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TEMERITY & GALL, THE AFFIRMATIONS, DANTE’S INDIANA, BEST CANADIAN STORIES 2021: Reviews and Excerpts!

IN THE NEWS!

TEMERITY & GALL

Temerity & Gall by John Metcalf (May 24, 2022) has been reviewed in the Winnipeg Free Press. The review was published online on July 18, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Dave Williamson writes:

Temerity & Gall is obviously a must-have for book lovers but, since it presents Metcalf’s energetic meandering from a re-union of the Montreal Story Tellers through colourful observations and unabashed opinions, it can be enjoyed by anyone seeking stimulation of the mind.”

Grab a copy of Temerity & Gall here!

THE AFFIRMATIONS

Luke Hathaway‘s poem “Caeneus” from The Affirmations (April 5, 2022), was featured by Atlantic Books Today as their poem of the month! The poem was published online on July 13, 2022.

You can read the poem here.

Get your copy of The Affirmations here!

DANTE’S INDIANA

Dante’s Indiana (September 7, 2021) by Randy Boyagoda was reviewed in Fare Forward. The review was shared through their latest online newsletter. You can read the full review here.

Reviewer Katy Carl writes:

“The antics of Boyagoda’s characters are as tragicomically uproarious as they are startling—and yet, as presented, also entirely believable. The plot delightfully follows Aristotle’s advice to prefer the plausible impossibility to the implausible possibility. What ensues is a genuine levity that lifts the reader over substantive plot points that, less sensitively handled, could raise a multitude of defenses. By lighthearted treatment of the truly ridiculous, Boyagoda earns the right to look with authentic compassion on characters’ serious sorrows.”

Get your copy of Dante’s Indiana here!

Check out the first book in the series, Original Prin, here!

BEST CANADIAN STORIES 2021

Best Canadian Stories 2021 (October 19, 2021), edited by Diane Schoemperlen, has received a great review in the British Columbia Review! The review was published online on July 16, 2022. You can read the review here.

Reviewer Carol Matthews writes:

“An anthology such as this lets you sample many different places and experiences that will stay with you, and it introduces you to writers whose work you will want to follow. As Schoemperlen says, ‘The best short stories … will always bring us news of the world and the shape of things to come.’ Best Canadian Stories is full of stories that do just that. It’s a collection well worth reading.”

Get your copy of Best Canadian Stories here!

Check out the rest of the Best Canadian series here!

THE AFFIRMATIONS, A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE: Interviews & Reviews

IN THE NEWS!

THE AFFIRMATIONS

Luke Hathaway, author of The Affirmations (April 5, 2022), was interviewed by K.R. Byggdin for the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia author spotlight. The interview was published online on July 11, 2022. You can read the full interview here.

An excerpt from the interview:

“LH: The weaving of art forms for me has very much to do with friendship, love, collaboration, community …: marrying words to music (as, in earlier books, marrying words to images), I enter into conversation with friends and fellow makers—an extraordinarily subtle and intimate kind of conversation, in which form and content take equal part, in which meaning can be manifest in ways that are not only verbal but also melodic, rhythmic, gestural, visual, sculptural….”

Grab your copy of The Affirmations here!

A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE

A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski (April 26, 2022) was reviewed by Ian Thomson in The Spectator. The review was published online on July 9, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Thomson writes:

“Full of humour, and gossipy in a good way, A Factotum is also tinged with an autumnal sense of loss and the self-examination of a man looking back on half a century in the trade. From start to finish the book is a delight.”

Get your copy of A Factotum in the Book Trade here!

QUERELLE OF ROBERVAL, DANTE’S INDIANA, A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE, THE AFFIRMATIONS, THE MUSIC GAME: Interviews and Reviews!

IN THE NEWS

QUERELLE OF ROBERVAL

Querelle of Roberval (August 2, 2022) by Kevin Lambert, trans. by Donald Winkler has been reviewed in Montreal Review of Books! The review was posted online today, July 4, 2022, and will be in their Summer 2022 print edition.

Reviewer Alexandra Trnka writes,

“A vibrant storm of gossip and myth … The language of the novel is rich and evocative, a compliment to both Lambert’s and Winkler’s instincts for poetry. Lambert displays his linguistic skill equally in images of the erotic and the abject, in a prose that entices and disturbs at the same time.

“[Lambert] dares us not to flinch … a gory, sensual, and provocative exploration of sex and violence, and their potential to redeem lives that have been deemed, for one reason or another, not worth living.”

