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Friday, 17 November 2017

Granta Launch hosted by Catherine Leroux

Co-editor, novelist & short story writer Catherine Leroux is joined by contributors Fanny Britt and Benoit Jutras, as well as translator Rhonda Mullins, for the Montreal launch of this exquisite anthology on Thursday, November 30th at 7:00 pm at La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly!

Catherine Leroux is a novelist, translator & journalist. Her novel "Le mur mitoyen The Party Wall" won the 2014 Prix litteraire France-Quebec and was nominated for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize. 

Guest edited by Catherine Leroux and Madeleine Thien, GRANTA 141 focuses on Canada: from its global cities to the Arctic Circle, the writers in this issue upend the ways we imagine land, reconciliation, truth and belonging.

Catherine Leroux, écrivaine et co-éditrice du numéro, ainsi que les auteurs Fanny Britt et Benoit Jutras et la traductrice Rhonda Mullins, vous attendent au lancement montréalais de cette merveilleuse anthologie le 30 novembre à 19h a la Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly!

Co-dirigé par Madeleine Thien et Catherine Leroux, GRANTA 141 se consacre au Canada. Des métropoles au cercle arctique, les auteurs de ce numéro renversent la manière dont sont imaginés le territoire, la réconcilition, la vérité et l'appartenance.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Fall D+Q Release: Present by Leslie Stein

From NYC cartoonist Leslie Stein:
we are pleased to share PRESENT with you, a Fall 2017 D+Q release 

Leslie Stein's new collection of stories slash diary comics is a generous compilation of her daily interactions, observations, memories, and thoughts. She has been a longtime comic contributor at VICE.com, publishing weekly short comics that are as delightful as they are honest and vulnerable.

Stein's dreamy vibrant watercolour drawings deftly match the blissful energy of the artist as portrayed in her comics. Even when exploring feelings of loneliness, sadness, and rejection, Stein remains a bright presence with wit and cheer.  How does she do it! She is my unofficial spiritual comic guide, teaching me how to gracefully traverse the mess of everyday life.

Her borderless allusive drawing style is strange in the best way possible. By abstracting her figures' faces, she encourages interpretation based more-so on colours, hues, conversations, and environments than facial expressions. And when she does want to articulate the expressive reaction of a character, she does it by employing a wonderfully dramatic manga-like wide-eyed likeness.

To get a sense of Stein's refreshing outlook on the world, take a look below at this excerpt on the eclipse from one of her recent vice.com comics:

*TONIGHT* Jean-Philippe Baril Guerard launches Sports & Pastimes

BookThug invites you to the launch of Sports and Pastimes by Jean-Philippe Baril Guerard, translated from the French by Aimee Wall. Tonight! Thursday, November 16 2017, 7pm at 176 Bernard O., just east of the flagship Librairie. See the Facebook event here.

Inspired by Erik Satie’s work of the same name, Sports and Pastimes is the first novel by acclaimed Montreal playwright and author Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard to appear in English.

Translated by Aimee Wall, this fast-paced story follows the daily life, at once empty and overloaded, of a group of friends who spend all their energy trying to distract themselves with huge hits of endorphins, art and various substances, navigating pleasure and boredom, the extraordinary and the banal, as (more or less) worthy representatives of the best and worst of what their era has to offer. Consider a mashup of Girls and Less Than Zero and you are pretty close to the fun and games of Sports and Pastimes.

Praise for Sports and Pastimes (Sports et divertissements, originally published in Franch by Les éditions de ta mère):

“The novel of rich, apathetic youth has been done so often that it has almost become a genre of its own, but rarely has it been written in Quebec with such mastery of its codes as by Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard.” —Dominic Tardif, La Presse
Wednesday, 15 November 2017

*TONIGHT* Graphic Novel Book Club: My Lesbian Experience with Lonliness

**This Graphic Novel Book Club meeting will now be taking place at 
La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly 176 Bernard O.**

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 November is My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi! We will meet at La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (176 Bernard Avenue West) today! Wednesday, November 15th at 7 p.m. The discussion will be hosted by Librairie Drawn & Quarterly staffer and children's coordinator Arizona O'Neill. Join us for refreshments and collective insights!

