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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Five Librairie D&Q-launched books on the 2014 Giller Prize longlist!

Launch your book at the Librairie Drawn & Quarterly and get nominated for the Giller Prize!
Well, not exactly. But we were beyond excited to find out that FIVE books that were launched at, or in collaboration with our store in 2014 are on the 2014 Giller Prize longlist!

Congratulations to Arjun Basu (Waiting for the Man), Sean Michaels (Us Conductors), Heather O'Neill (The Girl Who Was Saturday Night), Claire Holden Rothman (My October), and Padma Viswanathan (The Ever After of Ashwin Rao)!

Arjun Basu's Waiting for the Man gives us the surreal journey of a man who is searching for purpose and happiness. Joe, a 36-year-old advertising copywriter for a slick New York agency, feels disillusioned with his life. He starts dreaming of a mysterious man, seeing him on the street, and hearing his voice. Joe decides to listen to the Man and so he waits on his stoop, day and night, for instructions. A local reporter takes notice, and soon Joe has become a story, a media sensation, the centre of a storm. When the Man tells Joe to “go west,” he does, in search of meaning. Waiting for the Man is a compelling and visceral story about the struggle to find something more in life, told in two interwoven threads — Joe at the beginning of his journey in Manhattan, and at the end of it as he finds new purpose on a ranch in Montana under the endless sky.

Sean Michaels' Us Conductors is inspired by the true life and loves of the Russian scientist, inventor and spy Lev Termen, creator of the theremin, and is told through a series of flashbacks and correspondence between Termen and his “one true love,” Clara Rockmore, the finest theremin player in the world. The book's fitting epigraph, from Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, is "In memory, everything seems to happen to music." This is a book by a writer who is extremely good at describing how music makes you feel, about the feelings of people who made music. It has chapter titles taken from songs by artists like Kate Bush, Jesus & Mary Chain, and Mark Hollis. But it's not just a novel for music nerds, it's for anybody interested in love, or inventions, or just words that sound particularly good next to each other.

Heather O'Neill's The Girl Who Was Saturday Night is a coming of age story set in Montreal. "Nineteen years old, free of prospects, and inescapably famous, the twins Nicholas and Nouschka Tremblay are trying to outrun the notoriety of their father, a French-Canadian Serge Gainsbourg with a genius for the absurd and for winding up in prison." (Goodreads). Montreal lovers/residents will feel beautifully represented by O'Neill, our golden girl. Whether it's the summertime party mode the city gets into, "having been temporarily granted clemency by the winter" or the minus god-knows-what-digit temperatures being to blame for all the sex everyone's having. "The roses in everyone's cheeks made them seem way more appealing than they actually were." O'Neill makes all of Montreal's charming grubbiness shine.

Claire Holden Rothman's My October (launched here just two weeks ago!) 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.

Padma Viswanathan's The Ever After of Ashwin Rao features a cranky Indian psychologist who comes to Canada to research the emotional aftereffects of the 1985 bombing of an Air India jet. He finds himself embroiled in the lives of one family, privy to their secrets, and is forced--in unexpected ways--to confront past secrets of his own. This is a stunning new work set among families of those who lost loved ones in the bombing, registering the unexpected reverberations of this tragedy in the lives of its survivors. A book of post-9/11 Canada, The Ever After of Ashwin Rao demonstrates that violent politics are all-too-often homegrown in North America but ignored at our peril. David Bezmozgis calls it "an intrepid novel, its sadness leavened by a wry humour.'

Congratulations again to all five!
It is an ongoing pleasure for us to host book launches for writers, cartoonists, zinesters and artists, both local and otherwise. Most of our events are free! For a full listing of our upcoming launches and readings, visit our Facebook page!

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