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Governor General's Literary Awards 2019

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  • 1
    catalogue cover
    Five Wives A Novel Joan Thomas Canada
    9781443458542 Paperback FICTION / Women On Sale Date:September 03, 2019
    $24.99 CAD 6 x 9 x 1 in | 15.04 oz | 400 pages Carton Quantity:36 HarperAvenue
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      In the tradition of The Poisonwood Bible and State of Wonder, a novel set in the rainforest of Ecuador about five women left behind when their missionary husbands are killed. Based on the shocking real-life events

      In 1956, a small group of evangelical Christian missionaries and their families journeyed to the rainforest in Ecuador intending to convert the Waorani, a people who had never had contact with the outside world. The plan was known as Operation Auca. After spending days dropping gifts from an aircraft, the five men in the party rashly entered the “intangible zone.” They were all killed, leaving their wives and children to fend for themselves.

      Five Wives is the fictionalized account of the real-life women who were left behind, and their struggles – with grief, with doubt, and with each other – as they continued to pursue their evangelical mission in the face of the explosion of fame that followed their husbands’ deaths.

      Five Wives is a riveting, often wrenching story of evangelism and its legacy, teeming with atmosphere and compelling characters and rich in emotional impact.


      JOAN THOMAS is the author of five novels, most recently Five Wives, which won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Her first novel, Reading by Lightning, won the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book (Canada and the Caribbean) and the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, and was nominated for four other awards, including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The bestseller Curiosity was named a Quill & Quire Book of the Year and was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, as well as the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The Opening Sky won the McNally Robinson Prize for Book of the Year and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. A recipient of the Writers’ Trust of Canada Engel Findley Award, Joan Thomas lives in Winnipeg.

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    • Awards & Reviews

      Governor General’s Literary Award

      “Brilliant, eloquent, curious, far-seeing . . . Thomas is a beautiful writer. . . . [Her] remarkable feat of imagination puts her in [Alice] Munro’s league.” — The Globe and Mail

      “Magnificent . . . . Five Wives is riveting, from start to finish. The season’s must-read for historical fiction fans.” — Toronto Star

      Five Wives is an engrossing, thoughtful read, and a fresh testament to Thomas’s narrative powers — and her ability to locate a human pulse under the often-deafening drumbeats of religious and cultural tradition.” — Winnipeg Free Press

      “Joan Thomas eviscerates the myth of the benevolent missionary in this fictionalized account of how evangelicals descended on the Waorani, an Ecuadorean Indigenous community, devastating their culture and lives.” — NOW Magazine

      "Thomas’s blend of fact and fiction is effective, and her vivid descriptions evoke a distant past, giving readers a glimpse into a bygone era and the patriarchal structures at play. — Literary Review of Canada

      “What a wonderful book! Joan Thomas takes us deep into Operation Auca and into the wild jungle of her characters’ hearts. This gorgeous, nuanced retelling offers up historical events in a new light and forces us to ask difficult and timely questions about colonialism, indigeneity, and faith.” — Alison Pick, author of Strangers with the Same Dream

      “Joan Thomas is like an explorer who has gone out to discover the missionary tribe, and then returned as witness to its fallibility. Thomas does not preach, nor does she judge. What amazes most is how, through a deft sleight of hand and deep compassion, the author turns the idea of salvation upside down and exposes the invader. A beauty of a story.” — David Bergen, author of The Stranger

      “To take a true, shocking story and tell it from the inside, without judgment or theatrics but with an unwavering respect for the facts and a generosity of imagination that is the hallmark great storytelling, is no small feat. Thomas has more than risen to the challenge. This is a brave, important, utterly absorbing novel.” — Barbara Gowdy, author of Little Sister

      “This is a riveting, gut wrenching piece of true fiction (if there is such a thing), one that I read with amazement . . . a brave, totally absorbing book.” — The Owen Sound Sun-Times

  • 2
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    Eye Marianne Micros Canada
    9781771832571 Paperback FICTION / Literary Publication Date:September 01, 2018
    $20.00 CAD 5 x 8 x 0.3 in | 180 gr | 140 pages Carton Quantity:54 Canadian Rights: Y Guernica Editions
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      Finalist for the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award

      Myth, folklore, and magic permeate the stories in Marianne Micros' collection Eye. Set in ancient and modern Greece, and in contemporary Europe and North America, these tales tell of evil-eye curses, women healers, ghosts, a changeling, and people struggling to retain or gain power in a world of changing beliefs. Here you will find stories of a nymph transformed into a heifer, a young soldier who returns home to discover that his brother is a changeling, an ancient temple uncovered during the construction of a church, a betrayed woman lost in a labyrinth, a wise woman confronting changes to her position when modern technology comes to her village. Some stories show that people still seek refuge in myth and folk beliefs; the ways of the past are not gone. The paving of a village does not destroy the power of the evil eye or the ability to repel it. A temple in honour of the old gods comes again to the surface. An unfinished musical composition for piano magically completes itself whenever it is played.


      Marianne Micros, in her story collection Eye, explores the mythology, folklore, Greek customs, and old-world cultures that have fascinated her all her life. Her previous publications include two poetry collections, Upstairs Over the Ice Cream (Ergo) and Seventeen Trees (Guernica); and poems and short fiction in anthologies and journals. She has also published scholarly articles on Renaissance and contemporary subjects and a bibliographical monograph on Al Purdy. Marianne’s suite of poems Demeter’s Daughters was shortlisted for the Gwendolyn MacEwen poetry competition in 2015 and published in Exile: The Literary Quarterly. Having retired as an English professor at the University of Guelph, Marianne is currently compiling new poems into a book and working on a second collection of stories.

