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Friday, 23 June 2017

Summer Reads 2017: Alyssa

Grab a book, a picnic blanket, some sunglasses and go to town.


Too Much and Not the Mood (Durga Chew-Bose)
We recently had the pleasure of launching Durga Chew-Bose's debut collection, and I can't wait to settle into these thoughtful, inventive prose-poetry essays on memory, family, pop culture, and so much more. The writing takes its time, says exactly what it wants to say, and creates a whole that is entirely more than the sum of its topics.

Hunger (Roxane Gay)
The new Roxane Gay is here! Hunger has been hotly anticipated in the store ever since we hosted an event during which Gay discussed this then-upcoming project: a memoir of her body, food, self-care, and trauma. Told with an undeniable care and vulnerability, this deeply personal work is touching, unflinchingly honest, and so very important.

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud (Anne Helen Petersen)
I've been a huge fan of Anne Helen Petersen's for a long time, always enjoying her sociological take on fame, celebrity culture, and the tabloid industry. For this new work, she turns her gaze to women who have, in one way or another, transgressed, writing critically and compassionately on topics as varied as Madonna's age, Melissa McCarthy's shape, and Nicki Minaj's confident sexuality.


Placeholders (Michael DeForge)
A struggling town plays host to tech giant Aluren to revitalize its economy in this newest DeForge zine, and things fly swiftly off the rails once the corporation begins experimenting with so-called "soft storage," or storage of digital information inside organic matter. In typical DeForgian fashion, the climax is poignant, thrilling, and charmingly banal, an endearing mix of the surreal and mundane.

So Pretty / Very Rotten (Jane Mai and An Nguyen)
Another recent store event had us launching this amazing collection of essays, interviews, and comics that explore the nuances of Lolita fashion and Japanese cute culture. Thorough and researched, but so very intimate and beautiful, the book is both love letter to Lolita, and dissection of why, exactly, the subculture has stuck around for the last forty years.
 


Boundless (Jillian Tamaki)
The Eisner and Governor General-winning Jillian Tamaki is back with the beautiful, incisive Boundless, a collection of comic stories that explore the links, and gaps, between real world and virtual. Showcasing her skill as an artist and a storyteller, Tamaki's characters, as they shrink slowly into nothingness or become obsessed with a mirror Facebook, find themselves distanced from, or transcending, their identities, cultures, relationships, and selves.
Bonus! I'll be hosting our next graphic novel book club on July 12, where we'll be discussing Boundless!

Uncomfortably Happily (Yeon-Sik Hong)
When two artists from Seoul move away from the city hubbub to the much quieter countryside, they are totally unprepared for the new set of challenges they'll need to face. With smooth, minimal illustration, Yeon-Sik Hong tells a story as heartwarming as it is flush with emotional depth, making this memoir of a married couple trying to make it work one of the summer's must-reads.



The Sellout (Paul Beatty)
This darkly funny novel has been on my to-read list since it came out, and a Man Booker win only solidified my decision. Beatty has crafted flawless satire, the story of slavery, gentrification, economic inequality, and blackness in America. Beatty's protagonist, Me, in his attempt to put his low income neighbourhood back on the map, lives through a story that is astute, challenging, entertaining, and astoundingly relevant.

The Idiot (Elif Batuman)
I'm about a hundred pages into Elif Batuman's account of a first year at university, and am immensely enjoying protagonist Selin's warmth, introspection, and attempts at balancing the sheer joy of learning with not knowing exactly what to do with her life. Meandering and meditative, the novel is nevertheless crystal clear in its depiction of higher education in the late 90s, with all the work, friendship, and first love implied.

The Babysitter at Rest (Jen George)
Kirkus Reviews called The Babysitter at Rest a "surgical examination of being young, female, and unfulfilled," so I'm already sold. This five story collection weaves a sardonic, cutting web of characters in the process of becoming, of women living in the amorphous spaces before adulthood. At times surreal, always emotionally deft, this book is one I can't wait to start.
Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Out Today! Kitaro 3 : The Great Tanuki War!