You can read the full review here.

Order your copy of Querelle of Roberval here!

DANTE’S INDIANA

Randy Boyagoda, author of Dante’s Indiana (September 2021), was featured on an episode of CBC Ideas. The episode was posted online and aired on June 29, 2022 at 8PM ET.

Randy Boyagoda says to producer Greg Kelly,

“And so if I think about Indiana, I think about the middle of the middle of the middle of America. And then I think about Terre Haute being high ground. Well, in so many different ways that just becomes, for me, an American figuration of Purgatory, where others would see Inferno. That’s again, the hopefulness.”

You can listen to the full episode here.

Grab your copy of Dante’s Indiana here!

Or, start the series with Original Prin here!

A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE

Marius Kociejowski discusses his latest book, A Factotum in the Book Trade (April 26, 2022), on The Biblio File podcast, hosted by Nigel Beale. The episode was published online on July 4, 2022.

In the interview, Kociejowski says,

“When I was first in England, you could go into just about any small town and head straight for the bookshop. By and large, they are all gone. With those bookshops have gone the possibility of conversation. […] I had this rather brash young Italian marine biologist come in [to the bookshop] and we started talking about why it is that bookshops are closing. He rather blatantly accused me, or rather my generation, of having failed to pass that knowledge on. And I think that may be, to an extent, true.”

You can listen to the full episode here.

Get your copy of A Factotum in the Book Trade here!

THE AFFIRMATIONS

The Affirmations by Luke Hathaway (April 5, 2022) was reviewed by rob mclennan on his blog. The review was published online on July 3, 2022.

mclennan writes,

“Hathaway seems to explore the boundaries of poetic form as it relates to an operatic storytelling, pushing at the edges of older forms with a new hand, and a new eye, and seeing what just might be possible.”

You can read the full review here.

Pick up your copy of The Affirmations here!

THE MUSIC GAME

The Music Game by Stefanie Clermont, translated by JC Sutcliffe (February 8, 2022), has been listed by CBC Books on their summer reading list! The list was posted online on June 23, 2022. You can see the full list here.

Grab a copy of The Music Game here!

 

ESTATES LARGE AND SMALL, TRY NOT TO BE STRANGE, QUERELLE OF ROBERVAL: Features and Reviews!

IN THE NEWS

ESTATES LARGE AND SMALL

Estates Large and Small (August 16, 2022) by Ray Robertson was reviewed in Shelf Awareness! The review was posted online on June 24, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Reviewer Harvey Freedenberg writes,

“A warmhearted and unconventional love story that’s also an opportunity for a gentle encounter with some of life’s fundamental questions … With Phil’s droll humor and world-weary cynicism, and Caroline’s clear-eyed determination to live her final days on her own terms, the two make for an appealing couple. Like the philosophers they encounter, Estates Large and Small only hints at answers to life’s deepest mysteries, but it’s a wise reminder that the journey is really the point.”

Order your copy of Estates Large and Small here!

TRY NOT TO BE STRANGE

Try Not to Be Strange: The Curious History of the Kingdom of Redonda (September 13, 2022) by Michael Hingston has been featured in the summer edition of the Literary Review of Canada! Editor-in-Chief Kyle Wyatt frames his editorial note “Without Great Seriousness” around Hingston’s latest book. The edition was published online on June 27, 2022.

Wyatt writes,

“It was with admittedly escapist relief that I greeted the arrival at my desk of Michael Hingston’s forthcoming Try Not to Be Strange: The Curious History of the Kingdom of Redonda.

A writer from Edmonton, Hingston has been nursing an obsession with the tiny Caribbean island of Redonda, christened by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and located midway between Nevis and Montserrat. More specifically, he has found himself transfixed by the uninhabited micro-nation’s absolute monarchy.”

You can read the full note here.

Get your copy of Try Not to Be Strange here!

QUERELLE OF ROBERVAL

Querelle of Roberval (August 2, 2022) by Kevin Lambert, trans. by Donald Winkler has been reviewed in Fugues! The review was posted online on June 24, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Reviewer Benoit Migneault writes,

“The translation by Donald Winkler, who was also responsible for the previous novel, is of the highest quality and once again stands out for its richness and respect of local color … Provocative and deliciously irreverent, the novel can be savored with an almost satisfying pleasure, commensurate with the disproportion of the conflicts and questionings that agitate it.”

