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Monday, 18 August 2014

Graphic Novel Book Club August edition: Chester Brown's Ed the Happy Clown

Each month, we choose a graphic novel to discuss at the store. Our graphic novel club is open to all! This month, come discuss Chester Brown's Ed the Happy Clown with Drawn & Quarterly's Managing Editor Tracy Hurren! This is happening Wednesday, August 20th at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be provided! Lively conversation will be had!

**There will be a 20% discount on Ed the Happy Clown from now until the book club meeting!**

Why you should be excited:
In the late 1980s, the idiosyncratic Chester Brown (author of the much-lauded Paying For It and Louis Riel) began writing the cult classic comic book series Yummy Fur. Within its pages, he serialized the groundbreaking Ed the Happy Clown, revealing a macabre universe of parallel dimensions. Thanks to its wholly original yet disturbing story lines, Ed set the stage for Chester Brown to become a world-renowned cartoonist. Ed the Happy Clown is a hallucinatory tale that functions simultaneously as a dark roller-coaster ride of criminal activity and a scathing condemnation of religious and political charlatanism. As the world around him devolves into madness, the eponymous Ed escapes variously from a jealous boyfriend, sewer monsters, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and a janitor with a Jesus complex. Brown leaves us wondering, with every twist of the plot, just how Ed will get out of this scrape. 

The intimate, tangled world of Ed the Happy Clown is definitively presented here, repackaged with a new foreword by the author and an extensive notes section, and, as with every Brown book, astonishingly perceptive about the zeitgeist of its time.

Recap: New York Lit Night in Montreal

New York Lit Night in Montreal has come and gone, taking with it some great talent from south of the border. The event, which took place August 8th at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, was presented by This Is Happening Whether You Like It Or Not! and was more of an informal gathering of friends than a reading (and had the comfy sweaters and ecigarettes to prove it).

The writers were introduced by Guillaume Morissette (New Tab) and Metatron Press founder Ashley Opheim, who seemed to think of finding new and increasingly grand ways to compliment the writers as a personal challenge (albeit not a particularly difficult one). 

First up was Sarah Jean Alexander, who immediately ingratiated herself to the audience by complimenting Montreal (pro tip: this will always work). A captivating poet, Sarah began the first of her three poems with "so many forgotten blowjobs in my life." And it only got better from there.

Oscar Bruno D'Artois, who has both a great name and a very entertaining Tumblr, was next. Is there a rule we didn't know about wherein all hip new writers must reference emojis in their work? Serious question, even if I am as much a fan of that little cat with heart eyes as the next person. 

Lucy K. Shaw also took a pro-Montreal line, asking (rightfully) "why wouldn't everyone live here?" She is the editor of Shabby Dollhouse, an online literary journal, and began by reading about Sylvia Plath's house, ending with a love story called The Curse

“You know that feeling you get in your stomach when you have a crush on someone? I’m kind of feeling that right now, because Gabby Bess is one of my favourite contemporary writer.” This is how Gabby Bess is introduced, and the fluttery gut feelings are warranted. Gabby read from her current book, Alone with Other People, and mentioned an upcoming project entitled Post-pussy. So, you know, exciting stuff.

Last came Spencer Madsen, rounding out a very enjoyable evening. Spencer is the founder of Sorry House, the author of You Can Make Anything Sad, and, despite the fact that he usually does readings in a shirt emblazoned with his own name, seems very down to earth.

Afterward, the crowd mingled and chatted before heading out to an after party in the neighbourhood. As is only fitting.
Sunday, 17 August 2014

New in stock: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

By now a lot of you have heard of Roxane Gay's deliciously titled Bad Feminist, a collection of essays with pop culture topics ranging from the Sweet Valley High series to Kate Zambreno's Green Girl. But have you heard about just how refreshing and wonderful this book is? Well maybe you have, but what's one more topping on the sundae of praise Gay has been receiving?

Bad Feminist is separated into 5 categories of essays: Me, Gender & Sexuality, Race & Entertainment, Politics, Gender & Race, and Back to Me. But despite the separation of the personal essays into their own categories, Gay's emotional presence is felt in every piece, from the solace found in the first African American Miss America Vanessa Williams to her fascination with strong women (Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games trilogy) and that fascination's connection to a traumatic sexual assault in her teens, you feel like you know a lot about Roxane Gay by the time you're done.

One of the best things about Bad Feminist is how approachable it is, a "text for those of us who constructed our feminism from the pages of teen chick lit as much as from the musings of post-modern theorists" (Melissa Harris). It's funny, smart, and engaging - not necessarily guiding you down one set path to one set definition of feminism but letting you find your own way, much like Gay herself has.

