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Friday, 30 January 2015

Second printing! The beautiful 'Heads or Tails' by Lili Carré

Have you read it? "Heads or Tails" by Lili Carré is back in stock! I was charmed by this collection of short stories, published by Fantagraphics (2012).

Not only that they are exquisitely illustrated, but the surrealist short stories are also deeply poetic.

Here's a snapshot of my favorite story, "Rainbow Moment"!

But what's a "rainbow moment"? One character explains, "like you're feeling both rain and sunshine at the same time and are caught somewhere between the two."

How beautiful!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Graphic Novel Book Club #10: John Porcellino's The Hospital Suite

Each month we host a Graphic Novel Book Club meeting, open to all, during which we hang out and informally discuss a featured graphic novel.

February’s pick will be John Porcellino’s The Hospital Suite. We will meet at the bookstore on Wednesday, February 18th at 7 p.m. Discussion will be hosted by D+Q Creative Director Tom Devlin. As a special guest we welcome Dr. Howard Mitnick who will discuss the book from a medical perspective! There will be refreshments and collective insight!

**We offer you a 20% discount on The Hospital Suite from now until the meeting date.**

John Porcellino is one of modern cartooning’s great artists. Besides drawing his comic series King-Cat Comics and Stories for over 25 years, he has also published several book collections. The Hospital Suite is his first all-new graphic novel and it deals with a series of illnesses that gradually destroy his personal and artistic lfe and how John fought to regain his sense of self and conquer these illnesses, both physical and mental, to live a happy healthy life.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015

SLS Montreal faculty readings at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly

Great news: Summer Literary Seminars Montreal is hosting a mini-program this February! We are happy to be hosting two reading nights featuring members of the SLS faculty. You don’t need to be an SLS participant to attend: these readings are free and open to the public! On Friday, February 20th, enjoy readings by CA Conrad, Stephanie Bolster and Greg Santos. On Saturday, February 21st, come back for readings by Sean Michaels, Anna Leventhal, Melissa Bull and Jeff Miller. Readings will start at 7 p.m.

As always, this SLS Montreal program will be featuring an exciting faculty of Montreal writers, as well as a couple guests from out of town!

CA Conrad is the author of seven books including ECODEVIANCE: (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness (Wave Books, 2014), A BEAUTIFUL MARSUPIAL AFTERNOON (Wave Books, 2012) and The Book of Frank (Wave Books, 2010).  A 2014 Lannan Fellow, a 2013 MacDowell Fellow, and a 2011 Pew Fellow, he also conducts workshops on (Soma)tic poetry and Ecopoetics.

Stephanie Bolster’s latest book, A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth, was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award, and more recent work was a finalist for the 2012 CBC/Canada Writes competition. Her first book, White Stone: The Alice Poems, won the Governor General's and the Gerald Lampert Awards in 1998. Editor of The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008 and co-editor of Penned: Zoo Poems, she was born in Vancouver and teaches creative writing at Concordia University in Montréal, where she also coordinates the writing program.

Greg Santos is the author of two books, most recently Rabbit Punch! (DC Books, 2014) and The Emperor's Sofa (DC Books, 2010), along with several chapbooks. His writing has appeared in Geist, Matrix, The Feathertale Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, The New Haven Review, Scrivener Creative Review, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and The Best American Poetry blog, among other publications. He is the poetry editor for the online literary magazine carte blanche. He serves on the board of directors of The Quebec Writers' Federation and has taught creative writing to at-risk youth through Writers in the Community, as well as other organizations including New Haven Reads and LOVE: Leave Out Violence. He lives in Montreal with his wife and two kids.

Sean Michaels was born in Stirling, Scotland, in 1982. He is the winner of the 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel Us Conductors (Random House/Tin House 2014). The recipient of two National Magazine Awards, Sean has written about music for The Guardian, McSweeney's, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and at his mp3blog Said the Gramophone. He lives in Montreal.

Anna Leventhal's acclaimed short story collection Sweet Affliction (Invisible Publishing)won the Quebec Writers' Federation's Concordia University First Book Prize. Her writing has appeared in Geist, Matrix, MaisonneuveThe Montreal Review of Books, and several short fiction anthologies, and on CBC radio. She was nominated for the Journey Prize, won a Quebec Writing Competition award, and was shortlisted for a Canada Writes award. She lives in Montreal.

Melissa Bull is a writer, editor and translator based in Montreal. Her writing has been featured in Event, Matrix, Lemon Hound, Broken Pencil, The Montreal Review of Books, Playboy and Maisonneuve. She has translated such authors as Kim Thuy, Évelyne de la Chenlière, Raymond Bock, Alexandre Soublière and Maude Smith Gagnon for various publications, including Maisonneuve, where she is the editor of the "Writing from Quebec" column. Melissa has a BA in creative writing from Concordia University and has taken writing workshops with Summer Literary Seminars Saint Petersburg and Montreal as well as with the Toronto New School. She is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. Her collection of poetry, Rue, and her translation of Nelly Arcan's collection of essays and fiction, Burqa de chair, are forthcoming.
Jeff Miller has written and published the autobiographical Ghost Pine zine since 1996. His stories have appeared in several anthologies and his first collection, Ghost Pine: All Stories True, was released by Invisible Publishing in 2010. He is a regular book reviewer for Cult MTL and other publications. He lives in Montreal where he continues to write.
Tuesday, 20 January 2015

You'll be glad you waited for Delayed Gratification magazine

We're very excited to have the latest issue of Delayed Gratification magazine in stock! The self-styled "world's first slow journalism magazine" isn't worried about staying ahead of the curve. They're committed to beautiful, in-depth reporting, timelines be damned.