A heartening autobiographical manga, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi is an honest look at one young woman's exploration of her sexuality, mental well-being, and growing up in our modern age. Told using expressive artwork that invokes both laughter and tears, this moving and highly entertaining single volume depicts not only the artist's burgeoning sexuality, but many other personal aspects of her life that will resonate with readers. 

***We are offering a 20% discount on My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness from now until the meeting date!***

Monday, 13 November 2017

Daphné B. & Kathy L. launch "I Love Dick, a fanfic" with Julie Delporte & Marcela Huerta

As long fans of Kraus’ writing and the genre-blurring style which it emblemizes, Kate L. and Daphné B. began writing and sharing their own letters to Dick over the summer.

I Love Dick (a fanfic), is a post-internet iteration of the feminist cult classic written in the 90s. The letters analyze a variety of contemporary phenomenon and cultural objects such as celebrity, memes, Google Translate, pop songs, and Vegas, through the lens of female desire and feminism. The text is interwoven with images: screenshots of internet image browsing and Youtube playlists. At the intersection of artist book, zine, and fanfiction, it is a funny, subversive, and thoughtful reflection on love, desire, and art. 

The zine will be launched at La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (176 Bernard O.) on December 1st at 7:00 pm where authors Kate Lewis, Daphné B., Julie Delporte and Marcela Huerta will partake in a discussion on female writing and desire.

KATHY L. is a part-time bookseller and artist based in Montreal.

DAPHNÉ B. est née en 1990 à Montréal. Elle a étudié, voyagé, été libraire. Elle a publié Bluetiful (2015) et Delete (2017). Cofondatrice du collectif Filles Missiles, elle est aussi collaboratrice à l'émission Plus on est de fous, plus ont lit et apprentie traductrice.

JULIE DELPORTE est l'auteure de plusieurs bande dessinée pour adultes - dont Journal (2014), Je vois des antennes partout (2015), Moi aussi je voulais l'emporter (2017) - et d'un album jeunesse Je suis un raton laveur (2013). Elle écrit également des essais, réalise des illustrations pour divers magazines et fabrique des bols en céramique. (pic by Hélène Gruénais)

MARCELA HUERTA is the author of Tropico, a collection of poetry and creative nonfiction published by Metatron Press in 2017. She has worked at the Museum of Anthropology, Working Format, and Free Agency Creative as a Graphic Designer, and at Drawn & Quarterly as an Assistant Editor. She is the proud daughter of Chilean refugees, and her work centers around their stories, as well as the stories of other marginalized voices. You can find her online @marsmella
Saturday, 11 November 2017

*TONIGHT* Poetry Launch: Aaron Tucker & E. Martin Nolan

E. Martin Nolan and Aaron Tucker will be reading from their new poetry collections with Anahita Jamali Rad (for love and autonomy, Talon Books, 2016), and Montrealer Jake Byrne. Join us on Saturday, November 11th at 7:00 pm at La Petite D+Q (176 Bernard O.)!

In 1968, avant-garde artist Marcel Duchamp and composer John Cage exhibited Reunion, a chess performance that took place in Toronto. Whenever Duchamp or Cage moved a piece, it generated a musical note until the game was transformed into a symphony.

Inspired by this performance, "Irresponsible Mediums"—poet and academic Aaron Tucker’s second full-length collection of poems—translates Duchamp’s chess games into poems using the ChessBard (an app co-created by Tucker and Jody Miller) and in the process, recreates Duchamp’s joyous approach to making art, while also generating startling computer-made poems that blend the analog and digital in strange and surprising combinations.

