Join us on April 12, 7:30 pm at Glad Day Bookshop (499 Churst St) for the the launch of our three spring 2017 poetry titles: Prosopagnosia by Ron Charach, Seasons in an Unknown Key by Karen Mulhallen, and Closer to Where We Began by Lisa Richter.
Join us on April 12, 7:30 pm at Glad Day Bookshop (499 Churst St) for the the launch of our three spring 2017 poetry titles: Prosopagnosia by Ron Charach, Seasons in an Unknown Key by Karen Mulhallen, and Closer to Where We Began by Lisa Richter.
On Sunday, September 25 from 11am to 5pm, come and meet the Tightrope team and some of our wonderful authors at the 2016 Toronto Word on Street Festival at Harbourfront Centre. We’re in booth 524.
The following authors will be available for book signings and meet & greets in the Tightrope Booth for stints of up to one hour starting at the approximate times listed below.
Danila Botha: 2pm
Marnie Woodrow: 2:30pm (Marnie reads in the Toronto Book Awards tent at 1:30 pm)
Michael Fraser: 2:45 pm (Michael reads in the Vibrant Voices tent at 4:15pm)
Kelley Aitken: 4:45pm
Sandra Kasturi: 1pm
Kirsteen MacLeod: 11pm
Myna Wallin: 3pm
Elizabeth Ukrainetz: 11 am
Heather J. Wood: various times throughout the day
Jim Nason: various times throughout the day
Ursula Pflug: 3pm
Other authors may also appear throughout the day.
Join the Tightrope team for the launch of three new fall fiction titles: Danila Botha’s For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known, Ron Charach’s cabana the big and Charlene Challenger’s The Myth in Distance.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 6:30 pm, Supermarket Restaurant and Bar, 268 Augusta Avenue in Kensington Market.
PRICE: $17.95—special sale price!
Jacob McArthur Mooney, this eighth edition of Canada’s vibrant yearly anthology features the fifty finest Canadian poems published during 2014. The Best Canadian Poetry series, which thrives under the stewardship of acclaimed series editor Molly Peacock and assistant editor Anita Lahey, ushers readers into the heart of the diverse Canadian poetry scene. A must-read for anyone with a stake or interest in contemporary Canadian literature.
“No matter what your tastes, there are some poems here you’ll really like… The wide range of writers, forms and themes represented here make it a great jumping-off point for readers who might be interested in Canadian poetry but are unsure about where to start.”—Emma Healey, Globe and Mail
“The Best Canadian Poetry series offers an annual glimpse of poetry published across Canada, complete with a diverse sampling of voices and experiences that may be appreciated beyond borders.”—Lori A. May, examiner.com
“Readers will find this edition replete with new and memorable verses that will welcome them into the wilds of poetry.”—Publishers Weekly
Jacob McArthur Mooney’s second collection, Folk (McClelland & Stewart, 2011), was nominated for the Trillium Book Award in Poetry and the Dylan Thomas Prize. Work from his forthcoming third collection (M&S, 2016) has been shortlisted for a National Magazine Award, won the Arc Magazine Poem of the Year and Prairie Fire Bliss Carman Awards, and been included in the 2012 and 2013 editions of Best Canadian Poetry in English. He lives with his wife and son in Toronto where he hosts and co-directs the Pivot Reading Series.
Anita Lahey is a poet, journalist, reviewer and essayist. She is the author of The Mystery Shopping Cart: Essays on Poetry and Culture (Palimpsest Press, 2013) and of two Véhicule Press poetry collections: Out to Dry in Cape Breton (2006) and Spinning Side Kick (2011). The former was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and the Ottawa Book Award. Anita is a former editor of Arc Poetry Magazine, and posts occasionally on her blog, Henrietta & Me: People and other wonders found in books.
