Summer Reads 2017: Saelan

Hi, everyone! Here's a few things I've either read lately or that I'm looking forward to reading soon:

Leonora Carrington - The Milk of Dreams; The Complete Stories; and Down Below

Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) is best known for her Surrealist paintings of the 1930s and 40s, but she also wrote novels and stories (as fantastical and macabre as you'd expect), several of which have just been republished in nice editions from NYRB and Dorothy Press. I think her children's book, The Milk of Dreams, will be too creepy for my three-year-old, but I'll be happy to read it myself, along with her complete stories and Down Below, the novelistic memoir of her harrowing internment in a Spanish mental asylum at age nineteen. 

Martin Felipe Castagnet - Bodies of Summer

The always-excellent Dalkey Archive Press brings us this translation of fast-rising Argetinian writer Martin Felipe Castagnet's first novel, a kind of experimental sci-fi in which he imagines a world essentially similar to ours, with one crucial difference: death has been abolished via the ability to "burn" consciousness into new bodies. The protagonist, coming from a poor family, finds that his mind has been transferred into the only new body his family could afford -- an aging, overweight woman's. Despite the grandiose narrative possibilities offered by a world without death, Castagnet concentrates on the mundane, everyday ramifications. Already the recipient of awards and glowing reviews in Latin America and France, this volume offers the English-speaking world an introduction to a brilliant new voice in Latin American literature.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson - This Accident of Being Lost

Leanne Simpson's Islands of Decolonial Love has been a store favourite and continuous top-seller since it came out in 2013. I'm excited to dive into the latest collection of songs, poems, and short stories by this wildly talented and versatile writer. In This Accident of Being Lost, fragmentary, hashtag-studded poems rub shoulders with song lyrics and short stories that blend traditional storytelling with science-fiction and wry, observational domestic realism.

Qiu Miaojin - Notes of a Crocodile

This one comes highly recommended from my colleague Helen, who chose it for the latest installment of her Reading Across Borders book club. Notes of a Crocodile, newly translated by Bonnie Huie, is a coming-of-age story set in post-martial-law-era Taipei. Like Last Words from Montmartre, the other brilliant novel Qiu Miaojin produced in her short life (1969-95), Notes of a Crocodile is a postmodern assemblage of vignettes, diary entries, satire, and cultural references, filled with aching queer melancholy.

Eça de Queiros - The Illustrious House of Ramires

This new edition from New Directions, translated by the venerable Margaret Jull Costa, presents a classic novel from one of Portugal's greatest writers, Eça de Queiros (1845-1900), who is often compared to Flaubert and Stendhal. In this quixotic farce, an idealistic and charming but hopelessly inept aristocratic heir attempts to write a great historical novel based on the heroic deeds of his ancestors, but ''the record of their valour is ironically counterpointed by his own chicanery.''

Goliarda Sapienza - The Art of Joy

To be honest, this book is 700 pages, so I don't know if I'm going to get to it/through it, but my colleague Julie loved it and I'm highly intrigued by the description. Sapienza (1924-96) was an Italian actress and novelist who was little known in her day, but who has recently been rediscovered, with The Art of Joy (first published in 1976) earning this Modern Classics edition from Penguin. The story is an irrepressible epic of secular wisdom in which the quasi-autobiographical (and ironically-named) character of Modesta shamelessly romps through Italy's violent 20th century, flouting conventional morality in a continuous, freewheeling adventure that is intellectual, sexual, and political.

Raymond Roussel - Locus Solus

I've been meaning to read Roussel -- a profound influence on the Surrealists, Oulipo, the authors of the nouveau roman, and other 20th-century experimentors -- for years, so maybe this beautiful new edition of Locus Solus from New Directions is a good place to start. Originally published in French in 1914, it offers an ironic and imaginative tour through the lavish estate of Martial Canterel, a wealthy eccentric who has devoted his fortune to the production of deranged innovations in art and science: among them, weather machines, electric cats, mosaics of human teeth, and a theatre of reanimated corpses. I think this would nicely echo my favourite book that I read so far this year: J.K. Huysmans' A Rébours.