Hey pssst! Kitaro: The Great Tanuki War is out today!! Please flip your manga over to start reading! Monsters munching on buildings are meant to be read from right to left.

Reading Kitaro is a great introduction to the work of one of the most revered Japanese cartoonists of the twentieth century, Shigeru Mizuki, not to mention the yokai spirit folklore specific to Japan!


The new Kitaro is full of yokai, those adorable supernatural demons found in Japanese folklore. It showcases "the golden age of the Kitaro stories" and an appendix from the translator, giving insightful historic background.

Enjoy!


Sunday, 18 June 2017

Ce que Daphné lit cet été!

C'est l'été, c'est l'heure du rosé, mais surtout de la lecture! INDULGE yourself m'a crié quelqu'un qui passait sous mon balcon. 


The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington, Leonora Carrington 

Depuis que j'ai échappé de la sauce brune sur mon exemplaire, je n'ai pas le choix de le lire (et de l'acheter), mais il me semble que la sauce brune convient parfaitement à ce recueil. En effet, dès la première nouvelle, Carrington y parle d'une hyène en talons hauts et d'une odeur de putréfaction.

J'ai aussi acheté The Milk of Dreams, l'album pour enfants de cette peintre surréaliste née en 1917. Je n'ai pas su résister, surtout parce que Carrington y raconte l'histoire d'un éléphant qui fait caca dans une tasse de thé! C'est exactement ce genre d'univers-là que je voudrais faire découvrir à un bébé. Il apprendrait à dire "J'ai peur" avant de dire "maman" et c'est parfait comme ça. Moi aussi j'ai peur.

On peut lire une des nouvelles de Carrington ici.

Hunger, by Roxane Gay

J'ai commencé à lire les mémoires de Gay, celle qui nous a offert le recueil d'essais Bad Feminist en 2014. Violée à l'âge de 12 ans, l'auteure se met alors à manger de gigantesques quantités de nourriture, dans l'espoir de se construire un bouclier de chair, une forme de protection qui la rendrait moins vulnérable, parce qu'indésirable aux yeux de ses agresseurs. Hunger est un livre qui s'intéresse à la question de l'obésité. Roxane Gay est une auteure que j'aime parce qu'elle ne fait pas de compromis. Sa prose est limpide, agréable et nécessaire.

Book of Mutter, Kate Zambreno

Le tout dernier de Zambreno, l'auteure de Heroines Cette fois, c'est une narrative non-fiction à la forme brève, presque "cellulaire", clin d'oeil aux sculptures "cellule" de Louise Bourgeois. Un recueil mélancolique comme il se doit, que j'imagine aussi truffé de références, d'observations de toutes sortes. Une réflexion critique sur le deuil qui dit-on, rappelle la plume, le ton, la manière de: Roland Barthes, Henry Darger, et Louise Bourgeois, en autres. Prometteur!

A Hotel With My Name, Cecilia Pavon

"I am writing again surrounded by people on drugs, but
I didn't take any. With Gonzalo, who is wearing jeans
He took horse tranquilizers, (...)

He looks like a poor wounded angel
a poor, helpless animal.
Why did you take that Gonzalo?

To try, just to try."

Pavon est née en Argentine en 1973. Je crois qu'elle pourrait être ma tante, mais j'aimerais mieux qu'elle soit mon amie. Je voudrais écrire avec elle, fumer avec elle, ou bien essayer d'arrêter (de fumer) avec elle.


So Pretty, Very Rotten, Jane Mai & An NGuyen
So Pretty, Very Rotten est une bande dessinée hybride entrecoupée d'essais. Elle aborde la mode Lolita dans toutes ses contradictions et ses complexités. Naviguant entre fille et femme, la lolita est un produit de la société de consommation, une accro du shopping. Or, elle oppose paradoxalement à cette même société une résistance douce. Poussant l'extravagance et la coquetterie jusqu'à leur paroxysme, la lolita revendique une identité déviante qui se construit hors du regard masculin.

