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News, Events, and Announcements

news | Tuesday November 22, 2022

Talonbooks’ Holiday Sale is Here!

November’s shifting to a close and the time to pick out gifts for the good folks on our shopping lists is upon us. Great news: Talonbooks’ annual holiday sale is on now!

Everything on our website is 25% off until December 12th!

A book is the perfect present: entertaining, thought-provoking, moving, a convenient shape to wrap, easy to ship, and it never goes bad! Appropriate for virtually any gift exchange.

Happy holidays, readers!

news | Monday December 5, 2022

New Play Alert! Kisses Deep is Here!

We’re delighted to say that Talonbooks’ latest play is here! Kisses Deep, written by Michel Marc Bouchard and translated by Linda Gaboriau asks whether art can be a pathway to healing, understanding, redemption, and forgiveness.

Consumed by fantasies of high fashion and opulent fabrics, young Hugo desperately tries to restore his mother Béatrice’s tarnished reputation – and their damaged relationship. Channelling Yves Saint Laurent, his idol and muse, Hugo sets out to counter the widespread rumours that the recently arrested Béatrice abuses him. He dreams of designing the perfect outfit for her court appearance, one that will bestow the air of the perfect mother and absolve her of all guilt.

Read an excerpt from Kisses Deep here:

SGT. RÉGIS

Too late. Béatrice Lessard, I am arresting you for obstruction

of a police officer’s duty.

HUGO

We were doing fine. Everything was fine.

BÉATRICE

If you hadn’t skipped school! If you’d gone to school!

The sound of an ambulance siren in the distance. MARYSE, BÉATRICE, and SGT. RÉGIS disappear.

HUGO

(scratching his scalp frantically) A police car for my mother!

The ambulance for Madame Maryse! … One helluva show

for a two-bit place like this. If only I hadn’t skipped school.

Full of singular characters and their fraught relationships, Kisses Deep is a high-tension exploration of what love looks like during the clashing of peoples’ hardest edges, all wrapped in the fabrics of fashion. Pick up your copy here.

news | Tuesday November 29, 2022

Slow Scrape has Arrived!

We’re so excited to announce that the reprint of Slow Scrape by Tanya Lukin Linklater has arrived at Talonbooks!

Tanya Lukin Linklater infuses this poetry collection with evocative, vibrant, and sensatory details. Scenes are set so vividly it becomes unavoidable to be drawn into them as if a participant, even as playful use of form makes us aware that there is A Poem Happening. Both techniques exist simultaneously and often within a single poem. This fusion of proximity and distance makes for the kind of deep, multi-level immersion readers won’t want to emerge from.

From “The Harvest Sturdies”:

“from a hand-me-down couch through the window, an ice-fishing
hut appears driven by a truck I can’t see, it hovers on a dirt road
to launch onto the frozen lake. this view from our 900 square-foot
home on someone else’s first nation.

surrounded by blankets hanging inside raw canvas and scraped
trees, spruce boughs on ground to insulate, she rests. a woodstove
pipe creaks towards december sun. the girls crouch on unthawed
land near a fire, she sits mantled in blankets against wintry damp.”

and

“practice practice practice practice practice practice practice practice

:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.
a stitch a bead another stitch repeat a stitch a bead another stitch repeat a stitch a bead ano
other stitch repeat a bead a stitch another stitch repeat a stitch a bead another stitch repeat”

Slow Scrape enacts a poetics of relation and action to counter the settler colonial violences of erasure, extraction, and dispossession. Drawing on documentary poetics, concrete-based installations, event scores, and other texts, the book cites memory, Cree and Alutiiq languages, and embodiment as modes of relational being and knowing.

Pick up your copy of this unreal collection here.

news | Thursday November 24, 2022

Cecily Nicholson's "Harrowings" in The Tyee's Gift Guide

The Tyee’s BC Books gift guide is full of awesome suggestions for local books to give the people on your list. Great to see HARROWINGS by Cecily Nicholson recommended here, and in such good company! Check out the full list here.

news | Wednesday November 23, 2022

Hot off the Press! #postdildo is Here!

