mem­oir I Am Hut­terite, re­turns to “un­veil the rit­u­als, tra­di­tions and food of Hut­terite cul­ture.” The Dy­la­nol­o­gists by David Kin­ney (May 13) Fail­ing, yet again, the ar­rival of the long-over­due sec­ond vol­ume of his Chron­i­cles mem­oir, Bob Dy­lan fans will likely snap up this close-up look at the singer­song­writer’s truly more ob­ses­sive fol­low­ers.

Heather O’Neill Ar­mis­tead Maupin Randy Bach­man Silken Lau­mann Olivia Chow Sue Monk Kidd Ish­mael Beah Miriam Toews He­len Oyeyemi Tom Rach­man

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