New DQ: Spaniel Rage by Vanessa Davis

A welcome re-edition of drawings by Vanessa Davis! Spaniel Rage collects diary comics that she made in sketchbooks between 2003 and 2004. From stories about dating to work worries, Vanessa Davis has a sense of humor that makes daily life lighter. "Vanessa's comics feel like a phone call with your best, warm, funny friend," writes Lisa Hanawalt. 

Her loose drawing style in pencil is charming and very inspiring. She knows how to make her readers feel like they are opening her real diary! 
The book also collects a few short stories published in a variety of anthologies and zines back in 2003. 

Book Club: Reading Across Borders

The Reading Across Borders book club focuses on literature in English translation, with a particular interest in writers who are not (yet) well-known in the English-speaking world. Hosted by store staffer Helen Chau Bradley, the book club meetings will happen every two months, and are open to all.

For our first meeting, on Wednesday, February 22, we will meet at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (211 Bernard ouest) at 7 pm to consider Savage Theories by Pola Oloixarac, translated from the Spanish by Roy Kesey. Join us for heady discussion and refreshments!

**We offer a 15% discount on Savage Theories from now until the meeting date.**
We regret that the bookstore is not wheelchair accessible.

Savage Theories is a maximalist dazzler: it follows a disparate cast of characters, and encompasses topics and settings ranging from early 20th-century psychological theory, to Argentina's Dirty War, to 21st-century Buenos Aires' underground party scenes. Pola Oloixarac is an Argentinian writer and essayist currently based in San Francisco. Savage Theories is her first novel to appear in English.

Event recap: Occult Poetics -- a reading with Ariana Reines, CA Conrad, and Jessica Bebenek

Last Saturday, we were thrilled to co-present a poetry reading as part of the Occult Poetics Symposium hosted by Concordia University's Center for Expanded Poetics, featuring the phenomenal talents of Ariana Reines, CA Conrad, and Jessica Bebenek.

By the time CEP Director Nathan Brown introduced the night's proceedings, we had a completely packed house, full capacity! Brown spoke a bit about his first encounters with the work of CA Conrad and Ariana Reines and how he found, in both, a mode of engaging the world politically (facing outward) while speaking from a place of (inward-facing) tenderness, with a parallel flair for mixing high and low references, deep seriousness with raw humour.

Sandra Huber, our host for the evening, introduced our first reader, Jessica Bebenek: a "beautiful person and a beautiful soul."

Bebenek read from a work in progress entitled "I am a woman giving birth to myself," which, like the readers to follow, renovated the notion of confessional poetry with equal parts violence and vulnerability. "I have scared young men, I presume," she noted. Her poem also offered a brief discussion of healthy digestive habits, which she followed up with: "this is not a metaphor/a poem is just a good place to put your convictions." Initially, Jessica had planned to show images with her reading -- we apologize once again for our faulty projector!

Next up, CA Conrad saluted Montreal, his "February city," before announcing that he wasn't going to take up a lot of time telling us about the rituals that he had used to write his poems. (Thankfully, he changed his mind shortly thereafter). One, for example, involved going to Emily Dickinson's old house and rubbing dirt from her yard all over his body. Another involved making the Biblical book of Romans (infamous to LGBTQ folks for being used to condemn homosexuality) into an anal suppository. He also discussed his poems based on psychic communication with dogs and his love of Marfa, Texas. He was just generally amazing. Most memorable line, maybe: "Jesus didn't need balance/He had nails."

And then Ariana Reines took to the stage. Initially, we had planned to launch her latest poetry collection, A Sand Book, at this event, but it wasn't ready in time. Reines started off her reading by offering an explanation, which included an intensely personal account of a mystical experience she had in Haiti (which I won't recount here). Essentially, she told us, A Sand Book is about religious experiences and comprises things she's had to keep to herself, that she still processing, and isn't quite ready to let out into the world yet. It was also begun, she said, after Hurricane Sandy and has to do with representing both ecological and spiritual trauma in contemporary America.

Then, with characteristic irreverence, Reines followed up these intimate confidences by declaring that she would read some "Bad Daddy" poems written after the election. In what followed, she mixed up jeggings ("they happened, we were there") and a Safeway in Sedona with Mallarmé, whose "kitschy excess of nothingness," she is is convinced, is bad on purpose. Her epic closing poem, "Open Fifths," was a staggering tour-de-force that left the whole room reeling. What can we say? We await A Sand Book with bated breath.

