Sunday September 22, 2013 at Queen's Park Circle, 11am - 6pm
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We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) for this project
Mark Medley is the National Post's books editor and oversees the paper's books blog, The Afterword. His work has appeared in publications across Canada, including The Globe and Mail, Toronto Life, and The Walrus. He currently sits on PEN Canada's Board of Directors and serves on the Advisory Committee of The Humber School for Writers. He lives in Toronto.
Steven W Beattie, Toronto-based writer and critic, is the Review Editor at Quill & Quire, the magazine of the Canadian publishing trade. He maintains the literary blog That Shakespearean Rag.
Susan G. Cole is the Entertainment and Books Editor at NOW Magazine, Canada's premiere news and entertainment weekly.
Click on a segment below to learn more.
Ronnie, a hairdresser with a history of recklessness, feels stifled by the predictable, comfortable life laid out before her with her live-in boyfriend. Charlie is an anxiety-riddled award-winning writer, burdened by his literary success and familial responsibility, including a bread-winning wife and a child with autism. When the unlikely pair meets, a filmic affair begins on office desks and in hotel rooms. The relationship, with all its differences and failings, calls into question our rigid and limiting definitions of right and wrong, and what it means to be a partner, parent, lover, and human being.
Stacey May Fowles is a writer and magazine professional. She is the author of the novels Be Good (Tightrope, 2007) and Fear of Fighting (Invisible, 2008), and her essays have been widely anthologized in collections like Yes Means Yes, First Person Queer, and Nobody Passes. She is a regular contributor to the National Post and currently works at The Walrus. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
ECW Press - $18.95 - Fiction
Henry Hayward is a drowning man. With a soured long-term romance finally at an end, no family, and no refuge to be had in work, his days are progressively spent in the solace of alcohol and his nights with a series of interchangeable partners. In a quest to simultaneously recover from unrequited love and to find meaning in what is becoming an increasingly emotionally arid life, Henry travels to Afghanistan, as an army-affiliated contractor, where a routine patrol suddenly turns fatal. And Henry, who survives, knows in his heart that he is responsible. Upon his return home, now tormented by guilt in addition to ennui, Henry begins to feel even more rootless until the question of his deceased friend’s summer home arises. Soon Henry finds himself trying to bring meaning back into his life by planning to buy and repair his friend’s dilapidated family house. But he hasn’t factored family history into the picture – and his deceased friend’s girlfriend has a revelation of her own, which may change everything.
Michael Winter is the author of The Architects Are Here, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and The Big Why, which was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award and longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His most recent novel, The Death of Donna Whalen, was nominated for the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. His first novel, This All Happened, won the Winterset Award. He is also the recipient of The Writers' Trust Notable Author Award. He divides his time between Toronto and St. John's.
Hamish Hamilton -$30.00 - Fiction
How far would a son go to belong? And how far would a father go to protect him? With his curly black hair and his wicked grin, everyone swoons and thinks of Frank Sinatra when Navy musician Jackson Lewis takes the stage. It's World War II, and while stationed in St. John's, Newfoundland, Jack meets the well-heeled, romantic Vivian Clift, a local girl who has never stepped off the Rock and is desperate to see the world. They marry against Vivian's family's wishes, and when Vivian meets Jack's mother and brother, everything she thought she knew about her new husband gets called into question. Steeped in jazz and big-band music, spanning pre- and post-war Windsor-Detroit, St. John's, Newfoundland, and 1950s Toronto, this is an arresting, heartwrenching novel about fathers and sons, love and sacrifice, race relations and a time in our history when the world was on the cusp of momentous change.
Wayne Grady is the author of fourteen highly-acclaimed books, including Breakfast at the Exit Cafe, Bringing Back the Dodo, and The Bone Museum. He is also the translator of fifteen novels from the French and the editor of eleven anthologies. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Saturday Night and Toronto Life. He won the Governor General's Award for Translation in 1989 for Antonine Maillet's On the Eighth Day and was nominated for the same award in 1995 and again in 2005.