Pick up your copy of Querelle of Roberval here!

SHIMMER, THE DAY-BREAKERS, A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE: Media Hits!

IN THE NEWS

SHIMMER

Shimmer (May 17, 2022) by Alex Pugsley has been reviewed by the Toronto Star! The review was posted online on May 26, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Reviewer Robert Wiersema writes,

“Looking at Shimmer as a whole, one is struck by Pugsley’s mastery of the short-story form, his ability to distil entire lives’ worth of meaning into a few short pages. He’s not just a writer to watch: he’s a writer to savour.”

Steven Beattie also reviewed the story ‘Ordinary Love Song’ from the collection on his blog, That Shakespearean Rag. You can read the full review here.

Beattie writes,

“His story proves that the digital mode of communication, while frequently castigated as impersonal and dehumanizing, can, in the right hands, carry with it strong emotional resonance.”

Get your copy of Shimmer here!

A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE

A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski (April 26, 2022) has been reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement. The article was published online May 25, 2022 and in print on May 27, 2022. You read the full review here.

Henry Hitchings writes,

“A bookseller for half a century, [Kociejowski] has encountered a great many strange and rare items. … Full of curious information … Kociejowski is eloquent about the magic of books, their bindings and associations.”

Get your copy of A Factotum in the Book Trade here!

THE DAY-BREAKERS

Michael Fraser, author of The Day-Breakers (April 5, 2022) was interviewed by Shauna Powers on CBC Saskatchewan Weekend. In the interview he discusses his collection of poems and the CBC Poetry Prize. The episode aired on May 22, 2022, and you can listen to the full interview here.

The Day-Breakers was reviewed by Melanie Brannagan Frederiksen in the Winnipeg Free Press. The review was published online on May 28, 2022. You can read the complete review here.

Frederiksen writes,

“Throughout the collection Fraser uses texture and rhythm to unsettling effect. […] line breaks interrupt the flow of accruing details to hold the reader in the moment of bodily vulnerability as long as possible.”

Get your copy of The Day-Breakers here!

 

FACTOTUM, SHIMMER, THE MUSIC GAME, POGUEMAHONE, TEMERITY & GALL: New York Times, Toronto Star, and more media hits!

IN THE NEWS!

A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE

A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski (April 26, 2022) has been featured as part of the “Newly Released” list in the New York Times and reviewed in the Winnipeg Free Press. Both articles were published on May 20, 2022. You read the full Winnipeg Free Press review here. You can see the complete NYT list here.

Ron Robinson writes, in the Winnipeg Free Press,

“Bibliomaniacs will find much to warm their hearts as author Marius Kociejowski shares his love of books, travel and name-dropping anecdotes of those famous in the arts and in the antiquarian book trade in England.”

Pick up your copy of A Factotum in the Book Trade here!

SHIMMER

Shimmer (May 17, 2022) by Alex Pugsley has been reviewed by the Ottawa Review of Books! The review was posted online on May 24, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Reviewer Timothy Niedermann writes,

“Pugsley brings out the confusion of life well. No one is in control. Everyone has doubts about themselves and others. His ability to show the twists and turns of our constant, anxious questioning of ourselves makes each story revelatory in a different way. A truly impressive collection!”

Alex Pugsley was also recently interviewed by Open Book! The interview was published online on May 17, 2022. You can check out the full interview here.

Get your copy of Shimmer here!

THE MUSIC GAME

The Music Game by Stéfanie Clermont, translated by JC Sutcliffe, has been reviewed in ZYZZYVA. The review was posted online on May 24, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Reviewer Sophia Carr writes,

“Clermont’s novel reminds us of the resilience of lifelong friendships and how they can triumph over the darker aspects of life. Any time a group of close friends reunites, even after a period marked by trauma, there is the possibility of finding solace by simply reconnecting with those who knew you when you looked at life through a more innocent lens.”

Pick up your copy of The Music Game here!

POGUEMAHONE

Poguemahone by Patrick McCabe (May 3, 2022) was reviewed by David Collard in the Times Literary Supplement. The article was published online on May 21, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Collard writes,

Poguemahone is, in content and execution, frequently astonishing, and galloping through a very long novel at the rate of three pages per minute is an exhilarating sensory experience. … In its haunting strangeness and blazing originality, [Poguemahone] deserves far more than a cult following.”

Get your copy of Poguemahone here!