Thanks again to all the poets, the organizers, the CEP, and everyone (so many of you) who came out and made this event a huge success!

Graphic Novel Book Club: Asterios Polyp

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. Our pick for February is Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli. We will meet at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (211 Bernard O) on Wednesday, February 15th at 7:00 p.m. The discussion will be hosted by D+Q store staffer Benjamin Bush Anderson. Join us for refreshments and collective insights!

In Asterios Polyp, an egocentric architect buys a one-way ticket to the middle of nowhere, upending his life as a university professor. Asterios’s bumpy journey through the American heartland becomes a rootless exploration of remembered relationships and vivid dream sequences. David Mazzucchelli’s lovable anti-hero debates everything from design aesthetics to the merits of remarriage. Mazzucchelli’s artful illustrations straddle the colour wheel, associating bold shades with personalities and spaces. This dazzling comic demands discussion, crowning it as a gem of the genre.

Martine Delvaux launches THE LAST BULLET IS FOR YOU

Join us for an evening of love and translation on Monday, Feb. 13th at 7:00 pm with Montreal writer Martine Delvaux. Her novel Blanc dehors was shortlisted for the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Fiction. The Last Bullet Is for You (2016), translated by David Homel, is about a love affair gone wrong, the perfect subject for a decidedly un-Valentine discussion of translation. 

Martine Delvaux est auteure de quatre romans, dont Les Cascadeurs de l’amour n’ont pas droit au doublage (la version originale de The Last Bullet Is for You) et des essais Nan Goldin. Guerrière et gorgone et Les Filles en série. Des Barbies aux Pussy Riot).

David Homel, the English voice of Martine Delvaux, has published eleven novels for adults and younger readers. David Homel, l'écho anglo de Martine Delvaux, a aussi publié onze romans en tous genres.

Host Katia Grubisic's collection of poems 
What if red ran out won the Gerald Lampert award for best first book. L’animatrice Katia Grubisic est poète, traductrice, et réviseure.

Free admission. This event takes place in French and English. Refreshments will be served. Entrée gratuite. La table ronde se déroulera en français et en anglais. Des rafraîchissements seront servis.

(Photo by Valérie Lebrun)

Event Recap: Heather O'Neill's launch for The Lonely Hearts Hotel

On February 7th, we hosted celebrated Montreal author Heather O'Neill at the Rialto Hall for the sold-out launch of her latest  novel, The Lonely Hearts Hotel!

Heather was kind enough to arrive early and pre-sign some books for the store (if you couldn't make it to the launch, we still have signed copies!).

To start things off, our erstwhile store manager (and current Director of Special Sales) Rebecca Lloyd gave a rundown of Heather's many honours.

Laurel Sprengelmeyer (aka talented singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Little Scream) was Heather's interlocutor for the night! She kicked things off by reading the book jacket's effusive praise from Helen Oyeyemi, Emily St. John Mandel, and Miranda July. She then offered her own review: The Lonely Hearts Hotel is so good, she's throwing out all her Miranda July books.

Then Laurel and Heather got to talking. The book's two main characters, Rose and Pierrot, are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the the Winter of 1914. Heather described some of her historical research for the book, which included time in the archives of the Grey Nuns. As it happens, the sisters used to run a home for young, unwed mothers where such girls would be (essentially) interned while carrying their unborn children, which would then be deposited in orphanages. The book opens with a scene in such a house for young women. O'Neill's description captures the misery of this world in heart-wrenching detail while still maintaining a child's sense of innocent naiveté. 

Throughout the book, O'Neill's blend of casual cruelty and surreal enchantment impart a Henry-Darger-ish charm. O'Neill has a highly visual way with words -- she and Laurel discussed the influence of silent film (and early pornography!) on the book's imagery. To read a passage that was conceived as a ''split-screen scene,'' Heather called for a volunteer: ''coincidentally,'' Richard Reed Parry from the Arcade Fire was in the audience, and he stepped into the role of Pierrot!

Laurel and Heather also discussed the book's play with gender roles: as a response to the frequently sexualized description of women's bodies in literature, O'Neill decided to reverse things and lavish regular description on Pierrot's impressive member. After conflicts with her editors, however, some of these saucy passages (but not all!) were cut down or removed. 

Moving into the question period, one curious audience member asked about a particular Spanish wine mentioned in Lullabies for Little Criminals. O'Neill admitted that it was a $9 dep wine that is no longer available and that she regrets mentioning it: ''I knew nothing about the world!'' she exclaimed.