Several of Gay's pieces have been published elsewhere, but you owe it to yourself to get this collection. It's a sure to be classic, and a very necessary entry into the feminist oeuvre.

Jay Winston Ritchie launches Something You Were, Might Have Been, or Have Come to Represent

Join us on Wednesday September 10th at 7 p.m. to celebrate the launch of local writer Jay Winston Ritchie's new book, Something You Were, Might Have Been, or Have Come to Represent (Insomniac Press).  Readings by Blare Coughlin and Jay Winston Ritchie. Hosting by Jon Paul Fiorentino. Refreshments will be served!

Something You Were, Might Have Been, or Have Come to Represent is Jay's first book of short stories, published by Insomniac Press. In nine stories, nine young musicians search for their artistic voice while constantly being sidetracked by fame, drugs, potluck parties, call centre jobs, and other things.
Jay Winston Ritchie is the author of the poetry chapbook How to Appear Perfectly Indifferent While Crying on the Inside and is editor-in-chief of The Void, Concordia's only bilingual literary arts magazine.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

New in stock: Colorlesss Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

It's true, folks: a new Murakami novel has been released, and we have it. But you may already know that, given, as none other than Patti Smith put it in her review for the New York Times: "A devotional anticipation is generated by the announcement of a new Haruki Murakami book. Readers wait for his work the way past generations lined up at record stores for new albums by the Beatles or Bob Dylan." In Japan, this book sold a million copies in the first week.

The premise of Murakami's latest concerns a "colorless" man, so-called partly because, in his youth, he had  group of close-knit friends of whom each member's surname was a color (Red, Blue, White, and Black) except for Tazaki. The book's central drama concern's Tazaki's estrangement from these friends and, spurred by a love interest later in life, his attempt to reconnect. Naturally, in true Murakami style, Tazaki's journey takes on qualities of a mythic quest.  

While saturated with a typical Murakami atmosphere of urban ennui and replete with other trademarks of his style -- realism tinged with dream-like hints of parallel worlds, an obsessive fascination with music, especially classical and jazz, stories within the story that flash back to historical events, and occasional eruptions of weird sex -- Patti Smith also noted that Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki marks a certain shift for Murakami: "The book reveals another side of Murakami, one not so easy to pin down. Incurably restive, ambiguous and valiantly struggling toward a new level of maturation. A shedding of Murakami skin. It is not 'Blonde on Blonde,' it is 'Blood on the Tracks.'" Come get your own copy (complete with beautiful Chip Kidd-designed cover) today!


Mireille Silcoff launches Chez L'Arabe at The Emerald

House of Anansi Press and Librairie Drawn & Quarterly present the launch of Montreal writer Mireille Silcoff's new book, Chez L'Arabe. Join us at The Emerald (5295 ave. du Parc) on Tuesday, September 9th at 8 p.m. for food, drinks, readings, and surprise musical guests!

Chez L'Arabe is a dazzling debut collection from award-winning journalist and New York Times Magazine contributor Mireille Silcoff. Inspired by the real life medical struggles of the author, this stunning debut collection opens with a gripping portrait of chronic illness in a series of linked stories about a woman in her mid-thirties, who is trapped in her elegantly accoutered Montreal townhouse — and in her own mind and body. As she struggles with her health, amongst an increasingly indifferent husband and volatile mother, she encounters unimaginable depths of loneliness and realizes that, even after she recovers, her life will never be the same.

Mireille Silcoff is the founding editor of Guilt & Pleasure Quarterly, a magazine of new Jewish writing and ideas, and is the author of three books about drug and youth culture. She is a lead columnist with Canada's National Post and a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine and other publications. She lives in Montreal.

Friday, 15 August 2014

The Librairie is Thick with New Peaches!

It's brand-newest issue of fuzziest food mag in the orchard!  Look at this gorgeous cover!

Don't let these recent rainy days and icy eves get you down, there still some summer to be squeezed outand the newest Lucky Peach would make a welcome addition to some pre-labour day vacation plans.


CLAMS, Bourdain, Korean BBQ, CLAMS, An oral history of fishing in Gaza, CLAMS, A revised History of the Harvey Wallbanger, The True Price of Cheap Shrimp, CLAMS, Northern California's Seafood Harvesters, Sea Cucumbers, CLAMS, CLAMS, CLAMS, CLAMS and more!

Dock your trawler at the salty ol' D+Q marina and grab your copy today!

Jon Paul Fiorentino launches I'm Not Scared of You or Anything

Join us on Saturday, September 6th at 7 p.m. for the launch of Montreal writer and store friend Jon Paul Fiorentino's newest book, I'm Not Scared of You or Anything. Presented by Anvil Press and Librairie Drawn & Quarterly - with surprise special guests!