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    • Awards & Reviews

      Governor General's Award for Fiction (Short-listed) 2019, Short-listed
      Danuta Gleed Literary Award (Short-listed) 2019, Short-listed

      Eye by Marianne Micros is a satisfying and thought-provoking experience. You get a sense of the melding of different cultures and different eras in a new form.

  • 3
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    Late Breaking K.D. Miller Canada
    9781771962476 Paperback FICTION / Short Stories Publication Date:October 02, 2018
    $19.95 CAD 5.25 x 8.25 x 0.5 in | 388 gr | 288 pages Carton Quantity:28 Canadian Rights: Y Biblioasis
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      Inspired by the work of Alex Colville, the linked stories in K.D. Miller’s Late Breaking form a suite of portraits that evoke the paintings’ looming atmospheres and uncanny stillness while traveling deeply into their subjects’ vividly imagined lives. Throughout, the collection bears witness to the vulnerability of the elder heart, revealing that love, sex, and heartbreak are not only the domain of the young, and deftly rendering the conflicts that divide us and the ties that bind. Husbands and wives struggle to communicate, romantic relationships flare and falter, parents and children navigate their complicated feelings, and older women struggle with diminishing status in a youth-obsessed culture while the threat of violence haunts young women and girls. Yet as the stories intersect and the characters’ lives are increasingly entwined, fear, guilt, estrangement, and the fact of death are met by courage, redemption and the fragile beauty of love, in all its myriad guises. Brilliantly observed, both tender and tortured, and in no way afraid of the dark, these stories confirm K.D. Miller as one of our best and bravest writers.


      K.D. Miller is the author of two previous short story collections (Give me Your Answer and Litany on a Time of Plague), a novel (Brown Dwarf), and an essay collection, Holy Writ. Her newest work, All Saints, was shortlisted for the 2014 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and longlisted for the 2014 Frank O’Connor Award. She lives and writes in Toronto.

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    • Awards & Reviews

      Scotiabank Giller Prize 2019, Long-listed
      Governor General's Award 2019, Short-listed
      Trillium Award 2019, Short-listed
      Toronto Book Award 2019, Short-listed

      Praise for Late Breaking

      “[K.D. Miller's] stories are sharp, memorable and sometimes harsh. She’s particularly good on sex, and the infinitely variable meanings of sex. Once I had read a few of her stories, nothing could stop me from reading the rest. Miller is obviously a careful, imaginative and deeply empathic author.”—National Post

      "A deft, nuanced, and human collection of stories. K.D. Miller's gaze catches both humour and darkness in a wide variety of relationships. A thoroughly captivating book."—Rebecca Rosenblum

      "An undercurrent of the surreal pulses through 10 linked stories...sensitive portrayals of the fragility of love and ubiquity of need." —Kirkus Reviews "

      If K.D. Miller had produced nothing other than “The Last Trumpet,” the opening entry in this collection of linked stories, she would still have a place on any list of this year’s best fiction. Taking up themes of aging, loneliness, and regret, “The Last Trumpet” is one of the saddest, most affecting pieces of short fiction to appear in this country in recent memory. But that story is just the first blast in a collection that is consistently engaging and assured. The stories in Late Breaking—loosely tied together by recurring characters, a focus on aging and death, and the paintings of Alex Colville—are moving and beautifully written." —Steven W. Beattie

      "In Miller’s capable hands . . . familiar themes become fresh, even raw, pulsing with sexuality and longing and anger or casting a cold eye on all the preoccupations of a younger self in a younger world . . . Late Breaking is by turns tender, comic (a number of the characters are writers, which offers opportunity for satire), sad, uncompromising, horrifying and redemptive. The Gothic (think Shirley Jackson and William Faulkner) is never far away. Best of all, for all the seeming familiarity of its themes, the stories are never predictable. Never." —Minneapolis Star Tribune

      "In some stories, Miller takes off from the narrative suggestion of a specific painting. In others, she builds from the sense of relationship between people or simply the tone Colville of what depicted. The end result feels like a comprehensive narrative, the characters linked by more than their source material. A real standout." —Jade Colbert, Globe and Mail

      "Miller's attentiveness . . . is touching . . . The stories themselves are rich with coherence, meaning, and suggestion, and part of what makes them so satisfying is the space they leave free for us to engage with them and find our own interpretation." —Quill & Quire

      "Compulsively readable. Like an Alex Colville painting . . . the longer you look, you realize there's something darker going on underneath the surface. My favourite book so far this fall." —CBC Ontario Morning

      "Each of the 10 stories is introduced by a haunting Colville image . . . These paintings, through mood and theme, serve as prompts for the stories, with characters often wandering in from one verbal canvas to another. Refreshingly, the stories feature people in their 60s experiencing big fat emotions that younger writers often deny them." —Toronto Star

      "These are all rich and absorbing stories on their own, but even richer for how they also inform each other . . . K.D. Miller’s fiction seems to conjure whole worlds, with characters who seem to walk off the page . . . We get glimpses of these people, but they’re like the tip of an iceberg and there’s so much more going on beneath the surface. Which is something you could say about the people in Colville’s paintings too, and about each of these stories themselves, compelling and disturbing, and impossible to look away from, creating the most terrific momentum." —Kerry Clare

      "These stories plumb the depths of sadness and despair but never lose sight of their obverse: the quiet resilience and dignity of the human spirit, which doesn’t fade with age." —Hamilton Review of Books

      "These stories are brilliant and addictive and I wanted them to last forever."—Consumed by Ink

