Acclaimed writer Richard Rosenbaum’s short stories range in genre from realism to speculative, and stylistically from literary to experimental. In his stunning first collection of short fiction, Things Don’t Break, readers will discover stories about relationships, robots, videogames, the moon, giant evil chickens, and more.
“Things Don’t Break is an amazing piñata of a book. Crack it open and out will fly all kinds of strange and wondrous things (including a robot or two). A truly smashing collection of stories.”—Neil Smith, author of Boo
“Richard Rosenbaum knows the way people work—the way they love, the way they hurt, the way they break. These are stories that fire on all the emotional cylinders. A Pandora’s box of the strange and beautiful things that live inside us all.”—Ian Rogers, author of Every House Is Haunted
Richard Rosenbaum is the author of the novel Pretend to Feel (Now Or Never Publishing 2017), the novella Revenge of the Grand Narrative (Quattro Books 2014), and of Raise Some Shell (ECW Press 2014), a cultural history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He is also a regular contributor to the popular culture analysis website Overthinking It. He lives in Toronto.
In For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known, Danila Botha explores the nuances and complexity of relationships, from love to betrayal. In these eighteen unforgettable stories, Botha creates characters so authentic, readers are convinced that they know them personally. As in her debut collection, Got No Secrets, Botha excels at blending literary techniques with popular zeitgeist. With her trademark honest and singular voice, Botha exposes the desire for human connection above all things. The collection is hopeful, fearless, and utterly relatable.
“Everyone in this book is alive. Painfully, nervously, ardently. This collection, (like Chekhov by way of Kathy Acker but utterly original), is truthful and dreamy, tough and tremulous; sad and aching, seductively, with hope.—Lynn Crosbie, author of Where Did You Sleep Last Night
“With an ear for poetry and a knack for tragedy, Danila Botha is an expert on yearning. These stories are for anyone who has ever loved and lost, but not let go.”—Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, author of Ghosted
“For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known is unlike anything I have ever read before. Unflinchingly honest in its examination of love in all its joyful, messy, agonizing, spectacularly beautiful glory, these stories seem to vibrate on their own emotional frequency. Danila Botha writes with a heartbreaking rawness and intensity that will continue to haunt you long after you’ve turned the final page.”—Amy Jones, author of We’re All In This Together
“I discovered [author Danila Botha] while I was reading books for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award specifically her delightful first story collection, Got No Secrets. These two stories are brand new, stories written in a gutsy, head-on, colloquial style about love, sex and mis-connection among the urban 20-somethings she knows so well. Her characters are all compulsively themselves, driven, probably always, to make a mess of things, but vulnerable, full of desire, and often touchingly witty.”—Douglas Glover, author of Elle
“A searing and beautifully forthright collection about the angst, chaos, tragedy and hope in the quest for love. A series of unique, riveting and perfect portrayals that pulls no punches. Reading these stories made me smile and made me want to smash things.”—Lisa de Nikolits, author of Between the Cracks She Fell
“For All the Men has Botha delivering smart prose that seamlessly balances humour, disappointment, and dysfunction… Botha is an incredibly fresh voice in Canadian literature, and this remarkably visceral and unforgettable collection feels like it’s only setting the stage for much more to come.”—Liz Worth, Quill & Quire
“I devoured this collection, and I hope Ms. Botha continues to hone her craft producing more stories with that healthy touch of realism that she has come to be recognised for.” —Miramichi Reader
“Each of these stories are real and honest, open and gut-wrenching, and Botha makes them jump out from the page into your mind. The characters are unforgettable. This book will stay with you for a long time, as you ponder your own understanding of love long after you have shut the last page.”—Laurie Burns, Atlantic Books Today
“Botha’s characters freely indulge in sex and drugs and copious amounts of alcohol in their quest to find succour or peace, though it becomes readily apparent that what they are most intent on discovering… is some sort of authentic connection with another human being… The author is undeniably familiar with modern urban ennui, and the stories in her collection have an admirable directness and grit.”— Steven W. Beattie, Globe and Mail
“A series of orchestral variations whose loops and iterations are made vital by the steady introduction of new elements… stories full of people who disappoint, or are disappointed, yet they rarely end on a note of despair, which in today’s Tinder-enabled relationship landscape seems almost like an act of subversion… She [Botha] has a fine talent…”—Emily Donaldson, Toronto Star
“Botha’s collection thoughtfully, tragically, and insightfully captures the peculiarities of modern relationships in the time of texting, online dating, and an unnerving urban detachment we’ve come to recognize as a normal thing.”—The Literary Lollipop
Photo: Ayelet Tsabari
Danila Botha is a fiction writer based in Toronto. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, she has lived in Israel, and in Nova Scotia. Her first collection of short stories, Got No Secrets, was praised by the Globe and Mail, the Chronicle Herald and the Cape Town Times. It was also named one of Britannica’s Books of the Year (Canadian short stories), and was published in South Africa in 2011. Her first novel, Too Much on the Inside, was shortlisted for the 2016 Relit Award and won a Book Excellence Award for Contemporary Novel. Her sophomore collection of short stories, For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known, was published in 2016 to rave reviews. It was also recently named a finalist for the 2017 Trillium Book Awards. She is currently working on her second novel and on a new collection of short stories. Read more on her website: www.danilabotha.com
Winner of a 2017 Ippy Awards Regional Bronze Medal for Fiction!
