Winter/Spring 2012: Most Anticipated Books of the Season

We've taken a good look into our crystal ball to find out which books you're going to be falling in love with over the next few months.

Book Cover the WInter Palace

January: There’s a lot of buzz already about Eva Stachniak’s third novel The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine The Great. Check out the fantastic trailer, and also Stachniak’s essay “On the Insidious Absence of Stories and Bridging Solitudes” which she contributed to Canadian Bookshelf last summer. In Erin Moure’s book-length poem The Unmemntionable, the children of immigrants must come to understand the experiences their parents were never able to speak of. Book blogger Kerri Cull releases her first book, the poetry collection Soak. Caroline Adderson’s latest novel for young people is Middle of Nowhere, the story of a boy on his own who’s cared for by a neighbour whose intentions may not be as good as they seem. Novelist Donna Morrissey’s first book for children is Cross Katie Kross, illustrated by her daughter Bridgette Morrissey. And George Elliott Clark’s Directions Home provides what promises to be the most comprehensive analysis of African-Canadian writing to date.

Book Cover The Juliet Stories

February: Fans of Carrie Snyder’s writing are looking forward to her second story collection The Juliet Stories, about a young girl whose family of peace activists find the ties that bind quite straining upon their return from Nicaragua to ordinary life in Canada. Award-winning novelist Lillian Nattall’s third novel is Web of Angels, about a woman whose past experiences with dissociative identity disorder come back to haunt her when a tragedy occurs in her community. Robert Hough follows up The True Confessions of Mabel Stark with Dr. Brinkley’s Tower, described as “equal parts Mark Twain and Gabriel García Márquez”. Richard Wagamese’s latest novel is Indian Horse, the story of an Ojibway man at the end of his life. Sankofa is a trilogy of plays by award-winning actress, playwright and dub poet d’bi young anitafrika. Bruce Philp’s Consumer Republic argues that branding gives consumers power over corporations, and can be used as a power for good. Cast your mind towards warmer days with All The Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming, and also with Summer in the City, a new picture book by David Homel and Marie Louise Gay. And then Barbara Reid puts all four seasons together in a collection of her beloved Zoe books, Zoe’s Year.

book cover why men lie

March: Linden MacIntyre follows up his 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize-winner The Bishop’s Man with Why Men Lie, the story of the sister of the priest from his first book. Anakana Schofield’s Malarky is the first novel by this Irish-Canadian writer, its description beginning, “When Our Woman catches her son in the hay with another man...” (Colour us intrigued!) The Weeping Chair is a new short story collection by Donald Ward, winner of the 2004 Saskatchewan Book Award. Award-winning writer Tim Bowling’s latest is The Tinsmith which takes place against the backdrop of the American Civil War. One in Every Crowd is a story collection by acclaimed writer Ivan E. Coyote about embracing and celebrating difference, and feeling comfortable in one’s own skin. Those who loved Kyo Maclear’s first novel The Letter Opener are anticipating her latest book Stray Love. Nancy Richler is following Your Mouth is Lovely with The Imposter Bride. Radio Belly is the debut story collection by Buffy Cram, whose work previously appeared in Darwin’s Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow. Alex Boyd, who won the Gerald Lampert Award in 2008, releases his latest collection of poetry, The Least Important Man. Chaser is an intriguing-sounding first collection by Erin Knight, described as growing ”from the troubling premise that each of us lives in a state of pre-diagnosis”. And then another one by Kyo Maclear, this time a picture book (also her second) Virginia Wolf, the story of a character based on she of the similar name.

Book Cover A Blessed Snarl

April: April showers will bring May flowers, and they will also bring Mad Hope, the second collection of short stories by the award-winning Heather Birrell. Andrew Hood’s second story collection is The Cloaca, which is described as “a trainwreck of awesome.” Samuel Thomas Martin, who won acclaim with the story collection This Ramshackle Tabernacle and was declared “an exceptional writer” by David Adams Richards, publishes his first novel A Blessed Snarl. Daniel Allan Cox, whose Shuck was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary and ReLit Awards, launches A Basement of Wolves, about a troubled actor who attempts to escape from his life. Elaine McCluskey’s second short story collection is Valery the Great, following up Going Fast and The Watermelon Social. Tamara Faith Berger's third book is Maidenhead, about a young woman's introduction to the world of sex and porn. Yasuko Thanh, who won the 2010 Journey Prize, makes her debut with the story collection Floating Like the Dead. Fabulous Girl Kim Izzo’s first novel is The Jane Austen Marriage Manual. And PI Calli Barnow goes undercover in the world of advertising in Liz Bugg’s latest novel Oranges and Lemons.

Book Cover Impact

We turn to poetry with Nyla Matuk’s second book Sumptuary Laws, which “explores... the laws that dictate our divisions of luxury and necessity, splendour and squalor.” Billeh Nickerson’s Impact depicts the sinking of The Titanic as a series of poetic snapshots. The acclaimed writer Sue Goyette’s latest collection is Outskirts: “Its originality lies in Goyette’s refusal of despair, her conviction that the connections among people, their conversation, curiosity, empathy and awe, can help us see a way forward.” Patrick Woodcock’s Echo Gods and Silent Mountains is situated in the Iraq’s Kurdish North.

Book Cover Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes

Noah Richler’s new book What We Talk About When We Talk About War is an expansion of his 2009 Antonine Maillet-Northrop Frye lecture examining the evolution of war as a governing narrative over the past decade, and what that says about our collective consciousness. P.B. Waite has published In Search of R.B. Bennett, bringing the elusive Prime Minister to life. Bruce Livesay’s The Thieves of Bay Street is a less admiring look at power, in the context of the 2008 Financial Crash. Lynn van Luven and Kathy Page edit the anthology In the Flesh, with contributors including Trevor Cole, Lorna Crozier and Susan Olding on how we live inside our bodies. Michael Cho’s Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes is described as a “caught-on-paper psychogeographical Jane's Walk.” And our own Julie Wilson brings introduces to the world Seen Reading:The Book.

Book Cover The Blondes

May: When it becomes warm enough to be out in the sunshine, we’ll be under a tree with Grace O’Connell’s first novel The Magnified World, about a young woman who struggles discern whether she’s just laden with grief, or suffering from the same madness that overcame her mother. In The Blondes, Emily Schultz imagines blond women suffering from a strange illness that turns them into rabid killers the world over. Brian Henderson’s latest collection of poetry is Sharawadji, which “conjures alternate worlds... that are enticing, disarming and uprooting.” Composer R. Murray Schafer’s autobiography is My Life on Earth and Elsewhere. And we’ll be looking forward to June and Tanis Rideout’s debut novel Above All Things about the Everest-conquering George Mallory, and his wife at home awaiting his return.

January 5, 2012
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