We were very pleased to host the launch of Esplanade's spring titles earlier this month. People eagerly crowded into the store, despite the fact there was a Habs game that night (RIP).
Dmitri Nasrallah, the new editor of Esplanade, introduced the authors, giving background into how their books came to be, and making the crowd even more intent on hearing excerpts.
First up was Christine Fischer Guy, a journalist and teacher from Toronto. Her debut novel, The Umbrella Mender, was published by Wolsak and Wynn, and takes place in Moose Factory, Ontario in 1951, right in the middle of a tuberculosis epidemic.
Protagonist Hazel MacPherson is sent by the federal government to deal with it, finding the small community compelling in its wildness.
Next, Torontonian Andy Sinclair read from his new Breathing Lessons, a novel that, when Nasrallah first read the manuscript, "shocked and surprised me on every page." Originally titled "I like getting fucked up with you," the audience was treated to a chapter on lifeguard training, mouth to mouth, summer surrealism, and yoga breathing.
Last (though certainly not least), Anita Anand graced the stage and read from her new collection of short stories, Swing in the House. "Psychologically piercing in her prose," according to Nasrallah, she read from "What I Really Did," weaving together summer trips to Barcelona, mosaics, cross necklaces, and wannabe putas.
Thank you to everyone for coming out and making it a great evening!