Wednesday, 23 May 2018

New D+Q: Sabrina by Nick Drnaso

Nick Drnaso's second full length book hits shelves today! It follows several characters' lives that are interconnected by the disappearance of the titular Sabrina. In the same vein as Beverly, Drnaso's impressive debut, Sabrina delves deeply into the suburban Midwestern experience.

In the wake of tragedy, Sabrina's boyfriend, Teddy, takes refuge at a childhood friend's home. Calvin generously agrees to look after Teddy as best he can, despite dealing with his own grief over a failed marriage, and an uneventful career with the U.S. Air Force. In glimpses we see Sabina's sister, Sandra, coping with meditation and group therapy.

Sabrina is remarkable for the way it convincingly conveys the texture of daily life. Drnaso draws these lives in such conceivable detail that you can almost hear the room tone in each panel. His deft integration of watching television, playing video games, or perusing e-mails gives visual expression to an experience that has become second nature to many.

As Teddy withdraws from his reality, he begins tuning into an alternative talk radio universe - one that is obsessed by secrets and lies. And, when a video of Sabrina surfaces, a horde of righteous conspiracy theorists begin harassing the victims of this senseless crime. In the Trumpian era of fake news, it's a timely depiction of the climate of public discord.

Nothing is explicit in Drnaso's work. Connections present themselves, but it never feels as though the artist is guiding the reader to some predetermined conclusion. This understated style makes for a nuanced and compelling read. Sabrina is a complex, touching portrait of contemporary middle class American life in all its attendant joys and sorrows, dreams and disappointments.

For more on this book, read words from editor here.
Monday, 14 May 2018

Event Recap: Sheila Heti Launches Motherhood

Librairie D+Q was honoured to host Sheila Heti for the launch of the critically acclaimed and highly anticipated release of Motherhood. Sheila was joined in conversation by D+Q friend, and esteemed novelist, Heather O’Neill. This made for a delightful pairing, and we at D+Q will continue to make it a mission to orchestrate events that indulge our desire to eavesdrop on the chatter of two brilliant women. That seems to be the best way to collect sentiments on Simon Weil, at the very least. "The wrong way to say [her name] is the right way to say it,” said Heti.

The evening started with myself/Author Manager, Sruti Islam, gushing about the ways in which How Should a Person Be? shaped my/her early twenties (a very true story) and then delved into a fascinating conversation, much to the delight of a rapt and packed crowd.

To start, Sheila began a short reading from Motherhood. A novel in which its unnamed central female character struggles with the decision to have a child or not to have a child. “It is often said that whether or not to have children is the biggest decision a person can make. That may be true, but it also doesn't mean anything” Heti pondered.

O’Neill noted that to her, Heti was more of a philosopher than a novelist. Although Heti has often rejected this title, there is something uncanny in her work that shapes and interrogates thought itself. This meant the night took some dives into the investigation of our biological desire to procreate, and if that was necessarily telling of the ways a life ought to be lived. I mean, as Heti pointed out, "If you were told tomorrow that all your sexual fantasies would come true, you would have to go into hiding."

Our endless gratitude to both Sheila and Heather, as well as the lovely crowd that came out to celebrate a truly seminal work. Find Motherhood in stores today!

Event Recap: Michael Ondaatje Launches Warlight

May has been such a whirlwind of excitement here at Librairie D+Q. The great Michael Ondaatje visited to participate in a live taping of Writers & Company with the equally great Eleanor Wachtel. The crowd was packed and thrilled to hear one of their favourite legends in person.

Warlight explores the story of a mother “lost” as a result of war, but perhaps not lost in death.. Her children tackle this investigation, and in doing so portrays an intricate tale of their own childhood. When asked about the connections between this story of a family, and his own lived live Ondaatje remarked, “I think we do find our home and our family later in life.”

Acclaimed novelist and Librairie D+Q friend Heather O’Neill started off the entire evening introducing Ondaatje. After which of course Michael was delighted to share, "That was the best introduction I have ever had!"

Wachtel, with her undeniable detail to the work, investigated the mindset this notable writer, exploring just how his timeless stories come to creation. Of Warlight, Ondaatje said, “It started with a sentence.”

We hope there were aspiring writers in the audience, as Ondaatje was sharing concrete advice with regards to the skill. For one, "I never listen to music while writing, as it gives one a false confidence. I tried once with ‘Lucille’ and just couldn’t do it."

