This Shelf Belongs to...Alice Zorn!

Each month, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly invites an author or artist to curate a shelf in the store. This July, we bring you recommendations from Alice Zorn!

Alice Zorn’s new novel, Five Roses, is set in the Montreal neighbourhood of Pointe St-Charles where she lives. She is the author of Arrhythmia, as well as a collection of short fiction, Ruins & Relics, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Quebec Writers Federation First Book Prize. She placed first twice in Prairie Fire's Fiction Contest and won the 2013 Manitoba Magazine Award for Fiction. As Rapunzel, she writes about travel, writing and researching fiction, Grimms’ fairytales, food, gardening and other goings-on at

All of Zorn's picks will be 15% off for the month of July. Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find on her shelf:

Guy Delisle, Pyongyang (Drawn & Quarterly, 2012)
Mr Guy, a foreigner, works in an animation studio in the phantom city of Pyongyang (North Korea). At times, before the absurdity of Marxism forced to an extreme, he loses his mouth in bafflement.

Emma Donoghue, Frog Music (Harper Collins, 2014)
A literary whodunnit set in San Francisco in 1876. Burlesque dance, prostitutes and their pimps, cross-dressing, frog hunting, the appalling childcare options for a working woman, a smallpox epidemic. Reading this was a romp kept serious by the murder of the loveable Jenny Bonnet.

Marina Endicott, Close to Hugh (Doubleday, 2015)
The small world of theatre is narrowed to a high school drama workshop. Past relationships and commitments threaten to obstruct new relationships. The teenagers take part in the drama of the workshop and — less willingly — in the drama played out between the adults.

Jack Hannan, The Poet is a Radio (Linda Leith, 2016)
In this novel of loosely connected narratives, poetry takes surprising shape in Montreal’s unnamed, transient spaces — abandoned buildings, the metro, parking lots, an empty shopping mall, spray-painted in the street, trailed high in the air.

Georgina Harding, Painter of Silence
(Bloomsbury, 2012)
Wartime Romania in the 1950s. People survive in a grim world by forgetting what they’ve lost. Augustin, who is deaf and mute, cannot speak to remind them of their stories, but he draws what he remembers with exquisite detail.

Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus (Anchor, 2012)
Morgenstern plays with the reader’s willingness to believe in illusions that might or might not be true. What is true anyhow? There are many twists and sleights of hand in this fantasy, which is less about a circus than a competition between magicians.

Priya Parmar, Vanessa and her Sister (Random House, 2015)
A fictional diary and correspondence offers an unusual perspective on Virginia Woolf and her lesser-known, though also talented sister. Vanessa is the subject of the novel with Virginia portrayed as emotionally manipulative, lacking in empathy, even cruel.

Michel Rabagliati, Paul dans le Nord
(La Pastèque, 2015) 
Paul’s adventures take me back to the 1970s when I was a teenager. It’s all here — the pimples, the hair, the music we adored, the ultra-embarrassing stupidities. Each frame is packed with details and the dialogue is spot on. I especially enjoyed reading it in the original Québécois.

Robert Seethaler, A Whole Life
(Anansi, 2015)
A beautifully and sparsely recounted tale of a hard life that was not without simple if rare satisfactions. It spoke to me especially about my own Alpine heritage — how I imagine my grandfather must have lived.

Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life (Doubleday, 2015) 
A boy is abused. The man he becomes struggles to survive the self-disgust that brands him. Yanagihara pulls no punches. This book wrenched my heart again and again.

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