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Monday, 29 September 2014

Recap: Women in Clothes at the Rialto Hall

On Tuesday September 16, we were delighted to host Sheila Heiti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton for the launch of their engrossing collaborative book, Women in Clothes! The event took place at the beautiful Rialto Hall and included a thought-provoking discussion with Fiona Duncan, book-signing, and fittingly, a very energetic clothing swap!

We have compiled a photo recap for those of you who couldn't attend:

Women in Clothes: A handsome volume, if we ever saw one!
Kira and Kate, trusty booksellers for the evening

The Rialto Hall was packed with women (and other folks) in clothes!
Fiona facilitated an engaging discussion between the three editors. They talked about the process of putting the book together, of arranging and rearranging sections, of drawing inspiration from Anna Wintour's editing methods for Vogue, and of working to be "ceaseless interrogators of everything".

The idea of women complimenting each other came up several times. The editors talked about gaining an awareness of other women on the street as style allies of sorts, rather than competition. They are now more likely to tell other women that they look great! Sheila mentioned that Women in Clothes felt like more of an answer to the question "how should a person be?" than her now-classic 2010 book How Should A Person Be? All the anecdotes and perspectives come together to emphatically show that there is no ur-woman, and thus no one way that a woman (or person) should be. What a relief!

A Q&A session with the audience led to more discussion. Topics covered included changing clothing tastes after having kids; photos of our moms before they became moms; intergenerational fashion inspiration; and the knotty question of cultural appropriation in fashion.

Attendees lined up to get their books signed by Leanne, Heidi and Sheila!
What an inspiring signing table!
Then it was time for the clothing swap! And what a frenzy of swapping it was! Huge thank you to Gen of Empire Exchange and to Maya for helping us out with this!

Clothing swap participants were asked to pin short anecdotes to their items of clothing, in keeping with the themes of Women in Clothes. We were delighted with the results! Thank you to everyone who shared clothing and stories! Here are a few of the many, many pieces that were swapped, with their accompanying tales/memories/instructions:







              
D&Q staffers Marcela and Alex keeping it cool amid racks, hangers, various accoutrements, and eager swappers!
Garment-induced joy!
Heidi, Leanne, Sheila and Fiona were a pleasure to hang out with! We can only hope they will visit us again soon.

Fiona, Heidi, Leanne, Sheila
Leanne and Sheila with D&Q Editorial and Marketing Manager Julia Pohl-Miranda
A big thank you to Wendy Bush-Lister and Tricia Van Der Grient at Penguin Canada for helping us to set the event up! And thank you so much to everyone who attended. We hope you have been wearing and enjoying your new items of clothing! And reading your new book, of course.

For those who couldn't attend, we still have signed copies of Women in Clothes here at the store!
Sunday, 28 September 2014

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


On Wednesday, September 10th, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly was pleased to welcome Montreal author Jay Winston Ritchie for the launch of his latest book of short stories from Insomniac PressSomething You Were, Might Have Been, or Have Come to Represent.


Hosting the evening was fellow local author and poet, Sarah Burgoyne, who introduced Blare Coughlin, the first reader.


Blare is an artist and writer living in Montreal, who read some of their recent poetry. “I write a lot about being sad and dying and stuff,” they pre-emptively explained, but the poems Blare selected for the reading actually ran a wider emotional gamut than their introduction suggested! An opening poem about being picked up by a deity en route to Brasserie Beaubien was followed by an angry poem, then a "non-angry" love poem to balance things out. Next came the foreshadowed sad poem, entitled "small ways." Wrapping up Blare's reading was a "long poem about hating Calgary" which elicited some chuckles from the audience, so evidently Blare wasn't the only person in the room with a distaste for the Albertan city! Blare also mentioned that they have ten free ebooks available online, but that you have to ask them on Facebook where to find these.


Next, Sarah took to the stage to say a few words about Jay. She mentioned his signature dry humour, "European soul-searches," and an ongoing search for personal identity. Further noteworthy facts: Jay was shortlisted for a Lit Pop Award in 2012, he is the Editor in Chief of The Void, and he hails from the (much-maligned by Blare) city of Calgary.


Jay's Metatron chapbook How to Appear Perfectly Indifferent While Crying on the Inside collected his poems, but Something You Were, Might Have Been, or Have Come to Represent is a departure from poetry and into the short story medium. 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 chose to read his "flower muncher story" - an allusion to the lotus eaters of Greek myth. The story's protagonist, a young electro-acoustics major named Jenna lies around her Montreal apartment listlessly after a break-up with Luke. As she whiles away her days in bed reading increasingly obscure manga and watching Madmen on Luke's Netflix account, a steady stream of love notes and flowers keep arriving for her roommate, whose life is so packed with dates that she is rarely at home. In an effort to avoid disappointing the flower delivery man, Jenna eventually pretends that the flowers are for herself. One day, on a whim, she eats a tulip petal, and "a new kind of sadness overtakes her" as she feels that she will never leave the apartment again. In the following days, Jenna begins to eat lillies, orchids, and oleander, as her ennui grows accordingly. No spoilers will be revealed here, so you'll have to read Jay's book for yourself to find out what happens next!