And then came the signing! Look at this lineup!

Heather was a champ! She even stuck around to sign extra copies after the crowd dispersed. A big thanks to everyone who came out to make this event such a success!

Feb. 11 at 8pm: OCCULT POETICS -- A Reading with Ariana Reines, CA Conrad, and Jessica Bebenek

The Centre for Expanded Poetics presents: Occult Poetics Symposium

We are delighted to be co-presenting a poetry reading as part of the Occult Poetics Symposium hosted by Concordia University's Center for Expanded Poetics. This event will take place at the store (211 Bernard West) at 8pm (note the change from our usual event time of 7pm).

Ariana Reines will be reading from her forthcoming poetry collection, A Sand Book (Fence Books), with additional readings by CA Conrad and Jessica Bebenek. Sandra Huber will be the host! You can view the Facebook event page here.

Ariana Reines is an American poet, playwright, performance artist, astrologer, and translator. Her books of poetry include The Cow (2006), which won the Alberta Prize from Fence Books; Coeur de Lion (2007); Mercury (2011); and Thursday (2012). She has taught at UC Berkeley (Roberta C. Holloway Lecturer in Poetry, 2009), Columbia University (2013), The New School (2013), and Tufts University (2014). Reines has been described by Michael Silberblatt of NPR's Bookworm as "one of the crucial voices of her generation." Her forthcoming collection, A Sand Book, is a series of lyrical essays and poems situated in the American southwest.

Books by all Occult Poetics participants will be available for purchase during the event at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly.

Catch poetry & divinatory readings from Marianna Costa, Damian Rogers, Sandra Huber, and others at the Closing Night of the Occult Poetics Symposium the following night (Feb. 12).

The CEP is striving to create a space in which all visitors to the Symposium feel able to participate fully, engage critically, and enjoy themselves. This will be a queer and trans-friendly environment in which homophobia, trans-phobia, racism, ableism, or discriminatory language or actions of any kind will not be tolerated.

In creating an Occult Poetics Symposium, we are very aware that there will be people of many religions, faiths, and spiritualties in attendance. We encourage the respectful discussion of these topics, but before speaking, please consider the effect of your words on others in attendance. While we will not be shying away from difficult discussions, speakers have been asked to give content warnings when discussing potentially triggering material.

The entrance to Librairie Drawn & Quarterly is up two steps - small washroom available in the bookstore - limited seating available, so please arrive early (Priority seating for those in need will be available.) - alcohol will be served. Please let us know ahead of time (or at the event) if you need any assistance and we will do all we can to accomodate.

New DQ: Wilson in paperback!

Are you ready for this brand spanking new edition of Wilson (with a fancy "now a major motion picture" printed on the front), available just in time for the Woody Harrelson-starring movie (out March 24)? Because we sure are!

Inside you'll find the same good-old Wilson we know and love, with all the familiar middle-aged, anti-social pathos brilliantly conveyed by the inimitable Daniel Clowes (Ghost World, The Death-Ray).

When Wilson decides to look up his ex-wife, he finds he has an unexpected teenage daughter, put up for adoption years before. The three attempt to reconnect as a family, a proposition that has, predictably, very little chance for success. Check it out! 

Feb 7th at 7pm : Heather O'Neill launches The Lonely Hearts Hotel

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly 10th Anniversary Reading Series

Heather O'Neill launches THE LONELY HEARTS HOTEL
in conversation with Laurel Sprengelmeyer

Tuesday February 7th, 2017
Doors open at 6pm.  Presentation at 7pm
The Rialto Hall (5723 ave du parc)
Tickets available online or in store
$5 or free with in store book purchase

Join us on Tuesday, February 7th at 7:00 p.m. for the launch of Heather O’Neill’s latest, exquisitely imagined and hypnotically told novel: The Lonely Hearts Hotel.

Set in the early part of the 20th Century, it is an unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose fortune hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to escape one's origins. It might also take true love. 

Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1910. Before long, their true talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing for the rich, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen. Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both escape into the city's underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. Vicious, absurd and perverse, Montreal in the 1920's is no place for song and dance. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes—after years of searching, and desperate poverty—the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they'll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. After Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls hit the stage and the alleys, the underworld will never look the same.