Thank you Michael Ondaatje, Eleanor Wachtel, and Heather O’Neill for honouring us with this very special evening. Be sure to watch out for the official recording at Writers & Company. In the meantime, we leave you with one surprising fact… “I had a puppet show that got the book—not in reality.”—Michael Ondaatje
Thursday, 10 May 2018

Graphic Novel Book Club: The End of the F***ing World

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 May is The End of the F***ing World by Charles Forsman. We will meet at La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (176 Rue Bernard O.) on Wednesday, May 16th at 7 p.m. The discussion will be hosted by Librairie Drawn & Quarterly staff member Sophie Croteau. Join us for refreshments and collective insights!

***We are offering a 20% discount on The End of the F***ing World from now until the meeting date!***

The End of the F***ing World, recently adapted into a Netflix TV series, was originally published in 2011 by two-time Ignatz Award-winner Charles Forsman. It follows two tortured adolescents through a disturbingly dark road trip, where outbursts of violence will plunge them into deep questions of identity and relationships. Carefully minimalist, Forsman’s book centers around the emptiness of horror, trapping the reader in the stillness of it, and forcing us to contemplate its humanity.
Monday, 7 May 2018

Top 5: April's bestselling cookbooks!

The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen (Sean Sherman, Beth Dooley)

Japan: The Cookbook (Nancy Singleton Hachisu)

The New Wine Rules (Jon Bonné)

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat (Samrin Nosrat, Wendy MacNaughton)

Power Bowls (DK)
Sunday, 6 May 2018

YA Book Club: Anne of Green Gables

Join us at la Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly for our young adult book club, hosted by Georgina Devlin for kids ages 11-14. Pizza will be served. Knowledge of the novel Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery expected! No olds, please. Please note we do not have enough room to host parents and kids, and we are happy to chaperone kids ages 11-14 without their parents.

This is a bookclub for young adult readers, ages 11-14. There will be a different book every meeting. The focus is allowing tweens a safe space to learn to discuss and express thoughts and ideas about literature among peers. Please, no kids younger than 11, thank you.

***We are offering a 20% discount on Anne of Green Gables from now until the meeting date!*** 
Tuesday, 1 May 2018

This Shelf Belongs to ... Sheila Heti

Each month, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly invites an author or artist to curate a shelf in the store. This May, we bring you recommendations from Sheila Heti!

SHEILA HETI is the acclaimed author of the novel How Should a Person Be?, which was named a New York Times Notable Book, the story collection The Middle Stories, and the novel Ticknor, which was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award. Her writing has appeared in various publications, including The New York Times, London Review of Books, The Globe and Mail, n+1, McSweeney's and The Believer. She frequently collaborates with other writers and artists. Sheila Heti lives in Toronto.

We are thrilled to be hosting Heti for the launch of Motherhood, Thrusday, May 3rd! Tickets are available online or in-store.

All of Sheila's picks will be 15% off for the month of May. Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find:

Love That Bunch by Aline Kominsky-Crumb
One of my favourite things about this book is its depiction of being a woman artist in the 1960s when writing and drawing autobiographically felt like such a radical and abject thing to do. Aline Crumb is sparkling, hilarious, and brilliant observer of the world she finds herself in. It simultaneously feels super-contemporary and also like you’re time travelling.

Kids These Days by Malcolm Harris
This is a terrific non-fiction book that has permanently changed how I think about millenials and the situation they find themselves in. It’s Marxist, despairing, angry and condemning—and the picture he presents is very frightening. But I loved reading it, and think it has one of the best endings to a book of social woe. I think it’s required reading.

Trip by Tao Lin
Even if you are put off by a book about drugs (you are??) you should find this book interesting for the questions Tao poses about the nature of reality, and for his profile of the fascinating countercultural figure, Terence McKenna. I think it’s Tao Lin’s best book. Smart, sensitive and thoughtful, you’ll come out of it knowing and feeling more.

How To Make Love to a Negro by Dany Laferriere
I read this book when I lived in Montreal many years ago, and it is so twinned in my mind with the experiences of being in this city. The book is about living in Montreal—an artist, poverty-stricken, a romantic, a degenerate. It is alive and funny and it’s impossible to read it without also feeling like you’re living it.

Flaubert and Madame Bovary by Francis Steegmuller
If you like literary gossip, buy this book. If you’re interested in the twisty, roundabout ways art gets made—particularly all the wrong turns, dead ends, and embarrassing pomposities—buy this book. If you want to see Flaubert’s friends shaking their heads at him in pity at his bad writing, you should definitely buy this book.

Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles
When asked to recommend books, I always recommed this one. I read it in my early twenties and it forever made me think about style and narrative differently. It’s so unique, from the sentences to the characters to the plot, and absolutely unforgettable. A strange and perfect world, and the only novel Jane Bowles ever wrote.