Kelley Aitken’s compelling short fiction collection is united by a sense of place, the Canadian Shield. Her nine short stories traverse an area between land and water; near and far, between the uncontrollable and the veneer of civility. They reflect, Janus-headed, on Nature and human nature. Canadian Shield addresses that anxious paradox between our yearning for the wild and our need for security—a profound dilemma of our time.
“Loss and longing, love, betrayal, and hard-won heart, the souls in these stories are mirrored in the Canadian wild. This is travel over tough terrain—river, rock, and the inner landscapes of people who search—these stories will stay with you for a long time.”—Kim Echlin, author of Under the Visible Life and The Disappeared
“Aitken writes dense, layered stories that play with temporality and use the natural world as a mirror for the psyches of her characters… Aitken’s stories are dark, but tremendously insightful and empathetic. This is a smart, haunting collection.”—Alexander De Pompa, Broken Pencil
“Aitken’s exquisite prose takes us on a profound journey from camp to bush to canoe in a deeply moving reflection on our relationships with ourselves and our surroundings.”—Goodreads
Photo by Zenia Buzanko
Kelley Aitken is a writer, artist, and teacher. Her book Love in a Warm Climate (The Porcupine’s Quill, 1998) was nominated for the Commonwealth Prize, Best First Book. Kelley has lived in the Philippines, Ecuador, and various parts of Canada. Born in British Columbia, Kelley makes her home in Toronto where she teaches drawing at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
In The Animal Game’s nine short stories, Kirsteen MacLeod takes us on a zigzag global journey in search of meaning. Haunting and frequently hilarious, this is a wayward meditation on travel and home, reality and illusion, and seeking one’s place in the world. Written with compassion and insight, the collection’s intersecting stories explore inner landscapes and countries of the heart – Brazil, Toronto, Bahamas, India. Readers are transported and return transformed, joining the book’s characters as they walk, and often stumble, down the uncertain path we all travel to find our true, essential selves.
“Kirsteen MacLeod’s stories about belonging and the search for a spiritual home are poignant reminders of what it is to be human. Beautifully written. The Animal Game is a fantastic debut.”—Helen Humphreys, author of The Evening Chorus
Kirsteen MacLeod’s linked stories are compelling geographies of the spirit, both global and interior, drawing us ever closer to the transformative power that breathes beneath the surface of all things, especially ourselves. The Animal Game is a captivating debut.—Diane Schoemperlen, author of Our Lady of the Lost and Found and This Is Not My Life
“MacLeod’s writing is vivid and deft. Darkly humorous and then suddenly touching—characters caught out in a slant of glancing sunlight.”—Tim Wynne-Jones, author of The Emperor of Any Place
“MacLeod has a gift for writing realistic depictions of mental and emotional states… The Animal Game is a fine debut with clear, vivid writing and intensely realized characters.”—Alexander De Pompa, Broken Pencil
“Engaging debut collection… MacLeod, a Kingston writer, writes with insight and affection for her characters.”—Sarah Murdoch, Toronto Star
“Enlightening and beautifully written”—goodreads.com
Photo by Marco Reiter
Kirsteen MacLeod is a writer and yoga teacher who lives in Kingston, Ontario. The Animal Game is her debut collection of short fiction. Kirsteen was born in Glasgow, Scotland, lived in Toronto and Brazil, and has worked as a magazine writer, communicator, and editor for 30 years.
ISBN: 9781926639741 PRICE: $12.95—special sale price!