Jillian Tamaki - Boundless

How to begin praising Jillian Tamaki? Perhaps best known for coming-of-age stories like This One Summer and Supermutant Magic Academy, Tamaki has an incredible gift for rendering nonconforming young people in a way that is as authentic as it is contemporary -- that is, true to the experience of socially-mediated, constantly-distracted life while also attentive to the natural rhythms of the everyday (and the natural world -- there's plenty of animals and plants in her work). Tamaki's restless line, like her characters, also resists definition -- she has a definite sensibility but no one drawing style. This is aptly illustrated across this anthology of consistently excellent short pieces, which includes (imo) her best work to date, the "Sex Coven" story that previously appeared as an issue of Frontier. Boundless' only flaw is that it leaves the reader wanting a full-length graphic novel, more Tamaki to savour.

Jesse Jacobs - Crawl Space

Jesse Jacobs has worked on Adventure Time and his solo comics have a similar vibe of psychedelic zaniness. As in previous outings like the popular Safari Honeymoon and By This You Shall Know Him, Jacobs delights in building trippy alternative universes populated by weird flora and fauna. With Crawl Space, he lets his most unhinged decorative tendencies go nuts, using insanely-detailed patterns and stylization and a combination of black-and-white (for "normal reality") and rainbow colours to imagine a cosmic portal to another dimension, accessible through a high-school kid's washer and dryer. Like Adventure Time, the result is irreverent and absurd, but also surprisingly deep, tinged with insight and tenderness.

Keiler Roberts - Sunburning

Keiler Roberts' comics about bipolar disorder, depression, and parenting totally charmed me with their deadpan humour and singularly affectless drawing style. Told as a rambling series of disconnected anecdotes without any particular arc, Roberts' drawing and storytelling are both perfectly matched to her subject matter: surviving the banality of life. Highly relatable, and not only because I also have a toddler, too.

Dana Cree - Hello, My Name is Ice Cream; Jonah Campbell - Eaten Back to Life; Sarah Britton - Naturally Nourished

And here's three food books I've been enjoying lately! I was recently gifted an ice cream maker (thereby compounding my existing obsession with frozen treats) and Dana Cree's Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream is so far the best ice cream book I've found. The flavours aren't quite as great, across the board, as Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream At Home (until recently, the gold standard of home ice cream books), but it's got more detail about the science and craft of ice cream, making it more useful overall -- it's the Food Lab of the topic. Naturally Nourished is the latest from My New Roots author Sarah Britton and it's already gotten a lot of use in my mostly-vegetarian kitchen. Local hipster sommelier Jonah Campbell also has a sequel to his previous book, Food and TremblingEaten Back to Life practically drips with Campbell's obsessive enthusiasm for the minutiae of food culture, which he writes about his intellectual aplomb. 

And two books I'm really looking forward to reading that won't be out until later this summer:

Michael Robbins - Equipment for Living: On Poetry and Pop Music; Jaako Pallasvuo - Retreat

Michael Robbins is one of my favourite poets and essayists -- this forthcoming volume collects some of his consistently excellent and often contrarian music and literary criticism. Jaako Pallasvuo is a Finnish artist who, among his diverse output, also makes comics. His Pure Shores was one of my favourite comics of 2015, and I'm excited for this new one to get out in the world. Full disclosure: I've read it, it's amazing, and there's a blurb from me on the back.

TONIGHT! Reading Across Borders book club: 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. 

TONIGHT, 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.

Devon Code launches Involuntary Bliss with guests Jeff Miller, Sean Michaels, & Mary di Michele

Quand: Jeudi, 3 août à 19h
Où: Librairie Drawn & Quarterly
Addresse: 211 rue Bernard Ouest


BookThug, in partnership with Librairie Drawn & Quarterly present an evening with Devon Code, author of Involuntary Bliss, with special guests Sean Michaels and Mary di Michele. Hosted by Jacob Wren.