The Two Kinds of Decay by Sarah Manguso
I hate to write something like “If Sylvia Plath wrote an illness memoir, it would be this book,” but that pretty much sums it up. This book is spare, vivid, epigrammatic and intense. After lending it to a friend, I finally got it back after five years.

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
Few books have moved me more profoundly than this one. I spent years avoiding Thomas Hardy, somehow imagining—simply because of his name!—that his books were not for me. After reading Jude the Obscure I went out and bought all the rest of his books. Is the most wonderful novelist in the English language of all time? Maybe so.

Important Artifacts by Leanne Shapton
Okay, I’m in this book. I was even commissioned to write a screenplay of it! (But failed). It’s still one of the most uniquely told love stories I have ever encountered. I love how the book asks you to read in a new way. In all her books, she does amazing and new things in the intersection of words and images.

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
This is one of my favourite books of all time. It’s about faith and temptation away from faith, and even if you aren’t interested in religion or Christianity or God, there is lots in it about the nature of desire, and the difficulty of resisting desire. I really love this book. I buy copies of it and give it to friends. It’s really funny, too.
Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Matthew Forsythe launches The Brilliant Deep

Join prolific artist and illustrator Matthew Forsythe for the launch of his latest book The Brilliant Deep. Come celebrate and get a book signed! Refreshments will be served.

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World's Coral Reefs
by Kate Messner, illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
All it takes is one: one coral gamete to start a colony, one person to make a difference, one idea to change the world. The ongoing efforts to save and rebuild the world's coral reefs-with hammer and glue, and grafts of newly grown coral-are the living legacy of Ken Nedimyer, founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation. Kate Messner and Matthew Forsythe tell the true story of the coral restoration pioneer in this brilliant tribute to the wonders of nature and the power of human hope.

Matthew Forsythe is an award-winning artist and illustrator. He has worked with the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Cartoon Network, DreamWorks, and Nickelodeon. He lives in Port Colborne, Ontario.

  • Thursday, May 24th, from 5pm - 7pm
  • La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly
  • 176 Rue Bernard Ouest
Monday, 23 April 2018

Élise Gravel bilingual launch!

Lancement bilingue de The Mushroom Fan Club et Le fan club des champignons.

Join Elise Gravel for the launch of The Mushroom Fan Club: a bright, brilliant, and wildly inventive exploration of mushrooms of various shapes and sizes. Gravel has created a variety of fungi friends giving them real life character, and educating her readers on the mysteries of these delights!

Dans ce petit traité de mycologie, Élise Gravel nous invite à une promenade en forêt pour découvrir les spécimens de champignons les plus jolis, les plus bizarres, les plus rares et les plus rigolos.

vendredi, le 4 mai - 5 à 7
La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly
176 Rue Bernard O

New D+Q: Carnet de Voyage by Craig Thompson

Out today, we have Craig Thompson's Carnet de Voyage!
Fresh from the success of Blankets, Thompson kept a sketchbook diary of his travels through Europe and Morocco while promoting the European editions of his book.

Finding intellectual and spiritual stimulation in the day-to-day work of being an author, Thompson lends his beautiful sensibility to Paris, Barcelona, Marrakesh, and Fez.

The pages are peopled with fellow travelers: cartoonists, friends, and lovers met along the way, who breathe life into a work not to be missed by lovers of the travelogue.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

YA Bookclub: Percy Jackson

We are pleased to announce the next meeting of our ever popular YA book club on Saturday May 5th at 6:00 PM to discuss the modern classic Percy Jackson: Book One the Lightening Thief, (in stock now!) hosted by Georgina Devlin! This meeting will also be a special Free Comic Book Day edition, and all attendees will leave with a selection of the best kids comics.

Remember the rules: 
2) Ages 11 and up. 
3) Must have read the book. 
4) Must like pizza. 
5) Your D+Q bookclub membership cards gets you 20% of the bookclub pick!

See you there!

Saturday, 21 April 2018

New D+Q: Love That Bunch by Aline Kominksy-Crumb!

Here at the librairie we are gearing up for the launch of Aline Kominsky-Crumb's new collection, Love That Bunch, happening this Tuesday April 24th at 7 pm at La Petite D+Q!

Collecting comics from the 1970s through today, Love That Bunch is shockingly prescient while still being an authentic story of its era. Kominsky-Crumb was ahead of her time in juxtaposing the contradictory nature of female sexuality with a proud, complicated feminism. Most importantly, she does so without apology.