#postdildo by Danielle LaFrance has arrived and it’s taking no prisoners. Edgy, witty, and heady, this new collection of poetry examines the limits and limitlessness of sexuality, desire, taboo, and communication. Using the dildo as the engine of exploration, LaFrance focuses on the dildo as a sexual object and a social relation.

#postdildo continually surprises, no turn is expected. From “DILDO THEE CUM COMMODITY OK GUYS I REALLY NEED HELP”:

“Meanwhile

dildo-fuelled inspirational bricolage
could altar what is sexy about sexuality

Praxis’s praxis endeavoring to build upon
contradiction where a dildo

liberates

+ alienates. Meanwhile You +
I started dildosplaining that a dildo isn’t
a substitute but an emotional support animal”

Drawing from sources ranging from critical theory to smut, LaFrance’s new collection is a tour-de-force that delights in exploration, invitation, rebuttal, and rebuke. Pick up a copy here.

news | Tuesday November 22, 2022

Dorothy Dittrich's “The Piano Teacher” in The Province

On November 16th, the play The Piano Teacher by Dorothy Dittrich won the 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama! Dittrich spoke with Dana Gee at The Province about the experience of winning this prestigious award.

From the article:

“‘The play means a great deal to me. I felt deeply about the subject and the characters and I felt a need to tell this story. I truly loved the process of writing this play,’ said Dittrich.”

Read the complete article here.

news | Tuesday November 22, 2022

Robert Hogg, 1942–2022

We are deeply sorry to learn of the passing of beloved author and professor Robert Hogg. A man of many talents, Robert Hogg was widely-published poet, a skilled editor, an organic farmer, a dedicated educator, and a kind, generous member of the writing community.

Hogg’s body of work was prolific: he served as an editor for multiple literary magazines and his writing was featured internationally, appearing in more than 70 publications. The death of Robert Hogg is a huge loss to the literary and academic communities. Our thoughts are with his loved ones in this time of tremendous sorrow.

news | Tuesday November 22, 2022

Gordon Robert Fidler, 1947–2022

We are saddened to learn of the recent passing of Gordon Robert Fidler, one of the founders of Talonbooks. A dedicated lover of the arts, Fidler ferried early Talonbooks publications into existence by way of a printing press in his parents’ basement. We are grateful to Fidler for his many years of work both at Talonbooks and in multiple creative industries in Vancouver. A photographer, chef, graphic designer, publishing professional and more, Gordon Fidler’s legacy will resonate for years to come. Our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and community during this difficult time. May his memory be a blessing.

news | Friday November 18, 2022

“Vigil” by Morris Panych in The Times Colonist

Vigil by Morris Panych has returned to the Belfry Theatre in Victoria where it premiered. Mike Devlin writes about Panych’s return to The Belfry in The Times Colonist, and Panych discusses the experience of revisiting an old show and an old site.

From the article:

“It’s funny to revisit a play,” Panych said. “When you’re 27 years younger, the jokes you make about being old — [the old person] is you now. Ken and I were joking this morning about aches and pains. I’m actually at that age now where that happens.”

Read the complete article here.

news | Wednesday November 16, 2022

2022 Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama

We are ecstatic to announce that The Piano Teacher by Dorothy Dittrich has won the 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama! A huge congratulations to Dorothy for this tremendous achievement. We couldn’t be more pleased.

The Piano Teacher was written by Dorothy Dittrich, an award winning playwright, musical director, sound designer, and composer. Dorothy’s work has garnered her a number of Jessie Awards and nominations including two Dora Mavor Moore nominations for When We Were Singing. She is the proud recipient of the Sydney J. Risk Award for Emerging Playwright.