Devon Code is the award-winning author of fiction, short stories, and critical reviews. In a Mist, Code’s first collection of short stories, was longlisted for the 2008 ReLit Award and was included on The Globe and Mail’s “Best Books” list. In 2010, Code was the recipient of the Journey Prize for his story “Uncle Oscar.” His reviews of literary fiction have appeared in The Globe and Mail, National Post, Quill & Quire, and Canadian Notes & Queries. Originally from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Code lives in Peterborough, Ontario. Involuntary Bliss is Code’s first novel.

Sean Michaels was born in Stirling, Scotland, in 1982. Founder of the pioneering mp3blog Said the Gramophone, he has written for publications including The Observer, The Walrus, Pitchfork, McSweeney’s and Kinfolk. Sean’s debut novel, Us Conductors, received the 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize. He lives in Montreal.

Mary di Michele, poet, novelist and member of the collaborative writing group Yoko’s Dogs, is the author of 12 books. Her titles include: Stranger in You, Poems Selected and New, and the novel, Tenor of Love; her awards: first prize in C.B.C.’s literary competition and the Malahat Review’s long poem contest. 

Ce que Julie lit cet été

Uncomfortably Happy, Yeon-sik Hong, Drawn & Quarterly

Suite à l'arrêt des activités de la maison d'édition Ego Comme X, la version française d'Histoire d'un couple n'était plus disponible. Pas grave: en voici la très belle version anglophone fraîchement sortie pour l'été. Uncomfortably Happy raconte l'installation de l'auteur Yeon-sik Hong et de sa femme dans la campagne sud-coréenne, leurs difficultés financières et familiales, leur amour des petites choses... Un livre qui nous rappelle que le bonheur n'est jamais exactement comme on l'avait imaginé, et qu'il se cultive tel un jardin imparfait.

Everything is Flammable, Gabrielle Bell, Uncivilized Books

On lit Gabrielle Bell comme on prend des nouvelles d'une amie. Mais d'une amie particulière, qui raconte ses histoires comme personne! Bell est toujours drôle et captivante, honnête et pourtant parfois proche de l'affabulation. Comment va l'anxiété? Le féminisme? Les plants de tomates? Ta mère dont la maison a brûlé? Définitivement l'une des auteures auxquelles je m'identifie le plus.

You & a bike & a road, Eleanor Davis, Koyama Press

Pour échapper à ses idées noires, Eleanor Davis décide de traverser le Sud des États-Unis en vélo. Elle partira de la maison de ses parents en Arizona pour rejoindre son domicile en Géorgie. Le récit de son périple - ses douleurs aux genoux, ses recherches d'endroits pour camper, ses rencontres et ses découragements - se mêle à un fond plus politique. En effet, elle plante sa tente sur des chemins qu'empruntent les immigrants mexicains... Les hélicoptères tournent régulièrement au dessus de sa tête.

Catharsis, Collectif, Les bêtes d'hier

Ce recueil féministe de Montréal, composé de textes créatifs et théoriques, est une véritable surprise. Avec pour sujet la santé mentale, il aborde entre autres la considération pour les femmes dans la psychiatrie contemporaine, la place du personnel dans les milieux militants, les écrivaines entre génie et folie, le care et la nécessité du sisterhood... Bien édité et très pertinent.

Le principe du cumshot, le désir des femmes sous l'emprise des clichés sexuels, Lili Boisvert, VLB

Si son titre annonce un contenu explicite, Le principe du cumshot est cependant davantage un ouvrage sociologique que croustillant. Même si Lili Boisvert énumère des faits déjà bien connus des femmes engagées (tel que leur obsession pour le corps, leur rôle de proie dans la dynamique chasseur-chassée de la séduction, etc.), l'auteure dresse du sexisme inconscient contemporain un portrait un peu décourageant. Elle prouve qu'il faudra pour renverser le paternalisme un profond et difficile changement, plus institutionnel qu'individuel, et que celui-ci s'est à peine mis en marche.

