Welcome to Talonbooks

Canadian distribution for Talonbooks is now through the University of Toronto Press Distribution. Returns also go through the University of Toronto. Our Fall books will begin to roll out soon! Check out our Fall 2019 Catalogue now. Sign up for our monthly newsletter here, peruse our list of upcoming events here, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


News, Events, and Announcements

news | Monday June 10, 2019

Our Fall 2019 Catalogue is now available!

Our Fall 2019 catalogue, featuring new books from Bill Richardson, Michel Tremblay, Kim Senklip Harvey, George F. Walker, Deni Ellis Béchard, Danielle LaFrance, annie ross, and more, has arrived!

news | Thursday October 24, 2019

Governor General's Literary Award Nominees now 30% Off!

Banner including the covers of 1 Hour Photo, Synapses, and Thanks for Giving.

Talonbooks is pleased to have three Governor General’s Literary Award Nominations this year – two in drama and one in translation.

From now until October 28 October 31, these three nominated books will be 30 percent off when you purchase them through our website.

So, if you haven’t yet, now is a great time to pick up your copy of Tetsuro Shigematsu’s 1 Hour Photo, Kevin Loring’s Thanks for Giving, and Simon Brousseau’s (translated by Pablo Strauss) Synapses!

news | Tuesday October 15, 2019

Eight Track Is in the Building!

Covers of Eight Track and Limbinal

We are so pleased to share that Oana Avasilichioaei’s Eight Track has arrived in-house!

Eight Track is a transliterary exploration of traces. Sound recordings, surveillance cameras, desert geoglyphs, drone operators, refugee interviews, animal imprints, and audio signals manifest moments of inspired wonder, systems of power, slippages, debris. In “the great era of seeing” when the boundary between tracking agent and monitored subject is worn thin by politics and commerce, Eight Track assembles a set of discordant melodies, polyphonic voices, transcriptions, theatres, and images in a struggle to hold on to agency and awe. Stirring from languages of oppression to languages of resistance, Eight Track echolocates the nameless, the noisy, the scattered, and the voiceless. This is ultimately a book of relations—of each of us to each other, to other life forms, to environments, to cultures, to the obsolete and the absolute, to the animal vitality we share.

Oana will be reading from Eight Track with Danielle LaFrance (JUST LIKE I LIKE IT) and Nikki Reimer (My Heart Is a Rose Manhattan) in Toronto on October 23 and in Montréal on November 16.

Not in Toronto or Montréal? Order your copy of Eight Track online today!

news | Tuesday October 8, 2019

People Live Here Lives Here Now!

Cover of George F. Walker's People Live Here.

People Live Here is a collection of three exciting new plays by George F. Walker, Canada’s king of black comedy and a winner of two Governor General’s Literary Awards for Drama. The Chance is a funny, quirky, and suspenseful play portraying three aspiring but economically deprived women living in a working-class neighbourhood of Toronto. The serendipitous discovery of a $300,000 cheque left behind by one of Jo’s one-night stands sends Jo’s mother Marcie, optimistic but exhausted, and stripper Amie, Jo’s friend and colleague, into a furious conjectures on how to use the money (if at all).

Her Inside Life is a heartwarming story introducing Violet, an unbalanced widow under house arrest for committing a serious crime and looking to regain the respect of her daughter and her social worker, who visit regularly. The reappearance of Leo – a man Violet thought she had killed – offers an odd opportunity for the main character to show she doesn’t belong in the madhouse.

Kill the Poor, this collection’s last chapter, is an intense comedy portraying a couple struggling for money and recuperating from a serious car accident. But what if the expected settlement changes the couple’s life for the better? A hired detective and the building’s custodian provide help, but the mysterious driver of the other car makes a comeback … for the worse. Altogether, George F. Walker’s People Live Here complete the Parkdale Palace trilogy of plays dealing with issues of social justice and allying heart, humour, and a contemporary reflection on human inequalities.

Pick up your copy of People Live Here today!

news | Wednesday October 2, 2019

Governor General's Literary Award Nominations!

