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News, Events, and Announcements

news | Tuesday July 26, 2022

"Standing in a River of Time" reviewed in the Winnipeg Free Press!

Standing in a River of Time, the latest poetry collection from Jónína Kirton, was reviewed by Melanie Brannagan Frederiksen for the Winnipeg Free Press.

From the review: “Beginning with this death, Kirton travels backward and forward in her life, weaving poetry and lyric prose into a formally taut, spiritually expansive memoir of trauma, loss and survival.”

Read the complete review here.

news | Tuesday July 26, 2022

Joshua Whitehead Featured in Maclean's Magazine

Maclean’s Magazine released a feature about the phenomenal Joshua Whitehead prior to the release of his new book, Making Love With the Land.

An excerpt from the piece: “Whitehead himself was a born storyteller—his parents still keep a box of stories and poems he told them.”

Read the full feature in Maclean’s Magazine here!

news | Tuesday July 19, 2022

Razielle Aigen's "A Future Perfect" is Reviewed in Broken Pencil Magazine!

If you check out Issue 95 of Broken Pencil Magazine, you’ll find a review of A Future Perfect, the debut poetry collection of Razielle Aigen!

An excerpt from the review: “Falling somewhere between Deleuzean thought, tea leaf divination, and Demetri Martin’s stand-up comedy, Razielle Aigen’s poetry strives to collapse our distinction between surface and depth.”

Find the full review in Broken Pencil Magazine.

news | Tuesday July 12, 2022

Untimely Passages is Here!

The Talonbooks team is delighted to announce the arrival of the long-awaited Untimely Passages. This collection of essays by the late Jerry Zaslove is organized into “Dossiers”, providing a meticulous and in-depth examination of the crises of modernism that accompany the author’s reading of European literature as a world literature. Delving into the theories, works, and impact of several notable thinkers, Untimely Passages examines a lineage of thought that offers an alternative to some of the grimmest aspects of the present.

Tremendously insightful and remarkable in its breadth, Untimely Passages is born of many years of reading, writing, teaching, and learning. We couldn’t be more honoured to share this work with you.

For more information or to take home a copy today, click here.

news | Tuesday July 12, 2022

Hot Off the Press! The In-Between is Here!

The latest play from the amazing Marcus Youssef is here! Youssef deals in narratives that explore multilayered topics with an extraordinary balance of wit and gravitas. Readers will find nothing less in his latest play, The In-Between.

The In-Between follows high school student Lily as she navigates her passions, her relationships, and more complexly, her identity. Born in Vietnam but adopted by a white family and raised in Canada, Lily has always felt “in-between”. When conflict breaks out between her working-class, white best friend and her moneyed BIPOC boyfriend, Lily must confront where her allegiances lay in a maelstrom of social forces.

An excerpt from The In-Between:

LILY
My family is Canadian.

KARIM
You know what I mean.

LILY
No, they are. My parents are both white. I was adopted.

KARIM
Seriously?

LILY
From Vietnam. I lived in an orphanage there until I was six months old. Then my parents went there from Canada and adopted me.

KARIM
That’s intense.

LILY
Not really. For me, it’s normal.

Dealing deftly with prejudice, intersectionality, and identity, The In-Between is a poignant story of growing up and coming into one’s own.

Pick up your copy here!

news | Tuesday July 12, 2022

Falling Shadows has Landed at Talonbooks!

The wait is over! Falling Shadows, the third book in the arresting, post-apocalyptic series by Christian Guay-Poliquin has arrived at Talonbooks headquarters!

The forest is wild and full of hostile factions. Lost, pursued, and threatened by his environment, a lone man struggles through the woods towards the hunting cabin where his family has taken refuge. On the way he meets a mysterious twelve-year-old boy. The two must work together to survive in a landscape fraught with danger.

An excerpt from Falling Shadows:

“He evaluates the mountains and valleys and rivers. Then puts his finger on the X written in pencil.

What’s that?