The poems in "Still Point" contrast the calm and tumult of Hurricane Katrina, the deconstruction of Detroit, the financial crisis of 2008, and the BP Gulf oil spill, weaving lyrical sequences and individual pieces into a coherent whole focused on humanity’s relationship to itself and to nature. "Still Point" tells a story of beauty and horror, and how normalcy stubbornly persists amid history’s arc.
Tuesday, 7 November 2017

New D+Q : Toys Talking by Leanne Shapton

From acclaimed illustrator, author and artist Leanne Shapton: 
Toys Talking is officially out today!

In Toys Talking, Leanne Shapton explores the inner lives of toys to reveal that their thoughts and feelings are just as complicated as our own.

The concerns of these bunnies, bears, and ducks range from the mundane to the existential.

The book is beautifully bound in hardcover and brings Shapton’s gorgeously minimal brushstrokes to a younger audience. It is the kind of book that is an imaginative and stimulating read for children and reveals layers and deeper meaning when read as an adult. As described by British novelist Adam Thirwell, the book is "...unbearably poignant. A children's book for adults, or an adult book for children!" 

Friday, 3 November 2017

Top 5: October's bestselling magazines!

After unseasonable heat, it's officially sweater weather! And there's nothing better than flipping through a good magazine with a blanket and a good cup of tea. Here were your favourites from October. Enjoy!

1. Monocle magazine
2. The Gentlewoman
3. Poetry magazine
4. Apartamento
5. Editorial mag
Thursday, 2 November 2017

This Shelf Belongs to... Marcela Huerta

Each month, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly invites a local author or artist to curate a shelf in the store. This September, we bring you recommendations from Marcela Huerta!

Marcela Huerta is the author of Tropico, a collection of poetry and creative nonfiction published by Metatron Press in 2017. She has worked at the Museum of Anthropology, Working Format, and Free Agency Creative as a Graphic Designer, and at Drawn & Quarterly as an Assistant Editor. She is the proud daughter of Chilean refugees, and her work centres around their stories, as well as the stories of other marginalized voices. You can find her online @marsmella.

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

1. Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano
An absolute must-read for anyone learning about the effects of imperialism and colonialism in South America. This incredible and historic book was written in the early '70s, when political coups and repressive right-wing military dictatorships ran rampant in Central and South America. Galeano argues that early European colonization of gold, sugar (and indigenous bodies...) led to a "structure of plunder" still present today.

2. Slow Lightning by Eduardo C. Corral 
A feverish and electric book of poems about the experiences of a Chicano, gay man. I read this book on a train back from New York during a sobering year that has served to remind folks of how little white supremacist structures and systems are set up to help about immigrants and marginalized communities. The stark imagery Eduardo creates, the intrinsic spirituality, the heat, all so so amazing.

3.Clandestine in Chile: The Adventures of Miguel Littin by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The incredible true story of a filmmaker exiled from Chile during the coup who returns to his country in 1985 disguised as an Uruguayan businessman, hellbent on making a film to expose Pinochet's repressive rule to the global community. Littín tells his story to none other than Gabriel García Márquez, who captures the terror, the drama, and that classic deadpan Chilean sense of humour.

4. Belleza y Felicidad: Selected Writings of Fernanda Laguna and Cecilia Pavon
I'm obsessed with Fernanda Laguna and Cecilia Pavon. I love the intimacy and freshness of their work, their humour and wisdom. We should all be so lucky as to write collaboratively with our best friends.

5. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
If you need to be told why you should read Maya Angelou, I'm not the one. Just do it. I will say that I felt like the ending of this incredible book punched me in the gut and made me reassess elements of my writing that dealt with my mother. Angelou's unparalleled observational skills, her tenderness, and the poetry she brings to memoir are life-changing. I too am tenderhearted, and Angelou's words helped heal a part of me I didn't know needed healing.

6. Revulsion: Thomas Bernhard in San Salvador by Horacio Castellanos Moya
I found this book stressful in a way I have never experienced before, for your information!! An expat returns, post-exile, to El Salvador for his mother's funeral. The book takes place from 5–7pm that evening, in a single paragraph, as he sits with Castellanos Moya ranting to his heart's content. Vega (the expat in question) is a prickly, sour, bitter old man, but he holds you rapt with his delicious gossip. He reminded me of my dad in an almost paralyzingly painful way.

