Happy Book Birthday to Tanya Lloyd Kyi whose YA novel PRINCE OF POT is just out with Groundwood Books! Isaac loves art class, drives an old pickup, argues with his father and hangs out with his best buddy, Hazel. But his life is anything but normal. His parents operate an illegal marijuana grow-op, Hazel is a bear that guards the property, and his family’s livelihood is a deep secret. PRINCE OF POT is Romeo and Juliet, grow-up edition, and Booklist has said that “This truly immersive story…perfectly captures the classic warring emotions of late adolescence.”
Happy Book Birthday to Heather Smith whose gorgeous/funny/sad YA novel THE AGONY OF BUN O’KEEFE publishes today with Penguin Teen! Little Miss Sunshine meets Room in this quirky, heartwarming story of friendship, loyalty and discovery. Already the recipient of two starred reviews, Quill & Quire praises it saying “There’s an abundance of humour both subtle and overt, and a shattering of stereotypes and tropes. . . . This is a book that grabs readers by the heart and the head.”
For fans of Joan Didion and Sheila Heti, and reminiscent of Jenny Offill’s The Department of Speculation, THIS SIDE OF SAD is a provocative and piercing novel that lingers in mind and heart.
Meditative, philosophical, confessional, elegiac: THIS SIDE OF SAD is a many-sided novel. It is about the disintegration of a marriage, but it’s also about relationship between memory and identity; the enduring colloquy between the living and the dead; the varieties and limitations of love; and how we find meaning in the random architecture of despair and joy that makes and unmakes our lives.
Karen Smythe is the author of Stubborn Bones, a collection of short fiction (Polestar/Raincoast Books, 2001). Karen’s stories have appeared in several literary publications including Grain, Fiddlehead, Antigonish Review, Gaspereau Review, and Water Studies: New Voices in Maritime Fiction. While living in Halifax, she guest-edited the Michael Ondaatje issue of Essays on Canadian Writing and served as the fiction editor of the Pottersfield Portfolio. Figuring Grief, her ground-breaking monograph on Gallant and Munro (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1992), is still in print and widely cited. Karen is at work on her second novel.
“Smythe’s prose is powerful…The author’s choice of narrative perspective ensures that this book is likely to provoke lively debate.” – Quill & Quire
“It’s always wonderful to stumble upon what could be a sleeper, and leave it Goose Lane to have one on offer. Karen Smythe’s THIS SIDE OF SAD is due in September and it’s a stunner.” – 49th Shelf
“Karen Smythe is a bright original. Her writing is wry, visceral, intriguing, and very moving. What Smythe has done here is really quite brilliant: she has found new ways to write about a difficult subject — the peculiar passion that is longing — and to make it palpable, leaving the reader with something profound to hang onto.” –Diane Schoemperlen, award-winning author of Forms of Devotion
“Mesmerizing.” –Antanas Sileika, author of Underground
Interviews with the Author:
“I spent a lot of time actually on bulletin boards with thumbnail tacks and little paces of paper, moving them around. So that’s how it came to be.” – a captivating interview with Karen Smythe about the inner-workings of her novel THIS SIDE OF SAD via Queen Mob’s Teahouse
Karen sit down with Humber College and talks about writing this novel after graduating Humber’s Creative Writing program: Humber.ca/this-side-of-sad
Join Karen on September 21st as she launches THIS SIDE OF SAD at the eBar in Guelph on 41 Quebec Street from 7:00pm to 9:00pm!
The US edition come out from Little Brown a few weeks ago and is already receiving great reviews and buzz.
Some of the praise rolling-in for All Is Beauty Now:
“All Is Beauty Now is as redolent and lush as a garden in Rio. Sarah Faber performs a poetic conjuring act of loss, love, and redemption in this haunting novel.” —Ann-Marie MacDonald, author of Adult Onset and Fall on Your Knees
“Part mystery, part family drama, All Is Beauty Now is a vivid and gripping debut about the pain of living with those among us who burn more brightly and delve deep into the dark. Moving deftly from character to character, Sarah Faber unravels a veritable Gordian knot of family ties, revealing what it takes to stay by a loved one who lives life in extremis—as well as what it takes to cut free.” —Alissa York, author of The Naturalist
“At once an intimate family portrait, a mystery, a romance, and a stylistic tour de force.” —Johanna Skibsrud, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author of The Sentimentalists
“At first blush a deft, kaleidoscopic chronicle of a family’s grief after the disappearance of a 20-year-old daughter off the shores of Rio de Janeiro, All Is Beauty Now is an unflinching look at the pervasive effect of secreted mental illness. Like the brilliant swirl of Carnival, the Maurer family’s story possesses multiple layers of both splendor and affliction. I lost myself in its white sands, birds of paradise, and madness.” —Anne Korkeakivi, author of The Shining Sea
“This novel felt alive in my hands as I read it; the writing thrilled me, the setting transported me, and the characters broke my heart. In All Is Beauty Now, Sarah Faber has achieved the rare feat of mixing both gorgeously poetic prose with a plot so absorbing I could hardly look away from its pages. Faber is an important new voice in fiction, and All Is Beauty Now is a masterful and stunning debut.” —Amy Stuart, author of Still Mine
“For the reader, beauty illuminates every page, the loveliness of Faber’s prose bringing light to even the darkest turns and twists of the Maurers’ story, like stars across the night sky. A magnificent, compassionate, and beguiling novel from a great new talent.” —Rebecca Silver Slayter, author of In the Land of Birdfishes
“Notable for its lovely prose and melancholy empathy….All Is Beauty Now [is] a finely observed consideration of how mental illness impacts an entire family.”–Kirkus
“This debut infuses the fierce familial love with the bitter ache of dreams lost and secrets kept. Faber’s swirling, dreamlike prose paints a wildly beautiful Brazil. Readers will lose themselves in this delicately wrought, heartbreaking tale.”– Publisher’s Weekly
“Richly realized and filled with tantalizing secrets, this novel offers a dramatic look at one family’s struggle to survive.” –Book List
The novel was featured on Canadian Living:
Also, please visit the following link for more information about the
Please visit Lithub to read Sarah’s piece about writing about mental
Book pitch from the Publisher: “In the aftermath of the mysterious disappearance of their eldest daughter, a once-golden family prepares to leave behind the seeming paradise of Brazil for the safer, more pragmatic shores of Canada. But as the family counts down the days to their departure, secrets and betrayals surface, threatening their hopes for a new life.