Le bal des absentes, Julie Boulanger et Amélie Paquet, La Mèche

Julie Boulanger et Amélie Paquet forme un couple de professeures de littérature. Alarmées par la nécessité de faire découvrir des livres d'écrivaines femmes dans leurs classes (ceux-ci sont encore très rarement étudiées), elles ont démarré un projet de blogue pour raconter leurs expériences d'enseignement de Jean Rhys, Nelly Arcan, Virginie Despentes, Pattie O'Green,.. Le livre rassemble un large éventail d'essais qui ravit l'amoureuse des livres que je suis, et sera sans doute fort utile à tous les profs concernés par l'établissement d'une certaine parité.

Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designer, Poets & Philosophers, Leonard Koren, Imperfect Publishing

Vous aimez l'imparfait, l'amateur, le fait-à-la-main, l'inachevé, tout ce qui est précieux mais ne brille pas? Remerciez les japonais d'en avoir fait une esthétique: le wabi-sabi. Ce livre qui vulgarise le concept, est à lire, peut-être, en parallèle avec The Queer Art of Failure de Jack Halberstam.

Belleza y Felicidad, Fernanda Laguna et Cecilia Pavon, San Paper Press

C'est ma collègue Daphné qui m'a vanté la première le travail de ces deux poètes argentines. Je pioche au hasard dans les textes courts des deux amies, les rationnant pour les mois à venir, afin que cela dure longtemps car c'est délicieux! L'édition juxtapose les versions espagnoles originales et leurs traductions, un choix bienvenu étant donné la subtilité de leurs univers.

Montréal insolite et secrète, Philippe Renault, éditions Jonglez

Voici une proposition de lecture pour ceux qui sont bloqués à Montréal pendant les mois chauds: pourquoi ne pas en profiter pour observer votre ville avec les yeux d'un.e touriste? Ce guide des endroits insolites présente plus d'une centaine de lieux et monuments que vous ne connaissez probablement pas. Entre autres, à découvrir: le musée de médecine dentaire, le jardin du monastère des Hospitalières, le potager du Palais de Congrès, la pagode Tu Quang...

Grèce, le livre de cuisine, Vefa Alexiodou, Phaidon

Je profiterai également de mon été en ville pour me mettre à la cuisine. J'ai parcouru notre rayon en me demandant lequel de ces livres je m'offrirais, et mon choix s'est arrêté sur la gastronomie grecque. Défi: apprendre à préparer de la pieuvre! La moussaka et la soupe du pêcheur n'ont pas l'air mal non plus...

Summer Reads 2017: Kira

After a hiatus during the school year, I'm back at Librairie D+Q for the summer. I cannot begin to tell you how good it feels to be able to choose what books to read again, and to have some precious leisure time in which to read them. What a true luxury to have such freedom! Here are some of the books that have made their way into my mitts now that my textbooks are reverse-hibernating:

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (Arundhati Roy)

I have been chomping at the bit waiting for this book to come out, Arundhati Roy’s first work of fiction in 20 years! I first read her Booker-winning debut novel, The God of Small Things some dozen years ago while in a small town in rural Kerala, very close to where the bulk of the narrative takes place, and I was absolutely spellbound. The unforgettable story stuck with me in a way that few have, thanks to her masterful storytelling, character development, and poetic prose style. Though I’ve admired her activism and non-fiction work in the subsequent years, I’ve been dreaming of delving back into a world painted by Roy ever since!

Videogames for Humans: Twine Authors in Conversation (Merritt Kopas)

What initially caught my eye was this book’s very handsome cover, illustrated by Michael DeForge. Twine, an open-source software, allows game creators to make interactive, text-based games (somewhat reminiscent of “choose your own adventure” books) without requiring extensive programming knowledge. Editor Merritt Kopas assigned each contributor a game, and had them document their playthrough and reflections, resulting in a satisfying fusion of analog and digital storytelling. It was fun to vicariously play along with the authors as they explored a wide range of experiences, including cruising in gay bars, living with depression, and turning into a 10-storey tall, capitalism-destroying demon, to name but a few!

Uncomfortably, Happily (Yeon-sik Hong)

This memoir of the author and his wife's move to the countryside outside Seoul is a slow-burn, but so satisfying. The young couple moves to escape the stress of the city, trusting that a bucolic atmosphere will inspire them to work on their respective cartooning projects. Though their new mountainside home is idyllic in many ways, country living also proves to be a constant battle with the elements, lack of funds, a daunting commute, and endless creative clashes with the editor at the protagonist's soul-sucking job back in Seoul. I particularly love the way Hong draws the couple's dog and three cats, who delight in their newfound easy access to the wilderness even more than their human caregivers do! A thoroughly charming book all around, it's definitely one of my favourite recent D+Q releases.