TEMERITY & GALL

Temerity & Gall by John Metcalf (May 24, 2022) has been reviewed by Steven W. Beattie in the Toronto Star. The review was published online on May 24, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Beattie writes,

“[Metcalf’s] exacting eye and his ongoing willingness to call out what he considers substandard, inert, or deadening in our literary culture has earned him opprobrium …
One need not agree with everything [he] says to find much to gnaw on in his analyses of the various ways literary technique and style … are too often downgraded or outright ignored. …
While it’s amusing to wrestle with the temerity and gall of Metcalf’s settled esthetic standards … his achievement in translating this approach into practice as mentor and guiding light is invaluable and we are all in his debt.”

Get your signed limited-edition copy of Temerity & Gall here!

THE DAY-BREAKERS, HAIL THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN, POGUEMAHONE, THE SINGING FOREST, A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE: Top Lists and Reviews!

THE DAY-BREAKERS

The Day-Breakers by Michael Fraser (April 5, 2022) has been featured on the spring reading list by CBC Books as one of “50 great books to read this season.” The list was published online on May 11, 2022. You can read the full list here.

The Day-Breakers was also reviewed by Barb Carey in The Toronto Star. The review was published online on April 28, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Carey writes:

“Michael Fraser brings history alive in his third collection, a stirring tribute to the Black soldiers who fought for the Union in the American Civil War, hundreds of whom were African Canadians. […] The language of the poems is terrific: a fresh, striking vernacular (glossary included) that’s both lyrical and gritty in its immediacy”

Get your copy of The Day-Breakers here!

HAIL, THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN

Hail, the Invisible Watchman by Alexandra Oliver (April 5, 2022) was reviewed in the Los Angeles Review of Books! The review was published online on May 2, 2022. Read the full review here!

Maryann Corbett writes:

“They’re all here in her newest book, the formal and metrical pleasures that earned critical praise and prizes for Alexandra Oliver’s Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway and Let the Empire Down […] Hail, the Invisible Watchman is dark and tangled, even when it hooks the heartstrings and pulls.”

Alexandra Oliver was also interviewed by Sheryl MacKay on CBC North by Northwest! The interview was posted on May 1, 2022. You can listen to the interview here beginning at 4:20, with Alexandra reading at 12:30.

Get your copy of Hail, the Invisible Watchman here!

POGUEMAHONE

Poguemahone by Patrick McCabe (May 3, 2022) was reviewed by Sam Sacks in The Wall Street Journal. The review was published online on May 6, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Sam Sacks writes:

Poguemahone [is] an immense, audacious novel […] a volcanic spray of vernacular, Gaelic-infused memory fragments and character sketches.”

Poguemahone was also reviewed by Ian Mond in the print edition of Locus Mag and featured as part of their list of “New Books: 3 May 2022.” on May 3, 2022. Check it out here!

Ian Mond writes:

Poguemahone is a stunning novel, one of those exceedingly rare books that deserve to be described as a masterpiece.”

Poguemahone was reviewed by Keith Miller in Literary Review (UK). The review, “It Started with a Kiss” was published online on May 4, 2022. You can read the full piece here.

Keith Miller writes:

“I think McCabe is attempting something different from the finely tuned gothic chamber music of his earlier work: he’s aiming for a kind of polyphony. Characters aren’t quite sure who or even how many people they are at any given moment. […] the effect is one of alienation – not that the book isn’t a tremendous pleasure to read, albeit at times slightly uncomfortable. ‘Our national epic has yet to be written,’ all the young literary dudes opine in Ulysses. Poguemahone isn’t ‘about’ Ireland (though it is profoundly ‘about’ the Irish diaspora). But it is a particularly modern kind of epic.”

Patrick McCabe was also featured on Damian Barr’s Literary Salon Podcast on May 3, 2022. Lit Hub featured this podcast episode on May 4, 2022, and Poguemahone was listed on Book Riot as part of: “New Releases and More for May 3, 2022.”

Pick up your copy of Poguemahone here!

THE SINGING FOREST

The Singing Forest by Judith McCormack was recently reviewed in The Miramichi Reader! The article was published online on May 5, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Reviewer Michael Greenstein writes:

“McCormack revives the secret, hovering between what’s buried and what’s above ground, what sings into a surreal blend. The forest whispers to silence the screams. The children are curious, the reader is curious, and McCormack cares.

“A page-turner with substance, where troubled family trees testify, find new growth, and branch out.”