Molly Peacock is a widely anthologized poet who writes biography, memoir, and fiction. Her newest work is Alphabetique: 26 Characteristic Fictions, with illustrations by Kara Kosaka. She is also the author of The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life’s Work at 72. Her latest book of poetry is The Second Blush (all from McClelland and Stewart). Her poetry is the subject of Jason Guriel’s monograph, Molly Peacock: A Critical Introduction (Story Line Press, 2014).
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.
PRICE: $16.95 – Special sale to celebrate the book’s many award nominations and wins!
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
Keir Lowther lives in Prince Edward Island with his wife, daughter and dog. His great grandfather was Lucy Maud Montgomery’s first cousin.
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.
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 Vancouver, BC, and works as a children’s 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
PRICE: $17.95 – special holiday sale price to celebrate Morro & Jasp’s 2014 Canadian Comedy Award win!
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.
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.
In 2012, Royston Tester became Associate Editor for Hong Kong-based Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. He organized the launch of Cha in mainland China on 31st August 2009 in Beijing. Prior to his appointment, he was a frequent contributor to the journal. His first collection of short fiction, Summat Else (Porcupine’s Quill) is set in England, Spain, and Canada. It explores the coming-of-age of Enoch Jones. Tester’s work has appeared in Asian, Canadian and U.S. journals and anthologies. Two stories, “Seriously” and “Face” were shortlisted for the 2006 CBC Literary Awards. Tester has been jury member for the Commonwealth Fiction Prize, and first reader for the Writers’ Union of Canada “Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers.” In Canada, he has taught ESL at McMaster University, and fiction-writing at the Humber School for Writers, Toronto. In China, he has been a frequent writer-in-residence at the Red Gate Gallery, Beijing.
Pub Date: Fall 2011
Price: $13.95 – special sale to celebrate Ashley Little’s appearance on the 2015 Dublin Impac Award longlist for her second book, Anatomy of a Girl Gang.
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). She lives in BC’s Okanagan Valley where she is completing her MFA. http://ashleylittle.com
Praise for Prick: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist
“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
Long-listed for the B.C. national non-fiction award!
Tumbling into adulthood as the world falls into post 9–11 madness, Samantha Bernstein vividly depicts a generation raised in the ruins of Baby Boomer idealism. The daughter of a hippie mom ground down by life in a relentless film industry, and an absent, famous poet father, Samantha enters her twenties outraged by the legacies of her predecessors. In emails chronicling five years, she writes toward a vision that reconciles history with the possibility of an ethical and hopeful future. Creating collectives that are at once joyous and politically engaged, the characters in this memoir accept loss, acknowledge fear, and fight cynicism. Exultant and poignant, caustic and tender, Here We Are Among the Living invites readers to look carefully at the world – to believe the choices we make matter, and that to love is the most important choice of all.
“In the book, written in five years’ worth of emails to her nearest and dearest, Bernstein details her life as a young woman falling in love and deciding what to do with the boundless energy of her youth. She also happens to be the youngest daughter of a Canadian literary luminary, the poet Irving Layton, and though he had next to no part in raising her, the psychic weight of his absence in her life and presence in the literary canon leaves a deep impression on Bernstein’s spirit. By virtue of both her youth and her DNA, Bernstein embodies a curiosity and lust for life. And she is, of course, a writer. By the terms she has explicitly set for the work, Bernstein’s memoir is a success.”—The National Post
Samantha Bernstein’s poetry and prose has appeared in various publications, including Exile Literary Quarterly, The Fiddlehead and the anthology TOK 3: Writing the New Toronto. Samantha is a doctoral student at York University; her dissertation explores relationships between ethics and aesthetics. Sam and her husband play in Samba Elegua, a community drum orchestra that on any given day you might see dancing down a Toronto street.
The outstanding success of The Best Canadian Poetry in English series continues in 2011 with guest editor Priscila Uppal.
The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2011 proudly continues a series that kicked off with a bang in 2008 and thrives under the stewardship of esteemed editor Molly Peacock and a different acclaimed poet guest editor each year.
