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Biblioasis Spring 2018

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  • 1
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    Playthings Alex Pheby
    9781771961721 Paperback FICTION / Literary Publication Date:April 24, 2018
    $19.95 CAD 5 x 8 x 0.5 in | 482 gr | 248 pages Carton Quantity:40 Canadian Rights: Y Biblioasis
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      Description
      A hallucinatory, fragmentary, and tragic fictional telling of one of the most famous psychotherapy cases in history, Alex Pheby’s Playthings offers a visceral and darkly comic portrait of paranoid schizophrenia. Based on the true story of nineteenth-century German judge Daniel Paul Schreber, Playthings artfully shows the disorienting human tragedy of Schreber’s psychosis, in vertiginous prose that blurs the lines between madness and sanity.
      Bio
      Alex Pheby was born in Essex and moved to Worcester in his early childhood. He currently lives in London, where he teaches at the University of Greenwich. His first novel, Grace, was published in 2009 by Two Ravens Press. His second novel, Playthings about the life of the Daniel Paul Schreber was published in 2015 in the UK by Galley Beggar Press. Widely acclaimed in media from the Guardian to the New York Times, and called "the best neuro-novel ever written" in the Literary Review, Playthings was shortlisted for the 2016 £30,000 Wellcome Book Prize.
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    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews

      Praise for Playthings

      “[A] skillfully rich novel . . . A close third-person voice situates Playthings in an eerie place between a lived account of insanity and a careful observation of a mind’s unraveling . . . [A]gile and wily.”New York Times Book Review

      “Marvellously surprising and vivid, something new. Somehow inside the shape of an old story he traces fresh experiences as if for the first time. The detail is so sensuously precise. Impressed as I haven't been by a new novel for a while.” —Tessa Hadley in the New York Times

      “Bold... immersive... compassionate... [In Playthings], we are made to see a logic to Schreber’s psychosis and an illogicality and madness in the actions of the doctors and people around him... It is this humanizing aspect of the novel which is most valuable; we are reminded of the immense tragedy of his experiences of illness, experiences that are too often removed from the context of life.” —The Times Literary Supplement

      “Intricate and intelligent...effectively transports readers into Schreber's experience and tragedy.” —Publisher's Weekly

      “A highly detailed, emotional plunge into the mind of a disturbed man... An intense, immersive reading experience that provides real insight into those afflicted with severe mental illness.” Kirkus

      “Throughout this compelling novel the space between reader and Schreber becomes a sombre reminder of how alone we all are.” The Guardian

      “If Playthings is a neuronovel then it’s arguably the best neuronovel ever written, particularly in its depiction of memory and the instability of personality. But it transcends any such category and is simply a superb novel tout court, Kafkaesque in its nightmarish fluency and a powerful exposition of Kant’s celebrated view that ‘the madman is a waking dreamer.’”Literary Review

      “A haunting new novel... [Pheby] doesn't merely relate Schreber's illness. He invites us to inhabit it - using prose that is both precise and beautiful. His disjointed prose conveys disordered thinking.” New Scientist

      “Alex Pheby s novel Playthings, about one of Freud's patients, takes us inside the experience of delusion, turning perception upside down and the results are darkly comical as well as tragic.” The Psychologist

  • 2
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    The Pre-War House and Other Stories Alison Moore
    9781771962155 Paperback FICTION / Short Stories Publication Date:June 12, 2018
    $19.95 CAD 5 x 7.75 x 0.53 in | 250 gr | 288 pages Carton Quantity:52 Canadian Rights: Y Biblioasis
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      Description

      A brooding uncle takes an au pair’s passport. Years of tension between a father and a son erupt with violent consequences. A man disappears along a lonely mail route . . . and it has happened before. From the Man Booker-shortlisted author of The Lighthouse comes this uncanny collection of short fiction about the unhomeliness of home: Fractured families, domestic claustrophobia, and the unseen menace of the everyday. With the same emotional tension and tightly controlled prose that garnered her first novel such accolades, Moore once again shines a light into the darkest corners of the human heart, moving deftly from flash fiction to novella, from insightful realism to chilling gothic horror.