Sauf que j'ai rien dit, Lily Pinsonneault
Une lecture d'été géniale et une nouvelle auteure québécoise à découvrir. J'aime le style de Pinsonneault, qui écrit dans une langue imagée, avec une pointe d'autodérision. L'auteure y raconte l'amour qui ne trouve jamais de conclusion, l'être convoité qui finit par ne plus répondre aux textos. Histoire universelle, peut-être et qu'il fait bon relire dans les mots de Lily Pinsonneault.


Boundless, Jillian Tamaki
Tamaki est une des meilleures bédéistes canadiennes à l'heure actuelle. Boundless, son tout dernier recueil de nouvelles, est peuplé de personnages fluides, bizarres, intrigants. Il y a cette femme qui du jour au lendemain, se met à rapetisser, ou bien cette autre qui entame une relation compliquée avec un avatar Facebook. Boundless contient aussi la meilleure fiction que j'ai pu lire à ce jour sur la question-l’obsession-la malédiction des punaises de lit.

How to Travel Without Seeing : Dispatches From the New Latin America, Andrés Neuman

En tournée pour faire la promotion de son roman, Neuman entreprend de rendre compte de son voyage en Amérique latine par le biais de notes succinctes sur chaque endroit qu'il visite. Il dit dépeindre l'essence du tourisme moderne, soit l'acte de "voyager, sans ne rien voir". S'ensuit une succession de réflexions, non pas tant sur le voyage, mais sur l'ambivalence inhérente au voyage, ses contradictions. Un "récit de voyage" atypique qui est aussi traversé de réflexions sur la littérature de l'Amérique latine!


After Kathy Acker: A literary biography, Chris Kraus
20 ans après la mort d'Acker, Chris Kraus entreprend la biographie de cette auteure géniale, atypique, cette punk littéraire grandiose et quelque peu oubliée.

"In this first, fully authorized, biography, Chris Kraus approaches Acker both as a writer and as a member of the artistic communities from which she emerged. At once forensic and intimate, After Kathy Acker traces the extreme discipline and literary strategies Acker used to develop her work, and the contradictions she longed to embody."


Mucus In My Pineal Gland, Juliana Huxtable
Premier recueil pour l'artiste et auteure Juliana Huxtable, le livre regroupe poèmes et essais sur le genre, la politique, la "whiteness" et la sexualité.
Je suis déjà charmée par le titre (du mucus?! Une glande!?) et par les motifs abstraits et brun de la couverture. Super hâte de m'y plonger!
Saturday, 17 June 2017

Father's Day!

ICYMI, tomorrow is Father's Day! If you're scrambling to think of a nice gift for dear old Dad, not to worry; we've got you covered with our list of 10 suggestions for different types of Dads...

An eye-catching new edition of this classic, for musical Dads

Observation notebooks on trees or astronomy, for nature-loving, outdoorsy Dads

A great kitchen resource for culinary Dads

Un bon guide pour les Papas qui font du vélo


A stunning Pettibon monograph for cool, art-punk Dads

Comics for Dads with a sense of humour about parenthood

A physics primer for inquisitive, science-dabbling Dads

A beautiful letter from father to son, for non-fiction loving Dads

Let's not forget something especially for Cat Daddies!

Last but not least, you can't go wrong with a thoughtful card (or one that gently makes fun of Dad jokes!)

In addition to the suggestions above, our shelves are bursting with books and stationery for Dads of all kinds. So come by today or tomorrow and snag a nice gift for your sweet papa!


Thursday, 15 June 2017

New D&Q: Uncomfortably Happily by Yeon-Sik Hong!


D&Q's latest title, Uncomfortably Happily by South Korean comic artist Yeon-Sik Hong, just came out on Tuesday! Originally published in two volumes in 2012, D&Q's English translation (by Hellen Jo) collects both in an almost 600-page omnibus.


The story is a semi-autobiographical account of the author (a journeyman comic illustrator who hates his hack-artist day job) and his partner's attempt to move out of crowded, bustling Seoul to a remote mountain village where they could live immersed in natural beauty and supposedly free from distractions: ''A place without traffic noise, where the night is as dark as possible, secluded yet spacious, with actual room to walk...''



