Last Friday, July 18th, the Librairie Drawn & Quarterly hosted the mRb's Summer Launch, which included a veritable who's who of our bestselling local (and beyond!) authors.Three fabulous Montreal writers joined us to read from their most recent books: Heather O'Neill from her second novel, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night; Anna Leventhal from her collection of short stories, Sweet Affliction; and Guillaume Morissette from his first novel, New Tab. After a brief wine announcement during which everyone was told to get up out of their seats and grab some (seriously you guys, you should know by now we love to give you free alcohol!), the event was ready to begin.
Melanie, mRb's editor, introduced the event, letting us know that this was the 44th issue of the Montreal Review of Books (!!), and that as usual, there would be three readers representing this summer issue.
The first reader was Guillaume Morissette, author of New Tab. Set in Montreal, New Tab spans a year in the life of a twenty-six year old videogame designer as he attempts to reset his life, in the process chronicling with humor disillusion, boredom, self-destruction, Facebook chats, Concordia University, bilingualism, good parties, bad parties, a backyard cinema, social anxiety and running a possibly illegal DIY venue. Guillaume read from a section of the book in which his protagonist has a very strange experience with a young lady (hesitation on the term girlfriend) and some MDMA.
Next up was Drawn & Quarterly sweetheart (we're platonically going steady) Anna Leventhal, who's event back in April was mythic in its coolness factor. It had a goddamn fucking cake, for crying out loud! Anna read from Sweet Affliction, a book of short stories revealing the frailties, perversions, and resilience of Anna Leventhal’s cast of city-dwellers. Anna thanked the mRb for organizing the event and asking her to read, as well Crystal Chen, for writing the feature on the book.
Last but not least was Heather O'Neill, whose first book, Lullabies for Little Criminals, was the winner of the Canada Reads award and a Governor General's award nominee, and whose most recent book, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, was the mRb Summer Issue's cover story. The Girl Who Was Saturday Night is a coming-of-age novel set on the seedy side of Montreal’s St. Laurent Boulevard. Gorgeous twins Noushcka and Nicolas Tremblay live with their grandfather in a tiny, sordid apartment on St. Laurent Boulevard. They are hopelessly promiscuous, wildly funny and infectiously charming.
Look at these guys, they're even good at looking pretty while candidly listening to a reading.
Afterwards, there was mingling and much celebration to be had. Additionally, Heather O'Neill signed some more copies of Lullabies for Little Criminals and The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, so you can come get your autographed copy before they run out again! Thanks again to the mRb, to our lovely authors, and to our always wonderful audience; we were so happy to celebrate the newest issue of Montreal's long-running free literary review, and we hope you were too!