      "A fabulous book." —CHCH-TV Morning Live

      Praise for K.D. Miller

      “One of Canada’s finest writers, able to probe deeper into the human heart than the best surgeon.”—National Post

      “A quietly astonishing book of short stories . . . [Miller’s] genius, like that of Alice Munro, is wringing suspense—and poignancy—from the quotidian. [All Saints’] structure is as complex and delicate as origami. Plots and characters link in haunting and astounding ways. As a collection, the stories reflect the power and purpose of all communities, ecclesiastical or otherwise: read like a novel, they offer multi-faceted perspective and illumination. The result is a Canadian classic.”—Maclean’s

      “[Miller] will no doubt inspire and affirm other artists—not to mention ordinary folks—who wrestle (in secret) with angels.”—Toronto Star

      “It is a testament to Miller’s genius that she makes us care so much about her characters and their fates.” —Quill and Quire

  • 4
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    The Innocents Michael Crummey Canada
    9780385685412 Hardcover FICTION / Family Life On Sale Date:August 27, 2019
    $32.95 CAD 5.69 x 8.52 x 1.03 in | 0.91 lb | 304 pages Carton Quantity:12 Canadian Rights: Y Doubleday Canada
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      *NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2019 BY The Globe and Mail • CBC • Toronto Star • Maclean's

      Crummey's novel has the capacity to change the way the reader sees the world
      —Scotiabank Giller Prize Jury Citation 

      From bestselling, award-winning author Michael Crummey comes a sweeping, heart-wrenching, deeply immersive novel about a brother and sister alone in a small world.

      A brother and sister are orphaned in an isolated cove on Newfoundland's northern coastline. Their home is a stretch of rocky shore governed by the feral ocean, by a relentless pendulum of abundance and murderous scarcity. Still children with only the barest notion of the outside world, they have nothing but the family's boat and the little knowledge passed on haphazardly by their mother and father to keep them.

      As they fight for their own survival through years of meagre catches and storms and ravaging illness, it is their fierce loyalty to each other that motivates and sustains them. But as seasons pass and they wade deeper into the mystery of their own natures, even that loyalty will be tested.

      This novel is richly imagined and compulsively readable, a riveting story of hardship and survival, and an unflinching exploration of the bond between brother and sister. By turns electrifying and heartbreaking, it is a testament to the bounty and barbarity of the world, to the wonders and strangeness of our individual selves.
      MICHAEL CRUMMEY is the author of a memoir, Newfoundland: Journey into a Lost Nation; three books of poetry including Arguments with Gravity, winner of the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for Poetry; and a book of short stories, Flesh & Blood. His first novel, River Thieves, was a finalist for the 2001 Scotiabank Giller Prize; and his second novel, The Wreckage, was a finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. His third novel, Galore, won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Canada and the Caribbean) and was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award. His most recent novel, Sweetland, was also a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award. He lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.
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    • Awards & Reviews


      "Written in a language that is at the same time fresh and ancient, Michael Crummey's The Innocents is a (mis)creation myth that demands a reconsideration of what we think we know about love and death, family and loneliness, oblivion and wisdom, horror and beauty, bodies and knowledge, violence and desire. Anchored in exquisite specificity and heartbreaking simplicity, and inviting us into a distant past that makes fresh matters of ever-present concern about survival and sacrifice, Crummey's novel has the capacity to change the way the reader sees the world." —2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize Jury Citation

      "Rich with visceral descriptions and outport dialogue that transports readers in both place and time . . . Crummey deftly portrays the physical elements of adolescence as yet another mystifying imposition of nature, but one that both alienates the Best siblings and irrevocably binds them." —The Globe and Mail

      "The Innocents resists reader anticipation at every turn. . . . This willingness to resist the easy narrative path is one of The Innocents' great strengths. . . . Crummey is able to create sentences of considerable beauty and force without ever seeming to overstep himself, a complexity rooted in the emotional weight of the language and his comfort with the vernacular. The novel never reads as excessive; its beauty is restrained, weighted and often heartbreaking. Which is perhaps the best description of the novel overall. Crummey makes a virtue of the self-imposed limitations of the story—essentially two characters in a single setting—to explore the nature of what makes us who we are, what makes a family and the sacrifices that are made in the name of love." —Toronto Star

      "A gripping and credible page-turner about children surviving in the wilderness, but more than that: this Adam and Eve struggle to make sense of a world that's somewhere between Eden and Hell. Michael Crummey writes like an avenging angel, never putting a word wrong." Emma Donoghue, author of Room

      "Michael Crummey's The Innocents is a dazzling and myriad achievement. Set against the unforgiving Newfoundland frontier, this harrowing tale of two siblings eking out a teetering existence is difficult to witness and impossible to put down. But what makes this story timeless is Crummey's rich depiction of the human heart in extremis, the unflagging beat of life in a world that is too much to bear. Set aside whatever you're reading and pick this up—The Innocents is a masterpiece." Smith Henderson, author of Fourth of July Creek

      "Michael Crummey's new novel The Innocents is a fantastic read. Written in graceful and evocative prose, Ada and Evered's story blurs the boundary between the quotidian and the strange until it becomes a meditation on the curious fact of existence itself. A wonderfully provocative and insightful book." Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds and A Shout in the Ruins

      "Few novels have cast their spell on me as deeply as The Innocents. I am reminded of Dickens, not just the nineteenth-century setting and the imperiled children, but the artfulness: brilliant plot, unforgettable minor characters, perfect pacing. Yet Michael Crummey's poetic voice and landscape are his own. The Innocents is brilliant." —Ron Rash, author of Serena