      Bio
      Alison Moore's first novel, The Lighthouse, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Awards, winning the McKitterick Prize. Both The Lighthouse and her second novel, He Wants (Biblioasis, 2016), were Observer Books of the Year. Her most recent novel is Death and the Seaside (forthcoming from Biblioasis). Her short fiction has been included in Best British Short Stories and Best British Horror anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio. The title story of her debut collection, The Pre-War House and Other Stories, won a novella prize. Her first children's book, Sunny and the Ghosts, will be published in the UK in 2018.
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    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews

      Praise for The Pre-War House

      “I envy Moore's talent ... it was impossible to stay away long.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

      “[There's] a quiet sense of sadness that dogs these characters. As they navigate their lives, Moore slowly unearths their essential fears, regrets, and unmet desires, producing a subdued and beautiful feeling of yearning that leaves the reader ruminating long after the final page. A masterful collection.” —Kirkus Reviews

      “These stories possess an eerie stillness...Moore is a master of saying much with few words...The titular, final story seamlessly weaves together memory and family history. A few stories qualify as flash fiction, so readers might start there--and that should be all it takes to get hooked. They'll also be intrigued by the stories' endings, which all come with a little hitch. Although theses are not happy tales, they are satisfying reads. Moore is the real deal.” —Booklist

      “Delightfully creepy and gut-wrenching.” —Winnipeg Free Press

      “The Pre-War House and Other Stories ... is threaded by a sense of unease that speaks to the uncertainty of life’s calm patterns. Often Moore’s stories upend suddenly by a danger like the steady tow of an undercurrent ... Moore’s writing is surprising and exact and culminates in the title story, the novella which brings the collection to a powerful crescendo.” Arkansas International

      “Just as uncompromising and unsettling as The Lighthouse.”The Guardian

      “Beautifully crafted, rendered in a lean, pared-down style that accentuates the stark content.” Metro

      “The tales collected in The Pre-War House... pick at psychological scabs in a register both wistful and brutal.” The Times Literary Supplement

      “There is an insistent, rhythmic quality to Moore’s writing, and a dark imagination at work.”The Daily Mail

  • 3
    catalogue cover
    9781771962131 Paperback FICTION / Humorous Publication Date:September 11, 2018
    $22.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.75 in | 523 gr | 424 pages Carton Quantity:24 Canadian Rights: Y Biblioasis
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      Description

      In his fourth collection, C. P. Boyko turnshis keen eye to the question of power—in schools and on campuses, in doctor’s offices and boardrooms, in triage tents and on the battlefield. A high-school math teacher tries too hard to be liked; childhood friends grow up and go to war for very different reasons; for purposes not entirely medical, a dentist hypnotizes a patient; management and workers struggle for control of a faltering factory; infantries comprised exclusively of women meet in battle; and undergraduates occupy a university president’s offfice, rallying beneath the flag of moral outrage.

      Moving effortlessly through a range of styles, from contemporary realist fiction and episodic adventures to three-act plays and polyvocal narratives, Boyko’s chameleon talents reveal the thread that binds his disparate characters and plots: the hunger to hold power and all the ways we are consumed by it. Clear-eyed but not cynical, satirical without being sarcastic, The Children’s War is as entertaining as it is insightful.

      Bio
      C. P. Boyko lives and writes in Vancouver.
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    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews

      Praise for The Children's War

      “Graphic, tragic, beautiful, surprising, nuanced . . . and unmistakably genius.” —Kirkus

      “For readers who like their collections big and bold...Dense but readable, these stories are well developed and sufficiently tilted in content to attract a range of serious readers.” —Library Journal

      “[T]he farcical, absurd, deft story 'The Takeover of Founders’ Hall' . . . [is] a searing vision of folly and a picture of the Ivory Tower that’s hilariously irreverent . . . Slamming together disparate genres, ['Andrew and Hillary'] impresses as a showcase of terrific writing and untrammelled invention.” Quill & Quire

      “Nimble . . . Boyko gives new meaning to the term 'elastic prose' . . . These stories will haunt the minds of readers long after they finish the book.” —Winnipeg Free Press