Banner including the covers of 1 Hour Photo, Synapses, and Thanks for Giving.

We are so pleased to announce that Tetsuro Shigematsu’s 1 Hour Photo, Kevin Loring’s Thanks for Giving, and Simon Brousseau’s (translated by Pablo Strauss) Synapses have been nominated for Governor General’s Literary Awards. 1 Hour Photo and Thanks for Giving have been nominated in Drama, and Synapses has been nominated in Translation!

Huge congratulations to Tetsuro, Kevin, Simon, and Pablo, as well as everyone in house who worked on these wonderful books!

For more information about the seventy books nominated for this year’s awards, visit ggbooks.ca.

news | Tuesday October 1, 2019

Spot Pots at a Bookstore Near You!

Cover of Pots and Other Living Beings

Happy pub day to Pots and Other Living Beings!!

Pots and Other Living Beings is a literally and visually compelling first poetry collection by Indigenous artist annie ross. The text combines socially conscious poems with geographically grounded photographs, each describing an aspect of living in the postmodern, neoliberal age. All compositions emphasize in evocative ways our times’ disillusions and disenchantments, promised and failed utopias, material and cultural ruins, alienations and dispossessions. The work stems from the poet’s gathering of thousands of photographs and field notes during a research trip to the Southwestern United States, exploring the founding, making, dreaming, and proliferation of nuclear weapons since the 1940s. The poems in Pots and Other Living Beings hint at and reflect upon the food, arts, schools, hospitals, family farms, and alternate existences peoples could have enjoyed if our resources, imagination, time, and energy had been directed towards l i f e, in all of its forms.

Order your copy of Pots and Other Living Beings today!

news | Monday September 30, 2019

No White Picket Fence Arrives In-House

Cover of No White Picket Fence

Happy publication day to No White Picket Fence, by Robin Whittaker and Sue McKenzie-Mohr!

A powerful verbatim play about young women’s resilience through foster care, drawn from in-depth interviews. No White Picket Fence stems from a research project conducted by social work professor Sue McKenzie-Mohr with ten individuals who, as girls, grew up in the foster-care system and now identify in their own ways as living well. The play’s dialogue is entirely verbatim, lending the play its hyperreal feel, and giving voice to typically marginalized perspectives from those at the heart of the youth-in-care system. No White Picket Fence follows the women’s unique stories in their own words, from their experiences before being taken into care through their time in the system and on into their current lives navigating the world as young adults. Their stories are raw, characterized by times of turmoil and suffering in their original family homes and later during impermanent arrangements in foster care and group homes. And yet these women’s stories also highlight their persistent efforts to move toward living well on their own terms.

Above all, these are stories about resistance, resilience, and the enduring strength of the human spirit. No White Picket Fence sheds light on the urgent need for greater and sustained efforts to improve a care system that struggles to meet the basic needs of the youth it is mandated to protect and nurture. The voices in No White Picket Fence tell stories that need to be heard, stories we all need to hear.

Pick up your copy of No White Picket Fence today!

news | Friday September 20, 2019

Just Like We Like It

Cover of Just Like I Like It; purple, half-tone, a type of tornado/vortex

Danielle LaFrance’s powerful new book of poetry and autotheory, JUST LIKE I LIKE IT, is now available!!

In JUST LIKE I LIKE IT, LaFrance combines poetry and autotheory as a means of targeting ideological infatuation, spilling into an obsession with ideological abolishment. JUST LIKE I LIKE IT searches for ways to kill and abolish “it,” seeking means to get it done right, even when attempted slowly and stupidly, even if the only way out is death. LaFrance draws on stupidity, sadomasochism, pretend power, parasitism, and violent revolutionary desubjectification to shape a felt experience, not so much asking as inhabiting a series of questions, including: “What are the implications of abolishing the self as it is racialized, gendered, and classed?” and “Can a theoretical framework hold every contradiction in tandem when every contradiction is substantial and felt?” Each page of JUST LIKE I LIKE IT pokes “it” awake all over again, culminating in a number of accomplished failures, including “It Makes Me Iliad,” a reworking of Homer’s Iliad. Poetry, it seems, is the best weapon for wiping it out with fewer casualties – which is why it is never enough.

