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Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Fall Fiction Preview

Summer's just heating up, but we're jumping ahead to the fall publishing season anyway. We can't help it: the books are so good!

Summer's just heating up, but we're jumping ahead to the fall publishing season anyway. We can't help it: the books are so good! First up in our preview schedule is fiction.


Book Cover Splitsville

Howard Akler’s second novel is Splitsville (September), the story of a bookseller’s love affair set against the backdrop of Toronto’s Spadina Expressway protests of the 1970s. From Nick Bantock, the creator of the bestselling Griffin & Sabine series, comes Dubious Documents (September), a visual epistolary puzzle posed by a mysterious character named Magnus Berlin. Melissa Barbeau’s debut novel is The Luminous Sea (July), in which a team of researchers uncovers a strange creature in a Newfoundland outport, a kind of fish, both sentient and distinctly female. Linwood Barclay’s latest thriller is A Noise Downstairs (July)—and it involves a haunted typewriter.

Book Cover A Matter of Conscience

Bestselling author and former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario James Bartleman has a new novel, A Matter of Conscience (May), which confronts the murder and disappearances of Indigenous women and the infamous Sixties Scoop. J.E. Barnard’s When the Flood Falls (July) won the Unhanged Arthur Ellis Award in 2016; it's about an ex-RCMP corporal whose crime-busting skills are tested when a stalker targets her friend. Yves Beauchemin, author of the bestselling French-Canadian novel of all time (The Alley Cat), has written The Accidental Education of Jerome Lupien (September), translated by Wayne Grady; it's a full and trenchant portrait of Quebec and the city of Montreal in all its topographical and class variety.

Book Cover Queen Solomon

Queen Solomon (September), by Tamara Faith Berger (whose last novel, Maidenhead, was all the rage when it was published), is the story of the erotic awakening and mental disintegration of an intense young man. Rhonda Mullins translates Sophie Bienvenu’s Around Her (September), which traces twenty years of the lives of a woman and her estranged son through the prism of characters who have crossed paths and who, each in turn and with their own unique voice, tell their story. Theanna Bischoff’s Left (September) explores a woman’s disappearance and the ways in which tragedy and secrecy erode and warp people's psyches and their bonds to one other. The first of a projected trilogy, Original Prin (September), by Randy Boyagoda, is a strangely funny novel about faith in a modern, secular world, and it's sure to touch, vex, and amuse.

Book Cover Circle on the Surface

With Theory (August), a short, intense tale in the voice of an unnamed, ungendered (and brilliantly unreliable) narrator, Dionne Brand makes a bold statement not only about love and personhood, but about race and gender—and what can and cannot be articulated in prose when the forces that inhabit the space between words are greater than words themselves. Award-winning filmmaker Christene A. Brown’s second novel is Philomena (Unloved) (October), the story of a Caribbean woman who overcomes years of trauma to realize her dream of family in a supportive housing facility. And Carol Bruneau’s A Circle on the Surface (September) is an achingly honest portrait of a marriage in a time of war—and an examination of how it is that we come to know ourselves.

Book Cover the High Rise in Fort Fierce

Dave Butler’s Jenny Wilson mystery series, set in Yoho National Park, continues with No Place For Wolverines (October). Steve Burrows’ new Birder Murder Mystery is A Tiding of Magpies (June), in which Domenic Jejeune is forced to confront his past. A small-town embalmer’s daughter lifts the shroud on the fascinating minutiae of dealing with the dead in The Embalmer (September), the debut novel by Anne-Renee Caille, translated from French by Rhonda Mullins. And award-winner Paul Carlucci’s latest novel is The High-Rise in Fort Fierce (September), which takes readers through the ravaged history of an apartment building in a small Northern Ontario town.

Book Cover the Eavesdroppers

Brenda Chapman’s first Stonechild and Roleau novel was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award; her latest is Bleeding Darkness (May). Award-winner Rosie Chard’s third novel is The Eavesdroppers (September), about a social experiment gone awry. Ron Corbett’s second Frank Yakabuski novel is Cape Diamond (October), following up the Edgar Award-nominated original. Beholden (October) is full of Lesley Crewe's trademark laugh-out-loud moments, heartbreaking losses, incredible women with unbreakable friendships, and the sweet wildness of Cape Breton. And Lynn Crosbie’s Chicken (May) is an acidly funny, raw, and devastating love story of a decrepit, fallen film star and the young feminist filmmaker who revives his career.