To conclude, here's a cute shot of Jay with some of the attendees who picked up a copy of his book. It was a great pleasure to have Jay, Blare and Sarah on stage, and we would like to thank them all for making the launch such a success.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

TONIGHT! Fall Poetry Quartet with Signal Editions, Biblioasis and Goose Lane

On Saturday September 26, 7 p.m., join Signal Editions, Biblioasis, and Goose Lane for their Fall Poetry Quartet, featuring the Montreal launch of highly anticipated new volumes from award-winning poets Michael Lista, Shoshanna Wingate, Stevie Howell, and Kerry-Lee Powell. The evening will be hosted by Carmine Starnino.


The Scarborough takes place over three days in 1992: Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday—the weekend 15-year-old Kristin French was abducted and murdered by Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. In poems both opulent and stricken, ravishing and unflinching, Michael Lista—nine, at the time—revisits those dates, haunted by the horrifying facts he now possesses. Inspired, in part, by Dante’s Inferno, Virgil's tale of Orpheus’ descent into the underworld for Eurydice, as well as the Bernardo trial itself—where the judge ruled that the gallery could hear the video tapes of the crimes, but not see them—Lista’s poems adhere to a single rule: you cannot gaze at the beloved you seek to rescue. The Scarborourgh is book about Bernardo that doesn’t show us Bernardo, a conceptual project that ignores its concept. Shiveringly bold, it is a major achievement.

Michael Lista’s previous book of poems was Bloom (House of Anansi Press, 2010). He is poetry editor of the Walrus and poetry columnist for the National Post.

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Shoshanna Wingate's Radio Weather explores the tension between personal imperatives and fickle outside forces in taut, unsentimental, immaculately constructed poems. Wingate tracks the moments that alter us from who we might have been to who we are, in narratives of rural poverty, urban decay, a child’s improbable friendship with a murderer, a father’s death from AIDS. “The days depart in minor steps,” she writes, “then slip away for costume change.” Radio Weather is a memorable debut by a poet of exceptional promise.



Advance Praise for Radio Weather:

“Clear-eyed, musical, deeply-considered and deeply-felt, Radio Weather contends with the inhospitable. Bringing both child and adult perspectives to bear, it calls to account both the living and the dead. Brilliantly-crafted and wise, occupying a provisional space that is both wary and compassionate, somewhere ‘between what we didn’t want and what we could afford,’ these are poems of great psychological tension, poems for grown ups.”
–Patrick Warner, author of Perfection

Shoshanna Wingate’s poetry and fiction have been published in The New Quarterly, The Fiddlehead , and Arc Poetry Magazine. A poetry chapbook, Homing Instinct, appeared from Frog Hollow Press in 2012. She is the founding editor of the arts & culture journal, Riddle Fence.

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About Kerry-Lee Powell's Inheritance:
Inspired by a shipwreck endured by her father during the Second World War, and by his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and eventual suicide, Inheritance is a powerful poetic debut by the winner of the 2013 Boston Review Fiction Contest and The Malahat Review Far Horizons Award.


Born in Montreal, Kerry-Lee Powell has lived in Australia, Antigua, and The United Kingdom, where she studied Medieval and Renaissance literature at Cardiff University and directed a literature promotion agency. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies throughout the United Kingdom and North America, including The Spectator, The Boston Review, and The Virago Writing Women series. In 2013, she won The Boston Review fiction contest, The Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Award for short fiction, and the Alfred G. Bailey manuscript prize. A chapbook entitled “The Wreckage” has recently been published in England by Grey Suit Editions. A short fiction collection and novel are forthcoming from Harper Collins. Inheritance is her first book.

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About ^^^^^^ [Sharps]:
Pop culture and the balladry of bedlam collide in this wry debut that volunteers a transfusion of the unpredictable to readers yearning for more than a muralized Olive Garden world. In [sharps], a visit to the last Dollar Store becomes a meditation on the global supply chain. A fan of Bill Callahan almost falls into New York’s underbelly, Canmore moviegoers scoff at Alec Baldwin, and the Queen resembles Rip Torn. Joyously ominous, blissfully melancholic, Stevie Howell’s highly anticipated collection picks a street fight with language, half cut with its exuberant possibilities.