The characters in I’m not Scared of You or Anything are invigilators, fake martial arts experts, buskers, competitive pillow fighters, drug runners, and, of course, grad students. This collection of comedic short stories and exploratory texts is the ninth book by the critically acclaimed and award-winning author Jon Paul Fiorentino. Deftly illustrated by Maryanna Hardy, these texts ask important questions, like: How does a mild mannered loser navigate the bureaucratic terrain of exam supervision? What happens when you replace the text of Christian Archie comics with the text of Hélène Cixous? And, most important of all, what would it be like if Mr. Spock was a character in the HBO series GIRLS?

Praise for INSOYOA:
“I’m sure something scares Jon Paul Fiorentino, and maybe it drives him toward the deadpan magic he wields so masterfully in these pages. This is a daring and funny collection.”

“Fiorentino takes the path you’re on in life and sidesteps it just enough to create surreal little worlds, worlds where you can’t help but burst out laughing. A master of dark, comedic timing, he’s perfectly complemented by the delicate, terrifying, and hilarious illustrations of Maryanna Hardy. This book is one of my favourite reads in ages.”


"Jon Paul Fiorentino has made a career of using humour to stand up for the lonely and vulnerable. In addition to the more straightforward, Sedaris-esque comic pieces, the new book sees Fiorentino carrying on his past practice of genre/discipline/media mash-ups. His most fully realized."—MONTREAL GAZETTE

"Fiorentino has a gift for explaining the anxieties, doubts, errors, loves and neediness of humans in a way that is easily readable due to his deadpan humour. I'm Not Scared of You or Anything is a collection for readers bored by more traditional CanLit. It's a book of outcasts, misfits and underdogs written for outcasts, misfits and underdogs. Unfiltered, Fiorentino deftly writes what some of us may think from time to time, but would never dare say aloud. He really isn't scared of anything. "

Jon Paul Fiorentino is the author of the novel Stripmalling, which was shortlisted for the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, and six poetry collections, including The Theory of the Loser Class, which was shortlisted for the A. M. Klein Prize. He lives in Montreal, where he teaches writing at Concordia University, edits Matrix magazine and runs Snare Books.
Thursday, 14 August 2014

Inanna Publications double launch with Ursula Pflug and Phyllis Rudin

Join us on Friday, September 5th at 7 p.m. for an Inanna Publications double book launch, featuring Ursula Pflug and Phyllis Rudin and their new books - Motion Sickness and Evie, the Bab, and the Wife, respectively.

Motion Sickness is a flash novel containing subtle magic realist and slipstream elements. It consists of 55 chapters of exactly 500 words each accompanied by a wood-cut like, scratchboard illustrations that follow one young woman’s humorous and poignant misadventures in the worlds of employment, friendship, dating, birth control and abortion.

About Evie, the Baby and the Wife: When your womb says jump, it’s safer not to ask how high. Played out against the backdrop of the fight for women’s reproductive rights in Canada, Evie, The Baby, and The Wife  is the boisterous tale of a mother and daughter at odds, struggling to reconnect across a uterine divide.

Ursula Pflug is author of the critically acclaimed slipstream novel Green Music (2002). She has published over 70 short stories in professional publications in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. She has published dozens of art and book reviews in Canada and the U.S., and has had several plays professionally produced, one solo-authored (Nobody Likes The Ugly Fish, 1994), and the remainder collaboratively created. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and has also been shortlisted for the Aurora, the Sunburst, Pulp Press’s 3-Day Novel, Descant’s Novella Contest, and many more. Currently, she edits short fiction for The Link and teaches creative writing with a focus on the short story at Loyalist College. Her story collection After the Fires appeared in 2008 and Harvesting The Moon, a new collection, is forthcoming. Her novel, The Alphabet Stones, was published in 2013. For more on Ursula: http://www.ursulapflug.ca/

 Phyllis Rudin has lived in the U.S., France, and Canada. Her award-winning short stories have appeared in numerous Canadian and American literary magazines. Before turning to writing full-time, she was the history librarian at McGill University. She lives in Montreal which serves as the landscape for all her fiction.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Claire Holden Rothman launches My October

Please join us on Thursday, September 4th at 7 p.m. to celebrate Montreal writer Claire Holden Rothman's new book, My October!