In the country, however,they find themselves still assailed by the same struggles with deadlines, procrastination, and inspiration, while also tackling new problems, like growing their own food and installing a charcoal stove to keep warm in Winter.


Filled with lovingly intimate details of everyday life, Uncomfortably Happily is suffused with aspects of Korean culture, including attentive depictions of food and cooking and frequent references to popular songs, which his characters are often singing to themselves, when not bursting into zany musical numbers narrating their daily adventures.


Over the course of the story, solitude, harsh conditions, money worries, littering tourists, and creative struggles often test the protagonists' relationship. During these highly relatable trials, however, we watch their slow evolution, as the short-tempered, easily distracted, constantly procrastinating Hong comes to a greater awareness of his own shortcomings while also learning to appreciate his wife's talents -- she begins to succeed as an illustrator and children's book author -- meanwhile, he begins to find more creative satisfaction in his personal work.


In the end, noisy neighbours and encroaching development bring an end to the characters' wilderness sojourn, but they leave as different people than when they arrived. It's a sweet story that finds all kinds of inventive ways to capture the texture of real life: Hong's drawing style is expressively cartoony when it comes to his characters and lushly realistic in its depictions of the Korean countryside (and city). Critically-acclaimed and award-winning in Korea, Uncomfortably Happily seems destined to become a contemporary classic.

Today, June 15th, 2017 : Durga Chew-Bose talks to Haley Mlotek about TOO MUCH AND NOT THE MOOD



jeudi, 15 juin à 19h
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly
211 Bernard O, Montréal

FREE

Join us on Thursday, June 15 at 7:00 pm for the launch of Durga Chew-Bose's brilliant collection of essays: Too Much and Not the Mood. Flinging us headlong into her most intimate philosophical, and occasionally brooding, thoughts, Too Much is a lyrical and piercingly insightful collection of essays that blend essay-meets-prose poetry, with a distinct take on identity and culture.

*Chew-Bose will be in conversation with Haley Mlotek

Durga Chew-Bose’s writing frequently appears on websites such as Hazlitt, The Hairpin, BuzzFeed, Grantland and Papermag. She has contributed articles to The Guardian and The Globe and Mail, and to the magazines GQInterviewn+1 and Adult. Born in Montreal, Chew-Bose now lives in Brooklyn, New York

Haley Mlotek is a writer and editor based in New York. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, T Magazine, The National Post, The Globe & Mail, The Guardian, Little Brother, Hazlitt, The Walrus, The L.A. Review of Books, The Pitchfork Review, Canadian Art, The New Inquiry, n+1, and The Awl, amongst others.

Graphic Novel Book Club: Boundless by Jillian Tamaki




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 this July is Boundless by Jillian Tamaki We will meet at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (211 Bernard Avenue West) on Wednesday, July 12th at 7 p.m. The discussion will be hosted by Librairie Drawn & Quarterly staff member Alyssa Favreau. Join us for refreshments and collective insights! 

***We are offering a 20% discount on Boundless from now until the meeting date!*** 


Eisner and Governor General's Award-winning cartoonist Jillian Tamaki (This One Summer, SuperMutant Magic Academy) is back with the inventive and incisive Boundless, a collection of stories that explore the links, and gaps, between real world and virtual. Her characters, who in turn become obsessed by a "mirror Facebook," or shrink slowly, incontrovertibly, into nothingness, offer glimpses of distance and transcendence from one's identity, culture, relationships, and self. Each more beautiful and innovative than the last, the magical stories brilliantly showcase Tamaki's skill as artist and storyteller. 
Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Tonight at 7: Graphic Novel Book Club: Rolling Blackouts by Sarah Glidden


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 this June is Rolling Blackouts by Sarah Glidden! We will meet at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (211 Bernard Ave. West) on Wednesday, June 14 at 7 p.m. The discussion will be hosted by store staffer Kate Lewis. Join us for refreshments and collective insights!