Book Cover The Grimoire of Kensington

Sky Curtis’s first Robin McParland mystery was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award; her follow-up is Plots (September), set in Ontario’s cottage country. Craig Davidson’s The Saturday Night Ghost Club (August), is his first new literary fiction since his bestselling, Giller-shortlisted Cataract City. Lauren B. Davis’s The Grimoire of Kensington Market (October) is a fairy tale for our time, where addiction meets magic, with all the dark lessons and startling characters of age-old folk tale and myth. And Nicola Davison’s first book is In the Wake (September), set on the shores of modern-day Nova Scotia; it's about two women stagnated by grief and their own flawed versions of the past. 

Book Cover French Exit

Lisa De Nikolits’s latest novel is Rotten Peaches (September), following No Fury Like That. Patrick deWitt’s French Exit (August) is a one-of-a-kind “tragedy of manners,” a riotous send-up of high society, as well as a moving mother-and-son caper. Claudia Dey's long-awaited new novel is Heartbreaker (August), which Lauren Groff calls "a dark star of a book, glittering with mordant humor and astonishing, seductive strangeness and grace." In SK Dyment’s Steel Animals (September), Jackie, a loner with a secret bank-robbing persona, meets Vespa, a sexy, sculpture-welding artist and collector of vintage motorbikes.

Book Cover Lady Franklin of Russell Square

Esi Edugyen follows up her award-winning Half-Blood Blues with Washington Black (September), a novel of slavery and freedom that moves from the blistering cane fields of Barbados to the icy plains of the Canadian Arctic, from the mud-drowned streets of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco. Erika Behrisch Elce imagines the rich interior life of Lady Franklin in Lady Franklin of Russell Square (October). Anne Emery’s new Collins-Burke mystery is Though the Heavens Fall (October), set in Belfast where the past is never in the past. Sheree Fitch’s novel Kiss the Joy as it Flies (July) receives a fresh new edition for its tenth anniversary. Barbara Fradkin’s latest Amanda Doucette mystery is Prisoners of Hope (October). And Lisa Gabriele reimagines Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca in her new novel, The Winters (October).

Book Cover Motherish

Laura Rock Gaughan creates box after box—and actual chicken coops—for her characters to explode from, hide in, emerge, and ultimately transform in her debut collection, Motherish (September). Wayne Grady’s latest is Up From Freedom (August), a novel about the dangers that arise when we stay silent in the face of prejudice or are complicit in its development. Brett Josef Grubisec’s new novel is Oldness; or The Last Ditch Efforts of Marcus O (October), which presents a satiric portrait of a contradictory man in a complicated place and time whose reality may be just over the horizon. And Beirut Hellfire Society (August) is a brilliant return to the world Rawi Hage first imagined in his extraordinary, award-winning first novel De Niro’s Game.

Book Cover Searching for Terry Punchout

In Amanda Hale’s collection, Angela of the Stones (October), Cuba comes alive with a gentle humour and through the richly detailed portraits of the families of Baracoa as they struggle with the political changes that are reshaping Cuba. The Abandoned (October) is Kyp Harness’s follow-up to his acclaimed first novel, Wigford RemembersGarden State meets King Leary in Searching for Terry Punchout (October), a “slapshot debut” by Tyler Hellard. Hellard's bio notes that “[b]efore finally quitting hockey at 18, he was pretty bad at it.”

Book Cover Summer Cannibals

Melanie Hobson’s Summer Cannibals (August) is a bold and gripping literary debut about three very different sisters who return to their family home to face imminent tragedy and their tumultuous pasts. H.B. Hogan’s debut is This Keeps Happening (November), a collection of stories that “sizzle like butter on hot cast iron.” Emma Hooper, the critically acclaimed author of Etta and Otto and Russell and James, releases Our Homesick Songs (August), a mystical story of a family on the edge of extinction set amidst the wind-blown shores of Newfoundland. Helen Humphreys' new novel is Machine Without Horses (September), in which a writer stumbles across an obituary and imagination is sparked. And from Governor General’s Literary Award finalist Anosh Irani, author of The Parcel, comes The Men in White (September), a heartwarming new play about the modern immigrant experience, realizing one’s dreams, and the unifying power of sport.

Book Cover No Quarter

In No Quarter (November), by John Jantunen, three young men with a history of violence are on a collision course set against the idyllic backdrop of northern Ontario’s cottage country. Dietrich Kalteis’s new crime novel is Poughkeepsie Shuffle (September), about a guy fresh out of the Don Jail who doesn’t let lessons from past mistakes get in the way of a good score. Irene Karafilly follows up The House on Selkirk Avenue with Walking the Dog (October), a collection of stories that dissect the infidelities committed wittingly and unwittingly by men and women as they try to make sense of their place in the world. A modern tale of love, war, and historical intrigue, The Shadowy Horses (August) is the latest from bestselling author, Susanna Kearsley. And acclaimed short story writer Adrian Michael Kelly’s new book is The Ambassador of What (October), tough and tender stories that take hold, and linger.