Kominsky-Crumb traces her steps from a Beatles loving fangirl, East Village groupie, an adult grappling with her childhood, an 80s housewife and mother, to a new 30-page story Dream House that looks back on her childhood, 40 years later. One of the most famous and idiosyncratic cartoonists of our time, Love That Bunch will be Kominksy-Crumb's only solo-authored book in print.

Aline Kominsky-Crumb will appear in conversation with Hillary Chute, author of Why Comics? From Underground to Everywhere, at La Petite D+Q (176 Bernard O) on Tuesday April 24th at 7 pm. See you there!
Tuesday, 17 April 2018

*TONIGHT* Biblioasis launch with Paige Cooper, Amanda Jernigan, Rachel Lebowitz, and Richard Sanger

Four groundbreaking authors from Biblioasis read from their work: Local Montrealer Paige Cooper, Amanda Jernigan, Rachel Lebowitz, and Richard Sanger. Join them at La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly at 7pm on Tuesday, April 17th.


ZOLITUDE (Paige Cooper)
Fantastical, magnetic, and harsh—these are the women in Paige Cooper’s debut short story collection Zolitude. They are women who built time machines when they were nine, who buy plane tickets for lovers who won’t arrive. They are sisters writhing with dreams, blasé about sex but beggared by love—while the police horses have talons and vengeance is wrought by eagles the size of airplanes. Broken down motorbikes and house broken tyrannosaurs, cheap cigarettes and jealous mail bombs—Cooper finds the beautiful and the disturbing in both the surreal and the everyday.

YEARS, MONTHS, AND DAYS (Amanda Jernigan)
A transfiguration of Mennonite hymns into heartbreaking lyric poems, Years, Months, and Days is a moving “meditation on the possibility of translation.” Bridging secular spirituality and holy reverence with the commonalities of life, death, love, and hope, Jernigan explores the connection between hymn and poem, recalling the spare beauty of Marilynne Robinson’s novels or the poems of Jan Zwicky and Robert Bringhurst. The sparse and tender phrasing of Years, Months, and Days is “an offering of words to music,” made in the spirit of a shared love — for life, for a particular landscape and its rhythms — that animates poem and prayer alike.


THE YEAR OF NO SUMMER (Rachel Lebowitz)
On April 10th, 1815, Indonesia's Mount Tambora erupted. The resulting build-up of ash in the stratosphere altered weather patterns and led, in 1816, to a year without summer. Instead, there were June snowstorms, food shortages, epidemics, inventions, and the proliferation of new cults and religious revivals. Hauntingly meaningful in today’s climate crisis, Lebowitz’s linked lyric essay collection charts the events and effects of that apocalyptic year. Weaving together history, mythology, and memoir, The Year of No Summer ruminates on weather, war, and our search for God and meaning in times of disaster.

DARK WOODS (Richard Sanger)
Snow, canoes, frozen ponds, lonely conifers…Dark Woods takes the motifs and landscape of Canadian childhood and examines their place in a world of smartphones and overflowing inboxes. The result, Sanger’s first book in 16 years, is a striking new collection that includes sonnets linked and stray, wordplay and slang, meditations on parenthood and the “cracks in the granite”: the urges that won’t go away, the people who have.


PAIGE COOPER was born and raised in the Rocky Mountains. Her stories have appeared in The Fiddlehead, West Branch, Michigan Quarterly Review, Gulf Coast Online, Canadian Notes & Queries, The New Quarterly, Minola Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, and have been anthologized in The Journey Prize Stories and Best Canadian Stories. She lives in Montreal.

AMANDA JERNIGAN is the author of two previous collections of poems, Groundwork and All the Daylight Hours, and of the chapbook The Temple, published by Baseline Press in 2018. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Parnassus, PN Review, The Dark Horse, Atlanta Review, and The Nation, as well as in numerous Canadian literaries, and have been set to music, most recently by Zachary Wadsworth and Colin Labadie. She is an essayist and editor as well as a poet, and has written for the stage.

RACHEL LEBOWITZ the author of Hannus (Pedlar Press, 2006), was shortlisted for the 2007 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize (BC Book Prize) and the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. She is also the author of Cottonopolis (Pedlar Press, 2013) and the co-author, with Zachariah Wells, of the children’s picture book Anything But Hank! (Biblioasis, 2008, illustrated by Eric Orchard). She lives in Halifax, where she coordinates adult tutoring programs at her neighbourhood library.