***We offer a 20% discount on Rolling Blackouts from now until the meeting date!

In 2010, Sarah Glidden traveled to the Middle East - Turkey, Iraq, and Syria - with two journalists and one childhood friend, an ex-marine. Rolling Blackouts is a stunning record of this trip, the places and people they meet there, and a powerful inquiry into what journalism is. The narrative draws you in with its insight and warmth in Glidden's distinctive, gorgeous watercolors.
Sunday, 11 June 2017

Summer Reads 2017: Helen

After five years of book-nerding it up here at Librairie D+Q, I'm heading out. I'll miss recommending reading materials to all of you, so before I go, here's one last pile of picks! Here's what I'll be taking in this summer, in no particular order:


Fish in Exile (Vi Khi Nao)

A poet's tragedy about exile, loss, and home. Vi Khi Nao learned Latin as a sort of stepping stone from her first language, Korean, to her third language, English, which is perhaps what gives Fish in Exile such a memorable tone, both removed and extremely close.

Such Small Hands (Andrés Barba, translated by Lisa Dillman)

One of the first titles from new translation press Transit Books, Spanish writer Barba's novel has been compared to works by Bruno Schulz and Kafka. The small hands in question belong to a group of girls growing up in an orphanage, who devise a haunting game within the confines of their world.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (Roxane Gay)

Roxane Gay's long-anticipated memoir is, in her own words, "not a story of triumph, but [...] a story that demands to be told and deserves to be heard." It is a searing book about inhabiting a body after and through rape, trauma, and both internal and external preoccupations with weight and food.


Canadian Art Summer 2017: Kinship (editor: Lindsay Nixon)

This most recent issue of Canadian Art is curated by Lindsay Nixon, Indigenous Editor-at-Large, and is dedicated to Indigenous artists and writers. It showcases works, writing, and interviews with and by Dayna Danger, Chelsea Vowel, Gwen Benaway, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Jarrett Martineau, Billy-Ray Belcourt, and Nixon themselves.

Condo Heartbreak Disco (Eric Kostiuk Williams)

Published by Koyama Press, this new book by Kostiuk Williams (Hungry Bottom Comics) is a devilishly queer, action-packed comic set in a larger-than-life Toronto, that warns about the evils of gentrification and condo development.


My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness (Nagata Kabi, translated by Jocelyne Allen)

I honestly know nothing about this book or artist, but I did just finish Qiu Miaojin's Notes of a Crocodile, and the dual themes of queerness and loneliness are always of interest, so why not put this in my reading pile?

What is a Glacier? (Sophie Yanow)

This new comic from one of my faves is a little bit about glaciers and Iceland, but also more generally about relationships, anxiety, coming to terms with endings and change (both climate and otherwise).

Uncomfortably Happily (Yeon-Sik Hong, translated by Hellen Jo)

An artist couple leaves the din of the city to try living in solitude in the Korean countryside. Inevitably, the tranquil countryside ends up presenting a different set of anxieties than the ones they are used to!


Literature Class (Julio Cortázar, translated by Katherine Silver)

I so enjoyed the collection of Jorge Luis Borges' lectures on English literature that came out a few years ago (Professor Borges), that I'd be a fool to miss these literary lectures by another of my Argentinian faves, Julio Cortázar. These talks were delivered at UC Berkeley in 1980, and cover Cortázar's own writing, as well as "the writer's path" and the fantastic as a literary concept.

My Mother Was A Freedom Fighter (Aja Monet)

"This stunning volume reminds us that conflict and contradiction can produce hope and that poetry can orient us toward a future we may not yet realize we want." —Angela Y. Davis

Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention (Tings Chak)

An essential study, in comic form, of migrant detention centres in Canada, and the ways in which their architecture represents the multi-layered violences of our incarceration system and our border policies.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Sunday June 11th at 10:00 a.m. - Elise Gravel Kid's Day / Book Launch (présentation en anglais)


Join beloved Montreal-based children's author Elise Gravel as she hosts a special interactive Make Your Own Sketchbook workshop at the store on Sunday, June 11th at 10 AM! Elise will be sharing her tricks of the trade in celebration of her brand new D+Q book, If Found... Please Return to Elise Gravel, which models her real life sketchbook. During this workshop, Elise will teach children how to put their creative impulses and imagination to play! 