This year Priscila Uppal chose the fifty best Canadian poems published in Canadian online and print literary journals in 2010. With this anthology, readers– often baffled by the proliferating poems and poets– are able to tap into the remarkable and vibrant Canadian poetry scene.
About the Guest Editor
Priscila Uppal is a poet, novelist, and York University professor. Her publications include Ontological Necessities (shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize), Traumatology, Successful Tragedies (Bloodaxe books, UK), Winter Sport: Poems (written as Canadian Athletes Now poet-in-residence for the Olympic and Paralympic Games) the novels The Divine Economy of Salvation and To Whom It May Concern, and the study We Are What We Mourn: The Contemporary English-Canadian Elegy. Time Out London recently dubbed her “Canada’s coolest poet.” Visit priscilauppal.ca
About the Series Editor
Molly Peacock is the author of six volumes of poetry, including The Second Blush; a memoir, Paradise, Piece by Piece; and a one-woman show in poems, “The Shimmering Verge.” She is a contributing editor of the Literary Review of Canada and a faculty mentor at the Spalding MFA Program. Her latest work of nonfiction is The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delaney Begins Her Life’s Work at 72, which was nominated for BC’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.
Praise for The Best Canadian Poetry series
“Some of us can only afford a half a dozen or so subscriptions to literary magazines, so the publication of The Best Canadian Poetry in English, now in its third year, is a welcome event.”
– Maxianne Berger, Rover Arts
“This would be an excellent book for the academic and the casual poetry fan who wants to dust off the rust in their CanLit poetry ligaments.”
– Michael Peckham, Broken Pencil
“The collection is a unique glimpse at a diversity of poets, from Ottawa’s David O’Meara to Margaret Atwood to the reverend P.K Page.”
– Cormac Rae, Ottawa Xpress
Continuing in a long-established tradition of poetry excellence, this collection of 50 poems is culled from Canadian literary magazines and journals. The handpicked selection includes the best, and most current, representations of the vibrant Canadian poetry scene. This distinguished volume offers both a convenient introduction to contemporary poets in Canada and a collectible yearbook for seasoned poetry readers, distilled by the esteemed editorial tastes of a new guest editor and an accomplished poetry editor.
Molly Peacock, a poet and a creative nonfiction writer, is the author of The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life’s Work at 72 (2010) and six books of poetry, including The Second Blush (2008) and Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems (2002). Among her other works are a memoir called Paradise, Piece By Piece (1998) and How To Read A Poem and Start A Poetry Circle (1999). She is the editor of a collection of creative non-fiction, The Private I: Privacy in a Public World (2001) and the co-editor of Poetry in Motion: One Hundred Poems from the Subways and Buses (1996).
Carmine Starnino has published four critically acclaimed volumes of poetry, including This Way Out (2009), which was nominated for the Governor General’s Award. His other books include A Lover’s Quarrel (2004), a collection of reviews and essays, and The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry (2005), which he edited. His most recent book is Lazy Bastardism: Essays and Reviews on Contemporary Poetry (2012). Starnino lives in Montreal, where he is poetry editor for Vehicule Press and a senior editor for Reader’s Digest Canada.
“Bravo: a Canadian first. Tightrope Books releases its first annual roundup of poetry from Canadian journals, revealing what poets are up to in their proverbial basements, garrets and broom closets from coast to coast to coast. Buy it, or borrow it, but do read it.” – Arc Poetry Annual, Paul Tyler
“The collection is a unique glimpse at a diversity of poets, from Ottawa’s David O’Meara to Margaret Atwood to the revered P.K. Page.”—Cormac Rae, Ottawa Xpress
Carla Drysdale’s poems in Little Venus challenge the reader, tackling the hard subjects of child abuse, sexual exploitation and the failure of some families.
The character of Little Venus runs through the poems burning with rage and want in an incendiary chant that the reader can’t ignore. Little Venus is a haunting collection that will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.