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

The inimitable Roxane Gay is back with this raw, unflinching, difficult memoir of her ongoing struggles with food and weight. Herein she details her complicated relationship with eating, which became a strategic way to protect herself in the wake of a trauma caused by being raped by a group of boys when she was a child. Honestly, it is tough to read at times, but Gay's excellent writing is as compelling as ever, and her willingness to delve into her own vulnerability is admirable.

Art Sex Music (Cosey Fanni Tutti)

Full disclosure: I don't know so much about Cosey Fanni Tutti, beyond the fact that she was a member of Throbbing Gristle, but a cursory glance at her Wikipedia page piqued my interest. Her memoir sounds like she has led a fascinating life as an avant-garde performance artist, sex worker, mother, and musician. Very excited to read about all of her endeavours in greater detail!

Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions (Valeria Luiselli)

In addition to being an author, Valeria Luiselli has worked as an interpreter for migrant children apprehended crossing the USA-Mexico border. This book is based on the series of 40 questions each child has to answer as part of the bureaucratic process that will determine whether they will be able stay in the USA or be sent back to the countries they've fled. It's a bleak and distressing read which confronts the stark contrast between the self-styled image of the USA as a country that welcomes immigrants vs. the way that migrant children are actually treated.

All That the Rain Promises and More (David Arora)

This cult classic on edible mushroom species boasts what has got to be a contender for one of the best cover images ever! (Watch out, Daniil Kharms, David Arora is coming for you!) I was pleasantly surprised to find that the information, illustrations, and photos within are equally delightful. Despite being an avid mushroom-hunter at one point, I have yet to experience the mycological offerings of the Montreal region, and hope to remedy that this season if I can. This pocket-sized guide will be of great service in the bush, and is sure to "put the fun in fungi," as it claims!

Cats and Plants (Stephen Eichhorn)

The title says it all! Chicago-based artist Stephen Eichhorn has taken cats and plants, two truly delightful muses, as the subjects for his book of collages, and the results are as spectacular as you could hope! It's published by the uber-cool creative agency and imprint Zioxla, whose earlier Strange Plants books which celebrated plants in contemporary art were also store favourites. A joy to behold!

Eaten Back to Life: Essays (Jonah Campbell)

Jonah Campbell's previous book, Food and Trembling was super enjoyable, and I'm excited to see what he's got on offer for his latest collection of essays on food. Though I appreciate a tasty meal as much as the next guy, I'm definitely someone who eats to live rather than the reverse, and I find the constant need to fill my gullet to sustain life to be, more often than not, a banal and tedious affair, so Campbell's ability to make this topic not only interesting but downright fun to a reader with no particular culinary leanings is no mean feat! His love for potato chips (and his ability to wax poetic about them) is matched only by his fondness for metal, as evidenced by the nod to Cannibal Corpse's death metal classic album in the book's title. Looking forward to delving into this over a nice glass of summer-appropriate wine!

Crawl Space (Jesse Jacobs)

The psychedelic colours of the cover drew me in to Jesse Jacobs' latest graphic novel, out from the consistently awesome Koyama Press. Turns out that this rainbow-hued multiverse is accessible by way of the laundry machine in the basement of the teenage protagonist's home, and is populated by an array of weird and beautiful beings. Stylistically and thematically, it's reminiscent of Adventure Time, which makes sense since Jacobs has worked on the show. As interesting conceptually as it is visually striking, this is a real gem for any curious cosmonauts!

Célébrons la Fête nationale du Québec. Happy Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day 2017!

Nous sommes ouvert! We are indeed open.

Pour l'occasion, nous avons mis des auteurs locaux dans la vitrine.

To celebrate we are highlighting local artists & themes.

 Venir nous voir! Come say hi!

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.

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.


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!

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