This short fiction collection examines the serendipity and spontaneity of history through stories about love, family, and art. Bruce Meyer offers a view that is both personal and panoramic in these heartfelt and surprising stories. The book features the post–WWI novella “A Chronicle of Magpies,” which tells the story of one family’s struggle to build their own paradise, a home and lakeside resort, in the gothic Canadian wilderness. The engrossing novella is the centerpiece to a rich collection of shorter narratives, which are told with the same keen eye and subtle lyricism.
“History and families, along with the events that inform both, lie at the heart of Bruce Meyer’s accomplished collection, A Chronicle of Magpies. These are stories that reach into the past to inform the present, and along the way help us do the same.”—Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist
“A haunting portrayal of Canadian families throughout time”—amazon.ca
“Meyer captures perfectly what it meant to be a Canadian at war and at home”—goodreads.com
Bruce Meyer is the award-winning author of forty-five books of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, and literary journalism. His most recent books include the forthcoming Arrow of Time (2015), The Obsession Book of Timbuktu (2014), Testing the Elements (2014), and The Seasons (2014), which won an IPPY Medal and was short-listed for the Indie-Fab Award. With Barry Callaghan he published the groundbreaking anthology, We Wasn’t Pals: Canadian Poetry and Prose of the First World War (with an afterword by Margaret Atwood). His spoken word work includes the CBC’s bestselling CD series, The Great Books and Great Poetry. His non-fiction volume The Golden Thread: A Reader’s Journey Through the Great Books was a national bestseller in 2000. He was the inaugural Poet Laureate of the City of Barrie and is professor of Creative Writing and Communications at Georgian College and Visiting Professor of Literature at the University of Toronto’s Victoria College. He lives in Barrie, Ontario.
Join Tightrope Books for the launch of A Token of My Affliction, the first fiction collection by This Magazine’s 2009 Great Canadian Literary Hunt winner, Janette Platana. Hosted by Heather J Wood with readings by the author plus guest authors Roxanna Bennett & Danila Botha. Door prizes, books for sale and more!
ISBN: 9781926639758 Price: $16.95—special sale price
Finalist for the 2016 English Language Trillium Book Award!
Longlisted for The Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize!
Janette Platana’s cheerfully disturbing, gleefully outraged, and chillingly beautiful stories break open the lives of apparently ordinary people who struggle and sometimes succeed in living without compromise, refusing to sacrifice the world they sense to the world they see, and where things can be true without ever being real. The range of this accomplished and poetic voice may cause vertigo, owing, as it does, as much to the Clash to Stephen King, to Caitlin Moran as to Flannery O’Connor, and something to David Sedaris. A Token of My Affliction will make you laugh while breaking your heart wide open.
“Wild, witty and thought-provoking…”—Michelle Berry, author of Interference
“Janette Platana’s writing is brave and vivid and full of tender sacrilege.”—David Bergen, author of The Time in Between
“Platana questions where choices originate from and what factors make us choose certain paths and not others.”—Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating Canada
“So funny. So perfect; so true. I really haven’t got one negative thing to say about this book. You should read it. Janette Platana is one of our best.” —Richard Rosenbaum, Broken Pencil
“This is an impressive collection of short stories.”—goodreads.com
“This collection is as brilliant as it is terrifying… For Janette Platana, to have an affliction is to be a person… I highly recommend this book.”—Evelyn Deshane, The Rusty Toque
“I’ve never read anything quite as raw as Janette Platana’s first collection of short stories, A Token of My Affliction… if this is only Janette Platana’s debut collection, then we’ve all got a whole slew of incredible stories coming our way.—galaxyquill.com
“A magnifying glass that you hold up to an assortment of lives that look a lot like your own, and through that magnifying glass you see all the fascinating and horrible microscopic entities crawling over the surface and within the minuscule cracks of those lives.”—Andrew Forbes, 49th Shelf
Janette Platana’s poetry and fiction have appeared in literary magazines across Canada, in the U.S., and in Turkey. Originally from Saskatchewan, and with a background in indie bands and improv comedy, she now lives and writes in Peterborough, Ontario. Her short story, “Dear Dave Bidini,” won This Magazine‘s 2009 Great Canadian Literary Hunt. A Token of My Affliction is Janette’s debut collection of short fiction.
Join Tightrope Books for the Toronto launch of Royston Tester’s third collection of short stories, You Turn Your Back. The evening features readings by Royston Tester and special guest Jeffrey Round, plus door prizes and books for sale!
Thursday, November 27, 6pm, The Central, 603 Markham St, Toronto.