Doubleday Canada - $24.95 - Fiction
Three teenagers find a clutch of long-lost Roman coins. The decision to conceal their discovery turns disastrous when János disappears. The others are left to question everything they believed, while the mother of the missing boy slowly unravels. The Widow Tree is a compelling, richly layered story of fatal plans and silent betrayals in a tightly knit village, where the post-war air is simultaneously flush with hope and weighted with suspicion. Amidst an intricate web of cultural tensions, government control, family bonds, and past mistakes, the truth behind many closely guarded secrets is revealed—with life-altering consequences.
Nicole Lundrigan is the author of four previous novels. Glass Boys was a Now Magazine top 10 book of the year and an Amazon.ca top 100 book of the year. Unraveling Arva was a Globe and Mail top ten pick, Thaw was longlisted for the Relit Award, and The Seary Line received an honourable mention for the Sunburst Award. She lives in Ontario.
Douglas & McIntyre – $22.95 – Fiction
Taste test short stories from hot names in Canadian literature.
The Other Side of Youth
These are stories about the vagaries of family and the narrow chasm between longing and grief, about missed connections and unrequited desire. Deeth's characters confront the emotional complexity of marriage, childlessness, adoption, adolescent longing, friendship, and death. A woman unable to conceive negotiates a tense relationship with her adopted daughter. Another decides to give up on sexual desire following an abortion and settles for safety with a divorced father. A sister and step-brother with a tragic childhood attempt to reconnect. With a deft hand and a knowing eye, Kelli Deeth creates stories that are devastating portraits of dysfunction and desire.
Kelli Deeth’s first book, The Girl Without Anyone, was chosen as one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books of 2001. Her stories have been published in various journals and anthologies including Write Turns, Event, The Dalhousie Review, The Puritan, and Joyland. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and currently lives in Toronto, where she teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto.
Arsenal Pulp Press -$15.95 - Fiction/ Short Stories
Life Without Death
In Life Without Death, the latest short story collection from Peter Unwin, ordinary men and women search for meaning in lives subject to change, chance, coincidence, and catastrophe. From the collection: a man recalls a lifetime of love and loss while copying contacts out of his old little black book. A woman is left her dying father's secret stash of pornography and is entrusted with the unenviable task of disposing of it. A teenager introduced to a life of petty crime finds himself in way over his head. A man's former acquaintance resurfaces decades later in a haunting art film.
Peter Unwin’s previous fiction includes the short story collection The Rock Farmers, which was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and the novel Nine Bells for a Man. His non-fiction includes The Wolf's Head: Writing Lake Superior and Hard Surface: In Search of the Canadian Road. An avid practitioner of martial arts, baseball, and literature, he lives in Toronto with his wife and two daughters.
Cormorant Books - $21.00 - Fiction/ Short Stories
Set in Spain and Mexico during the 1930s, Matadora tells the story of Luna Caballero Garcia, an impoverished and intrepid servant attempting to make her name in the bullring at a time when it was illegal for a girl to do so. Matadora carries readers from bohemian artistic circles in Mexico City and Andalusia to Norman Bethune's mobile blood transfusions on the Madrid front. Against a backdrop of rising fascism and the Spanish Civil War, Elizabeth Ruth has created a powerful and compelling exploration of love, art, and politics, and an intelligent mirror for our times.
Elizabeth Ruth’s first novel, Ten Good Seconds of Silence, was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and the City of Toronto Book Award, and was named a top 10 book of the year by NOW Magazine, Vancouver Sun, and London Free Press. Smoke, her second novel, was chosen for the One Book, One Community program and named a top 10 book of the year by NOW Magazine. In 2011, she was appointed Writer-in-Residence for the Toronto Public Library.
Cormorant Books - $21.95 - Fiction
The Whisper of Legends
When his teenage daughter goes missing on a summer wilderness canoe trip to the Nahanni River, Inspector Michael Green is forced into unfamiliar territory. Unable to mobilize the local RCMP, he enlists the help of his long-time friend, Staff Sergeant Brian Sullivan, to accompany him to the Northwest Territories to look for themselves. Green is terrified. The park has 30,000 square kilometres of wilderness and 600 grizzlies. Even worse, Green soon discovers his daughter lied to him. The trip was organized not by a reputable tour company but by her new boyfriend, Scott, a graduate geology student. When clues about Scott's past begin to drift in, Green, Sullivan, and two guides head into the wilderness. After the body of one of the group turns up at the bottom of a cliff, they begin to realize just what is at stake.