      "Crummey's refusal to go where you might expect . . . provides page-turning pleasures. You can't wait to see what happens next. An unusual, gripping period novel from a much-honored Canadian writer." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

      "Harshly beautiful. . . . What begins as a gripping survival tale deepens into a psychological inquiry into intimacy, conflict and what it means to be alone together in the world. . . . Crummey's vivid depictions of nature are attuned to the rhythms of seasonal harvest and evoke the characters' profound isolation in remote Newfoundland. . . . The last scenes of The Innocents manage to both shock and satisfy, and will leave readers thinking about the story of Evered and Ava for a long time." —USA Today

      "A gorgeous portrait of remote Newfoundland of yesterday with a remarkable story of human resilience at its core." —Booklist

      "[A] profoundly heart-wrenching story." —Maclean's

      "Moving. . . . The relentless bleakness is alleviated by the cinematic depiction of the surrounding wilderness, with Crummey's prose recalling that of Jim Crace in its strange, archaic terminology and sense of timelessness." Library Journal

      "Imagine Into the Wild with prepubescents, told in the voice of a William Blake acolyte as verbally inventive as Tolkien. . . . The Innocents is a survivor narrative and a psychological thriller, a chilling study in isolation." —Vulture

      Praise for Michael Crummey

      "Michael Crummey is without a doubt one of Canada's finest writers." —The Globe and Mail

      "Crummey is a poet and a storyteller and he has an extraordinary way of pinning down even a squirming reader and charming them into submission. He's wise in that old soul way. He explores human nature, charting the moral choices of his characters without passing judgement. . . . Crummey's gift is to write with compassion, imbuing the relationships with complexity and depth. He doesn't make anything simpleor simplistic." —National Post

      "It's a rare writer who can fashion a vivid memorial to an all-but-vanished way of life; it's a rarer one who can excavate the vernacular and raise it to planes so poignantly and viscerally true, the exquisite beauty of the apparently ordinary shimmers with a matter-of-fact clarity guaranteed to curl your toes." —Toronto Star

      "Crummey's craftsmanship is masterful." —Maclean's

      "Crummey's elegant prose and storytelling prowess make abundantly clear [that] no man is an island." —The New York Times Book Review

      "Crummey's poetics are like the landscape he describes: stark and sparse, but punctuated with a wild richness that creates the impression of something carefully controlled yet on the verge of bursting. . . . In Crummey's capable hands, the setting breeds magic, and the individuals that populate its rugged terrain are nuanced and real." —The Walrus
  • 5
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    The Student Cary Fagan Canada
    9781988298443 Paperback FICTION / Literary Publication Date:May 04, 2019
    $21.95 CAD 5.25 x 8 x 0.46 in | 220 gr | 184 pages Carton Quantity:60 Canadian Rights: Y Freehand Books
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      Finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award

      The Student is a portrait of a life in two snapshots.

      It's 1957 and Miriam Moscowitz is starting her final year of university with unwavering ambition. She is a serious and passionate student of literature who studies hard, dates a young Jewish man with a good job, and is the apple of her father's eye and the worry of her mother's. But then, in a single moment, her dreams crumble around her. Unsure of how to break a path for herself, she begins a reckless affair with an American student obsessed with the civil rights clashes in the south. When the young man abandons her to join the movement back home, Miriam gets on a bus to follow him, no longer sure of anything in her life.

      Forty-eight years later, Miriam is the about to witness her son's wedding (a newly-legal, same-sex marriage). She climbs the stairs to her study to look at a book she had carried with her on a bus to Detroit. She reads the marginalia written in her young, minuscule handwriting. It is familiar and strange, embarrassing and exhilarating, and she wonders what the young person who had written all these words almost half a century ago had to do with the old woman who read them now.

      The Student is a compassionate and compelling work of fiction that brings together two pivotal times in history. With its innovative structure, masterful prose, and intelligently crafted characters, this book illustrates how we are shaped by - and can eventually overcome - the constraints of the times we occupy.


      Cary Fagan is the author of six novels and three story collections for adults, as well as many award-winning books for children. His books include A Bird's Eye (finalist for the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize, an Amazon.ca Best Book of the Year), My Life Among the Apes (longlisted for the Giller Prize, Amazon.ca Best 100 Books of 2013), and The Student (shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award and the Toronto Book Award). Cary was born and raised in Toronto, where he lives with his family.

      Marketing & Promotion
        Toronto book launch sponsored by Toronto Lit Up
        Pitches to festivals across Canada
        Targeted national review mailing
        Advertising in literary magazines and festival programs
        ARCs available
        Book trailer distributed through social media
        Book club guides to be made available on www.freehand-books.com
    • Awards & Reviews

      City of Toronto Book Award 2019, Short-listed
      Governor General's Award for Fiction 2019, Short-listed
  • 6
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    To the River Losing My Brother Don Gillmor Canada
    9780345814661 Hardcover BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs On Sale Date:December 31, 2018
    $29.95 CAD 5.88 x 8.52 x 1.06 in | 0.93 lb | 272 pages Carton Quantity:12 Canadian Rights: Y Random House Canada
    • Marketing Copy

      An eloquent and haunting exploration of suicide in which one of Canada's most gifted writers attempts to understand why his brother took his own life. Which leads him to another powerful question: Why are boomers killing themselves at a far greater rate than the Silent Generation before them or the generations that have followed?

