Keep It Beautiful – Kelly Ward

Keep it Beautiful CoverISBN: 9781926639628
PRICE: $10 special sale price




Kelly Ward’s debut collection of stories teems with characters just on the fringe of the mainstream, and each story examines the mundane and abject sides of normalcy. A middle-aged woman spends her life in the slot machine pit of a rural casino where she navigates her misplaced affections for two men: one a lifelong gambler and couch-surfing cad, the other a kid in his early 20s who makes her forget her own age and place in the world. Twenty-something newlyweds Asa and Maria attempt to conceive for the first six months of their marriage. When her apparent dream of becoming a mother doesn’t pan out quickly, Maria distances herself from Asa. A septuagenarian utilizes younger shoppers as pawns to make her weekly grocery-store jaunt that much easier to navigate. Each of Keep it Beautiful‘s characters find humor and beauty in unlikely places, while often playing victim—or at times accomplice—to their circumstances.

“Ward’s marginal characters—geriatric shoplifters, lovelorn gamblers, Zellers employees, OCD municipal workers—are curious curiosities. Ward lifts the everyday and everyman and transforms absurd disappointments and fragmented joys of the quotidian to reveal a fresh, intimate compassionate perspective, as all gifted writers do.”—Ibi Kaslik, author of Skinny and The Angel Riots

“Ward favour[s] shorter stories that provide just enough information to comprehend their characters’ motivations and morality, while simultaneously refusing to explain things in a blandly expository manner.”—The National Post

Keep It Beautiful is full of characters both odd and endearing and makes for fantastic summer reading for short story lovers.”—Open Book Toronto

“The author’s deft facility with character and her willingness to trust her readers by infusing her stories with just the right degree of contingency mark her as an author to watch.”—Steve W. Beattie, 49th Shelf

“Observant and compassionate to the end”—goodreads.com

Kelly Ward is a freelance writer and editor whose fiction, poetry, and journalism have appeared in various publications across Canada, including Existere, Matrix Magazine, SubTerrain, Taddle Creek, Word Magazine, and various other literary journals.  Her story, “A Girl And A Dog On A Friday Night,” was longlisted for the 2017 Journey Prize. She lives in Toronto.

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Fortune Cookie-Heather J Wood

fortune-cookie-heather-j-woodISBN: 9781926639017
Price: $8 – special sale price!




Fortune Cookie is a diary-style novella set in Montreal during the turbulent year of 1989. The book follows Robin through her growing disenchantment with the aimless life of a twenty-something who hasn’t yet found herself in a world that is changing as fast as she is. This subversively feminist work, aimed at young women, is told in first-person vignettes—written in the informal and often humourous voice of 24-year-old Robin. Robin’s vignettes are at times intercut with news headlines, highlighting the political and social events of the year—including Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall and Montreal Massacre.

“Emotionally profound and politically charged, Fortune Cookie is an uplifting treat.”—The Concordia Link

“A promising taste of good things from a new Canadian novelist”—Reading Outside the Lines

“This book is a refreshing take on a young woman’s journey… reminded me of the feeling I got when I decided to take action and become involved in my community around the issues that mattered to me.”–The Feminist Review

“Interspersed with fortunes and daily news about what is happening in the political, economic and social environment, these external issues are the main catalyst to Robin’s journey of self-discovery.”—Broken Pencil

“Heather J. Wood’s Fortune Cookie is my annual end-of-the-year read—as classic a tale for me on December 31st as Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is on December 24th.”—Charlene Challenger, author of The Voices in Between and The Myth in Distance

“From vegetarian pizza at Pines Pizza to the horrors visited upon Ecole Polytechnique; from the mundane to the monumental, Heather J. Wood’s Fortune Cookie is a wonderfully accurate depiction of Montreal, circa 1989. Wood’s prose is clean, her talent apparent on every page. Readers are rewarded with a work both assuring and rousing.”—Edward Brown, author of Playing Basra

Montreal-born Heather J. Wood lives in Toronto with her husband Kurt and two cats. She is also the author of teen-oriented roller derby novel Roll With It.

Click here to read an excerpt from Fortune Cookie.

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EAT YOUR HEART OUT WITH MORRO AND JASP


ISBN: 9781926639727
PRICE: $16.95 special sale price!

Nominated in the Canada, English “Best Innovative Cookbook” category of the World Cookbook Awards. Morro & Jasp are 2014 Canadian Comedy Award winners!