HEATHER O’NEILL is a Canadian novelist, poet, short-story writer, screenwriter and essayist. Lullabies for Little Criminals, her debut novel, was published in 2006 to international critical acclaim and won Canada Reads. It was shortlisted for both the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Orange Prize for Fiction. She has since published the novel The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and the short story collection Daydreams of Angels, both of which were shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in consecutive years. The collection was also shortlisted for the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic and won the Danuta Gleed Award. Born and raised in Montreal, O’Neill lives there today with her daughter.

Top 5: Bestselling Graphic Novels of January

Here's what everyone was reading in January! 

The Abominable Mr. Seabrook - Joe Ollmann  (In case you missed the launch check out all the details!)

Mooncop - Tom Gauld

Rolling Blackouts - Sarah Glidden

Showa: A History of Japan 1926-1939 - Shigeru Mizuki

Wendy's Revenge - Walter Scott

This shelf belongs to...Heather O'Neill!

Each month, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly invites a local author or artist to curate a shelf in the store. This February, we bring you recommendations from Heather O'Neill!

Heather O’Neill is a Canadian novelist, poet, short-story writer, screenwriter, and essayist. Lullabies for Little Criminals, her debut novel, was published in 2006 to international critical acclaim and won Canada Reads. It was shortlisted for both the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Orange Prize for Fiction. She has since published the novel The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and the short story collection Daydreams of Angels, both of which were shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in consecutive years. The collection was also shortlisted for the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic and won the Danuta Gleed Award. Born and raised in Montreal, O’Neill lives there today with her daughter.

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

Milk Teeth, Julie Morstad
I like this book for its use of two of my favourite motifs, swans and tea cups. And little girls who have run away from story books. I looked at this while I was writing and found it inspiring.

Gashlycrumb Tinies, Edward Gorey 
This has been a favourite book forever. I truly feel as though my name should be added to the list under H. I always lived an unfortunate life as a child. But surviving it has given me a sensibility that is both wise and Edwardian.

Madeleine is Sleeping, Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum
I have often planned to spend a year asleep and live in the world of my dreams. It chronicles the subconscious of a teenage girl. A cross between the Madeleine storybooks and Anaïs Nin’s erotica. Also there is a master farter.

The World Doesn’t End, Charles Simic
An androgynous child plays with black apples, in a landscape ravaged by war. And that is just one image.

Hark a Vagrant!, Kate Beaton
I like the literary references. My book is full of them, for more discerning minds.

The Sadeian Woman, Angela Carter
A feminist interpretation of the works of Marquis de Sade. So brilliant. Controversial too, of course. But made me understand my attraction to all things perverted. Because they speak to being free.

Quartet, Jean Rhys
Oh you know, it’s Jean Rhys. The most melancholic of chorus girls. Her tragic taste in men lead her to the most beautiful hotel rooms in Paris in London. Big inspiration for Lonely Hearts Hotel.

Le Grand Cahier, Agota Kristof
A tiny masterpiece. All my characters who have black hair are a nod to these two twins. They live in a world of darkness and vicious rapists, but they question and provoke morality like all great artists.

Henry Darger, Klaus Biesenbach
These drawings were made in secret by the loneliest janitor in the world. I read a letter by him last year and I had to stay in bed for three days. His army of girls come from the most wonderful regions of the imagination that few venture to. Gender fluid and as bold as dragons.

Tomie, Junji Ito
I’m obsessed with this book. I stole it from my daughter. It has made me more twisted. I don’t know if that is a good thing, as it is the general consensus that I am twisted enough. When I think I have gone too far, I think of these books, and think, well at least I am not alone. It has inspired me in strange ways.

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, Helen Oyeyemi
Who can take a plot, fold it into an origami bird like Oyeyemi? Also there are puppets; I have been obsessed with.

Beautiful Darkness, Kerascoet
My daughter Arizona, my go to for all graphic novels, recommended this book to me. She says: “This comic book left me pondering its meaning for weeks. The story starts with little children crawling out a dead girl’s body in the woods. It’s Lord of the Flies, but with fragments of a young girl’s personality fighting one another for survival. It’s horrifying and fascinating.”

TOP 5: January's bestselling cookbooks!

Cook Korean! A Comic Book with Recipes (Robin Ha)

Classic German Baking (Luisa Weiss)

Land of Fish and Rice: 
Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China (Fuchsia Dunlop)

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science (J. Kenji Lopez-Alt)

Montreal Cooks: 
A Tasting Menu from the City's Leading Chefs (Jonathan Cheung)

Food Anatomy: 
The Curious Parts and Pieces of Our Edible World (Julia Rothman)

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