RICHARD SANGER’s previous collections are Shadow Cabinet and Calling Home; his poems have appeared in many publications in Canada, the US and Britain, including the London Review of Books and Poetry Review. His plays include Not Spain, Two Words for Snow, Hannah’s Turn and Dive as well as translations of Calderon, Lope de Vega and Lorca. He has also published essays, reviews and journalism. He lives in Toronto.

Top 5: Bestselling Graphic Novels Right Now

Why Art - Eleanor Davis

Baking with Kafka - Tom Gauld

The Lie and How we Told It - Tommi Parrish

Killing and Dying - Adrian Tomine

The Case of the Missing Men - Kris Bertin + Alexander Forbes
Friday, 13 April 2018

*TONIGHT* Poetry launch with Emma Healey, A.F. Moritz, & Mikko Harvey

On Friday, April 13th, at 7 p.m., House of Anansi Press launches their 2018 spring selection of poetry publications with readings by A.F. Moritz (The Sparrow), Emma Healey (Stereoblind), and Mikko Harvey (Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit), at La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly.


THE SPARROW: The Sparrow: Selected Poems of A. F. Moritz surveys forty-five years of Moritz’s published poems, from earlier, lesser-known pieces to the widely acclaimed works of the last twenty years. Here are poems of mystery and imagination; of identification with the other; of compassion, judgement, and rage; of love and eroticism; of mature philosophical, sociological, and political analysis; of history and current events; of contemplation of nature; of exaltation and ennui, fullness and emptiness, and the pure succession and splendour of earthly nights and days.

The Sparrow is more than a selected poems; it is also a single vast poem, in which the individual pieces can be read as facets of an ever-moving whole. This is the world of A. F. Moritz — a unique combination of lyrical fire and meditative depth, and an imaginative renewal of style and never-ending discovery of form.

STEREOBLIND: In Stereoblind, no single thing is ever perceived in just one way. Shot through with asymmetry and misconception, the prose poems in Emma Healey’s second collection describe a world that’s anxious and skewed, but still somehow familiar — where the past, present, and future overlap, facts are not always true, borders are not always solid, and events seem to write themselves into being. An on-again, off-again real estate sale nudges a quartet of millennial renters into an alternate universe of multiplying signs and wonders; an art show at Ontario Place may or may not be as strange and complex (or even as “real”) as described; the collusion of a hangover and a blizzard carry our narrator on a trancelike odyssey through Bed Bath & Beyond. Using a diverse range of subjects — from pharmaceutical research testing to Tinder — to form an inventory of ontological disturbance, Healey delves moments when the differences between things disappear, and life exceeds its limits.

UNSTABLE NEIGHBOURHOOD RABBIT: Oneiric, fabulist, hilarious, surreal. No single term seems to sufficiently contain Mikko Harvey’s delightful, cheeky, absurdist, inimitable debut collection. A bomb and a raindrop make small talk as they fall through the air; a trip to the phlebotomist evolves into a nightmarish party; a boy finds himself turning into a piano key. Reading Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit is like spending the day at the strangest amusement park you've ever seen. At first the rides appear familiar, then you realize they possess the power to not merely thrill and terrify, but also to destabilize your very notion of “amusement.” These poems veer sharply away from what’s normally expected from poetry, landing readers instead in that awkward, lonely, interior space where we may be most ourselves. Along with beauty and humour, there is menace here, the threat of disfigurement and death around every turn. But somehow, Harvey manages to make that menace, too, a place of wonder.


A. F. MORITZ has written nineteen books of poetry. His work has received the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Poetry magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize, the Ingram Merrill Fellowship, the ReLit Award, the Raymond Souster Award, and three shortlistings for the Governor General’s Literary Award. His Griffin Poetry Prize–winning collection The Sentinel was a Globe and Mail Top 100 of the Year, and his ReLit Award–winning Night Street Repairs was named one of forty-three “books of the decade” by the Globe and Mail in 2010.

EMMA HEALEY’s first book of poems, Begin with the End in Mind, was published by ARP Books in 2012. Her poems and essays have been featured in places like the Los Angeles Review of Books, the FADER, the Hairpin, Real Life, the National Post, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Walrus, Toronto Life, and Canadian Art. She was poetry critic at the Globe and Mail (2014–2016) and is a regular contributor to the music blog Said the Gramophone. She was the recipient of the Irving Layton Award for Creative Writing in both 2010 and 2013, a National Magazine Award nominee in 2015, and a finalist for the K.M. Hunter award in 2016.

MIKKO HARVEY was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His poems have been published in DIAGRAM, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, and Maisonneuve. He attended Vassar College and the Ohio State University, and he currently serves as a digital poetry editor for Fairy Tale Review. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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