The Singing Forest was also recently reviewed by the Historical Novel Society. The review was posted online on May 2, 2022. You can read the full review here.

Reviewer Shauna McIntyre writes:

“Filled with beautiful sentences like “Strands of DNA sliding down an ancestral ladder,” this novel is worth the effort it takes to wade through the stream-of-consciousness sections.”

Order your copy of The Singing Forest here!

A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE

A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski (April 26, 2022) has been reviewed by Michael Dirda in The Washington Post. The article, “What bookstores and the literary life contribute to … life” was published online today, May 4, 2022. Check out the full article here.

Dirda writes:

“Kociejowski opens his enthralling memoir, A Factotum in the Book Trade, by observing that bookstores have begun to follow record stores into nonexistence. “With every shop that closes so, too, goes still more of the serendipity that feeds the human spirit.” While there may be “infinitely more choice” in buying from online dealers, “to be spoiled for choice extinguishes desire.” As he says, “I want dirt; I want chaos; I want, above all, mystery. I want to be able to step into a place and have the sense that there I’ll find a book, as yet unknown to me, which to some degree will change my life.”

An accomplished poet and beguiling essayist (try The Pebble Chance), Kociejowski has also enjoyed a long-standing career with various London antiquarian bookshops […] Over the years, Kociejowski came to be friends with poet and translator Christopher Middleton, travel writer Bruce Chatwin, “arguably the greatest prose stylist of his generation,” and the Spanish novelist Javier Marías, who as the reigning monarch of the joke Kingdom of Redonda, appointed him poet laureate in English of that tiny uninhabited island.”

Marius Kociejowski has been featured on the podcast by AbeBooks, Behind the Bookshelves, hosted by Richard Davies. In the episode, they discuss Kociejowski’s A Factotum in the Book Trade (April 26, 2022). The episode was published online on May 18, 2022. You can listen to the full episode here.

In the episode, Kociejowski says:

“The general secondhand bookshop is rapidly becoming a thing of the past […] Whereas I have always maintained that the soul of the trade is in bookshops. I think something happens in shops. Something magical.”

Get your copy of A Factotum in the Book Trade here!

CHEMICAL VALLEY, EYES OF THE RIGEL, THE AFFIRMATIONS, HAIL THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN: Media Hits

IN THE NEWS!

CHEMICAL VALLEY

Chemical Valley cover

Chemical Valley by David Huebert (October 19, 2021), has been featured by CBC Books as part of ‘11 Canadian books to read for Earth Day 2022’! The list was posted online on April 22, 2022. Check out the full list here.

Chemical Valley was also reviewed by Peter Szuban in PRISM International! The review was posted online on April 21, 2022. Read the full review here.

Szuban writes,

“The characters in David Huebert’s new short story collection Chemical Valley live in a world that has been molded and shaped by neoliberalism and the oil industry—where the vulnerability of their bodies is constantly being subjected to a vague calculus that includes economic precarity, shifting personal relationships, and a natural environment lurching towards catastrophe. It’s a situation that could easily elicit nihilism, doom, and mourning—a kind of eco-grief—and yet, the various stories in this collection strive and yearn towards a sublime toxicity that finds beauty amidst the debris, and accordingly, in the lives of its inhabitants.”

Get your copy of Chemical Valley here!

EYES OF THE RIGEL

The third novel in Roy Jacobsen‘s The Barrøy Chronicles, Eyes of the Rigel (April 5, 2022), has been excerpted in Lit Hub! The excerpt was posted online on April 21, 2022. You can read the full excerpt here.

Get your copy of Eyes of the Rigel here!

THE AFFIRMATIONS

The Affirmations by Luke Hathaway (April 5, 2022) was excerpted in Lit Hub. The excerpt was published online on April 22, 2022.

You can view the poem, “As the Hart Panteth After the Water Brooks,” here.

Get your copy of The Affirmations here!

HAIL, THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN

Hail, the Invisible Watchman by Alexandra Oliver (April 5, 2022), was reviewed in The Miramichi Reader. The review was published online on April 25, 2022. Check out the full review here.

Alison Manley writes:

Hail, the Invisible Watchman by Alexandra Oliver is a true triumph, with tight, well-constructed poems creating multiple worlds and stories. Oliver’s use of formal structure and metre is flawless, rich and enveloping. […] Oliver flits between contemporary settings to more distant ones, from the mundane every day to pop culture and all strange manners in between. […] The range of this collection is spectacular. The twists that Oliver places in her verses are sly and magical, the way she uses language and metre to craft such strong imagery in a handful of lines is truly masterful.”