      In the spring of 2006, Don Gillmor travelled to Whitehorse to reconstruct the last days of his brother, David, whose truck and cowboy hat were found at the edge of the Yukon River just outside of town the previous December. David's family, his second wife, and his friends had different theories about his disappearance. Some thought David had run away; some thought he'd met with foul play; but most believed that David, a talented musician who at the age of 48 was about to give up the night life for a day job, had intentionally walked into the water. Just as Don was about to paddle the river looking for traces, David's body was found, six months after he'd gone into the river. And Don's canoe trip turned into an act of remembrance and mourning.
           At least David could now be laid to rest. But there was no rest for his survivors. As his brother writes, "When people die of suicide, one of the things they leave behind is suicide itself. It becomes a country. At first I was a visitor, but eventually I became a citizen." In this tender, probing, surprising work, Don Gillmor brings back news from that country for all of us who wonder why people kill themselves. And why, for the first time, it's not the teenaged or the elderly who have the highest suicide rate, but the middle aged. Especially men.
      DON GILLMOR is one of Canada's most accomplished writers. He is the author of the bestselling, award-winning two-volume Canada: A People's History, and his journalism on suicide has earned him both a National Newspaper Award and a National Magazine Award. Gillmor's other books include the novels Kanata, Mount Pleasant and Long Change, all of which were published to critical acclaim, and nine books for children, two of which were nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.
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    • Awards & Reviews

      Governor General's Literary Award - Nonfiction 2019, Winner

      “In clear, crisp prose, Gillmor has written a book that is searingly honest and heartbreakingly sad. From the story of his brother’s life and death to a larger exploration of white, middle-aged masculinity, Gillmor impresses us with his quiet insights. At one point, he asks, 'What are we anchored by?' His hard-earned wisdom holds us, here and beyond.” —Governor General's Literary Award jury citation (Ross King, Rachel Lebowitz, Marina Nemat)

      To The River: Losing My Brother is haunting, beautifully written and rightly hesitant about any certainties regarding an act as ultimately unknowable in social terms as it is in individual decisions.” —Brian Bethune, Maclean’s

      “Gillmor took on the thankless, though compelling, existential task of understanding another man’s life, happiness and grief. And what makes it worth leaving.” —The Globe and Mail

      “[T]he book frequently shifts, seamlessly, from the brothers’ stories to a wider perspective. As he explores the cultural, sociological and psychological questions surrounding suicide, Gillmor circles ever closer to an answer to the central question of those left behind: why? On the way, he draws back the curtain on a subject too little discussed. . . . To the River is a family story, focused on a brother's love and loss. It is a keen-edged, frank book, beautiful and unflinching, painful but important.” —The Peterborough Examiner

      “As he explores the cultural, sociological and psychological questions surrounding suicide, Gillmor circles ever closer to an answer to the central question of those left behind: Why? On the way, he draws back the curtain on a subject too little discussed. . . . At its heart, though, To the River is a family story, focused on a brother’s love and loss. It is a keen-edged, frank book, beautiful and unflinching, painful and important.” —Robert J. Wiersema, author of Seven Crow Stories, Toronto Star

      “Don Gillmor offers us far more than a portrait of his lost brother—he invites us to contemplate our own hidden interiors. To the River is a clear-eyed, unsentimental journey to the edge of an oblivion so many of us quietly skirt. Deeply personal, broadly researched and beautifully, beautifully written.” —Daemon Fairless, author of Mad Blood Stirring

      “A beautiful, shattering book. Wise and honest, and exquisitely written. Insight for anyone who has known the gnawing sorrow or the endless accusation of a senseless loss. It will also make you laugh out loud. Go figure.” —Linden MacIntyre, Scotiabank Giller–prize winning author of The Bishop’s Man
  • 7
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    City of Omens A Search for the Missing Women of the Borderlands Dan Werb Canada
    9781635572995 Hardcover SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration On Sale Date:June 04, 2019 Print Run:60000
    $37.00 CAD 6.42 x 9.56 x 1.14 in | 560 gr | 304 pages Carton Quantity:24 Canadian Rights: Y Bloomsbury Publishing
    • Marketing Copy


      For decades, American hungers sustained Tijuana. In this scientific detective story, a public health expert reveals what happens when a border city’s lifeline is brutally severed.

      Despite its reputation as a carnival of vice, Tijuana was, until recently, no more or less violent than neighboring San Diego, its sister city across the border wall. But then something changed. Over the past ten years, Mexico’s third-largest city became one of the world’s most dangerous. Tijuana’s murder rate skyrocketed and produced a staggering number of female victims. Hundreds of women are now found dead in the city each year, or bound and mutilated along the highway that lines the Baja coast.

      When Dan Werb began to study these murders in 2013, rather than viewing them in isolation, he discovered that they could only be understood as one symptom among many. Environmental toxins, drug overdoses, HIV transmission: all were killing women at overwhelming rates. As an epidemiologist, trained to track epidemics by mining data, Werb sensed the presence of a deeper contagion targeting Tijuana’s women. Not a virus, but some awful wrong buried in the city’s social order, cutting down its most vulnerable inhabitants from multiple directions.

      Werb’s search for the ultimate causes of Tijuana’s femicide casts new light on immigration, human trafficking, addiction, and the true cost of American empire-building. It leads Werb all the way from factory slums to drug dens to the corridors of police corruption, as he follows a thread that ultimately leads to a surprising turn back over the border, looking northward.