Inspired by the award-winning show Morro and Jasp: Go Bake Yourself, this comedic, multifaceted, and interactive book involves comics, stories, poetry, illustrations, photographs, pie charts and over 130 recipes. Clown sisters Morro and Jasp take readers on a journey through their tastiest recipes, their most intimate thoughts, and their deepest desires as they explore how different foods connect to our different moods. With easy-to-make recipes as well as fun challenges to any reader’s culinary craftsmanship, Eat Your Heart Out is an entertaining guide to help people learn how to love playing with their food again.

“Sure to put a smile on your face”—Milwaukee Public Library

Morro and Jasp are a Toronto-based, award-winning comedy duo with extensive training in Pochinko-based clown work. They have performed in a number of fundraisers and charity events including the Ronald McDonald House and Sick Kids Hospital, as well as the Toronto Clown Festival, the Human River Walk, and numerous activities for Canada Day.

 

 

Posted in 2015 sale, Award Nominees & Winners, E, Fall 2013, Non-fiction, special holiday sale, Valentine Sale | Tagged , , , , , |

Dirty Bird – Keir Lowther

Dirty BirdISBN: 9781926639529

PRICE: $15.95 – special sale price!

Winner: 2013 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award
Shortlisted: 2013 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize
Shortlisted: 2013 Relit Award in the Novel Category
Shortlisted: 2014 PEI Book Award for Fiction

 




CBC Literary Award finalist Keir Lowther makes his debut with a novel that revolves around loved ones dead and alive, family or otherwise that haunts the modern psyche of one young boy, trapped in the grotesque world that surrounds him. Written in a creepy, deadpan, dark spiritual tone that will light a powder keg in the lukewarm waters of Canadian fiction. Dirty Bird is a family dystopia saga of anxiety and misplaced love, carved out in the spirit of spooky tradition of writers such as Tony Burgess, Joey Comeau and Lisa Foad.

Keir Lowther’s Dirty Bird gets between your teeth. It leaves silt in your bed sheets and second-hand smoke in your hair. It’s a neo-Canadian gothic tale of dysfunction, hallucination, and denial. It will make you feel sick, weak all over, but you’ll love it. You’ll crawl around for days after finishing it, wishing for more. This book breaks into your brain – but you’ll have to read it to know what that really means.” —Liz Worth, author of Treat Me Like Dirt

“This debaucherous debut from Keir Lowther does not deal in pig-tailed orphans or raspberry cordial. Instead it delivers a darkly gothic PEI—made of grit, grime, and grotesquerie—in which the wronged dead crawl from their graves to track mud across your clean kitchen floor. Dirty Bird is a devilish, desperate plea from one very disturbed little boy who spends his summer longing for Happy Meals and coming of age among adults with human hearts and savage, animalistic appetites. This book reminds you of every bad thing you ever did and shames you for it. Dirty Bird will raze your brain and haunt your dreams and leave you begging for more.”—Matthew J. Trafford, author of The Divinity Gene

“There are serene moments in the book that breathe clean air into its dirty pages. But it’s the dirty moments that earn Lowther his ribbon; his ability to make small town tragedies new again, and make innocence unnerving, and his knack for writing about an off-kilter family from a tiny island out east that leaves us feeling bad on the inside.”—Colin Brush, Broken Pencil

“I’ll never forget this book… So real and gritty.”—goodreads.com

“We need more writers like Keir Lowther”—libeery.tumblr.com

Keir LowtherKeir Lowther lives in Prince Edward Island with his wife, daughter and dog. His great grandfather was Lucy Maud Montgomery’s first cousin.

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Fatty Goes to China – Royston Tester


ISBN-13: 9781926639482
Price: $12.95 – special sale price!

Longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize




Written in original, humorous, and innovative ways, these 11 richly, varied stories expose the risks in finding shelter in unaccommodating places. Exploring the precarious lives of an accident-prone Chinese construction worker with a dark secret, a fatally ill Canadian artist who remains in Beijing after the 2008 Olympics, a grieving barber who makes a gruesome discovery about his Czech lover, and a couple who make a shocking, last-minute decision about their adoptive child, these unforgettable narratives—both dark and emotional—travel from China to Canada and Europe to convey vivid descriptions and a nostalgic appeal.