Carla Drysdale was born in London, Ontario and was educated at Ryerson university in Toronto as well as Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Her poems have appeared in Canadian and US journals, including the Literary Review of Canada, Canadian Literature, the Fiddlehead, Global City Review, Confrontation and LIT. She lives in France and is the winner of the 2014 Earle Birney prize.
Price: $14.95 – sale price
Pub Date: 2009
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 Link
“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
Montreal-born Heather J. Wood‘s work has appeared in journals and in the Tightrope Books’ anthologies: In the Dark: Stories from the Supernatural, and IV Lounge Nights. Heather’s chapbook, Barbies, Breasts and Bathing Suits, was published by Press On! in 2007. She lives in Toronto with her husband Kurt and two cats.
Click here to read an excerpt from Fortune Cookie.
PRICE: $14.95-special sale price!
Longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award!
In settings as varied as industrial England, the Syrian desert, urban Morocco, rural “expat” Spain, Canada’s West coast, and the China–Vietnam border, Royston Tester explores the very human struggles of people caught between cultures, social classes, lovers, family members, and sexualities. In “Dotty,” a young Canadian woman on a work-stay program in a Cornish village tries to make sense of her affair with an Italian factory owner. In “Who Knows Where,” two Canadian daughters grapple with their drug-addled mother whose lovemaking is haunted by the ghost of a stillborn baby. In “Face,” a lovesick Chinese Canadian student lays down the law to his ambitious father over a dinner of monkey brains. In unforgettable, stripped-down prose, the stories in this book observe, with an unflinching eye, those who dare to take steps further.
“You Turn Your Back is a vigorous and daring exploration of the limits of form and character. It is a demanding work, often asking the reader to witness and engage with situations of emotional duress and physical violence. It is also a work that rewards.”—Kerri Lu, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
Royston Tester is the award-nominated author of the story collections Fatty Goes to China and Summat Else. His short fiction has appeared in North American, Asian, and European publications.
Tightrope Books will be at Toronto’s Inspire International Book Fair November 13-16! Come to the Toronto Convention Centre and see us at booth #307 where you can meet some of our wonderful authors including Ruth Roach Pierson, David Lee, Charlene Challenger, Roxanna Bennett, Heather J Wood, Tara-Michelle Ziniuk, Kathryn Mockler, Jeffrey Round, Kelly Ward, Sandra Kasturi, Myna Wallin, Ursula Pflug, Emily Pohl-Weary, Dayle Furlong & more!
On Friday, November 14, at 4pm, authors Ruth Roach Pierson, David Lee, Charlene Challenger and Roxanna Bennett will be reading at the Hub area of the fair. On Saturday, November 15 at 4pm, authors Jeffrey Round, Kelly Ward, Sandra Kasturi and Myna Wallin will be reading at the Hub.
Tightrope Books is delighted to launch Jeffrey Round’s In the Museum of Leonardo da Vinci, Rolli’s I Am Currently Working on a Novel, Crystal Hurdle’s Teacher’s Pets and preview Roxanna Bennett’s The Uncertainty Principle.
Readers for the event include Jeffrey Round, Charlene Challenger, Jim Nason & Roxanna Bennett. Join us on August 17, 7pm, at the Round in Kensington Market, 152a Augusta. The Facebook event page is here.
The more than 70 stories in I Am Currently Working on a Novel are as diverse as a telephone conversation or your average ocean. There are stories set in Hollywood, London, and the bottom of the sea. There are also pieces about ghosts, robots, love, Pointillism, death, and immortality. Though seldom longer than a few pages, there is more mystery, sadness and sheer mania in Rolli’s slimmed-down fictions than a whole shelf-full of standard novels.