      “C.P. Boyko proves the broad reach of his talents in The Children’s War, a collection of six stories that range from novella to play to traditional short-story. His characters here are often intelligent and emotional, resulting in explosive conflicts; whether the setting be an oppressive school, an ever-busy factory, or the frontlines of a war between the armies on an unnamed island and its interfering super-power neighbor . . . Though the choices these characters make are not always effective, it is clear that Boyko understands this truth: action is always human and, even in failure, is often beautiful.” —Arkansas International

      Praise for C.P. Boyko

      “Uproarious…Boyko’s ensemble of absurd, inexhaustible narcissists comes uncomfortably near to reality.” —Wall Street Journal

      “These stories are funny and sardonic, satirical, well-written, and keen . . . [Boyko’s] characters are larger-than-life, very funny, but more authentic than they first seem . . . we’ll enjoy laughing at them, and laugh at ourselves at the same time.” —San Francisco Book Review

      "Few writers in this country have a better poker face than C.P. Boyko . . . vivid and wickedly funny.” —The Globe and Mail

      “Laughter is Boyko’s preferred method in Novelists: He examines the pomposity and naked insecurities of his titular breed through humour, much of it painfully ironic . . . a highly amusing riposte to the culture of literary awards.” —National Post

  • 4
    catalogue cover
    9781771962292 Paperback FICTION / Humorous Publication Date:June 12, 2018
    $19.95 CAD 5.25 x 8.25 x 0.53 in | 380 gr | 288 pages Carton Quantity:44 Canadian Rights: Y Biblioasis
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      Description

      Spooked by some ball lightning on his wedding night, repressed young Catholic Griffith Smolders interprets this as a sign and abandons his conjugal responsibilities by escaping through the window, enduring a series of misadventures along the way involving, among others, con men, murderesses, shipwrecks, and autodidact biologist hermits. Giving chase, his betrothed, Avice Drinkwater, finally runs Grif aground in a tiny island community, and prepares to exact her revenge.

      Set in the rough-and-tumble late nineteenth century backwoods, The Iconoclast’s Journal is wildly kinetic, a madcap picaresque and comic anti-romance by one of the most inventive writers at work today.

      Bio
      Terry Griggs is the author of Quickening, which was nominated for a Governor General’s Award, The Lusty Man, and Thought You Were Dead. Her popular children’s novels include the Cat’s Eye Corner series, and, most recently, Nieve (Biblioasis). In 2003, Terry Griggs was awarded the Marian Engel Award in recognition of a distinguished body of work, and in 2010 honoured with the installation of a Project Bookmark Canada plaque in Owen Sound. Her latest book is the short fiction collection, The Discovery of Honey (Biblioasis, 2017). She lives in Stratford, Ontario.
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    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews

      Praise for The Iconoclast's Journal

      “Terry Griggs’s second novel [The Iconoclast’s Journal] is as exuberantly inventive, verbally juiced up and sexually outrageous as her first, The Lusty Man?and more pointedly iconoclastic….The language, the verbal fireworks, the apparently limitless stream of image and metaphor?startling, heady, hilarious?do it all.”?The Globe and Mail

      “...smashes apart Victorian society (and modern society by extension) and rebuilds it as a Swiftian fantasy, raucous as Huckleberry Finn and nearly as bizarre as Alice in Wonderland…intensely intoxicating and bestowing delicious feelings of hallucination.”—Quill & Quire

      “[a] humorous novel, delivered with verbal panache and the writer’s tongue firmly planted in cheek...a delightful fairy tale for adults, a fable set in Victorian Canada with an enjoyable cast of characters, and quite probably a moral or two hidden somewhere within its pages.” —New York Journal of Books

      “Ribald and rambunctious... the greater pleasure of it is where it travels. Whenever you think you know where the tale is heading it zigs once and zags twice, bringing you to places you never imagined going.” —James Crossley, Mercer Island Books

      “Terry Griggs’s The Iconoclast’s Journal compels thoughts, things, places, and faces to populate its pages with their hidden stories: too outrageous to be believed yet too convincing to be doubted, and universally successful in exposing the truth, tragedy, and humor within.” —Foreword Reviews (starred review)

      "[Grif] stumbles, quite literally, into one adventure after another, treating each with bewilderment and hope ... strongly picaresque, in the irreverent manner of Apuleius’ The Golden Ass ... The humor is punctuated by moments as tragic as they are comic." —Arkansas International

