Telephone: 604 444-4889
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To publish work of the highest literary merit by world class authors from the mainstream and the margins of Canada’s three founding nations, as well as from both visible and invisible minorities within Canada’s cultural mosaic, and to work with all of our authors to build their national and international literary careers throughout their active writing lives.
We have close to 500 titles that have received well over 300 awards. We have built and continue to keep in print one of the finest and most diverse literary lists in Canada.
Role in Canadian Publishing
Talon’s dedication to the publication of over four decades of excellent Canadian literary work, created through an unbroken line of internal mentorship and succession of ownership in the company, has earned our publishing house the privilege of being one of the pre-eminent independent Anglophone literary presses in Canada. We are the only one of the pioneering “first generation” of Canadian literary publishers of the 1960s to have consistently maintained our success and independence over the past 45 years. We are Canada’s largest independent publisher of drama; do more translations from Québec than anyone else; and publish more Native voices than any other Canadian publisher with the exception of First Nations publisher Theytus Books.
Talon was first established as a poetry magazine with an editorial collective based at Magee High School in Vancouver in 1963, which moved to UBC in 1965. By 1967, the magazine had published so many young writers, Talon decided to become a book publisher for its authors.
Starting out with poetry, including the first books (Sticks & Stones) of Canada’s first Parliamentary Poet Laureate, George Bowering, and Ken Belford’s Post Electric Cave Man respectively; the press diversified into drama with Beverley Simons’ Crabdance, George Ryga’s The Ecstasy of Rita Joe and James Reaney’s Colours in the Dark in 1969; into fiction with Jane Rule’s Desert of the Heart and Audrey Thomas’ Songs My Mother Taught Me in 1973; into Québec literature in translation with Robert Gurik’s The Trial of Jean Baptiste M. and Michel Tremblay’s Les Belles Soeurs in 1975; and into non-fiction with the collected works of ethnographer Charles Hill-Tout, The Salish People, Volumes I-IV, in 1979.
In the early 1980s, the press experimented with publishing highly successful commercial titles. However, we found that these not only took too much time away from our new literary work but also threatened, by putting at too great a risk, the company’s solid literary backlist. For these reasons, the press returned to its original, exclusively literary mandate in 1985.
Over the past decade, Talon has diversified its literary non-fiction list to include works on global flash-points in the Middle East and the Balkans, and on Canadian issues and politics.
Talon is a member of the following organizations:
The Literary Press Group
The Association of Book Publishers of B.C.
Canadian Booksellers Association
The Canadian Conference of the Arts
The Association of Canadian Publishers
The character known as Nana appears in multiple works by Michel Tremblay. This formidable woman is beloved by all of Tremblay’s readers. But where did Nana come from? What was she like as a child? What are the experiences that shaped her? In his recent novel series, we come to know the answers to these questions. And we come to know Nana as she once was known – as Rhéauna.Thursday July 3, 2014 in Meta-Talon
Happy 141st birthday to Franz Kafka! Kafka came into the world on July 3, 1883. On Meta-Talon today we present the two Talon titles that most directly trace their lineage to the work of Franz Kafka: one that post-modernizes The Castle and another that feminizes The Trial.Thursday June 26, 2014 in Meta-Talon
by Chloë Filson
Is it just me, or are men of the cloth all over CanLit right now?
Two of the five novels selected for CBC Canada Reads 2014 featured major characters who were majorly priestly (The Orenda and The Year of the Flood). This year’s Giller winner, Hellgoing by Lynn Coady, included a short story about a nun, which also featured a priest. Browsing our list, I found at least five Talon book in which priests were prominent characters.
What does it mean? And what are we coming to understand with the help of such books?Tuesday June 17, 2014 in Meta-Talon
Charles Olson had many correspondents over the years, but Frances Boldereﬀ embodied a dynamic complexity of interlocutor, muse, Sybil, lover, critic, and amanuensis.
In this Meta-Talon post, Sharon Thesen, co-editor of After Completion, offers the following commentary on one of Charles Olson’s letters to Frances Boldereff. The letter – a small taste of this dynamic collection – is also reproduced.
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.