ELISE GRAVEL is an author illustrator from Montreal, Quebec. After studying Graphic Design, Gravel pursued a career writing and illustrating children’s books, where her quirky and charming characters quickly won the hearts of children and adults worldwide. In 2012, Gravel received the Governor General’s Literary Award for her book The Great Antonio, about the famous Montreal strongman with a heart of gold. A prolific artist, she currently has over thirty children’s books to her name which have been translated into a dozen languages, including I Want a Monster! and The Disgusting Critters series. Elise Gravel still lives in Montreal with her spouse, two daughters, cats, and a few spiders.
Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Out today! If Found, Please Return to Elise Gravel, by Elise Gravel


The wonderful notebook by renowned cartoonist Elise Gravel is finally out in English! Featuring critters of all sizes and shapes, and yes -- some talking mushrooms with googly eyes! The books aims to fuel your creativity and nurture you inner child.


 It's packed with cute, hilarious and unapologetic drawings (vampire hedgehogs,  feet plants and a grumpy tomato)!


At night, when everyone is asleep, Gravel draws freely in her black notebook. Most importantly, she gives herself the right to fail. Groovy and unapologetic, Gravel's notebook is a chicken soup for all the perfectionists out there!


It reminded me at times of Syllabus by Lynda Barry, emphasizing the importance of not criticizing yourself when drawing, but rather, try to go with the flow!

Sunday, 4 June 2017

This shelf belongs to...Durga Chew-Bose!

Photo: Carrie Cheek
Each month, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly invites a local author or artist to curate a shelf in the store. This June, we bring you recommendations from Durga Chew-Bose!

Durga Chew-Bose’s writing frequently appears on websites such as Hazlitt, The Hairpin, BuzzFeed, Grantland and Papermag. She has contributed articles to The Guardian and The Globe and Mail, and to the magazines GQ, Interview, n+1 and Adult. Born in Montreal, Chew-Bose now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Join us on Thursday, June 15 at 7:00 pm for the launch of Durga Chew-Bose's brilliant collection of essays: Too Much and Not the Mood.

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



Zadie Smith - Changing My Mind

Smith kicks off this collection of non-fiction by stating, "This book was written without my knowledge." It's as if the collection is a piling up, all at once intentional and unintentional. The book's subtitle, "occasional essays," captures how there's something random and intermittent about the topics which range from witty asides about Oscar weekend, to impassioned audits of literature and novel writing, to beautiful essays about family and identity and personhood.


Robert Bresson - Notes on the Cinematograph

Pocket-sized, Bresson's memos on craft and technique read like poetry, philosophy, or if I'm feeling especially precious, fortunes. It's a log of Bresson's approach to filmmaking, like a near-monastic instruction manual that deeply influenced Too Much and Not the Mood. "Don't show all the sides of things," he writes. "A margin of indefiniteness." There are also plenty of vague, elegiac nuggets like, "Debussy himself used to play with the piano's lid down." Reading Notes feels holy. One one page he'll jump from statements like, "Neither beautify nor uglify. Do not denature" to "Your film is beginning when your secret wishes pass into your models." One of my favorites and something I try and remind myself of whenever I get caught up trying to crystalize an idea: "Prefer what intuition whispers in your ear to what you have done and redone ten times in your head."


Virginia Woolf - The Waves

The Waves is strange, lovely, lyrical. Totally experimental. Immersive. Woolf called it her "play-poem." Six lives intertwined, told unconventionally. The first time I read it, I found the experience very taxing but ultimately, it moved me to want to make something. Some parts feel like a catalog of life's little pleasures. Most of the time though, it reads like Woolf longing for stillness or stillness as the only way to capture longing. You'll be tempted to underline the whole book.


Marguerite Duras -  The Lover

There is so much to love about The Lover but one passage in particular sort of cracked open the world for me, cracked open writing for me: "Sometimes, I realize that if writing isn't all things, all contraries confounded, a quest for vanity and void, it's nothing." I'm so drawn to Duras' attitude, to her capacity for nostalgia's hold on us. She writes about memory as though memory is...women.