Barbara Fradkin is a retired psychologist who is fascinated with why people turn bad. She has written numerous short stories and novellas, as well as the critically acclaimed Inspector Green novels. Two of these, Fifth Son and Honour Among Men, have won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel. She currently lives in Ottawa.
Dundurn -$17.99 - Mystery Fiction
Shoot the Dog
In upstate New York, Virgil Cain is drawing hay behind his team of massive Percherons when two movie scouts show up and offer $500 a day to use the horses in a film to be shot in the area. Virgil reluctantly pockets the money, but he soon finds the chaotic set of Frontier Woman to be more trouble than it’s worth. Savvy movie producer Sam Sawchuk tries to keep tabs on a new investor, the Native American casino owner Ronnie Red Hawk, a rambling egomaniac with designs on an infamous starlet. When the film’s leading lady turns up dead, Virgil discovers that more is at stake than the carnal interests of a casino magnate and the production of a major motion picture. He realizes he needs to step in before a charming ten-year-old actress becomes the next victim.
Brad Smith was born and raised in southern Ontario. He has worked as a farmer, signalman, insulator, truck driver, bartender, schoolteacher, maintenance mechanic, roofer, and carpenter. He lives in an eighty-year-old farmhouse near the north shore of Lake Erie. Red Means Run, the first novel in his Virgil Cain series, was named among the Year’s Best Crime Novels by Booklist.
Scribner - $25.99 - Mystery Fiction
Up in Smoke
Dr. Zol Szabo and his team are called to a panic-stricken high school in the heart of Ontario’s tobacco country, where teens are dying from liver failure. The team suspects a link with contaminated, cut-price cigarettes manufactured on nearby Grand Basin Indian Reserve. When Zol confronts The Badger, the multi-millionaire kingpin of the illicit Native tobacco trade, he is ordered to shut down his investigation when rebuffed by high-level government authorities. The Badger’s contaminated tobacco spreads across the country, and key witnesses and Zol’s family are put in the crosshairs of a ruthless criminal. This third book in the Szabo series is a fascinating glimpse into the seedy underbelly of Ontario's tobacco country.
Ross Pennie was an infectious disease specialist and university professor for two decades before turning his hand to writing fiction. His two previous Dr. Zol Szabo novels (Tainted, 2009, and Tampered, 2011) both won the Arts Hamilton Literary Award. A father of two grown children, he lives with his wife near Hamilton, Ontario.
ECW Press - $14.95 - Mystery Fiction
Both books of poetry presented in this segment invite you to reflect on emerging out of darkness. Whether experienced personally or found in their environment, the profound distress of darkness drives both authors' lyrical journeys. The theme is seemingly timeless, with one author presenting her debut collection, while the second author has sixteen books of poetry to his name, as one of Canada's most-established poets. Join Sara Peters and Robert Priest for readings from their poetry collections and a discussion about what inspired their transformative prose.
Sara Peters’ visionary debut collection is a book about obsessions — about desire, violence, sex, beauty, and cruelty, about how they lace through our days, leaving us changed.
Sara Peters was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. She completed an MFA at Boston University, and was a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University from 2010 to 2012. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Daily, The Threepenny Review, and The Walrus. She lives in Toronto.
House of Anansi Press - $19.95 - Poetry
Previously Feared Darkness
Previously Feared Darkness picks up and pulls at the vibrant threads of Robert Priest’s last collection, Reading the Bible Backwards. One strand leads, with unabashed candour and elegance, through the author’s love life; another, through fields of praise; a third experiments with automated metaphors and delivers a challenging new selection of mash-ups that Priest calls meme splices. A fourth thread rekindles the author’s love of the prose poem to produce a suite of strange tales, bizarre playlets, and phonetic modifications. And, for those whose cry is “brevity forever,” the micro-poems Priest collects are numerous and brilliant.