Book Cover Hummingbird

Fran Kimmel follows up The Shore Girl with No Good Asking (October), an exploration of one family’s capacity to heal themselves and others. The third novel by Devin Krukoff, who won the Journey Prize in 2005, is Hummingbird (September), about a man experiencing gaps in time and the pain of living inside an anxious mind. Anita Kushwaha’s Side By Side (October) is a story about loss, growth, and the search for meaning in the wake of tragedy.

Book Cover the Tiger Flu

Larissa Lai’s first novel in 16 years is The Tiger Flu (September), a novel that is at once a saga of two women heroes, a cyberpunk thriller, and a convention-breaking cautionary tale—a striking metaphor for our complicated times. In The Faerie Devouring (November), a critically-acclaimed coming-of-age story by Quebecois author Catherine Lalonde (translated by Oana Avasilichioaei), questions of what it means to be born female and grow into a woman are explored. And bestselling author Shari Lepena’s latest is The Unwanted Guest (August)—in which a remote lodge in upstate New York is the perfect winter wonderland getaway until the bodies start piling up.

Book Cover We All Need to Eat

Catherine Leroux follows up her Giller-nominated The Party Wall with Madam Victoria (September). Award winner Alex Leslie releases the short story collection We All Need to Eat (October), her first book of fiction since People Who Disappear. Thea Lim’s An Ocean of Minutes (June), an unforgettable love story of two people who are at once mere weeks and many years apart, is being compared to Station Eleven. And Thanks for Giving (October), from Governor General’s Literary Award winner Kevin Loring, the first ever Artistic Director of Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre of Canada, is about legacy—the legacy of our personal and collective histories, and a family’s legacy as it moves into an age where the assumptions of the old ways surrender to new possibilities.

Book Cover Eye of the Beholder

Janice MacDonald’s new Randy Craig mystery is Eye of the Beholder (October), in which Randy’s honeymoon in Mexico is interrupted by a murder—of course! Keith Maillard’s first novel in more than a decade is Twin Studies (September), about the bonds between twins, about sexuality and gender fluidity, and about the messy complexities of modern family life. The first novel by celebrated Newfoundland writer Larry Mathews is An Exile’s Perfect Letter (July), a send-up, a love story, an elegy for lost youth, and a celebration of friendships that stand the test of time. And Ami McKay’s Half Spent Was the Night (October) follows up her bestselling The Witches of New York.

Book Cover Peacock in the Snow

Whether it be funny twisted tales of suburban marriages on the rocks, glue sniffing felons looking to win a radio contest, or Humpty Dumpty drinking the greatest cup of coffee in the world, the stories in Christian McPherson’s Going Fly (October) will have you reading and laughing to the last drop. Anubha Mehta’s debut novel is Peacock in the Snow (October), a one-of-a kind romantic thriller about the power of an eternal love. K.D. Miller’s linked short story collection, Late Breaking (September), is a gothic, uncanny mosaic inspired by the paintings of Alex Colville, offering a chilling portrait of a small and aging community. A new Lisa Moore book is always an event: this one is Something for Everyone (September), a chorus of voices, dreams, loves, and lives.

Book Cover The Showrunner

The Showrunner (June), by Kim Moritsugu (whose previous books include The Restoration of Emily and The Glenwood Treasure) gives a modern spin to the class showbiz themes of female ambition and competition. D. Nandi Odhiambo’s fourth novel, Smells Like Stars (October), draws attention to what is hidden in plain sight, that life can be cruel, ambiguous and without meaning. Kathy Page’s new novel is Dear Evelyn (September), a story of two people who fall in love during World War Two that recounts the excruciating highs and beautiful lows of how they shape each other over a lifetime. And Kurt Palka’s latest novel is The Hour of the Fox (July), about a woman drawn back to her family’s summer home after the tragic death of her son.

Book Cover Safety in Bear Country

Set in small-town Ontario, Australia, northern British Columbia, and Miami, Heather Paul's Safety in Bear Country (November) pulls its narrator through a world of inequity and spirituality, of activism and psychedelics as she labours to make sense of her place in the world. Veteran translator David Homel, who introduced English readers to Dany Laferrière with the publication of How to Make Love to a Negro without Really Trying, now brings us the other major voice of Haitian Montreal: Stanley Péan, here in English for the first time with Taximan (September). And Louise Penny’s latest Inspector Gamache novel is Kingdom of the Blind (November).