Brazil, 1962: A young woman walks into the waters off a crowded beach and vanishes. A year later, her family – the once-golden family of their privileged little community – prepares to leave behind the seeming paradise of Brazil in the wake of their eldest daughter’s presumed drowning. As they attend a series of goodbye parties and count down the days to their departure, we are taken into the heart of a family whose many charms belie more troubling truths.
There is the family’s charismatic father, whose emotional extremes are becoming increasingly disturbing; his long-suffering wife, who made a mistake that has shattering consequences for the family she meant to protect; and their two remaining daughters, both on the precipice of joining the adult world with all its secrets and lies. Then there is the lost daughter herself, a woman undone by her attempts to grasp at happiness.
With settings ranging from the opulence of the legendary Copacabana Club to the poverty of Rio’s fishing villages, this sensual and beautifully written novel reveals the soul of a family living in the shadow of tragedy, one poised on the brink of a new life, if only they could make peace with the past.”
From the Publisher: A mysterious manuscript falls into a bed-ridden writer’s lap in this novel of broken bones, Syrian folktales, and plummets of all varieties.
In If Clara, nobody stands on firm ground. Daisy, an author confined to her home, her leg in a cast from hip to ankle, receives a parcel containing the manuscript of a novel about a Syrian refugee, and is asked to pose as its writer. Julia, a curator of installation art, has no idea that her sister, Clara, has written a novel. However, she does know that Clara suffers from a debilitating mental illness that renders her wildly unpredictable. And Maurice’s life is changed by a pair of binoculars welded to the wall of Julia’s gallery. These stories collide in a most unexpected way.
Please visit the following link for more information about the book: chbooks.com/Books/I/If-Clara
Also, please join Martha Baillie on September 19th! In partnership with the IFOA and Toronto Lit Up, Coach House Books is launching IF CLARA. Doors open at 7 and readings will begin at 7:30. Don’t miss the chance to see her on October 5th at the Coach House Books Fall Launch. She will attend alongside fellow Transatlantic Agency client Naben Ruthnum. Full event details can be found at the following link: chbooks.com/Events
“Baillie’s mastery distinguishes each voice. Even the neat and sentimental conclusion offers solace as the characters’ complexity resonates beyond the page…Baillie’s novel will appeal to many and please the literary-minded too.” – Quill & Quire
Rights Sold: Coach House Books, World, All Languages ex. French
From the Publisher: “In this delightful introduction to the simple concept of earning money, an exuberant little bunny learns that fame and fortune must be earned.
Bun wants to be rich and famous. She loves to sing and knows she’s meant for a career on stage. It should all be pretty easy—her mom can just drive her to the concert hall to perform! But her mom reminds her that most good things, like the garden they are growing, take time and work. At first, Bun isn’t terribly excited by the idea of singing lessons and practice, but as she does the math and daydreams about her future singing career, the more she starts to like the idea of earning her way to stardom—a feeling just as good as being rich and famous!”
Get a preview of the inside of the book here.
From the publisher: “A reSet original, First Things First gathers 18 of the best of Diane Schoemperlen’s earliest and uncollected stories, with several being published in book form for the first time. Playfully inventive, comic, moving and profound, this collection will reinforce Schoemperlen’s importance as one of the leading short story writers of her generation.”
