Monday, April 27, 2009

Coach House appreciation night

We are happy to have an evening with two great authors published by our good friends at Coach House Books. From its early days of printing draft-dodger pamphlets and commemorative flags to nurturing the literary careers of Ondaatje, Bowering, Anne Michaels and bpNichol to being the birthplace of current electronic publishing technology, Coach House has been the headquarters and meeting place for creative figures of every stripe.

Please join us for the launch of Amphibian, the first novel by Carla Gunn, and a reading by Ottawa-area local Mike Blouin, author of Chase & Haven, on Wednesday, May 13th at 7:00 p.m. here at the store.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

First fiction addiction

We are so excited to welcome two of our favourite fiction discoveries of the past year to town for a reading on Saturday, May 9th at 7:00 p.m. at the Royal Oak on the Canal (221 Echo Drive).

Both Pasha Malla and Andrew Hood wrote wonderful and impressive debut collections of short stories that have left us wanting more.

Pasha Malla's debut, The Withdrawal Method, was nominated for the 2008 Giller Prize. His extraordinary stories grant us entry into fascinating worlds -- the complex world of children acting out half-understood fantasies of adulthood; the modern world of young couples navigating hairpin emotional turns; a near-future world where Niagara Falls has run dry. Haunting and fresh, shot through with empathy and humour, The Withdrawal Method peels back the layers to reveal the strange, the wondrous and the unexpected.

Pasha Malla writes regularly for McSweeney's, has had multiple stories nominated for the Pushcart and Journey prizes, and was a pick for Best American Nonrequired Reading (selected by Dave Eggers).

Andrew Hood’s debut collection, Pardon Our Monsters, heralds a young talent with an irresistible style and merciless eye. These unapologetic stories deal with an assortment of foolish self-destructive small town anti-heroes. A newly-wed conjures a ghost in an attempt to contact her absent husband. A seventeen-year-old is blackmailed into buying drugs for his English teacher. A tumescent young Blue Jay’s fan and his tumor-addled sister are swept up in the tempest of the Blue Jay’s 1989 run for the World Series. An estranged stepmother and stepson embark on a pilgrimage to the Michael Jackson trial. Hood’s cleverly wrought lyrical prose is the perfect foil for a prevailing lack of forgiveness, which becomes the overriding monstrosity of each story. Every character wants only to be pardoned, but will not, themselves, grant it.

Andrew Hood’s won the Irving Layton Award for Undergraduate Fiction at Concordia University, and his stories have appeared in Concordia’s Soliloquies and Headlight Anthology.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Elizabeth May is Losing Confidence

Please join us to celebrate the launch of Elizabeth May's new book, Losing Confidence: Power, Politics and the Crisis in Canadian Democracy, at Parliament Pub (101 Sparks Street) on April 28th at 7:00 p.m.

Losing Confidence is a ringing manifesto for change from the leader of Canada’s Green Party.

Canadians are waking up from our long political slumber to realize that there will not be change unless we insist upon it. We have a presidential-style prime minister without the checks and balances of either the US or the Canadian systems. Attack ads run constantly, backbenchers and cabinet ministers alike are muzzled, committees are deadlocked, and civility has disappeared from the House of Commons. In Losing Confidence, Elizabeth May outlines these and other problems of our political system, and offers inspiring solutions to the dilemmas we face.

Elizabeth May is an environmentalist, writer, activist and lawyer. She is the author of seven books and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Order of Canada medal. Since her 2006 election as leader of the Green Party of Canada, she has led the party to an unprecedented level of support among Canadians.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Join us for the launch of Blowback

We are thrilled to welcome activist and journalist Chris Arsenault to launch his book, Blowback: A Canadian History of Agent Orange and the War at Home, here at the store (116 Third Ave.) on Tuesday, April 21st at 7:00 p.m.

This is the story of a war coming home; a story of the military and economic currents that allowed Agent Orange to blow through trees and into rivers in New Brunswick. More than anything, it’s a story of soldiers, civilians and local residents who blew back against the government and companies who poisoned them.

Chris holds the 2008/09 Phil Lind Fellowship at the University of British Columbia’s Dept of History. A former contributor to CBC Radio, the Halifax Chronicle Herald, THIS Magazine and numerous other publications, Arsenault is currently Canadian correspondent for Inter Press Service, a United Nations affiliate based in New York. Arsenault has reported from Cuba, Colombia, Vietnam, northern Alberta and Chiapas, Mexico and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto, Queen’s University, York University, Laurentian, St. Fx. and the Universidad AnĂ¡huac in Mexico City.

“Chris Arsenault’s tenacious reporting uncovers an important, and untold, chapter in Canada’s history. This book shows how Agent Orange and its toxic friends continue to poison people and ecosystems around the world—and frequently, in our own back yard. In telling this story, Arsenault has shown the diligence of a historian, the righteousness of a crusader, and best of all, the legwork of a private eye. It’s a humane and engaging combination.” — Graham F. Scott, Editor This Magazine