The peer assessment committee of Keith Barker, Marie Leofeli Romero Barilzo, and Alex Poch Goldin have called The Piano Teacher “moving and compelling. With this gorgeously written play, Dittrich has accomplished the remarkable. She brilliantly delves into a multi-layered exploration of love, loss, isolation and friendship, reaching beyond words to reveal the healing and redemptive power of music. She holds our hand on an unexpected journey through grief towards hope.”

The Piano Teacher is a moving play about loss, love, friendship, and the healing power of music. When classical pianist Erin experiences a devastating family tragedy, she finds herself unable to play music or even touch a piano. Navigating her way through loss and trauma, she meets an unconventional piano teacher, Elaine. As Elaine helps Erin find her way back to her instrument and they develop a friendship exempt from rivalry and expectations, other life changes naturally follow – not just for the student, but for the teacher as well. Pick up your copy here!

news | Tuesday November 15, 2022

New Graphic Novel from Anne-Marie Saint-Cerny

Fans of Anne-Marie Saint-Cerny Mégantic have something new to look forward to: a graphic novel entitled A Train in the Night also on the topic of the 2013 train derailment that flattened Lac-Mégantic. With art from Christian Quesnel and translated by W. Donald Wilson, this graphic novel is a moving investigation of a dreadful tragedy.

Read a full review of A Train in the Night in Quill & Quire here.

Featured Books

#postdildo
By Danielle LaFrance

176 pages | Poetry

$19.95 | $14.96 | 25% off

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A Dream in the Eye
The Complete Paintings and Collages of Phyllis Webb
Edited by Stephen Collis

160 pages | Non-Fiction

$29.95 | $22.46 | 25% off

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Falling Shadows
By Christian Guay-Poliquin
Translated by David Homel

224 pages | Fiction

$19.95 | $14.96 | 25% off

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HARROWINGS
By Cecily Nicholson

120 pages | Poetry

$19.95 | $14.96 | 25% off

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Inheritance
a pick-the-path experience
By Daniel Arnold & Darrell Dennis & Medina Hahn

256 pages | Drama

$24.95 | $18.71 | 25% off

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its th sailors life / still in treetment
meditaysyuns from gold mountain
By bill bissett

290 pages | Poetry

$24.95 | $18.71 | 25% off

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Kisses Deep
By Michel Marc Bouchard
Translated by Linda Gaboriau

112 pages | Drama

$16.95 | $12.71 | 25% off

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Medusa
Translated by Oana Avasilichioaei
By Martine Desjardins

186 pages | Fiction

$19.95 | $14.96 | 25% off

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Moving the Centre
Two Plays: Small Axe & Freedom Singer
By Andrew Kushnir & Khari Wendell McClelland

160 pages | Drama

$19.95 | $14.96 | 25% off

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Slow Scrape
By Tanya Lukin Linklater

112 pages | Poetry

$18.95 | $14.21 | 25% off

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Standing in a River of Time
By Jónína Kirton

224 pages |

$19.95 | $14.96 | 25% off

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Still • Falling and The Code
Two Plays for Teens
By Rachel Aberle

160 pages | Drama

$18.95 | $14.21 | 25% off

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The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin and Other Plays
The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin, Lieutenant Nun & Kitimat
By Elaine Ávila

208 pages | Drama

$16.95 | $12.71 | 25% off

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The In-Between
By Marcus Youssef

96 pages | Drama

$16.95 | $12.71 | 25% off

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The Piano Teacher
A Healing Key
By Dorothy Dittrich

96 pages | Drama

$16.95 | $12.71 | 25% off

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Tracery
By Edward Byrne

104 pages | Poetry

$16.95 | $12.71 | 25% off

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Un
By Ivan Drury

128 pages | Poetry

$16.95 | $12.71 | 25% off

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Unfuckable Lardass
By Catriona Strang

96 pages | Poetry

$16.95 | $12.71 | 25% off

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Untimely Passages
Dossiers from the Other Shore
By Jerry Zaslove

576 pages | Non-Fiction

$29.95 | $22.46 | 25% off

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Witness Back at Me
mis-mothering & transmigration
By Weyman Chan

128 pages | Poetry

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