From June 5 to 12 she will be attending the Woodbridge Farm Retreat. She will host an already sold out day-long memoir writing workshop on June 10. Her short story collection will launch on June 11 at an outdoor reading with Marty Gervais and Daniel Lockhart, an event that is open to everyone. Please find full details about the retreat at the following link: https://thewoodbridgefarm.com/events/
Praise for Diane Schoemperlen
“There is no mistaking a Schoemperlen story—devoted to form, faithful to the mysteries of the everyday.”—The Globe & Mail
“Schoemperlen takes off from the modest launchpad of these seemingly simple concepts, soaring away in wholly unexpected directions. And we follow, thrilled by her quicksilver prose, warm humor, sexiness, precision, and tenderness.”—Booklist
“Schoemperlen’s inventive language and narrative structures encourage readers to be free ‘from the prison of everyday thinking.’”—The New York Times Book Review
“Lovely, clever [and] imaginative.”—The Wall Street Journal
Rights Sold: Biblioasis, World English
MEATLESS?: A Fresh Look at What You Eat, written by Transatlantic Agency client Sarah Elton and illustrated by Julie McLaughlin publishes with Owlkids Publishing today! Happy Book Birthday to our client Sarah, as well as the illustrator!
From the Publisher: “Humans are eating more meat than ever before. At the same time, vegetarianism is capturing more widespread attention. From Meatless Mondays to vegan options, people are talking more about meat and whether or not to eat it.
Journalist Sarah Elton tackles the topic by explaining what vegetarianism is, why people choose it, and how their reasons—including religion, animal rights, food security, and the environmental cost of eating meat—have changed over time. The book closes with practical tips for making the switch, and perspectives from vegetarian kids.
As a conflicted meat eater herself, Elton encourages freedom to choose. Lively illustrations, sidebars, and sources, plus a glossary, index, and further reading suggestions make this a friendly, comprehensive introduction to vegetarianism.”
Read a Q&A with author Sarah Elton! : www.owlkidsbooks.com/Portals/0/Meatless%20Author%20Q&A.pdf
“Using a straightforward approach, the author delivers a text that is both engaging and insightful.” – Quill and Quire
“Interesting, impressive and accessible, this book will help kids and their parents to understand a different and perhaps healthier lifestyle.” – Sal’s Fiction Addition
Rights Sold: Owlkids Publishing, World
From the publisher: “Dirty Windshields is the long-awaited memoir from CBC host and award-winning author Grant Lawrence, baring all the salacious and hilarious details from his touring days as the lead singer of Vancouver-based rock and roll band The Smugglers.
Formed when most of the members were still in high school, The Smugglers came of age during the height of the grunge explosion in the early 1990s, when Grant, working as a concert promoter, put on shows for Nirvana, Green Day and Bad Religion, among many others.
In Dirty Windshields, Grant chronicles the band’s booze-fuelled, sweaty, broke and wayward attempts at rock and roll glory as they trekked across Canada, the United States, and eventually, Europe and the Pacific Rim. In their sixteen years of touring, the Smugglers experienced all the highs and lows the road can offer, from playing a gig at New York’s legendary CBGB club to starting a riot in a Denver nightclub to having their performance tuxes stolen in Australia.
Through the fights, sexual misadventures, new friendships, dance contests and mayhem, the band grew up together on the road. Told with Grant’s signature self-deprecating wit, the anecdotes develop into a compelling story of the growth of an independent, do-it-yourself touring band, a community, and a musical movement. So crack open a semi-cold can of Black Label beer, stick a Smugglers tape into the cassette deck and let the good times roll.”
Don’t miss the book launch taking place on May 13th at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver! Doors will open at 7pm, and the show starts at 8pm. The “book launch” portion will be in the early evening, making room for the rock ‘n’ roll party to follow. Books will be on sale and Grant Lawrence will be at the signing table at the beginning and end of the night. Get more details at the following link: www.grantlawrence.ca/2017/02/details-smugglers-reunion-dirty-windshields-book-launch-vancouver
“This true tale of innocents abroad is a testament to the power of unshakable optimism in the face of utter cluelessness and should serve as a flashing red light warning to anyone who imagines that touring the world in a band is non-stop fun. But somehow the laughs keep coming. Told with equal measures pride and shame, this uproarious chronicle of vans, violence, alcohol, cops, fires, floods, blizzards, wrong turns, crooked clubowners, actual snakes, robbery, bodily fluids and calamities of all sorts is the perfect companion to the band’s mega-fun music.” — Ira Robbins, NYC rock writer (Rolling Stone, SPIN, Village Voice, Creem, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Mojo, Trouser Press)
“Grant Lawrence taught me everything I know about touring! Buckle up for an epic tale told by one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest storytellers. Dirty Windshields is a shotgun seat on a beer-and-body-fluid-soaked wild ride you’ll never forget!”– Lisa Marr, cub
“Wow! The details are different but the story is very similar to my own. Of course, I was on the east coast of Canada, and my band was actually pretty good, but the themes are universal.” – Chris Murphy, Sloan
Visit the Douglas & McIntyre website for more information about the book: www.douglas-mcintyre.com/book/dirty-windshields
Happy book birthday to Julie Zwillich! Her adorable debut picture book, PHOEBE SOUNDS IT OUT, has just been published by Owlkids. Phoebe is learning to spell her name, but unfortunately it doesn’t look quite like it sounds! Kirkus Reviews says PHOEBE SOUNDS IT OUT “makes a point about fun with fonicks”.