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From now until February 20, get 25% off select titles !
Right on time for the fluffy, pink, February holiday, we’ve hand-picked our favourite books about love and whatnot … Some are heavy on the love, others are heavier on the whatnot. (And, while the holiday might be fluffy and pink, these books are not.) All would make excellent gifts — or excellent companions on a chilly winter’s night…
See our specials page for details!
Saskatchewan native and Manitoba publisher Gord Shillingford passed away on January 25, at the age of 55, of cancer.
In the 1980s Shillingford co-founded Blizzard Publishing, an imprint that later went out of business, and whose titles are still distributed by Talonbooks. Shillingford then founded J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing, a primarily literary press whose imprints include Scirocco Drama (plays), The Muses’ Company (poetry), Watson & Dwyer Publishing (Canadian social history), and J. Gordon Shillingford (politics, religion, true crime, biography). The press publishes about 14 titles per year and is the second largest drama publisher in Canada (after Talonbooks).
Read more about Shillingford and his publishing endeavors in Quill & Quire.
George Elliott Clarke – Canada’s new Parliamentary Poet Laureate, former Toronto Poet Laureate, and lately the author of MMI – is a fan of the work of Garry Thomas Morse. In a video recently published by the Globe and Mail, Clarke riffs on Prairie Harbour, Morse’s latest collection of poetry. Watch the video online.
Here are a few further comments from Clarke about Prairie Harbour:
Prairie: Haven for the fugitive. Harbour: Epicentre of epic. In Prairie Harbour, Garry Thomas Morse drafts a fugitive epic that represents the full flowering of all those seeds of thought that Robert Kroetsch’s Seed Catalogue “planted” almost fifty years ago. This ingenious masterpiece is Morse Code ransacking Brit Lit up to Dylan Thomas, but from the vantage point of Canuck redoubts, such as Fort Garry. Imagine Billy Shakespeare shakin’ his spear at paleface invaders of Native land, or think of Eli Mandel, armed with Greco-Latin allusions, attacking Indian Act racism, and you’ll have an inkling of the finicky, spiky, thoughtful, beautiful verse that’s unfolded herein. How does an Indigenous intellectual imagine the arrival of the “filles du roi” to Nouvelle-France? Here you go: “There is not even a sketchy sketch / of twelve year old orphan girls who / wince under old lechers, only lying / back and thinking of a new colony.” Fugitive reader, get thee into this epic!
Prairie Harbour is available for $18.95.
Our first Spring 2016 title is here!
Mend the Living is the story of a heart transplant, centred around Simon Limbeau, the boy whose heart is given, and his family. Taking place within exactly twenty-four hours, the novel traces the thrill of an early-morning winter surf session, the terrible accident that follows, and all the urgency and compassion of the hospital workers, and shock and grief of Simon’s family as they negotiate the question of organ donation.
Maylis de Kerangal offers glimpses into the thoughts and affective lives of each of the characters: Simon, at the core of the novel; Marianne and Sean, his parents, who have been estranged for some months; Revol, the chief surgeon, music enthusiast, and studier of hallucinogenic plants; Cordelia Owl, the capable new nurse who is reeling from a night spent with her former lover; Thomas Rémige, the hospital coordinator, an opera singer, and aficionado of goldfinches; Virgilio, the silvertongued, light-fingered surgeon; Juliette, Simon’s girlfriend, who is building a labyrinth inside a Plexiglass case, waiting for Simon’s call. The novel also touches upon Claire, the recipient of the heart, whose life has been limited by her condition, who reflects philosophically on what it means to have someone else’s heart beating inside you.
The Gazette calls it “a work so moving, so richly layered it strikes you less like an object and more like something divine – like the heart itself. … But it’s not just the unusual format that makes this novel so remarkable: it’s the spot-on rhythm of de Kerangal’s sentences. … It’s not an exaggeration to say de Kerangal has written a masterpiece, a stunning feat on par with modern medicine, the love of a parent, a second chance at life.”
Order your copy today for $19.95.
James Long and Marcus Youssef perform Winners and Losers
A number of plays, available as books published by Talon, are on stages all across Canada this spring. Here’s the skinny:
Spring 2016 is just around the corner! Here’s a look at what we’ve got in store for you.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for our full Spring 2016 catalogue, which will include all frontlist and backlist titles – more than 500 book listings!
As part of its Canadian Classics Reimagined series, the Factory Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, will stage two classic Canadian plays this spring: David French’s Salt Water Moon (directed by Ravi Jain), and A Line in the Sand by Guillermo Verdecchia and Marcus Youssef – both published by Talonbooks. The former runs from February 23 to March 13, and the latter from March 8 to 27. Get your tickets today!
