what we’ll be reading this fall: Editors’ Picks, Part two
With so many great titles publishing this fall, we couldn’t resist posting a second list of our most anticipated reads.
Call Them By Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays), by Rebecca Solnit
Haymarket Books, September 2018
“In this powerful and wide-ranging collection, Solnit turns her attention to battles over meaning, place, language, and belonging at the heart of the defining crises of our time. She explores the way emotions shape political life, electoral politics, police shootings and gentrification, the life of an extraordinary man on death row, the pipeline protest at Standing Rock, and the existential threat posed by climate change.
The work of changing the world sometimes requires changing the story, the names, and inventing or popularizing new names and terms and phrases. Calling things by their true names can also cut through the lies that excuse, disguise, avoid, or encourage inaction, indifference, obliviousness in the face of injustice and violence.”
Home After Dark, by David Small
McClelland & Stewart, September 2018
“After his mother abandons the family, thirteen-year-old Russell Pruitt moves with his Korean War veteran father to a small town in southern California. Eager to fit in and figure out the mystifying rules of being a man, he succumbs to the sway of boys more feral than himself--leading to an act of betrayal that will have devastating consequences. Told through cinematic artwork that will transfix readers with its visceral potency and grace, Home After Dark is a mesmerizing evocation of a boy's struggle to survive the everyday brutalities of adolescence, and forge his own path to manhood.”
Refuse: CanLit in Ruins, Edited by Hannah McGregor, Julie Rak, and Erin Wunker
Book*hug, November 2018
“CanLit—the commonly used short form for English Canadian Literature as a cultural formation and industry—has been at the heart of several recent public controversies. Why? Because CanLit is breaking open to reveal the accepted injustices at its heart. It is imperative that these public controversies and the issues that sparked them be subject to careful and thorough discussion and critique.
Refuse: CanLit in Ruins provides a critical and historical context to help readers understand conversations happening about CanLit presently. One of its goals is to foreground the perspectives of those who have been changing the conversation about what CanLit is and what it could be. Topics such as literary celebrity, white power, appropriation, class, rape culture, and the ongoing impact of settler colonialism are addressed by a diverse gathering of writers from across Canada. This volume works to avoid a single metanarrative response to these issues, but rather brings together a cacophonous and ruinous multitude of voices.
With contributions by: Zoe Todd, Keith Maillard, Jane Eaton Hamilton, kim goldberg, Tanis MacDonald, Gwen Benaway, Lucia Lorenzi, Alicia Elliott, Sonnet l’Abbé, Marie Carrière, Kai Cheng Thom, Dorothy Ellen Palmer, Natalee Caple & Nikki Reimer, Lorraine York, Chelsea Vowel, Laura Moss, Phoebe Wang, A.H. Reaume, Jennifer Andrews, Kristen Darch & Fazeela Jiwa, Erika Thorkelson and Joshua Whitehead.”
French Exit, by Patrick DeWitt
House of Anansi, August 2018
“Frances Price — tart widow, possessive mother, and Upper East Side force of nature — is in dire straits, beset by scandal and impending bankruptcy. Her adult son Malcolm is no help, mired in a permanent state of arrested development. And then there’s the Price’s aging cat, Small Frank, who Frances believes houses the spirit of her late husband, an infamously immoral litigator and world-class cad whose gruesome tabloid death rendered Frances and Malcolm social outcasts.
Putting penury and pariahdom behind them, the family decides to cut their losses and head for the exit. One ocean voyage later, the curious trio land in their beloved Paris, the City of Light serving as a backdrop not for love or romance, but self-destruction and economic ruin — to riotous effect. A number of singular characters serve to round out the cast: a bashful private investigator, an aimless psychic proposing a seance, a doctor who makes house calls with his wine merchant in tow, and the inimitable Mme. Reynard, aggressive houseguest and dementedly friendly American expat.
Brimming with pathos and wit, French Exit is a one-of-a-kind 'tragedy of manners,' a riotous send-up of high society, as well as a moving mother/son caper which only Patrick deWitt could conceive and execute.”
The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
Simon & Schuster Canada, October 2018
“On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual false alarm. As one fireman recounted later, “Once that first stack got going, it was Goodbye, Charlie.” The fire was disastrous: It reached 2,000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. Investigators descended on the scene, but over thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?
Weaving her life-long love of books and reading with the fascinating history of libraries and the sometimes-eccentric characters who run them, award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean presents a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling story as only she can. With her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, she investigates the legendary Los Angeles Public Library fire to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives. To truly understand what happens behind the stacks, Orlean visits the different departments of the LAPL, encountering an engaging cast of employees and patrons and experiencing alongside them the victories and struggles they face in today’s climate. She also delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from a metropolitan charitable initiative to a cornerstone of national identity. She reflects on her childhood experiences in libraries; studies arson and the long history of library fires; attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; and she re-examines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the library over thirty years ago. Along the way, she reveals how these buildings provide much more than just books—and that they are needed now more than ever.
Filled with heart, passion, and unforgettable characters, The Library Book is classic Susan Orlean, and an homage to a beloved institution that remains a vital part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country and culture.”
Flow: New and Collected Poems, by Roy Miki, Edited by Michael Barnholden
Talonbooks, October 2018
“A stunning collection from Governor General’s Award winner Roy Miki, Flow presents all of this critically acclaimed writer’s poetry – from his collections Saving Face, Random Access File, Surrender, There, and Mannequin Rising – as well as a substantial chapter of new, previously unpublished works. Including a foreword by poet and critic Louis Cabri, extensive interviews with Miki by the collection’s editor, Michael Barnholden, and an exhaustive bibliography, Flow is the definitive edition of Miki’s work. Also included are numerous full-colour photographs and photocollages, a practice Miki has become increasingly drawn to in recent years; in the book’s previously published sections and in the much-anticipated section of brand-new work, Miki’s poems and photographic works engage in a mutually enriching dialogue.”
The Accidental Education of Jerome Lupien, by Yves Beauchemin, Translated by Wayne Grady
House of Anansi, September 2018
“Montreal student Jerome Lupien — libidinous, unscrupulous, and fresh out of university — is ambitious and at loose ends. Whether on a hunting trip into Québec’s northern woods, on an escape planned in good faith to Cuba, or seeking to make his way in Montreal, Jerome cannot help but be embroiled in misadventures and underworld escapades. He is conned by the devious — a hunting guide, a low-life car salesman, and, ultimately, a well-to-do political lobbyist profiting by the city’s infamously corrupt partnership of politicians wielding remunerative contracts and the construction firms in cahoots. The unwitting (though frequently culpable) young man is enrolled, whether he knows it or not, in an unconventional and criminal school. And the education is singular, not only for Jerome, but also the reader. The young man’s heady journey provides — as only Yves Beauchemin can do — an extraordinary, full, and trenchant portrait of Québec and the city of Montreal in all its topographical and class variety. Here is a mordant piece of social satire that is a marvelous entertainment and wonderfully traditional narrative too.”