Robert Priest is the author of sixteen books of poetry, three plays, two novels, lots of musical albums, one hit song, and many columns for NOW Magazine. His words have been debated in the legislature, posted in the transit system, quoted in the Farmer’s Almanac, and sung on Sesame Street. In recent years, his stint as Dr. Poetry on CBC Radio’s Wordbeat and his poetry videos on YouTube have helped him find a whole new audience. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
ECW Press - $18.95 - Poetry
Middle-aged Andy Bathgate clings to a precarious life in the logging town of Prince George, British Columbia. He fears the balance he currently enjoys - his relationship with a good woman, the uneasy truce with her eco-activist son, senior hockey with his friends - will come undone the moment the truth comes out: that he is not, in fact, Andy Bathgate. What he doesn't realize is that the people of his community aren't as clueless as he believes - and that honesty, decency, and fairness still have a place in the 21st century.
Brian Fawcett is the author of several works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, including My Career with the Leafs and Cambodia: A Book for People Who Find Television Too Slow. His book Virtual Clearcut: Or, the Way Things Are in My Home Town won the Pearson Prize for non-fiction in 2004. He was formerly a columnist for The Globe and Mail and an editor at Books in Canada. He is now a founding editor and contributor to dooneyscafe.com. Fawcett was born in Prince George, BC, and currently lives in Toronto.
Cormorant Books - $21.95 - Fiction
At the International Classical Guitar Competition in Montreal, top-flight musicians fly in from all over the world to compete in a gruelling week. A career can be made or lost here, and the slightest mishap can ruin years of preparation. More than a decade ago Toby made the finals in a similar competition but suffered a breakdown and is only now venturing back into the fray. Middle-aged Lucy is tired of playing bar mitzvahs and weddings and is determined to perform the recital of her life. Trace is a kayaking teenager from the West Coast who seems careless in her talent. Judges and contestants alike battle and scheme to achieve what they most desire. There is much more than pretty music being performed on this stage.
Ann Ireland is the author of A Certain Mr. Takahashi (winner of the Seal First Novel Award), Exile (shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize), and The Instructor (finalist for the Ontario Trillium Award). Her fourth novel, The Blue Guitar, was released in January 2013. A past PEN President and former Toronto Public Library Writer in Residence, Ireland lives in Toronto where she teaches writing at Ryerson University’s G. Chang School of Continuing Education.
Dundurn - $19.99 - Fiction
Doubleday Canada - $29.95 - Short fiction
If you could take just one thing back…Every Little Thing explores how lives are shaped by the butterfly effect of decisions that go desperately wrong. After a shocking family tragedy, Cohen Davies feels isolated, guilty, and numb to everything except the allure of his new neighbor, Allie Crosbie. But when Allie’s father asks an unfathomable favour, Cohen’s decision to help him sets off a chain reaction of irrevocable events that leave one man dead, one man assaulted, and Cohen incarcerated. In the aftermath, Allie reveals her own shocking secret. Every Little Thing shows us how a secret kept to protect love can just as easily destroy a life.
Chad Pelley’s fiction has been recognized by ten literary awards. His debut novel, Away from Everywhere, was a Coles bestseller and is currently in film development. His second novel, Every Little Thing, made the Most Anticipated Spring Release lists at both Quill & Quire and 49th Shelf. Pelley is the founder of the literary blog SaltyInk.com and President of the Writers Alliance of Newfoundland & Labrador.
Breakwater Books – $21.95 – Fiction
Barrett Fuller is a world-famous and very wealthy children’s author who writes under a pseudonym because he’s a self-absorbed womanizer and drug-user. His life changes when he receives an extortion letter, challenging him to live up to the morals he espouses in his books. He is presented with a series of tasks to complete or face having his identity revealed to the public, resulting in the ruin of his financial empire. Richard Fuller, Barrett’s nephew, has a secret too, and it’s one no kid should bear. He knows why his father left the family and he’s never told his mother. When the extortionist challenges Barrett to spend time with his nephew, their respective secrets move towards a collision that will change their lives forever.
Scott Carter is an author and screenwriter. His first short film debuted at the Exploding Cinema Film Festival in Los Angeles. Since then his films have played in festivals across North America and his script The Unspoken Promise was written for Bravo! Television. His first novel was the critically acclaimed Blind Luck. Carter lives in Toronto.
Dundurn -$19.99 - Fiction