Anne Carson - Glass, Irony, and God

One of my favorite sentiments expressed perfectly by Carson in these four lines:

You remember too much/
my mother said to me recently/
Why hold onto all that? And I said, Where can I put it down?


Adrian Tomine - Killing and Dying


This book is gorgeous. I wish it was longer. Tomine is a master of creating worlds that feel familiar but only in an emotional déjà vu type of way. He's so good at spooky recognition. If you've ever loved someone who is grumpy-gentle or sad-happy-mostly-sad, this book will resonate with you. My favorites in this graphic short story collection are "Translated, from the Japanese" and "Amber Sweet."


Jamaica Kincaid - Talk Stories

There's never been and will never be anyone else like Jamaica Kincaid. This collection from her work in the New Yorker's The Talk of the Town section is all voice, attitude. It's deliberate and cheeky, and matter-of-fact brilliant.

Frank O'Hara - The Collected Works of Frank O'Hara


Frank O'Hara forever. If you're in love or missing an old love, or if you're seeking meaning, or if you're hoping to counteract the day's crazy, or if New York is on your mind, or you'd like to quickly conjure New York -- its sounds, its lovely strangers, the Frick -- but especially if you're feeling prone to the world, to its big and to its small, then you'll want to crack open O'Hara's poetry. He strings together what might seem unlikely and poof! you'll feel like oof! His work feels like having at your disposal, everyday wisdom from your most open-hearted pal. Like this poem, "Today":

Oh! Kangaroos, sequins, chocolate sodas!

You really are beautiful! Pearls,
harmonicas, jujubes, aspirins! All
the stuff they've always talked about
still makes a poem a surprise!
These things are with us every day
even on beacheads and biers. They
do have meaning. They're as strong as rocks.

Charles Dickens - Great Expectations

A classic. Some days I feel like Pip. Other days: Estella. Even or maybe most often, weirdly like Miss Havisham.

Hilton Als - White Girls

The book's opening piece, "Tristes Tropiques," is a work of art that I return to often.


Rivka Galchen - Little Labors


Rivka Galchen's plainspoken prose about babies and mothers is so much more than a book about new motherhood. Inspired by Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book, Little Labors is Galchen's everyday appraisal--part diary, part prosaic olio--of how her life has been altered, "re-enchanted" she notes, since having "the puma." Galchen positions the baby as a mystery, as myth, as "nothing," as a series of interruptions, as a meaning-benefactor, as something to inspire tangents, as something that has made her world suddenly "ludicrously, suspiciously, adverbially sodden with meaning." Some anecdotes end before they even start while others propose theories about, for instance, why the color orange is so popular, on baby things, baby clothes, baby toys and furniture. Speaking of orange: the cover! It's so beautiful, simple, bright.


Leanne Shapton - Was She Pretty?
Shapton's gem-like exploration of jealousy makes for a deeply uneasy albeit addictive book that feels like having a mirror held up to you for brief, near-paranoid bouts of panic. Maybe that isn't the best way to recommend this book. I, personally, find reading about jealousy extremely invigorating. Tip: flip it open to whatever page while listening to Michael Jackson's "Who Is It." The two pair very well.


James Baldwin - The Devil Finds Work

This book length essay is one of my favorite, most influential pieces of film criticism. Here's a sampling, from Baldwin's consideration of The Exorcist: "For, I have seen the devil, by day and by night, and have seen him in you and in me: in the eyes of the cop and the sheriff and the deputy, the landlord, the housewife, the football player: in the eyes of some junkies, the yes of some preachers, the eyes of the some governors, presidents, wardens, in the eyes of some orphans, and in the eyes of my father, and in my mirror. It is that moment when no other human being is real for you, nor are you real for yourself. This devil has no need for dogma -- though he can use them all -- nor does he need any historical justification, history being so largely his invention. He does not levitate beds, or fool around with little girls: we do."

