This shelf belongs to... Madeleine Thien!

Each month, Librairie Drawn and Quarterly invites a local author or artist to curate a shelf in the store. This December, we bring you recommendations from Giller prize award-winner Madeleine Thien!

Madeleine Thien is the author of the story collection, Simple Recipes, and three novels, including Dogs at the Perimeter. Her most recent book, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction. The novel was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction and named a New York Times Notable Book of 2016. Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages and her essays and stories are widely available in The Guardian, the Globe & Mail, Brick, Granta, The New York Times, Al Jazeera and elsewhere. The youngest daughter of Malaysian-Chinese immigrants to Canada, she lives in Montreal.

In addition, all of Madaleine's picks will be 15% off for the month of December! Here's a sneak peak of what you'll find on her shelf:

Red Dust (Ma Jian)"As I get to my feet, the boss wipes the sweat from his face and says, 'Why not have something to eat before you turn back.' He too knows this is the end of the world."

Monstress volume 1 (Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda)"How does one whom history has made a monster escape her monstrosity? How does one overcome the monstrousness of others without succumbing to a rising monstrousness within?”

Ai Weiwei (Uli Sigg) "The reality of existence is the reality of puzzlement. It is ubiquitous, and our eternal pursuit of truth originates in our perpetual dependence on bewilderment."

Carnival (Rawi Hage)
"What do the stars believe in, Zainab? Where do the dead horses go, what do the birds worship, and what do the rivers live for?"

Men in Dark Times (Hannah Arendt)
“Is it true that it will be of greater consequence to leave behind you a better world than to have been good?"

Working (Studs Terkel)
“It is about a search, too, for daily meaning a well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short for a sort of life rather than a sort of dying."

Collected Essays (James Baldwin)
“Now, this country is going to be transformed. It will not be transformed by an act of God, but by all of us, by you and me. I don’t believe any longer that we can afford to say that it is entirely out of our hands. We made the world we’re living in and we have to make it over."

Paying For It (Chester Brown)
“Possessiveness warps people’s love and corrupts it."

Palestine (Joe Sacco)
A quote from another writer, Italo Calvino, that makes me think of Joe Sacco and all the books on my shelf, "[The inferno of the living] is what is already here ... There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not the inferno, then make them endure, give them space."

Nervous Conditions (Tsitsi Dangarembga)
"I resorted to the usual way of not feeling anything, of concentrating on every inch of skin, on the opening of every pore until I could feel nothing else and the sensation of me filled the entire universe. But I was not, I could feel nothing, and when I had come to this point of not being, I took the precaution of appropriately looking down."

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