“As dazzling as they are brilliant, these stories are bursting with life. They sing. And they’re very funny too.”—Nik Perring, author of Freaks
“Because this is a magic book, as you absorb its people you begin to realize that the real people around you are and have always been impossible.”—Brian Conn, editor of Birkensnake
“Rolli’s eccentric, whimsical stories exhibit a style and a brand of comedy all his own. There is much to love about this collection for a general audience, but these stories will be most rewarding for Rolli’s fellow writers and artists.” — pankmagazine.com
“The seventy-five stories in mononymous author Rolli’s new flash-fiction collection, I Am Currently Working on a Novel, waver between whimsical and bleak. The best ones are both.”—heavyfeatherreview.com
“Rolli’s imagination is admirable, and his ability to make so much happen in so few words is deeply impressive. Each one of the stories in I Am Currently Working On A Novel is finely-crafted, a miniature triumph.” —neonmagazine.co.uk
Saskatchewan resident Rolli is a writer, cartoonist, and the author of God’s Autobio, Plum Stuff, Mavor’s Bones and Dr. Franklin’s Staticy Cat. His cartoons appear regularly in Reader’s Digest. He lives in Regina, SK.
Divided into “exhibitions” corresponding roughly to various rooms in the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Milan, this stunning poetry collection explores the legacy of da Vinci’s inventive imagination in various areas, such as war, medicine, sound, and aviation. The poems reflect how the 20th century was shaped by da Vinci’s work and theories, which are still being explored today.
“Jeffrey Round asks a big question: ‘What does infinity know?’ In a poetry collection with da Vinci at its core, themes of invention dovetail with themes of memory and loss.”—Jim Nason, author of Narcissus Unfolding
“There is food for thought throughout this collection.”—Amos Lassen, reviewsbyamoslassen.com
“Poetry requires a light touch, of knowing what to leave out, what not to over-explain. Jeffrey’s poems are easy to read, but not simple… a classy book of poetry.”—Paul Bellini, mygaytoronto.com
Jeffrey Round is an award-winning writer, director, and playwright. He is the author of A Cage of Bones, The Honey Locust, The P-town Murders and the Lambda Award-winning Lake on the Mountain. He founded a multimedia theater company, Best Boys Productions, and his full-length stage play, Zebra, won the Gay and Lesbian Appeal’s “Right to Privacy Award” and was nominated for a Pink Trillium for Best Play. He founded the Church-Wellesley Review, Canada’s first print journal for LGBT creative writing. He lives in Toronto.
PRICE: $11.95 sale price!
What has happened to Bret Easton Ellis ego? Why does Ferran Adrià reject the gastronomy its said he invented? Who was the novelist that punched her poet husband in the face? Why is David Sedaris broken in the wrong way? When is it comforting to eat spleen? In Magical Narcissism, award-winning Canadian journalist and critic Shaun Smith investigates all these questions and many others as he pursues his two great loves: books and food.
In dozens of pieces, Smith tackles works by such luminaries as Steve Martin, Joan Didion, Douglas Coupland, Iain Banks, Christopher Hitchens, Heston Blumenthal, Susur Lee, Jennifer McLagan, Bonnie Stern, Jeffrey Steingarten, and A.A. Gill. He takes us to pig roasts in southern Ontario and northern Spain. He wonders why people want books defaced by author autographs. He sings the praises of invention. And he laments a dearth of donuts.
Sometimes caustic, sometimes celebratory, always entertaining, the works in this volume represent the best from fifteen years of writing for such outlets as the The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CBC.ca, Quill & Quire, and many others. Books and food are not really so disparate, writes Smith both provide sustenance and, if you’re lucky, gratification, and both can—and in my case usually do—elicit strong opinion.