7. The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector
Imagine being as good at writing short stories as Clarice Lispector was. The first time I read Clarice Lispector was in a book club (where I got to know fellow Metatron writers Alex Manley and Jay Ritchie), and now I pick this book up whenever I need to be reminded of what the structure of an innovative short story looks like. My favourites are "A Chicken" and "The Foreign Legion" but I'm always open for more favourites, tell me yours!

8. Islands of Decolonial Love by Leanne Simpson
Restorative and beautiful, these stories revolving around the lives of indigenous women are deeply moving. They are surviving but they are trying to thrive, despite a world actively trying to unravel them. Don't forget to listen to the audio component, for the full experience.

9. Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles
I read Chelsea Girls before I read any of Eileen Myles's poetry, strangely! This intro to their style was jaw-dropping, an exercise in form and narrative I've not often seen in memoir. It tracks Myles from a Roman Catholic upbringing in the 1950s and ’60s through the discovery of drugs, sex, and poetry. It has one of the most iconic revelations of alcoholism in the family I've ever read.

10. Don't Go Where I Can't Follow by Anders Nilsen
All my friends are probably tired of hearing my story of crying so hard while reading this on a plane on the way back from a school trip that I nearly burst a blood vessel in my eye. At the time, I had never experienced grief. Now I have. I don't know that any book will ever pain my soul in the same way this book does; it captures the power of loss in an unforgettable way.

BONUS! Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Because my school system was not particularly adept at teaching any histories that related to immigrants, and because we literally did not have a single book by a person of colour on our syllabus for my entire high-school education (THIS IS A FACT) reading this book as an adult completely changed my life. I had no idea military coups had happened in other countries (I was that sheltered). I no longer felt alone. I no longer felt crazy. This book made me want to write.

Event Recap: Zadie Smith in conversation with Jenny Zhang — Launch of SWING TIME

Photos by David Smith/Careful Media.
This past Thursday, the 26th of October, we had the utmost pleasure of welcoming Zadie Smith to Montréal, where the superlative novelist appeared in conversation with Jenny Zhang. This event was part of our 10 Year Anniversary Reading Series, which has included Paul Auster, Heather O'Neill, and most recently Eileen Myles.

Despite the miserable weather, over seven-hundred Montrealers packed the house! Our intrepid store manager Rebecca Lloyd got the ball rolling, welcoming everyone to the beautiful Théâtre Rialto. She was proceeded onstage by Eliza Robertson, Montreal-based author of Demi-Gods (Penguin Random House, 2017), who introduced and invited to the stage the star-of-the-hour.

Zadie read from her latest novel, Swing Time, a striking story of female friendship which was published late last year. Smith’s is a multilayered narrative, as both the plot and her characters’ lives are ruled by competing forces: to hold a poor, single mother in the same light as a glamorous celebrity, to linger in memory while lumbering forward in time, to celebrate one’s heritage but not be defined by it. As she read to the rapt crowd: "Although entrapment, in this case, was another word for love."

Jenny Zhang, Brooklyn-based author of Sour Heart (Penguin Random House, 2017) and the evening's interlocutor, then joined Zadie onstage. Their conversation dove into family (Zadie: "My mother was a good-time girl!"), gentrification, humourlessness, and critical reception to their respective crafts (Zadie: "It isn't about the 'Search For Identity'! I am committed to being nobody in particular."). When asked about her purpose as a writer, Zadie had an interesting take: "[Writing] is meant to broaden your sensibility, complexity, pleasure... The fetishization of empathy is obscene and very suspicious... It's so easy to be a stranger to yourself, I write to avoid a life of self-deception."

After conversing, both authors happily stuck around to sign books for a long line of fans. Thank you to everyone for coming out and contributing to this magical evening. A big thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and the Théâtre Rialto for helping organize, and of course to the wonderful authors!

Photos by David Smith/Careful Media.

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