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News, Events, and Announcements

news | Thursday April 8, 2021

BC and Yukon Book Prize Finalists

We are so excited to announce that three of our wonderful books are finalists for the 2021 BC and Yukon Book Prizes.

We have two finalists for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize Fred Wah’s Music at the Heart of Thinking, and Junie Désil’s eat salt | gaze at the ocean.

In addition, The Diary of Dukesang Wong, by Dukesang Wong, edited by David McIlwraith, and translated by Wanda Joy Hoe, has been shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize.

Congratulations to all of our wonderful authors!

news | Thursday April 8, 2021

You’re invited to our Spring Launch on April 15!

Talonbooks Spring Launch poster.

Our Spring Launch, on next Thursday, April 15, at 5:30 p.m. PT, will feature Anahita Jamali Rad reading from their book still, Daphne Marlatt reading from her book Then Now, Leanne Dunic reading from One and Half of You, M.A.C. Farrant reading from One Good Thing, and Stephen Collis reading from A History of the Theories of Rain!

Thursday, April 15
5:30 p.m. PT
Register and receive the Zoom link

news | Tuesday March 23, 2021

We're Mad About Fado!

Cover of Fado.

We are so pleased to welcome Elaine Ávila’s Fado to Talonbooks!

A young Portuguese Canadian singer, Luisa, arrives home to find her mother weeping on the floor: back “home,” the greatest fadista of all time, Queen of Fado Amália Rodrigues, has just died. Luisa realizes she doesn’t know how to sing a single Portuguese song and that distance and time have separated her from an essential part of her roots. She embarks on a multicultural journey back to Lisbon’s meandering back alleys and lively cafés, winding through fados of resistance, emigrant fados, queer fados, in the hope of reclaiming her heritage and retrieving her own true song.

Playing to sold-out crowds in Vancouver and Victoria, Fado is on the
Playwrights Guild of Canada’s SureFire List of top Canadian plays by women
and is one of the 50 Playwrights Project’s 2018 Top Latinx Plays.

Pick up your copy of Fado today!

news | Tuesday March 23, 2021

And Now for Daphne Marlatt's Then Now!

Cover of Then Now.

Daphne Marlatt’s Then Now is hot off the presses!

A lyrical exploration of memory, family, catastrophe, immigration, and colonialism, Then Now was inspired by the discovery of letters written by Daphne Marlatt’s father, Arthur Buckle. Buckle left England in the early 1930s to join a British accounting firm in multiracial Penang, Malaysia. He continued living and working there until taking leave in 1941, returning after WW II, whose looming threat striates his early letters, and staying until 1951. Decades after the letters’ composition, Marlattbegan writing poems in response to them, interwoven with memories they provoked from her postwar childhood there. These poems are written from a sense of place and home on Canada’s West Coast now on the brink of another catastrophe, global climate change, so that throughout the book, “ThereThen” permeates any “Here Now” of immigrant consciousness and highlights the impermanent quality of “home.”

Pick up your copy of Then Now today!

news | Thursday March 4, 2021

Leanne Dunic’s One and Half of You is hot off the presses!

Photo of One and Half of You.

We are so pleased to welcome Leanne Dunic’s One and Half of You!

One and Half of You is a memoir that begins with the author’s growing up biracial on rural Vancouver Island. Not fitting in at school, she turns for comfort to her brother, who is in many ways her opposite. Only when she moves from the Island to the mainland does she meet another like her. Through sinuous language, risk, and surprising humour, this hybrid work explores sibling and romantic love and the complexities of being a biracial person looking for completion in another. Includes links to recordings of three songs.

Pick up your copy of One and Half of You today!

news | Monday February 22, 2021

Pink Shirt Day Is This Wednesday

This Wednesday, February 24 is Pink Shirt Day.

Pink Shirt Day raises awareness about bullying, and raises funds for anti-bullying initiatives.

We’re getting ready for Pink Shirt Day – are you?

news | Wednesday February 17, 2021

Impurity in Geist

An excerpt from Larry Tremblay’s Impurity, translated by Sheila Fischman, has been published in Geist!

“Something is choking him. He touches his face. It’s not his. The violent beating of his heart drives him out of bed. Then, all at once, it all comes back. He fell asleep with his wife’s herbal mask on his face. He showers. Greenish water runs off his face and disappears, swirling down the bathtub drain.”

Read more

news | Wednesday February 10, 2021

Good Thing: One Good Thing Has Arrived!

The most recent book from M.A.C. Farrant, who the Ottawa Citizen has called “One of the best humourists in the land,” has arrived!