      “Terry Griggs has just immortalized the runaway bridegroom. She’s a wildly inventive storyteller, gifted with a superb turn of phrase.”—The Montreal Gazette

      “This book is a carnival, filled with freaks and wonders. The narrative is preposterous, the characters fabulous, drawn sharper than life, coloured more brightly, yet after you put the book down, you see them everywhere.”—The Ottawa Citizen

      “The strangeness of Griggs’s novel is matched by its panache. She takes the tall tales of rural Ontario and turns them into a story that moves with the speed and certitude of a bullet. [The Iconoclast’s Journal] has the hilarity of a Jack Hodgins’ novel and the inquisitive menace of the Melville who wrote The Confidence-Man and Moby Dick. It’s definitive proof that fiction about the Victorian bush doesn’t have to be stodgy, dull, or conventional. For those who enjoy a good smart cock-and-bull story, [The Iconoclast’s Journal] is a must-read.”?Jack Illingworth

      “...a rollicking romp and frivolously fantastical; it’s not heavy, but heavenly.”—The Hamilton Spectator

      "I’ve long been an admirer of Terry Griggs’ writing. Her language is precise and evocative, even magical. Her talents are on full display in The Iconoclast's Journal...this book is a delight." —Andrea Curtis, 49th Shelf

      "Never should have gone out of print . . . the novel now has a home worthy of it." —David Worsley, 49th Shelf

      "If rollicking nineteenth century adventure coupled with the oddities that make a marriage are of interest to you, The Iconoclast’s Journal is a must read." —Manhattan Book Review

  • 5
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    Oscar Mauricio Segura Canada, Donald Winkler Canada
    9781771962254 Paperback FICTION / Literary Publication Date:June 12, 2018
    $18.95 CAD 5 x 8 x 0.53 in | 190 gr | 172 pages Carton Quantity:68 Canadian Rights: Y Biblioasis
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      Description

      Brad succumbs to the white plague, Oscar too spends his days fighting disease, confined to a hospital. Playing the organ at night for a mysterious sickly girl, he discovers his own talent, although years after recovery, he finds himself desperate, poor, and depressed—until the devil, otherwise known to the world as impresario Norman G, happens on him in a moment of crisis.

      Inspired by the life of legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, Mauricio Segura’s Oscar evokes periods across time, from the Depression-era Montreal neighbourhood of Little Burgundy to the swinging cabarets of the 1950s, while offering a reflection on the bonds between an artist and the Caribbean diaspora from which he comes. But above all, Oscar is a poignant homage to a musical giant, a man who changed the face of jazz forever.

      Bio

      Born in Chile, Mauricio Segura grew up in Montreal and studied at Université de Montréal and McGill University. He is a well-known journalist, scriptwriter, and documentary filmmaker. An editor of the literary journal L’Inconvénient and a regular contributor to the Montreal public affairs magazine L’Actualité, he has taught at Concordia University, McGill University, and Université de Montréal.

      Segura is the author of four novels and a study of Western depictions of Latin America. His novels Black Alley and Eucalyptus were published in English by Biblioasis. Black Alley is widely studied in Quebec’s junior college system. Eucalyptus was named one of Amazon’s 100 best books of 2013. The Montreal newspaper La Presse chose Oscar as one of the 40 best books of 2016.

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      Awards
      Reviews

      PRAISE FOR OSCAR

      "Bursts at the seams with historical events, colourful characters, and timeless themes...with its lilting strains of magical realism and strange sense of time, the book often recalls greats like Patrick Chamoiseau and Edwidge Danticat...with a keen eye to the history of Montreal and a knowing ear attuned to the ins and outs of swing and bebop, Segura shows both great force and a certain playfulness." —Montreal Review of Books

      "An intriguing investigation into the life of one of Canada’s most iconic musicians... a fascinating work of fiction." —Toronto Star

      "Story unravels in very creative ways...[an] enjoyable read...fascinating" —Jael Richardson on CBC Radio's q

      "an enchanting and lyrical novel of the tragic consequences losing a loved one may have—and the dangers of impulsively grasping at greatness." —World Literature Today

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