      City of Omens isa compelling and disturbing tour of a border world that outsiders rarely see — and simultaneously, a clear guide to a field of public health that offers an essential framework for understanding how both ideas and diseases can spread.” --MAIA SZALAVITZ, author of Unbroken Brain

      “Dan Werb combines his expertise as a trained epidemiologist with his keen discernment as an investigative journalist to depict what happens when poverty, human desperation, and unfathomable greed at the highest levels of a society mix with imperial ambition and a criminally ill-conceived policy towards drug use.It is a riveting and heartbreaking story, told with eloquence and compassion.” --GABOR MATÉ, MD, bestselling author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

      City of Omens isan urgent and needed account of a desperate problem. The perils that Mexico's women face haunt the conscience of a nation.” --ALFREDO CORCHADO, author of Homelands and Midnight in Mexico

      Dan Werb, PhD, is an assistant professor in epidemiology at the University of California San Diego and the University of Toronto. He has received major grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, and other organizations. His writing has appeared in publications such as the Believer and theWalrus, where his feature “The Fix” on new tactics for treating injection drug use won a Canadian National Magazine Award. He is based in San Diego and Toronto.
      Marketing & Promotion
        - Canadian author, Dan Werb is from Toronto
        - Publishers Weekly review
        - Kirkus review
        - Booklist review
        - included in Globe and Mail's Spring Preview
        - author event on June 6 in Toronto
    • Awards & Reviews


      "Hundreds of women die each year in the city of Tijuana and along the highway of the Baja coast, many of them from domestic violence, drug overdoses and H.I.V.-related diseases associated with the sex trade. Other bodies, often teenagers, turn up ‘bound and mutilated.’ Still others simply disappear . . .Werb is determined to give them back some humanity" -Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

      "[A] riveting scientific detective story." -Scientific American

      "Werb shines a light on an outbreak of brutal crimes against Tijuana’s most vulnerable population. This isa well-researched, pressing study relevant to a wide audience" -Publishers Weekly

      "The author'ssteely focus and smooth, vivid prosemake his encounters, which are often heartbreaking, come fully to life. . . . his text shines a necessary light on Tijuana's epidemic of ‘femicide’ and its unrivaled drug and poverty problems . . . Werb cuts through the desolation to get at the truth of the region's vexing problem." -Kirkus Reviews

      "Werb’s personal odyssey and unique approach offer valuable insights into the tragedy of femicide on the border, where communities on both sides are inescapably interdependent.A powerful addition to investigative coverage of the volatile borderland." -Booklist

      "Dan Werb combines his expertise as a trained epidemiologist with his keen discernment as an investigative journalist to depict what happens when poverty, human desperation, and unfathomable greed at the highest levels of a society mix with imperial ambition and a criminally ill-conceived policy towards drug use.It is a riveting and heartbreaking story, told with eloquence and compassion." -Gabor Maté, MD, bestselling author of IN THE REALM OF HUNGRY GHOSTS

      "City of Omensisan urgent and needed account of a desperate problem. The perils that Mexico’s women face haunt the conscience of a nation." -Alfredo Corchado, author of HOMELANDS and MIDNIGHT IN MEXICO

      "[Werb’s] writing is vivid . . . He has crafted a finely wrought exploration of public health sleuthing and social justice activism. His analysis is animated by many voices, but the most stunningly powerful are those of the IV drug user sex workers who are participants in this study.” -New York Journal of Books

  • 8
    catalogue cover
    Fryderyk Chopin A Life and Times Dr. Alan Walker Canada
    9780374159061 Hardcover BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Music On Sale Date:October 16, 2018 Print Run:30000
    $52.00 CAD 6.37 x 9.56 x 2.34 in | 1050 gr | 768 pages Carton Quantity:12 Canadian Rights: Y Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    • Marketing Copy


      A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. The Sunday Times (U.K.) Classical Music Book of 2018 and one of The Economist's Best Books of 2018.

      "A magisterial portrait." --
      Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times Book Review

      A landmark biography of the Polish composer by a leading authority on Chopin and his time

      Based on ten years of research and a vast cache of primary sources located in archives in Warsaw, Paris, London, New York, and Washington, D.C., Alan Walker’s monumental Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times is the most comprehensive biography of the great Polish composer to appear in English in more than a century. Walker’s work is a corrective biography, intended to dispel the many myths and legends that continue to surround Chopin. Fryderyk Chopin is an intimate look into a dramatic life; of particular focus are Chopin’s childhood and youth in Poland, which are brought into line with the latest scholarly findings, and Chopin’s romantic life with George Sand, with whom he lived for nine years.

      Comprehensive and engaging, and written in highly readable prose, the biography wears its scholarship lightly: this is a book suited as much for the professional pianist as it is for the casual music lover. Just as he did in his definitive biography of Liszt, Walker illuminates Chopin and his music with unprecedented clarity in this magisterial biography, bringing to life one of the nineteenth century’s most confounding, beloved, and legendary artists.

      Alan Walker’s definitive three-volume biography of Liszt, Franz Liszt, received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in Biography and the Royal Philharmonic Society Book Award, among others. His writing has appeared in journals such as The Musical Quarterly, The Times Literary Supplement, and Times Educational Supplement. A professor emeritus at McMaster University, Walker was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1986 and was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary in 2012.
      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      The Economist Magazine Books of the Year 2018, Long-listed
      Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year 2018, Long-listed

      "For a biographer, there's a lot to untangle. Alan Walker does so brilliantly in Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times, a magisterial portrait . . . A polyphonic work that elegantly interweaves multiple strands." --Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times Book Review