In October 1970, FLQ terrorists kidnapped a British diplomat in Montreal and held him hostage for fifty-nine days. More than thirty years later, the story continues to reverberate, and a Montreal family is at a crossroads. The three members of the Lévesque family each have their own private struggles. Luc Lévesque is a celebrated Quebec writer, revered as much for his novels about the working-class neighbourhood of Saint-Henri as for his separatist views. But this is 2001. The dreams of a new nation are dying, and Luc is increasingly dissatisfied with his life. Luc’s wife, Hannah, has worked faithfully as his translator for years, yet she is also the daughter of a man who served as a special prosecutor during the October Crisis, and she has distanced herself from her English-speaking family. Hugo, their troubled fourteen-year-old son, has been living in the shadow of a larger-than-life father and is struggling with his own identity. In confusion and anger, he commits a reckless act that puts everyone around him on a collision course with the past.

My October examines issues of history, language, and cultural identity amid the ethnic and linguistic diversity of today’s Montreal. Inspired in part by two real-life figures from Quebec’s past—James Richard Cross, the British diplomat who was held captive by FLQ terrorists, and Jacques Lanctôt, the man who was Cross’s captor—this is also a story about the province’s turbulent history and ever-shifting role within the country at whose heart it lies.

Weaving together three unique voices, Rothman has created a masterful tale of a modern family torn apart by the weight of history and words left unsaid.

Claire Holden Rothman is the author of The Heart Specialist, which was a bestseller and was longlisted for the Giller. She is also the author of two story collections, and her translation of Canada’s first novel, L’influence d’un livre (The Influence of a Book) by Philippe-Ignace-François Aubert de Gaspé, won the John Glassco Translation Prize.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

New in stock: Strange Plants

Strange Plants is the first publication from Zioxla, a creative studio headed by Zio Baritaux, a prolific writer and editor on graffiti and street art who has worked on major exhibitions at LA MOCA, the Berkeley Art Museum, and the Musee d’Art Moderne in Paris.

For Strange Plants, she brought together 25 artists: some whose work focuses on plants and the natural world (for example, Lee Kwang-Ho's sensational portraits of enlarged cacti or Stephen Eichhorn's elaborate collages constructed out of foliage), some who were asked to create new work based on the theme of strange plants (Patrick Martinez, Matt Furie, Alvaro Ilizarbe, among others), and a handful of tattoo artists who were asked to create designs with plants in mind (ranging from a flowerpot smoking a cigarette to an opium poppy in the shape of a naked woman).

Strange Plants was designed by Folch Studio, an award-winning design house in Barcelona whose aesthetic you may recognize from their work on Apartamento magazine. The book's subtle, tactile cover is inspired by the practice of pressing flowers inside books: each copy comes with a blank stamped surface with three matte paper adhesives inside, which readers can use to make their own covers.

You can read even more about the book on It's Nice That, from whom we borrowed the images below:

Friday, 8 August 2014

Tonight: New York Lit Night in Montreal!

You are cordially invited to New York Lit Night in Montreal at the Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (211 Bernard ouest), an evening brought to you by This Is Happening Whether You Like It Or Not!  tonight at 7 p.m. The event will feature five young contemporary writers of the New York community. Hosting by Montreal writers - and founders of TIHWYLION, Guillaume Morissette (New Tab) and Ashley Opheim (founder of Metatron Press).

Guest readers:

--> SPENCER MADSEN, who runs the internet-savvy independent publisher Sorry House. His poetry collection, 'You Can Make Anything Sad', was published in April by Publishing Genius. He's paid people 5$ to review his book on Amazon (good or bad).

--> LUCY K SHAW, the managing editor of the web magazine Shabby Doll House. Her writing can be found online at http://lkshow.biz/.

--> SARAH JEAN ALEXANDER, whose collection of stories & poems, 'Wildlives', will be published next year by Big Lucks.

--> OSCAR BRUNO D'ARTOIS, who lives in Brooklyn, NY, and can be found on Twitter at @brunoartois.

--> GABBY BESS, who curates Illuminati Girl Gang, a magazine highlighting the work of female artists within the context of internet culture. Her collection of stories & poems, 'Alone With Other People', was published last year by Civil Coping Mechanism.

We are looking forward to hosting this exciting group! It promises to be a packed night, so resist following "Montreal time" and get here early. See you there! 
Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly presents Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton: Women in Clothes – A conversation. A clothing swap. A book launch.

We're already getting excited about this big fall event! Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton will be at the Rialto Hall (5711 ave. du Parc) on the evening of Tuesday, September 16th to launch their new collaborative book, Women in Clothes! There will be a clothing swap, as well as an on-stage discussion facilitated by none other than Fiona Duncan, New York-based writer and bookseller (and onetime Librairie D&Q staffer)!

Start culling your wardrobes to prepare for the clothing swap! If you would like to participate, please bring up to 5 items for contribution. All unclaimed pieces will be donated to a local women’s shelter.