One Good Thing is a charming collision of memoir with the living, exuberant, and vulnerable natural world. Written in sixty-four short epistolary chapters, Farrant’s latest offering represents a search for hope and appeasement in a rapidly changing and often perplexing society. One Good Thing is also an homage to gardening columnist extraordinaire Helen Chesnut of Victoria’s Times Colonist, each section of the book focusing and expanding on one of her gardening columns.

Using a familiar “Dear Helen” structure, almost every piece in One Good Thing intimately and playfully relates to the gardening article that gave rise to it while simultaneously ranging into myriad other topics, including the author’s creative practice, personal and familial details, and comic riffs on a number of close-to-the-heart themes. With a mindful persistence that’s often hilarious, the book strives to find personal “calm abidance” through the practice of gardening as mediated by the universal and personal practice of writing.

Pick up your copy of One Good Thing today!

news | Tuesday February 9, 2021

Painting Time Is Hot Off the Presses!

We are so pleased to welcome Painting Time, by Maylis de Kerengal and translated by Jessica Moore.

In 2007, Paula Karst begins her studies at the famous Institut de Peinture in Brussels. There she meets two friends, both enigmatic, resourceful, impulsive, and gifted. Together, the three weave a complex relationship that mirrors the interconnectedness of their artistic materials. Replicating the grain of wood, the wear of marble, or the protrusion on a tortoiseshell requires method, technique, talent … but also something else. Paula strives to understand what she’s painting, the “micro” that she is and the “macro” that she contemplates in art history. She chooses the painstaking demands of craftmanship over the abstraction of high art.

Paula’s apprenticeship is punctuated by hard work, sleepless nights, sore muscles, and saturnalian evenings. After completing her studies at the Institute, she continues to practise her art in Paris, in Moscow, and then in Italy at Cinécittà, on the sets of great films – dream factories! – as if rehearsing for the grand finale: Lascaux IV, a life-sized replica of the world’s most famous paleolithic cave art and a zenith of human cultural expression.

This exquisite and highly aesthetic coming-of-age novel by the author of Birth of a Bridge and Mend the Living uses a succession of trompe-l’oeil techniques to explore a young woman’s art apprenticeship. Maylis de Kerangal, expertly translated by Jessica Moore, offers the key to the enchanted materialism of her writing.

“Kerangal balances the gloriously sensuous with the deeply reflective in an exquisite and omniscient streaming narration … resplendently evocative and exhilarating.”

Pick up your copy of Painting Time today!

news | Thursday January 7, 2021

In remembrance of Taran Kootenhayoo

Talonbooks is deeply saddened to hear of the recent death of Taran Kootenhayoo. This gifted young actor, playwright, and poet performed in several plays we’ve published, and more than once kindly gave us permission to include his image in our books. Taran was integral to Vancouver film and theatre and will truly be missed. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and to his communities.

Link to CBC Article
Link to fundraiser for Taran’s Family

Featured Books

A History of the Theories of Rain
By Stephen Collis

112 pages | Poetry

$16.95 | $12.71 | 25% off

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Asking For It
and What I Call Her
By Ellie Moon

224 pages | Drama


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The Saddest Music in the World
By Elaine Ávila

112 pages | Drama


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By Colin Browne

208 pages | Poetry


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Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer
A Trickster Land Claim Fable
By Kevin Loring

96 pages | Drama


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Music at the Heart of Thinking
Improvisations 1–170
By Fred Wah

272 pages | Poetry


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One and Half of You
By Leanne Dunic

88 pages | Poetry

$16.95 | $12.71 | 25% off

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One Good Thing
A Living Memoir
By M.A.C. Farrant

200 pages | Non-Fiction

$19.95 | $14.96 | 25% off

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Painting Time
By Maylis de Kerangal
Translated by Jessica Moore

240 pages | Fiction


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By Anahita Jamali Rad

112 pages | Poetry

$16.95 | $12.71 | 25% off

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Taking Measures
Selected Serial Poems
By George Bowering
Edited by Stephen Collis

656 pages | Poetry


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The Diary of Dukesang Wong
A Voice from Gold Mountain
By Dukesang Wong
Edited by David McIlwraith
Translated by Wanda Joy Hoe

144 pages | Non-Fiction


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Then Now
By Daphne Marlatt

112 pages | Poetry

$16.95 | $12.71 | 25% off

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They Write Their Dream on the Rock Forever
Rock Writings in the Stein River Valley of British Columbia
By Annie York & Richard Daly & Chris Arnett

200 pages | Non-Fiction


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By Jordan Abel
Contributions by Kathleen Ritter & Tracy Stefanucci

240 pages | Poetry


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