Shaun Smith is a novelist and award-winning journalist in Toronto, Canada. His young-adult novel Snakes & Ladders was published in 2009. As a journalist he has published hundreds of articles and reviews on books, food and other subjects with such publications as The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CBC.ca, Toronto Life, Quill & Quire, Chatelaine, and ELLE Canada. A former chef, he cooked in such noted kitchens as Scaramouche, The Senator, The Rosedale Diner, and David Wood Food Shop. Since 1995 he has worked widely as a book reviewer and publishing commentator, and also as a cookbook columnist, food writer, restaurant critic, and cookbook reviewer. In April 2011, he was inducted as a Fellow into the Ontario Hostelry Institute in recognition of his work as a food writer, book reviewer and commentator. Hervé This is a chemist who works for the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique at AgroParisTech in Paris, France, whose main area of scientific research is molecular gastronomy. He is the author of numerous scientific publications and several books on the subject.
PRICE: $13.95 – special sale!
Fifteen-year-old Elsa Byrd is on the verge of becoming a woman in the summer of 1935. It seems to her that, in a world run by men, coming of age is more of a curse than a blessing. Elsa feels powerless when her father enters the tuberculosis sanitarium and she’s forced to live on her grandparents’ farm. When she stumbles upon a stranger hiding in the barn, it’s a welcome diversion as hiding him becomes an intoxicating secret. When a dead girl is discovered floating in a dory, it quickly shifts from the kind of secret Elsa wants to hug close, to the kind she doesn’t dare let out. Her mentor, Lavinia Twigg, joins the police investigation and Elsa’s caught between silence and disclosure, trust and doubt, risk and fear.
“Nineteen thirties rural New Brunswick shines in this multi-layered, coming-of-age murder mystery. The lives of women, and the expectations surrounding them, are portrayed with insight and sympathy. I hope we hear from Elsa Byrd and Lavinia Twigg again—they make a first-rate detective team.” —Laurie Glenn Norris, author, Haunted Girl: Esther Cox and the Great Amherst Mystery
“Murder mystery enthusiasts will be completely satiated. Leveille has brilliantly concocted scenarios
where several individuals make plausible suspects.”—Michelle Brunet, Arts East
Kathy-Diane Leveille is the author of the novel Let the Shadows Fall Behind You and the short story collection Roads Unravelling. Her prose has been published in a number of literary journals, including the Cormorant, Grain, the Oklahoma Review, Pottersfield Portfolio, and Room of One’s Own, as well as various anthologies such as New Brunswick Short Stories and Water Studies: New Voices in Maritime Fiction. Her fiction won the Short Grain Contest for dramatic monologue in 2000 and was listed as a finalist in the Writers’ Union of Canada Short Fiction Contest in 2002. She lives in Saint John, New Brunswick.
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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.
Being married is one thing, but being married to Bret “Hitman” Hart—former five-time World Wrestling Entertainment Champion—is another. In her vibrant and honest memoir, Hart’s ex-wife and the mother of his four children chronicles the ups and downs of balancing life with a superstar husband in the circus world of professional wrestling. Beginning with Julie’s teen years and early romance with Bret, the story follows the couple’s marriage, children, divorce, and continued presence in each other’s lives, culminating in Julie’s growing role as one of the new matriarchs of the ever-expanding Hart family in Calgary. Vividly detailed and humorous, this authentic account of Julie’s life as an individual, wife, mother, sister, and friend is told by, quite arguably, the Hitman’s toughest opponent and greatest ally of all time.
“Hart Strings, at its heart, is a tale of survival… a tale of life away from the big arenas and the bright lights, and it’s certainly compelling reading”
Julie Hart is a former stroke group facilitator at the Calgary Foothills Hospital and has been a speaker for brain injury awareness, a fundraiser for the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital, and an overseas coordinator and operations specialist for the Love of Children’s Society of Alberta. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.
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Teetering on the brink of longing and the downtrodden, Julie Cameron Gray’s poetic debut explores isolation and the distance between human understanding and human experience. Her poems showcase the relationship between people and their work, urban living and the fringe existence of “wild” animals, the flaws that relationships tend to encompass despite best intentions, and the mysteries inanimate objects hold. Tangle is a verdict, a web of dysfunction, and an alibi.