“These poems are coded emergency and emergent code: hail, cut glass, cathedrals, systems, skeletons, and scorched earth. Stevie Howell has found a fault-line underwriting Reality and turned this fissure, this terrible brokenness, into a lens. She sees the queasy, exact particular and can phase from its contours into metaphysics and back before we sense the ground shifting. An astonishing debut. An astonishing collection full-stop.” — Ken Babstock, author of Methodist Hatchet

Stevie Howell
is a poet and critic from Toronto. In 2013 her work was shortlisted for the Montreal Poetry Prize, and in 2012 she was a finalist for the inaugural Walrus Poetry Prize. Her poetry and criticism have appeared in The Walrus, Maisonneuve, Event, the Globe and Mail, and the National Post and in two chapbooks, Royal and Ringsend.


Friday, 26 September 2014

Tonight! Curationism: David Balzer and Margaux Williamson

David Balzer, the acclaimed Canadian art critic, knows art. Margaux Williamson, the acclaimed Canadian painter, creates art.

Tonight at 7 p.m., they will both be at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly to discuss their new books: David's Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else, and Margaux's I Could See Everything: The Paintings of Margaux Williamson. They will also discuss art, art books, curation, the relationship between artist, curator and popular culture, and if 'curation' itself still holds any value. There will also be wine! This event is free, and all are welcome.


Praise for Curationism:

‘This is an unusual art book. It is a book you should read and one that you can. Balzer traces the history and current hegemony of curationism, a practice of jumped-up interior decorators who double as priests explaining the gospel to the unlettered masses. A good read, if you don’t mind reading things that you don’t want to know.’ – Dave Hickey



Praise for I Could See Everything:

'Like all my favourite art, these paintings bring out that covetous feeling – I want to wear them, dance to them, show them off as an example of how life feels to me: dirty, dumb, terrifying, spiritual and so funny.’ — Miranda July



David Balzer has contributed to publications including The Believer, Modern Painters, Artforum.com and The Globe and Mail, and is the author of Contrivances, a short-fiction collection. He is currently Associate Editor at Canadian Art magazine. Balzer was born in Winnipeg and currently resides in Toronto, where he makes a living as a critic, editor and teacher.
Margaux Williamson has had solo painting exhibitions in Toronto, Los Angeles and New York, and her work has been covered by the New York Times, LA Times, The Paris Review and Bomb. Her first movie, Teenager Hamlet, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. She lives in Toronto, where she collaborates with the band Tomboyfriend, the lecture series Trampoline Hall, and the writer Sheila Heti on various art projects.
Thursday, 25 September 2014

Tonight! Laurence Miall launches Blind Spot

Join us on Tonight at 7 p.m. to celebrate the launch of Laurence Miall's debut novel, Blind Spot (NeWest Press). There will be free wine and beer, and a welcome as dazzling as the Prairie sun, courtesy of your host, Christian Durand. The first six guests receive a free Alberta ale in honour of the book's primary setting. To recognize also the book's substantial Montreal middle-section, the author will give a reading about a drug deal gone awry south of Ste. Catherine.

About Blind Spot: When his parents’ car is hit by a train, Luke, a failed actor, returns to his Edmonton hometown to attend their funeral, wrap up their affairs, and prepare their house to be sold off. But while all others around him grieve, Luke remains detached, striking up a relationship with a woman in a neighbouring house… and stumbling across evidence that his mother may have engaged in a longstanding extramarital affair herself.

In Blind Spot, debut novelist Laurence Miall crafts an unforgettable literary antihero, a man disconnected from the pain of those around him, yet blind to his own faults. With his clean, forceful language and his familiarity with the darker corners of the male psyche, Miall emerges as a gripping storyteller in the tradition of Tobias Wolff and Andre Dubus III.

“A tale told with ferocious honesty. A sharply-polished gem, glittering with lights both lovely and cruel.”—THOMAS WHARTON, author of Icefields and Salamander

“Gritty and pretty, mournful and light, and all-around unforgettable.” —TODD BABIAK, author of Come Barbarians

Laurence Miall is a Montreal-based writer who spent his childhood in England before emigrating to
Edmonton, Alberta, at the age of 14. Miall has contributed to The Edmonton Journal and his short stories have been finalists in the Summer Literary Awards contest and Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. Blind Spot is his first novel.
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Out Now! The Hospital Suite from D&Q by John Porcellino


This month D&Q brings the latest gem of John Porcellino, the creator of the seminal underground King-Cat Comics. It's an epic narrative of sickness and suffering told in typical Porcellinian fashion. The Hospital Suite is comprised of three autobiographical comic novellas chronicling Porcellino's bout with physical and mental illness, the dissolution of his marriage and his journey to health.