Tonight at 7:00 p.m. - Poetry Launch with Phoebe Wang and Suzannah Showler!


Join us for the launch of not one, but two new books of poetry from McClelland & Stewart on Sunday, June 4th at 7:00 pm! Phoebe Wang will be launching Admission Requirements, and Suzannah Showler will be launching Thing Is. The event will feature readings by the authors along with local poets Tess Liem and Tara McGowan-Ross. 

PHOEBE WANG is a poet and educator based in Toronto. Her debut collection of poetry, Admission Requirements, appeared with McClelland and Stewart in Spring 2017. She is the author of two chapbooks and her work has appeared in Arc Poetry, The Globe and Mail, Maisonneuve, Ricepaper Magazine, and THIS Magazine. She has been twice been a finalist for the CBC Poetry Prize and won the 2015 Prism International Poetry contest. She currently works at Seneca and this spring was a co-coordinator for 'Fuel for Fire', a professional development event for writers of colour in partnership with the Ontario Arts Council.

SUZANNAH SHOWLER is the author of the poetry collections Thing Is (McClelland & Stewart, 2017) and Failure to Thrive (ECW, 2014). Her writing has appeared places like Slate, Buzzfeed, The Walrus, and Hazlitt. Most Dramatic Ever, a book of cultural criticism about The Bachelor, is forthcoming Spring 2018. A 2017-2018 Presidential Fellow at The Ohio State University, she is currently looking for a place to live in Canada.

TESS LIEM reads, writes, eats and sleeps in Montreal. Her writings appear in The Malahat Review, The Puritan, Room Magazine and elsewhere. Anstruther Press published her first chapbook, Tell everybody I say hi, in February 2017.

TARA McGOWAN-ROSS is an urban aboriginal multidisciplinary artist. She has studied acting, philosophy, and creative writing, and is a collective member at Spectra, a queer arts and literature journal. Her debut book of poetry, Girth, was released by Insomniac Press in 2017. She is mostly made of earth.
Saturday, 3 June 2017

Tonight at 7:00 p.m.: Conundrum launch with James Cadelli, David Collier, Lorina Mapa!


Join Conundrum Press for an evening of comics from around the world!

Rina Mapa takes us to the Philippines with her new graphic memoir Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and Me. James Cadelli takes us through an apartment building in Hope, BC launching his debut graphic novel Getting Out of Hope. And "national treasure" David Collier goes coast to coast as only he can in his graphic memoir Morton: A Cross-Country Rail Journey.

The evening will feature maps! new wave! 1980s nostalgia! polar bears! pianos! and of course trains, planes, and RV campers! and hosting it all will be local artist and aerialist Meags Fitzgerald!

*Accessibility information:
-The bathroom is gender neutral
-The space is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible (details: two steps at the main door, we would be happy to help you lift a wheelchair and make space in the corridor)
- It is not a sober space, our events sometimes offer alcohol.

Feel free to contact us about any concerns you may have!
Thursday, 1 June 2017

Reading Across Borders: Notes of a Crocodile by Qiu Miaojin

Mercredi, 28 juin à 19h
211 Bernard Ouest

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 next meeting, on Wednesday, June 28th, we will meet at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (211 Bernard ouest) at 7 pm to discuss Qiu Miaojin's Notes of a Crocodile, translated from the Chinese by Bonnie Huie. Join us for ruminations and refreshments!

**We offer a 15% discount on Notes of a Crocodile from now until the meeting date.** 

Notes of a Crocodile, newly translated by Bonnie Huie, is a coming-of-agestory set in post-martial-law era Taipei. Like Last Words from Montmartre, the other brilliant novel Qiu Miaojin created in her short life, Notes of a Crocodile is a postmodern assemblage of vignettes, diary entries, satire, and cultural references, filled with queer yearning, heartache, and jolts of joy. It flouts norms around sexuality and gender, and delves deep into self-inquiry and the ensuing process of liberation.

Qiu Miaojin was a young Taiwanese writer who became a cult literary figure in the 1990s, due to her passionate, elevated writing and her staunch portrayals of queerness, and of depression and suicide.


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