About Women in Clothes: Through original interviews, conversations, surveys, projects, diagrams and drawings from over six hundred contributors – including Miranda July, Molly Ringwald, Lena Dunham, Sook-Yin Lee, Rachel Kushner, Sarah Nicole Prickett, and Tavi Gevinson – Women in Clothes explores the wide range of motives that inform how women present themselves through clothes, and what style really means.

Sheila Heti is the author of five books, including the critically acclaimed How Should a Person Be? She writes regularly for the London Review of Books and is an editor and interviewer at The Believer magazine.

Leanne Shapton is a Canadian illustrator, author and publisher based in New York City. She is the former art director of Saturday Night Magazine and The New York Times Op-Ed page, and the author of five books, including Swimming Studies.

Heidi Julavits is the author of four novels, most recently The Vanishers, winner of the PEN/New England Fiction Award. She is a founding editor of The Believer magazine and has published short fiction in Esquire (included in The Best American Short Stories 1999), Story, Zoetrope, and McSweeney's.

Doors at 6 p.m., event at 7 p.m. Tickets are FREE with a purchase of the book. There are a limited number of $10 tickets as well. Come by the store or call us (514-279-2224) to reserve your spot! 
Sunday, 3 August 2014

Recap: Kids Drawing Day with Ohara Hale!

Last Sunday, July 27, the Librairie Drawn & Quarterly hosted its fourth kids drawing day, with the fabulous Ohara Hale as this month's host. Copresented by Kids Pop, we celebrated the launch of Ohara's newest work, Who Did It?, a boxed set dealing with the tawdry subjects of burping, pooping, farting, peeing, and sneezing.

Ohara asked her shy audience which one they wanted her to read from to no response... the taboo topics of farting and pooping loomed heavy over the kiddies, we assume. She ended up choosing burping, the least serious of the crimes, which loosened everybody up a little bit.

Ohara read all five books, with a wide and seemingly limitless supply of different sound effects. The books all teach you that it's absolutely normal to toot and whatnot, but that you should try to be polite about it. Even if you can't manage it all the time, being considerate is usually your best bet. I know better than to fart on people now, all thanks to Ohara Hale.

After reading all five books, Ohara took to the stage to teach everyone how to draw different animals farting, peeing, and pooping. A farting cat, a pooping dog, a hippo with a big puddle of pee underneath it: these were among the many tutorials shown to an avid audience of artists.

Here is everyone hard at work recreating Ohara's adorable cat. Much work and detail went into accurate portrayals of fart clouds, which, if you are following the Hale Methodology of farts, looks like this:

So thanks to everyone for coming out last week, and for sharing brilliant drawings with us and saying things like, “I like to draw my people without bodies.” Kids Days are forever full of the wisdom of all you cool Montreal kids and parents.
Thursday, 31 July 2014

TONIGHT: Bryan Lee O'Malley launches Seconds at the Librairie! (SOLD OUT)

Exciting comics event coming up! Renowned cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Malley will be at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly to launch his new graphic novel, Seconds tonight!
O'Malley will be in conversation with Brad Mackay, co-founder of the Doug Wright Awards, and will also be signing books! Doors at 6:30 p.m., event at 7 p.m. Please note that all tickets are now SOLD OUT.

Seconds is the highly anticipated new stand-alone, full-colour graphic novel from Bryan Lee O'Malley, author and artist of the hugely bestselling (and Toronto-set) Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series. Seconds is a complex and novelistic story about a young restaurant owner named Katie who, after being visited by a magical apparition, is given a second chance at love and to undo her wrongs. Fans new and old will love O'Malley's bold and quirky style infused with his subtle, playful humour.

Advance praise for Seconds:

“In Seconds, Bryan Lee O’Malley plays the angst of youth against the fabric of larger epics. In doing so, he enriches both. At long last, dear reader, one can dream of heroes and monsters and battles beyond this earth while contemplating the virtues of ‘having a thing’ in the grocery pantry. A great ride!”
—Guillermo del Toro

“Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds is adorable, haunting, funny, and beautiful. A perfect recipe for a great graphic novel.”
—Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics

Bryan Lee O’Malley is the creator of the bestselling Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series, which was adapted into a major motion picture, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, in 2010. He lives in Los Angeles, where he continues to make comics.

Brad Mackay is an Ottawa-based writer, journalist (Globe and Mail, National Post) and co-founder/Director of The Doug Wright Awards. He wrote and co-edited the 2009 book The Collected Doug Wright: Canada’s Master Cartoonist and an upcoming profile of the doomed Canadian cartoonist George Feyer for Canada’s History Magazine.

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