“When you’re in the mood for a challenge–when you need to stretch your thinking muscles a bit–I highly recommend Fatty Goes to China. It’s not a perfect book, and it may perplex you often, but it’s haunting and damned interesting. I won’t forget this book.”—insatiablebooksluts.com

“Royston Tester is a revelation”—Susie Bright

Royston Tester is an associate editor for online Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. He is the author of the story collections You Turn Your Back and Summat Else. His short fiction has appeared in North American, Asian, and European publications.

Posted in 2015 sale, Award Nominees & Winners, Catalogue, F, Feb 2015 sale, Holiday Fiction Sale, Pride Sale, Short Fiction, short fiction sale, Spring 2012, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , |

Prick: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist – Ashley Little

ISBN: 9781926639383
Pub Date:
Fall 2011
Price: $13.95 special sale price!

Shortlisted for the 2012 ReLit Award for best novel.




In this crackling debut, Ashley Little creates a new anti-hero — one whose audacity is matched by his vulnerability. PRICK is narrate by twenty-one year old Anthony “Ant” Young: an artist, an asshole, and an anti-hero. After fleeing a violent home life in Calgary, Ant moves to Victoria, BC, where he earns his tattooing apprenticeship under Hank the Tank, a founding member of the powerful Lucifer’s Choice motorcycle gang. Under Hank’s guidance, Ant learns the craft and business of tattoo, but he is also exposed to a vicious and frightening criminal underworld. Written in intense, rapid-fire bursts, PRICK explores themes of addiction, desire, and remorse. As Ant’s life stumbles out of control, he struggles to hold on to the one thing he really cares about. Ashley Little follows in the footsteps of Bret Easton Ellis and Heather O’Neill in this unforgettable, disturbing and darkly funny tale.

Ashley Little received a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria. She won the 2008 Okanagan Short Story Contest. Her work has appeared in Broken Pencil, The Danforth Review, Room and the anthology Writing Without Direction: Ten and a Half Stories by Canadian Authors Under Thirty (Clark-Nova, 2010).  http://ashleylittle.com

“Fearless, the straight stuff! An arresting look at the world of tattoo; graphic as a freshly embroidered skull on virgin skin. Via the morally ambiguous point of view of an eager young apprentice, PRICK is an entree to a world not often seen and even less understoof. With wistful shades of Willie Vlautin and al the grit of Charles Bukowski, Ashley Little lushly demonstrates that hers in an important new voice in unflinchingly real storytelling.” —Dennis E. Bolen, author of Kaspoit!

“Prick is a screeching hell ride down damnation alley…Like a car wreck to the morbidly inquisitive, or a brilliant dragon tattoo on alabaster flesh, Prick is a beautifully disturbing tale revealing the morally mangled soul of a young man.”—The Toronto Review of Books 

” I couldn’t put it down”—Monniblog

“Quite promising”—Quill and Quire


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Strangers in Paris: New Writing Inspired by the City of Light


ISBN: 9781926639321
Price: $14.95 – special sale price!
Pub Date: May 2011




An anthology of poetry and fiction with the city of Paris as its unifying thread.

The stunning variety of writing in this volume addresses the city of Paris in all its complexity, while challenging the mythology of expatriate Parisian literature. The anthology contains entries as diverse and disparate as an excerpt from John Berger’s novel, Here is Where We Meet; Suzanne Allen’s ekphrastic poetry, a tongue-in-cheek take on the nineteenth-century novel by Helen Cusack O’Keeffe; Canadian writer Lisa Pasold’s story of a forced extended stay in Paris; and an interview with the celebrated American poet Alice Notley.

Strangers in Paris presents anglophone Parisian writing as it is today, without the veneer and expectations of stereotypes, romantic notions, or iconic representations. More than anything, this anthology is a landmark, a notice that begs and entices readers to explore the current English-language authorship developing in and about Paris.