Get your copy of Hail, the Invisible Watchman here!

POGUEMAHONE: Rave Reviews and Interviews!

IN THE NEWS!

POGUEMAHONE

Poguemahone by Patrick McCabe (May 3, 2022) was reviewed in The Irish Examiner on April 24, 2022. Check out the full review here.

Reviewer Josephine Fenton writes:

“This is a great enormous book by a great Irish author and should be welcomed by everyone in this great country and the world beyond. You might think, on first sight, that Poguemahone was following in the wake of Finnegan in its attempt to be enormously long, very dense and quite inaccessible. But it is not, at all. You can slip into it like a blunt knife through butter.”

Poguemahone was excerpted in RTE – Raidió Teilifís Éireann, published online on April 25, 2022. You can read the excerpt here.

Patrick McCabe was interviewed about Poguemahone in The Guardian. The interview was published online on April 24, 2022. You can read the complete article here.

Tim Adams writes:

“In the pantheon of storied Irish writers—Joyce in Dublin, Yeats on the west coast—McCabe has a special place as the conjuror of the small-town middle. […] The occasion for our lunch is McCabe’s new book, Poguemahone, an extraordinary 600-page free verse novel, already hailed in the Observer as “this century’s Ulysses” […] Once you get tuned to McCabe’s brilliant playful wavelength, after a couple or three pages, you find yourself at home in Aunty Nano’s famous late-night club […] and spending too much time at the ‘premier crash pad in all of north London’, paradiso or inferno, depending on your politics.”

Patrick McCabe was also interviewed in The Independent, published online on April 24, 2022. You can read the full interview here.

Emily Hourican writes:

“The book—a hefty 600 pages—is written in verse form. And, for those of you put off by the very idea, don’t be. It is by turns energetic, hilarious, tragic and terrifying, and easy to follow once you fall into the beat of it—’the beat of a bodhran, which is the beat of Irish history,’ says McCabe.”

 

Order your copy of Poguemahone here!

 

THE DAY-BREAKERS, THE AFFIRMATIONS, HAIL THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN, EYES OF THE RIGEL, A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE, POGUEMAHONE: Media Hits!

IN THE NEWS!

THE DAY-BREAKERS

The Day-Breakers by Michael Fraser (April 5, 2022) has been featured by CBC Books as part of ’27 Canadian books coming out in April we can’t wait to read.’ The list was published online on April 5, 2022. Take a look at the full list here.

Michael Fraser has been interviewed by Valentino Assenza on HOWL (CIUT) about his new collection, The Day-Breakers. The episode aired on April 5, 2022 at 10pm et. You can listen to/download the full HOWL interview here.

Michael Fraser was also interviewed by Pearl Pirie on Pearl Pirie about The Day-Breakers. The Pearl Pirie interview was published online on April 5, 2022. You can read his interview with Pearl Pirie here.

Get your copy of The Day-Breakers here!

THE AFFIRMATIONS

The Affirmations by Luke Hathaway (April 5, 2022), was reviewed by Holly M. Wendt in Ploughshares: ‘Conversation in The Affirmations.’ The review was published online on April 12, 2022. You can read the complete review here.

Wendt writes:

“The depth of references offers opportunities for entry and distance alike. Ranging freely across centuries of works, sacred and secular, Hathaway’s book, published last week, is as deftly conversant with John Donne as with Auden, as expert in its command of music, metrical and lexical as the maritime landscape. […] The object […] of The Affirmations, is not simply reifying what has come before, but challenging, re-imagining, and reclaiming what has been made into a tool of oppression.”

Order The Affirmations here!

HAIL, THE INVISIBLE WATCHMAN

Hail, the Invisible Watchman by Alexandra Oliver (April 5, 2022), has received a starred review from Annick MacAskill on Quill & Quire. The review was published online on April 1, 2022. Check out the full review here.

MacAskill writes:

“This last sequence, a series of English sonnets spoken in the voices of two of Wilson’s characters as well as a third-person narrator, is particularly well realized. Oliver proves herself a master at her chosen form; the sonnet and its demanding rhyme scheme serve as a springboard for the narrative moments and reflections she depicts. […]

Oliver displays a fidelity to rhyming verse not often found in contemporary Canadian poetry. The formal aspects of Oliver’s writing do not detract from, but rather enable her quick wit and clear-eyed assessments.”