What is Cecily Nicholson up to? Poet and author of the award-winning long poem From the Poplars, and other titles, when not working at the unique Gallery Gachet in Vancouver, participates in readings and facilitates writing workshops. This spring and summer, she’ll also be a writer in residence in Ontario and then BC.
From the Poplars was recently the subject of a brief but poignant interview by CBC Daybreak South: “How one tiny island tells the story of New Westminster.”
Nicholson is currently facilitating a teacher’s writing group supported by the Surrey Teacher’s Association in Surrey, British Columbia. In the spring, she will begin a residency at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, in collaboration with its Cultural Studies department; in addition to the residency and manuscript consultations, she’ll collaborate through performance and print with other artists. Later in the summer, Nicholson will take up another writing residency at Woodhaven, University of British Columbia – Okanagan.
Also look for Nicholson at the Denman Island Readers and Writers festival in July 2016.
Photo: Cranbrook Townsman
Seeds by Annabel Soutar, starring Eric Peterson, is a dramatic re-enactment of the four-year legal battle between Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser and one of the biggest biotech corporations, Monsanto Inc.
The play will be staged on February 2, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at the Key City Theatre in Cranbrook, British Columbia. Read more about the upcoming production in the Cranbrook Townsman.
Also see more tour dates for Seeds in British Columbia, the prairies, and Atlantic Canada!
It’s 2016! Can you believe it?
We were pleased to see two Talonbooks on CBC’s list of 75 Best Books of 2015: Scree, the collected earlier poems of Fred Wah, and Jordan Abel’s Un/inhabited, are among CBC’s favourites.
And now a few other ‘best of’ lists are coming in …
In poetry, Ottawa poet and publisher rob mclennan has included among his favourites from last year Oana Avasilichioaei’s Limbinal, Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli’s Rom Com, Judith Fitzgerald’s Impeccable Regret, and Colin Browne’s The Hatch. Read his full list on DUSIE.
Phil Hall, poetry editor, includes three Talonbooks on the BookThug year-end list as well. Phyllis Webb’s collected poems, Peacock Blue (the softcover edition of which was released this past autumn), he has hailed as “the literary event of the year,” and we couldn’t agree more. He also picks Meredith Quartermain’s I, Bartleby: “These are stories, but not really ‘short stories,’ more like prose poem meditations on language and region, people, memory and apprenticeship. Scribe notes.” And of Colin Browne’s The Hatch, Hall writes, “This poet can apparently do anything: long-lined narrative poems of spoof and homage (in the earlier books), very tiny poems, tender garden lyrics, defiant chants … The diversity and dexterity are dazzling, the images stick, the phrasing causes slaps or shivers.”
Un/inhabited was also yesterday listed as one of 10 BC books to kick-start the year in The Province.
In theatre, the Vancouver Sun included Drew Hayden Taylor’s God and the Indian – which was produced at the Firehall Arts Centre last May – in its list of best Vancouver theatre experiences of 2015, noting its “heartbreaking vulnerability with terrifying anger, playfulness with glimpses of beauty.”
Hamilton Spectator theatre reviewer Gary Smith especially liked Michel Marc Bouchard’s turn-of-the-century play, The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt. Here are his year-end delights.
The Globe and Mail has also included playwright Annabel Soutar, author of Seeds and The Watershed (forthcoming in 2016), as one of its Canadian artists of the year. TGAM also calls The Watershed “this year’s epic exploration of the politics of science and industry in the Harper era.” Watch for this book in Spring 2016!
Scree: The Collected Earlier Poems of Fred Wah, 1962–1991 was published last fall to much warm acclaim. Scree gathers in one volume 13 rare or out-of-print books of poetry by Fred Wah, allowing readers to (re)discover the groundbreaking work of this recent Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada. Today on Meta-Talon, learn more about Wah’s work by reading extracts from the introduction to Scree (pages 1–13).Monday January 11, 2016 in Meta-Talon
The newly revived (thank goodness!) Capilano Review has published a web folio revisiting Roy Kiyooka’s Pacific Windows, which was published by Talonbooks in 1997. Have a look:
ti-TCR number 12 | spring 2015: Revisiting Roy Kiyooka’s Pacific WindowsMonday December 21, 2015 in Meta-Talon
Thursday December 10, 2015 in Meta-Talon
Cerulean Blue is a comedic play by Drew Hayden Taylor – who else? – about a struggling blues band invited to participate in a benefit concert for a First Nation community in conflict with governmental authorities. This play is an homage to fast-moving farces while also addressing Aboriginal issues, and it’s original blues soundtrack (score by Andrew Clemens) and large ensemble cast make it one heck of a performance! Today on Meta-Talon, read parts of Scene Four of Cerulean Blue.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.
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