“While the anthology features big names such as Alice Notley and John Berger, it is in the less well-known names that we find the most refreshing takes on the city [of Paris]… this anthology is also a celebration of difference, of the clash between cultures, of the creativity that stems from being in an unknown environment.”—Sabotage Reviews

“A wonderful anthology of poetry and prose…  It brought me right back to rain-drenched streets, warm cafes and interesting strangers. I definitely recommend to anyone who loves all things Paris!”—goodreads.com

Featuring work from Suzanne Allen, Mia Bailey, David Barnes, Barbara Beck, Edward Belleville, John Berger, Judith Chriqui, Marie Davis, Sion Dayson, David Eso, Megan Fernandes, Jorie Graham, Jeffrey Greene, Jonathan Hamrick, Isabel Harding, Marty Hiatt, Margaret J. Hults, Andrea Jonsson, Julie Kleinman, Antonia Alexandra Klimenko, Sam Langer, Colin Joseph Wolfgang Mahar, Alexander Kolya Maksik, Jessica Malcomson, Danielle McShine, Alice Notley, Helen Cusack O’Keeffe, Lisa Pasold, Rufo Quintavalle, Alberto Rigettini, Sarah Riggs, Eleni Sikelianos, Kathleen Spivack, Cole Swensen, Elizabeth Willis, and Neil Uzzell.

Editor Biographies

David Barnes moved to Paris in 2003 with the idea of staying for six months. He is still there. He won Shakespeare and Company’s short story competition, Travel in Words, in 2006 and now runs a writing workshop there and a weekly open mic poetry night in Belleville called SpokenWord. His stories have been published by Spot Lit Magazine, Upstairs at Duroc, and 34th Parallel.

Megan Fernandes is a PhD student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently writing a dissertation on cognitive approaches to twentieth-century Irish and American literature. During her time in Paris, she has conducted research at the Center for Literature and Cognition at the Université Paris VIII and will be published in the upcoming issue of Upstairs at Duroc (2010). She has presented at conferences in the US, Ireland, and Poland and has an essay on Beckett to be published in the literary journal, Miranda (University Press of Toulouse). In 2015, Tightrope publisher her first full poetry collection, The KIngdom and After.

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The Nights Also | Anna Swanson

The Nights Also, by Anna SwansonISBN13: 9781926639130
Price: $14.95
Winner of the LAMBDA award and the Gerald Lampert Award!




Fearless and insightful poems that illuminate one woman’s experience of chronic illness, relationships and gender identity, and solitude.

Anna Swanson’s poetry leads you through a life that tries to deal with a misunderstood illness, a gradual acceptance of one’s sexuality, and a sometimes onerous relationship with nature. Her writing is as honest as it is complex, and it attempts to reconcile an identity that has been distorted by illness through a profound analysis of memory and individual meaning. With poems that run the gamut from fearful to the absurd, that are at once deep and pithy, Anna Swanson proves in The Nights Also that she is a brave new voice in Canadian poetry.

Click to read an excerpt from The Nights Also.

Anna Swanson studied creative writing at the University of Victoria and the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her poetry has appeared in PRISM International, The Antigonish Review, The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008, and numerous other literary journals. She has paid the rent by planning festivals, selling books, serving drinks, making maps, walking on stilts, bowling with teenagers, writing press releases, and watching for forest fires. She now lives in St John’s NL and works as a librarian.

Praise for The Nights Also

“There are the nights, yes, but in this startling debut collection ‘each day is a / thin steel catwalk of light’ and ‘the sun makes its arc across the mouth’ . . . Each word and image is freshly forged. The poems are smart, original, and daring, the footwork so assured that Anna Swanson dances with the future with no missteps. This is a strong new voice that reaffirms my faith in the heartbeat and vision that poetry can give us.”—Lorna Crozier

“As meditations on illness, these are extraordinary—sad, undermining, and, sometimes, spiked with a sense of humour.”—Tim Lilburn

“‘Oh dear body,’ Anna Swanson writes in her impressive debut collection, ‘How did we get here?’ How indeed? Throughout The Nights Also, Swanson asks: What does it mean to be frail and human. What is illness? Health? Gender? Memory? Love? And though Swanson doesn’t (thank God) arrive at any definitive answers, her skill and delight in exploring life’s mysteries and complexities are palpable. These poems—intelligent, passionate, and beautifully executed—announce the arrival of a gifted poet, one I hope we’ll be hearing from for years to come.’Patricia Young

“Swanson’s narratives are sympathetic and her gestures towards self-advocacy are inspiring. Her speaker is highly personable, with straight-forward language. Having executed the realm of the autobiographically-oriented first collection with panache, I am eager to see what she will take up in subsequent work.”—Angela Hibbs, Broken Pencil

“Swanson’s style and voice are light, inviting, and warm, comfortably drawing the reader in to this nervous, unsettling world.” Heather Holditch, Toronto Word on the Street

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