My family’s camp.

That’s where you’re going?

I nod. He is pensive. I ask him about his parents again. His face shuts down, but I push on.

Tell me, what are you doing here? Are you lost?

He pretends not to understand. He walks away, picks up a pheasant feather from the ground, runs the sharp end of it over his lips a few times, then throws it into the fire.”

Tense and engrossing, the novel is divided into the small slivers of time that survivalist vigilance demands. Read as part of the series or as a standalone novel! Pick up your copy here.

news | Tuesday July 5, 2022

Hot Off the Press! Still • Falling and The Code

Hot off the press! Still • Falling and The Code by Rachel Aberle has arrived! These two plays poignantly encapsulate the energy, pressure, and discontent of adolescence.

In Still • Falling Nina (or Nick, depending on the actor) has big changes to deal with: new city, new high school, new friends, new hobbies, new crushes … and new turmoil. Our protagonist must navigate feelings of anxiety, depression, and guilt in the wake of so much upheaval. From Still • Falling:

NINA
I’m trying to fill my life with Good Things – GOOD THINGS. But nothing works. And it’s like … how awful must I be … how ungrateful … to have all this good stuff in my life and still feel like … pounding heart, shallow breath, tight skin. Darkness all the time.

With a funny and relatable voice, Still • Falling speaks to mental health challenges and the unique hardships of being a teenager with grace.

In The Code, plucky junior Moira is indignant about a sexist school policy. When her protests lead to a school-wide punishment from the administration, her formerly supportive peers turn on her. Some go so far as to seek revenge. An excerpt:

SIMON
Won’t you get in trouble for this?

MOIRA
I just did an entire unit on civil disobedience in humanities. Why do they teach us this stuff if they don’t want us to learn from it?

SIMON
I’m not sure this is what they had in mind.

Abundant with ethical quandaries, The Code is a punchy, contemporary look at negotiating problematic social structures in the technological era.

Grab your copy of Still • Falling and The Code here.

news | Tuesday July 5, 2022

The Piano Teacher has Arrived!

Dorothy Dittrich’s newest play The Piano Teacher has landed at Talonbooks! After the death of her husband and son, classical pianist Erin finds that grief has rendered her former instrument alien to her. In the midst of the viscous quagmire of loss, she meets unconventional piano teacher Elaine, and their bond changes the trajectory of their lives forever.

Erin’s sudden inability to perform music illustrates the insidious, far-reaching ways that pain takes shelter in our lives. From Act 1:

ERIN
My husband always said I had a flair for the lyrical, mercurial passages but that my hand was a delicate hand, not built for Beethoven, which I think has some truth to it. I mean … anyway, I don’t like him, so there you go.

ELAINE
I think Bartók can be every bit as demanding. When is the last time you played?

ERIN
That afternoon.

ELAINE
And you haven’t sat at the piano since?

ERIN
No.

Through the lens of classical music, The Piano Teacher examines ways we may gather ourselves after we have been shattered. Dorothy Dittrich turns a compassionate eye to the nature of grief, how our wounds interact interpersonally, and how this mutual sting calls attention to what can be rebuilt together. With musical dialogue and a cast it’s easy to root for, The Piano Teacher reminds readers to return to that which nourishes.

Pick up your copy here.

news | Friday July 1, 2022

"Un" by Ivan Drury Reviewed in The Poetry Foundation

Layla Benitez-James reviews Un by Ivan Drury in the Poetry Foundation. An excerpt from the review: “Un cuts deepest where Drury suggests that the injustice he observes warps the world on an elemental level…”

Read the full review here.

news | Friday July 1, 2022

Kevin Loring Takes Home 2 Jessie Awards!

Congratulations to Kevin Loring whose play Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer won Outstanding Original Script at the 2022 Jessie Awards! Loring also won a Significant Artistic Achievement Award for Outstanding Empowering and Uplifting of Indigenous Artists and Narratives. Check out Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer today!

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Still • Falling and The Code
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