Beginning with a diagnosis of hyperacusis - a super painful hypersensitive hearing condition - John is faced with mysteriously and drastically worsening health. With the discovery of a tumour, he faces emergency surgery. In the aftermath of the operation physical trauma and anxiety materialize as obsessive compulsive disorder which steadily begins to take over his life. 



There is a lucid clarity in his depictions of solitude, a stillness that infuses many panels with peacefulness and beauty despite his suffering, and a characteristic dose of comedy.       


Along the way to recovery John constantly sustains himself through personal research into alternative nutritional and medicinal practices, in spiritual education and through the maintenance of his creative outlet King-Cat Comics. The accompanying appendices round out the The Hospital Suite with supplementary comics (the True Anxiety series and Mercy), zen stories, and a full reading list offering a care package to readers. 


In The Hospital Suite, Porcellino is able to reflect with humour and hindsight on an ordeal which started in his college days and lasted for numerous ensuing years. A cathartically introspective journey, this slice of life-with-OCD is subtly optimistic and quietly uplifting. 

TONIGHT: Graphic Novel Book Club #6: Daniel Clowes' David Boring

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. This month's pick is Daniel Clowes' David Boring! We will meet at the 211 store on Wednesday, September 24 at 7 p.m. Discussion will be hosted by Drawn & Quarterly's Jade Menni. There will be refreshments and collective insight! We offer you a 20% discount on David Boring from now until the meeting date.

About the book: From Daniel Clowes (Ghostworld, Eightball) comes the facinating story of David Boring, a nineteen-year-old security guard who obsessively tries to find his “ideal woman” while unearthing his father’s enigmatic past as a comic artist. When David finally meets the woman of his dreams, his life is suddenly turned upside-down in a series of mysterious misadventures filled with murder, paranoia, vengence, and the looming threat of apocalyptic nuclear war.

Better get reading!
Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Recap: Mireille Silcoff's launch at the Emerald

On Tuesday, September 9, we were lucky enough to be the booksellers at Mireille Silcoff's launch for her debut collection, Chez l'arabe (Anansi).

The launch took place at classy speakeasy-style bar The Emerald (5295 du Parc), which was full to the brim with Mireille's friends, family and fans. Guests partook of finger-foods and prohibition era cocktails, and bought piles (seriously) of books! The ambiance was perfect - however it didn't allow for much picture-taking. We do have this one of Mireille in the midst of it all!

Mireille treated the crowd to a reading from Chez l'arabe. She chose an excerpt from the story "Shalom Israel!", in which an Israeli dance troupe comes to Place des Arts, causing the narrator's elderly mother to yearn for her youth as a promising dancer in Tel Aviv. Her reading beautifully showcased the mixture of humour and darkness that characterizes the collection, and left the audience ready to dive into it themselves.

For those of you who missed the launch, we have signed copies of Chez l'arabe in stock! Highly recommended reading!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Out now! Bumperhead from D&Q, by Gilbert Hernandez



Gilbert Hernandez’s (Love And Rockets, Marble Season) new semi-autobiographical graphic novel is a must-read book for the fall! The legendary cartoonist gives us a striking work with magnificent black and white illustrations. A fragmented story about drugs, rock, punk, and teenage crushes, Bumperhead is filled with true characters and conveys strong emotions.



Bumperhead tracks Bobby’s life’s turning points, as he goes from childhood to old age. Hernandez’s stylish strokes beautifully highlight the murky nature of the universe in which the main character evolves. Thus, his work subtly depicts a desecrated world in which even the sky appears threatening to young Bobby, bullied because of his large head.





In Bobby’s agonizing suburbs, the Pope is taking a poop on a friend’s i-pad. Hernandez’s depiction of the town focuses on the strange and the arbitrary. In these gloomy suburbs, a child is fatally allergic to peanuts, a neighbour speaks faster than his lawnmower and a mother prefers cigarettes to children.


Divided into five parts, Bumperhead first traces Bobby’s transition from childhood to adolescence, a narrative punctuated by drugs and music. These vibrant stories even echo my own teen experiences, as a hungover Bobby realizes with dismay "I'm still as drunk as I was last night."



The crucial stages in Bobby’s life are also anchored in the interest he finds in successive beautiful women. Although Bobby loves women, they are never around for long and love appears as something changing and ephemeral.



Finally, Bumperhead tells the psychological development of a character that struggles with inner conflicts. More than words, it is through Hernandez’s beautiful illustrations and his especially expressive rendering of looks, that the reader accesses the emotional charge of the story. The lack of real communication is also spun through numerous relationships. As a result, Bobby’s frustration grows as we advance in the narrative. Silence is indeed one of the main themes and the brutality of whatever is left unsaid is multiplied by the black strokes of Hernandez. Bravo!

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