      "An ideal composer biography should combine several qualities: a deep knowledge of the artist’s life and milieu, fortified by a reexamination of all available sources; an intimate understanding of the composer’s personality (and, when possible, some affection for it, too); and an ability to speak of the creative work in a manner that will edify both scholars and the general public, and take us all back to the music. Alan Walker’s Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times manages this hat trick very well indeed . . . This is now the best biography of Chopin — meticulous, scholarly and well-told." --Tim Page, The Washington Post

      "There is more than enough for everyone at this literary feast, and come awards time, it’s likely you’ll see this book short-listed for one of the top literary biographies of the year . . . Walker’s narrative style reflects the very music of his subject: He has a light, delicate touch when making apt inferences, and a soft and rather ornate style when providing descriptions of the artist . . . Walker remains faithful to his subject, which only 10 years of extensive research into vast archives of primary source material could manifest." --Richard Horan, Christian Science Monitor

      "At last, the definitive biography of Chopin has arrived. This substantial new study is a masterpiece, indispensable to specialists and general music lovers alike. It overflows with revelatory information, deft characterisation and pertinent, readable explorations of the music. All this is set against a minutely detailed depiction of his world. Walker’s style is elegant, literary and empathetic, while his unfailing love for the music shines from every page." --Sunday Times (U.K.)

      "Thorough and authoritative . . . Walker [writes] with the narrative expertise one would expect of the masterly biographer of Liszt . . . Walker is brilliant on piano technique and its musical consequences. These passages are like talk of pigment and brushstrokes in a book about painting: technical in a sense yet free of jargon, easily understood, even perhaps by someone who has never laid hand on a piano keyboard." --Stephen Walsh, The Guardian

      "Absorbing . . . Walker integrates [many] different aspects into an entirely convincing entity. It's a measure of Walker's achievement that even in such a lengthy book, he keeps the reader engaged, presenting accessible and illuminating comments backed up with the full weight of scholarly authority." --Erik Levi, BBC Music (five stars)

      "[Alan Walker has] shed new light on many aspects of Chopin's life and cleared away a thicket of myths . . . Scrupulous as it is, this monumental biography is deeply engaging and enjoyable." --The Economist

      "An informative and exceptionally engaging read." --James F. Penrose, The New Criterion

      "Not one paragraph of this meticulously researched and often poignant account is wasted."--Andrew Moravcsik, Foreign Affairs

      "A real landmark. For the 'casual' music-lover it contains peerless writing; for the scholar, scotched myths and startling discoveries; and for the musician, insights galore . . . Walker leaves no stone unturned in his search for the truth about Chopin's life. Full of vivid detail, it is a perceptive chronicle through which one seems to live the composer's life alongside him . . . [Fryderyk Chopin] is the most important biography of Chopin in years and will be treasured by musicians and music-lovers as the definitive life for many more." --Jessica Duchen, Sunday Times (U.K.)

      "Alan Walker has produced the most comprehensive biography and musical analysis to date on Poland's most famous musician and composer . . . Highly readable and engaging . . . [Fryderyk Chopin] brings to life one of the 19th century's and Poland's most beloved, legendary, and celebrated artists. It deserves a place of merit at every university, music, and school library." --Carol Katz, New York Journal of Books

      "[An] expansive, authoritative biography . . . Packed with information and insightful analyses of Chopin’s major works that will interest professional musicians, and even nonspecialists will be entranced by [Alan] Walker’s piquant storytelling and graceful prose." Publishers Weekly (starred review)

      "A sensitively discerning examination of a 19th-century superstar . . . a magnificent, elegantly written biography . . . An absorbing biography unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon." Kirkus (starred review)

      "Walker, whose writing is as limpid and engaging as his subject’s music, punctuates a rich texture of biography and history with discussions of Chopin’s technical and compositional innovations and distinctions that neatly show why he is so highly regarded . . . Informed by the latest discoveries about the composer, Walker’s
      biography is a towering and beautiful achievement." Booklist (starred review)

      “[Fryderyk Chopin] is sure to become the definitive biography on the great composer . . . General readers should find this accessible as well as engrossing." Library Journal (starred review)

      “Adopting the same combination of broad perspective, wealth of telling detail, and musical expertise that he brought to his classic biography of Franz Liszt, Alan Walker has now produced a vast work on Fryderyk Chopin that is likely to remain the most important account of the great Polish master’s life for a long time to come. Walker vividly recounts Chopin’s happy childhood and youth in Warsaw, his unfortunate but artistically prolific adult life in exile from his native country, his loves, and his losing battle with the tuberculosis that killed him at the age of thirty-nine. The book also delves deeply into Chopin’s music. A must for musicians and music-lovers alike.” —Harvey Sachs, author of Toscanini: Musician of Conscience

  • 9
    catalogue cover
    Sea Trial Sailing After My Father Brian Harvey Canada
    9781770414778 Paperback BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs On Sale Date:May 07, 2019
    $21.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.86 in | 1.12 lb | 384 pages Carton Quantity:24 Canadian Rights: Y ECW Press
    • Marketing Copy


      Shortlisted for the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction

      An adventure story set against the backdrop of a son trying to understand his father

      After a 25-year break from boating, Brian Harvey circumnavigates Vancouver Island with his wife, his dog, and a box of documents that surfaced after his father’s death. John Harvey was a neurosurgeon, violinist, and photographer who answered his door a decade into retirement to find a sheriff with a summons. It was a malpractice suit, and it did not go well. Dr. Harvey never got over it. The box contained every nurse’s record, doctor’s report, trial transcript, and expert testimony related to the case. Only Brian’s father had read it all — until now.

      In this beautifully written memoir, Brian Harvey shares how after two months of voyaging with his father’s ghost, he finally finds out what happened in the O.R. that crucial night and why Dr. Harvey felt compelled to fight the excruciating accusations.