Order Hail, the Invisible Watchman here!

EYES OF THE RIGEL

The third novel in Roy Jacobsen’s The Barrøy Chronicles, Eyes of the Rigel (April 5, 2022), has been reviewed in Publishers Weekly! The review was posted online on January 28. Though the review states that this is the last of the series, I’m pleased to let you know that Roy has surprised us with a fourth novel, and we will be continuing Ingrid’s journey in Spring 2023. You can read the full review here.

The reviewer writes:

“[An] expressive story of a woman’s search for her lover in post-WWII Norway. The translators inventively capture Ingrid’s dialect (“An’ thas knew this all th’taim”) as well as the power of the tense interactions between the characters. This delicate account of yearning perfectly caps the strong series.”

Order Eyes of the Rigel here!

Check out the first two books in the series, The Unseen and White Shadow, here!

A FACTOTUM IN THE BOOK TRADE

A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski (April 26, 2022) has been reviewed by Danny Heitman in the Wall Street Journal as part of the article ‘5 Tales of Top-Shelf Book People.’ The article was published online on April 7, 2022. You can read the full article here.

Heitman writes:

“His polished sentences faintly resonate with Proustian echoes … Mr. Kociejowski … has a loose sense of narrative that perfectly simulates an afternoon ramble through a vintage bookshop. A dizzying diversity of books and authors strike against each other, creating sparks of insight. In the space of a few pages, he mentions Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Green, Emily Dickinson, William Hazlitt, J.L. Carr and Patrick Leigh Fermor, offering concise assessments of each. Frequent footnotes, rendered as chatty asides, deepen his memoir’s digressive charm.”

A Factotum in the Book Trade by Marius Kociejowski (April 26, 2022) has also been reviewed in the Ottawa Review of Books by Timothy Niedermann! The review was published online on April 4, 2022. Have a look at the full review here.

Niedermann writes:

“Despite having a library with upwards of 1,000 volumes, Kociejowski does not feel he himself is a collector, however. He calls himself a “bibliophile”: a book lover. And this is the essence of A Factotum in the Book Trade. It is about love for books.

A Factotum in the Book Trade is an extraordinary work that will give all readers an increased appreciation for what books are and the many intricate roles that books play in our lives.”

A Factotum in the Book Trade was reviewed by Michael Turner in the British Columbia Review. The article, ‘Where the Magic Happens,’ was published online on April 8, 2022. You can read the full article here.

Turner writes:

“[I]n the book’s swirling opening chapter […], we find him reflecting on a working life (mostly in the antiquarian book trade) […] Mortality sets off this reflection (“What is forever when set against the universe? About the length of a sticking plaster”) (p. 1), then books (“‘The world is made,’ says Stéphane Mallarmé, ‘in order to result in a beautiful book.’ All else — the filling of an order, the cataloguing of a book — is mere procedure”) (p. 2) and bookselling (“The book trade is naturally secretive even when it pretends otherwise. What one might think is an open book is actually a closed one”) (p. 3).

It is this interplay between books (Kociejowski has authored books of poetry and travel writing) and bookselling (a staging ground into which enter books, employees and casual customers, but also literary archives, personal libraries, collectors and celebrated authors like Patti Smith, Robert Graves and Bruce Chatwin) where the magic happens.”

Order A Factotum in the Book Trade here!

POGUEMAHONE

Poguemahone (May 3, 2022) by Patrick McCabe has been reviewed by Sean O’Brien for The Telegraph. The review was published online on April 5, 2022. You can read the full review here.

O’Brien writes:

“McCabe, best known for The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto (both Booker shortlisted in the 1990s, and adapted into films), is not the first prose writer to seek the lingering prestige of poetry without having to write it. In fact it’s easy to ignore the verse, except as an effective scoring method: the reader hears the book as something spoken aloud, or whispered, or snarled, or insinuated or spat into his ear. The voice is an insistent companion who, having got hold of an elbow, has no plans to stop until his hour is exhausted or the auditor collapses under the weight of memory, bile, repetition and implication.”

Patrick McCabe was interviewed on BBC Front Row for Poguemahone. The interview aired on April 12, 2022. Poguemahone was also publicly announced as a May Indie Next pick by the American Booksellers Association on April 12, 2022.

You can listen to the full BBC episode here and view the May Indie Next list here.

Preorder Poguemahone here!