The quarterly attempts to get away from the 24 hour news cycle and the type of reporting that "promotes kneejerk reactions and cut-and-paste journalism over context and perspective." Arranged chronologically, this issue takes a look at major global events from July to September 2014.

Amid the amazing infographics and illustrations, inside you'll find writings from Naomi Klein, photo essays chronicling the siege of Donetsk, and an interview with Henry Kissinger. Make sure you stop by and snag yourself a copy!

First Year Healthy by Michael DeForge is out today!

The latest book from DeForge published by Drawn and Quarterly is out today! First Year Healthy has the cutest salmon pink cover ever, and is the size of a children's book. This time, the colour palette used by DeForge is delicate, even caressing. The colours combined with the textured cover made me want to "cuddle" with the book. It was love at first sight!

But don't let the appearance fool you... DeForge's wintery tale is sordid, and as dark as it can be!

First Year Healthy is the story of a young woman, reintegrating into her village after being released from a mental hospital. A cold winter sets the tone of this Christmas-themed graphic novel.

Watch out! Where one may expect to find a warm and vibrant atmosphere, one rather encounters silence, death and a general numbness of feelings.

DeForge's little pink treasure is also a perfect match to Montreal's weather right now! It's hard to describe how excited I was to read his new book. I adore his work and his previous book Ant Colony was also part of my Top 10 books of 2014.

DeForge’s work is very unique and highly stylized. The first pages of the book are tapestry-like and their depiction of intricate flora are one of many examples. I was charmed by the odd-ball juxtaposition of beige poop, purple leaves, algae and dandelions.

While reading First Year Healthy, one realizes the pink cover isn’t tainted with innocence, but rather evokes flesh and alludes to murder. It also reminds me of a central but speechless character in the story, the Turk’s baby. The child, is always portrayed naked, and seems even more vulnerable, surrounded by snow, ice and craziness. 

DeForge creates weird poetic images by combining mesmerizing visuals with a narrative that is bleak and discomforting.

In First Year Healthy, the main protagonist is romantically involved with a Turk she meet at the fish market. But is there really love?

The couple distracts itself by measuring the speed at which sperm freezes on the snow and has sex between lunch breaks.

The Turk is always referred to by his nationality. By doing so, his girlfriend underlines repeatedly his outsiderness and his fragile social status as an illegal immigrant. Not only do the characters not have names, but the link that ties them to each other appears to be tenuous and devoid of emotions.

The Canadian wintery tale reaches its dramatic apex on Christmas Eve. As the story unfolds, one may be vaguely reminded of the nativity story. However, this time, it is way more creepy. Brrrrr!

DeForge’s book is also reminiscent of some of the visual characteristics of videogame design, especially Mario Bros’ flatness, simple geometry and clean lines. At times, a vertical cross-section shows different stratums and gives a feeling of vertical depth. In fact, DeForge does not only depict the ground but also the layers of worms and dirt that lie beneath.


Monday, 19 January 2015

Stephan Pastis is making Montreal comic-strip-famous!

Stephan Pastis, best-selling comic strip artist, was in Montreal just now and loved it! So much so that he has dedicated two of his Pearls Before Swine strips to our fine city. That means Montreal is being chuckled about by the readers of over 750 papers all over the world, including our very own Gazette! The first is out today - it enumerates all our charms:

Stay tuned for the second strip, which will run this Wednesday! Hint: it involves a long-standing bagel rivalry between two North American cities...

And what's more, 375 MTL, La Société des célébrations du 375e anniversaire de Montréal has made him an honorary Montrealer! They even made a sweet video with him:

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Mini YA round-up!

This month we have received some exciting new YA titles we'd like to share with you! These books deal with everything from mental health and suicide, to race and racism, to religion and the apocalypse. Recommended for young adults, and for older adults too!

Vivian Apple (Katie Coyle): In which Vivian Apple and some other stragglers are left behind after the Rapture takes all the world's believers with it (including Vivian's parents). Vivian embarks on a truth-seeking road-trip with her friend Harp and a mysterious boy named Peter. Promises to be a complex read with a smart female protagonist and insights into religion, belief, and what happens after the world ends.
For more info, check out this interview with Katie Coyle over at Flavorwire!

X: A Novel (Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon): Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X's daughter, teams up with Kekla Magoon to bring us a semi-fictionalized recounting of the formative years in the life of the African-American Muslim Minister and humans rights activist. It has already earned praise from Chris Rock and Muhammad Ali! The Huffington post calls it "gritty and glorious". Definitely worth checking out!
For more about X: A Novel, read this interview with Shabazz and Magoon at the School Library Journal.

The Darkest Part of the Forest (Holly Black): Hazel and Ben are siblings who live in Fairfold, where humans and fairies live side by side. But all is not bright and happy in the land of Faerie. As Hazel and Ben enter their teens, things take a darker turn and their semi-normal lives are shaken up in unexpected ways.
The Guardian is calling The Darkest Part of the Forest a must-read of 2015! Read the review here.

All the Bright Places (Jennifer Niven): Violet Markey and Theodore Finch meet on the ledge of the bell tower at their high school, where both are seriously contemplating suicide. They form an unlikely friendship (Violet is popular and Theodore is a loner), and they embark on a roadtrip together. Niven writes about mental heath and death, or the desire for it, with frankness and empathy.
Read more about All the Bright Places over at Bustle!

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