“Julie Cameron Gray has achieved something crucial, but too rare, in today’s world of rapid change: how to be true to a sense of the new through an energizing sense of continuity with the imaginative richness of the past. . . . If we value zestful continuity as part of an allegiance to exploration and change, Julie Cameron Gray is a poet to watch.” —Roger Nash, author, Something Blue and Flying Upward
“This is a compact collection of distilled, mature poetry.”—Anne Burke, League of Canadian Poets
“All in all, a delightful read”—goodreads.com
Julie Cameron Gray is the author of the chapbook Coordinating Geometry, and her poetry has appeared in Carousel, Contemporary Verse 2, Event, Fiddlehead, and PRISM International as well as the anthology Best Canadian Poetry in English 2011.
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A modern-day Greek tragedy, I Thought I Would Be Happy revolves around Marco Morelli, an aspiring filmmaker with a passion for heights. Set in New York, Toronto, and on top of Mount Olympus, this sexy, vivid novel weaves mythology with current events. It will especially interest academics, members of the gay community, and film and art lovers.
“To accept happiness, will you accept its terror? I Thought I Would Be Happy provides absorbing terrain in which to ponder the question. Surreal and fragmented memories slowly reveal the courage it takes to accept change in others — to realize you have shared the intimacy of strange travel together. In a work haunted by both cruelty and kindness, Jim Nason shows how our undoing can also be our extreme good luck.”—Daniel Allen Cox, author of Krakow Melt
Jim Nason‘s award-winning poems, essays, and stories have been published in literary journals and anthologies throughout the United States and Canada, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English. He is also the author of a novel, The Housekeeping Journals, and a short-story collection, The Girl on the Escalator. He lives in Toronto.
Longlisted for the 2012 ReLit Award!
From critically acclaimed poet and novelist Jim Nason comes a collection of vivid and affecting stories about the brief moments that change lives. The characters in the book’s eleven stories live in a world upside down. From the young professional who leaves her high-powered job to explore street life as a graffiti artist, to the gay man who falls in love with a woman, to the spin class fanatic who learns that there’s a fine line between fitness and addiction, these excessive and radical characters create pandemonium wherever they go. Inspired by everyday people riding the TTC, Jim Nason has crafted a collection of gender- and expectation-bending stories that reveal the extraordinary and often heartbreaking truths behind ordinary life. Poignant and uplifting, The Girl on the Escalator is a fresh look at the world right outside our door.
Praise for The Girl on the Escalator:
“With an unflinching eye—and evoking ‘lapsed’ territories of Raymond Carver and Norman Levine—Jim Nason guides us artfully, and with cutting-edge wit, through a marginalized world whose quiet, devastating terror is that it may be our own . . . Tough, acutely observed, and tender, the stories in this collection bear the hallmark of a prodigious downtown seer whose unforgettable voice is distinctly his own. A gem of a work.—Royston Tester, author of Summat Else
“Nason’s well-drawn characters push themselves to the limit, whatever the limit, and keep going. One excellent story after another, original and very polished. His descriptions and dialogue are right on target—Nason is a terrifically good writer.”—Elisavietta Ritchie, author of In Haste I Write You This Note: Stories and Half-Stories
Praise for The Housekeeping Journals:
“Nason offers readers a glimpse into characters who are bitter and wise, funny and dignified . . . gorgeously and with grace, glimpses into the beautifully fought lives and deaths of his characters.”—Mary Horodyski, Prairie Fire
Jim Nason’s award-winning poems and stories have appeared in literary journals and anthologies across the United States and Canada, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008 & 2010. He has published three books of poetry: If Lips Were as Red (Palmerston Press), The Fist of Remembering (Wolsak and Wynn), Narcissus Unfolding (Frontenac House). His debut novel, The Housekeeping Journals, was released to critical acclaim by Turnstone Press in 2007. He lives in Toronto.