Order your copy of JUST LIKE I LIKE IT today!

news | Tuesday September 17, 2019

Caught Red-Handed with Our Favourite Crime

Deni Ellis Béchard's My Favourite Crime on city pavement.

Deni Ellis Béchard’s new book of essays and journalism, My Favourite Crime, has arrived in-house! Not in the big house, just to be clear.

My Favourite Crime ranges across the world and over a wide array of contemporary issues. Divided into five sections, all united by a recurring consideration of how writing helps transform our understanding of our family, of ourselves, and of the world, the book addresses such disparate topics as: Deni Ellis Béchard’s tumultuous relationship with his father, exploring his struggle to make sense of his father’s criminality as well as his own, and the temptation to lapse back into crime when one has been raised with it; the illuminated gospels on Patmos, the Greek island where Saint John composed the Book of Revelation and where refugees are locked up without food or water; an American soldier transitioning between genders while serving in Afghanistan; children accused of sorcery and exorcised in Kinshasa’s revival churches; and Indian women’s responses to their country’s rampant rape culture. Including articles about Cuba, Colombia, Iraq, Rwanda, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Québec, and the United States, My Favourite Crime is current, engaged, compelling writing not to be missed.

Pick up your copy of My Favourite Crime today!

news | Tuesday September 10, 2019

I Saw Three Ships Sets Sail

I Saw Three Ships being held in front of the Fraser River.

Happy pub day to Bill Richardson’s fabulous new book I Saw Three Ships!

In I Saw Three Ships, eight linked stories, all set around Christmastime in Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood, explore the seasonal tug-of-war between expectation and disappointment. These tales give shelter to characters from various walks of life whose experience of transcendence leaves them more alienated than consoled.

I Saw Three Ships captures a West End community vanishing under pressure from development and skyrocketing real-estate prices. As arch as they are elegiac, as funny as they are melancholy, these stories honour a cherished period in the history of the West End. Sometimes twisted, sometimes tender, I Saw Three Ships will speak to all who have ever been stuck spinning their wheels at the corner of Heathen and Holy.

In Vancouver? Bill will launch I Saw Three Ships this Friday, September 13 at 2 p.m. at the Joe Fortes Branch of the Vancouver Public Library. More info here.

Order your copy of I Saw Three Ships today!

news | Wednesday September 4, 2019

Flow's Softcover Edition Has Arrived!

The softcover edition of Roy Miki's Flow on a wooden table in soft light.

Flow collects all of Governor General’s Award winner Roy Miki’s books of poetry – saving face, random access file, Surrender, There, and Mannequin Rising – with a substantial new, previously unpublished work, Cloudy and Clear, and numerous full-colour photographs and photocollages. This definitive edition of Miki’s poetic work includes a foreword by poet and critic Louis Cabri, an interview by the collection’s editor, Michael Barnholden, and an extensive bibliography.

Flow has been available in a beautiful $49.95 hardcover edition – with coloured endsheets and silver foil – since last year. We are now very pleased to make its softcover sibling available – all of Miki’s wonderful poetry and photocollages, with a special softcover dust jacket, for $29.95.

Flow is the newest book added to our Collected Series, which collects important works by west coast poets. Roy Miki is one of Canada’s most innovative poets; he is also an influential critic, founder of the literary journals Line and West Coast Line, and as a noted activist, became a prominent figure in the movement for Japanese Canadian redress. We are so pleased to share Flow with you.

Pick up your softcover copy of Flow today!

Featured Books

breth
By bill bissett

544 pages | Poetry

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Flow
By Roy Miki
Edited by Michael Barnholden

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Kamloopa
By Kim Senklip Harvey

112 pages | Drama

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PERFACT
By Nicole Raziya Fong

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Rite of Passage
By Michel Tremblay
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280 pages | Fiction

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Synapses
By Simon Brousseau
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Taking Measures
By George Bowering
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The Living
By Colleen Wagner

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