      Brian Harvey grew up on the West Coast of Canada. His first full-length book for a general audience (The End of the River, ECW) was published in 2008 and was followed by three works of fiction. He lives in Nanaimo, British Columbia, and his main interests are playing the piano and working on his boat.
      Marketing & Promotion
    • Content Preview

    • Awards & Reviews

      Governor General’s Literary Award 2019, Short-listed

      Sea Trial is a riveting account of two intertwined voyages of adventure and introspection. Brian Harvey writes with wit, intelligence, dry modesty and high style as he tells the stories of a hazardous and difficult sea passage and an exploration of his father’s long-ago malpractice trial. A fascinating and wholly engaging book.” — Derek Lundy, author of the bestselling Godforsaken Sea

      "Sea Trial is gripping from the very first page. You need to be a good navigator to circumnavigate Vancouver Island, with a ragged western coastline known as the Graveyard of the Pacific. You also need to be a skilled writer to navigate the shoals, cross-currents, and uncertain weathers of such an ambitious floating memoir. Brian Harvey is both." — Gary Geddes, author of the bestselling Sailing Home and Medicine Unbundled

      “Harvey has serious skills, and his riveting story is impossible to put down.” — Cruising World

      “Brian Harvey’s Sea Trial defies easy description. In fact, that is exactly one of its – considerable — strengths . . . With a sharp eye for telling detail, and inventive language, Harvey is a writer who knows how to fix on the less to evoke the more.” — The Ormsby Review

      "Harvey's fascinating exploration of his father's pain goes well beyond talented description. With sensitivity, he probes his father's emotions and inadvertently his own as he unravels and explains a tragic backstory . . . The trials Harvey encounters — personal, meteorological, and indeed adjudicative — are arresting.” — Literary Review of Canada

  • 10
    catalogue cover
    Series: Wayfarer
    Tiny Lights for Travellers Naomi K. Lewis Canada
    9781772124484 Paperback BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs Publication Date:May 15, 2019
    $29.99 CAD 6 x 9 x 0.71 in | 442 gr | 296 pages Carton Quantity:24 Canadian Rights: Y The University of Alberta Press
    • Marketing Copy

      Why couldn’t I occupy the world as those model-looking women did, with their flowing hair, pulling their tiny bright suitcases as if to say, I just arrived from elsewhere, and I already belong here, and this sidewalk belongs to me? When her marriage suddenly ends, and a diary documenting her beloved Opa’s escape from Nazi-occupied Netherlands in the summer of 1942 is discovered, Naomi Lewis decides to retrace his journey to freedom. Travelling alone from Amsterdam to Lyon, she discovers family secrets and her own narrative as a second-generation Jewish Canadian. With vulnerability, humour, and wisdom, Lewis’s memoir asks tough questions about her identity as a secular Jew, the accuracy of family stories, and the impact of the Holocaust on subsequent generations.
      Naomi K. Lewis is the author of the novel Cricket in a Fist, the short story collection I Know Who You Remind Me Of, and the co-editor of the anthology Shy. Her memoir, Tiny Lights for Travellers, was a finalist for the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for Nonfiction. Her journalism has been shortlisted for provincial and national magazine awards, and she has served as writer in residence at the University of New Brunswick and the Calgary Public Library. She lives in Calgary and sometimes Kelowna.
      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Governor General Literary Awards, Non-fiction 2019, Short-listed
      The Western Canada Jewish Book Awards, Pinsky Givon Family Prize for Non-Fiction 2020, Winner
      The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize 2020, Short-listed
      Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction 2020, Winner
      Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature 2020, Winner
      "Naomi is an incredibly talented writer and the loveliest of human beings. Her words are thought provoking and genuine. This is her journey to learn about her family history. Knowing who you are and understating where you come from can be a lifelong exploration."
      "Tiny Lights for Travellers starts with a zit, percolating brightly on the nose of our author while she takes the transatlantic flight that begins the book. In a strange, unlikely, funny, unabashed and endearing way, this first image in Naomi K. Lewis's reluctant, almost anti-travel memoir encapsulates much of what her book is about."
      "When Naomi Lewis was a child, no one in her family talked about the fact that her grandfather had escaped Nazi-occupied Europe, largely by foot and through the kindness of strangers. In fact, no one spoke much about that part of their family history, at all."
      "After her grandfather’s death, when Lewis’s parents were moving her grandmother into an assisted-living facility, they found a yellowed, type-written document: 30 foolscap pages in Dutch, and 30 pages translated into English. It recounted her grandfather’s escape [from Nazi occupation] into southern France. Lewis, a short story writer and novelist, transcribed her grandfather’s journal, and later traced her grandfather’s route, travelling from Amsterdam to Lyon, discovering family secrets along the way."
      "I just finished reading Tiny Lights for Travellers by Naomi K. Lewis and I can't recommend it enough.... [T]his book is beautifully written, immediate, entertaining, and engrossing."
      # 8 on Edmonton's Bestselling Books list; Non-fiction, December 01, 2019
      # 10 on Edmonton's Bestselling Books list; Non-fiction, September 20, 2020
      "Calgary author Naomi K. Lewis joins educator Abby Wener Herlin in conversation about her well-regarded memoir, Tiny Lights for Travellers. Nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction in 2019, Tiny Lights for Travellers explores her Jewish identity while retracing her grandfather’s escape from the Nazi-occupied Netherlands." [https://www.straight.com/arts/family-stories-run-through-vancouvers-cherie-smith-jcc-jewish-book-festival]

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