Book Cover Moon of the Crusted Snow

The second volume in Eric Plamondon’s 1984 Trilogy is Mayonaise (September), translated by Dimitri Nasrallah, which pieces together the life of 1960s’ counter-cultural icon Richard Brautigan. A music cold case has Cullen and Cobb back on the beat in Last Song Sung (May), by David A. Poulsen. Iain Reid follows up his smash hit I’m Thinking of Ending Things with Foe (August), another taut, psychological mind-bender. There's lots of buzz about Waubgeshig Rice’s Moon of the Crusted Snow (October), a daring post-apocalyptic thriller. The second book in Eden Robinson’s acclaimed Trickster trilogy is Trickster Drift (October). And bestseller Jennifer Robson's new novel is The Gown (December), which takes readers inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. 

Book Cover The House on Major Street

The House on Major Street (December), Leon Rooke’s latest extravaganza, is an internal and external picaresque tale which begins with a dramatic bicycle accident and explores, along the way, the blurred boundaries between the stories we read, the stories we tell, and the stories we live. Claire Holden Rothman’s latest novel is Lear’s Shadow (July), a novel about aging fathers and their grown daughters, childhood scars, and rewriting the script with a little help from Shakespeare. And in Garry Ryan’s latest Detective Lane mystery, Sea of Cortez (October), a series of assassinations rocks Calgary's underworld and Detective Lane is conscripted along with his husband Arthur into working undercover to seek out links in the Mexico/Canada drug trade.

Book Cover Ordinary Strangers

Merilyn Simonds’ latest novel is Refuge (September), a story that asks whom we offer refuge to, and why. The second novel by Monique Gray Smith, best known for children’s books including You Hold Me Up and the award-winning novel Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, is Tilly and the Crazy Eights (October), an adventure story and a healing journey. Bill Stenson’s Ordinary Strangers (October) was winner of the 4th Annual Great BC Novel Contest; it's about a couple who discover a crying toddler and decide to take her and raise her as their own. And a funny and sharply inquisitive new play from Drew Hayden Taylor, Sir John A: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion (August), explores the possibility of reconciliation between Peoples and urgently questions past and contemporary forms of Canadian colonialism. 

Book Cover All of Us In Our Own Lives

Patrick Taylor continues his bestselling Irish Country series with An Irish Country Cottage (October). All of Us in Our Own Lives (September), by Manjushree Thapa, delves into the lives of women and men in Nepal and into the world of international aid. Ron Thompson’s second novel, Poplar Lake (October), is a tragicomedy rich with yearning, heartbreak, and love. Based on actual events, Miriam Toews’ bold and affecting novel Women Talking (August) is an imagined response to the assault of more than 100 girls and women in a remote Mennonite community between 2005 and 2009. And James Trettwer’s inter-linked collection of stories, Thorn-Field (October), 2016 winner of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild's John V. Hick’s Long Manuscript Award, dissects small-town life and probes into complications of those who live there. 

Book Cover Death and Life of Strother Purcell

From the award-winning Canadian playwright, performer, and radio broadcaster Tetsuro Shigematsu comes 1 Hour Photo (October), the follow-up to his acclaimed one-man play Empire of the Son, which was nominated for six Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. Pablo Strauss translates David Turgeon’s latest novel, The Supreme Orchestra (October), “a scintillating mashup of spy novel and art-world parody.” W.D. Valgardson’s latest book is the Canadian Gothic crime novel, In Valhalla’s Shadows (September). Starlight (August) is the final novel by Richard Wagamese, about an abused woman on the run who finds refuge on a farm owned by an Indigenous man with wounds of his own. And Iain Weir’s The Death and Life of Strother Purcell (September) is billed as “the return of the western—with a definite Canadian twist.”

Book Cover A Sorrowful Sanctuary

Andrew Wilmot’s first novel is The Death Scene Artist (October), a psychological tale about the dangers of living for another. The third book in Nick Wiltshire’s Foreign Affairs series featuring consular officer and amateur sleuth Charlie Hillier is Remember Tokyo (September), in which Charlie’s attempts to lay low in his latest posting do not go to plan. A Sorrowful Sanctuary (September) is the fifth book in Iona Wishaw’s fantastic Lane Wishaw mystery series, in which Lane’s investigation of the murder of a man found adrift in a boat near King’s Cove turns out to have ties to a Canadian political party with Nazi ties. Anyone who read Catriona Wright’s amazing poetry debut, Table Manners, will be looking forward to her short story collection, Difficult People (October). And Toward the North (November), by Hua Laura Wu, Xueging Xu, and Corinne Bieman Davies, is an anthology of 13 short fiction pieces written and translated by Chinese-Canadian writers during the last two decades, each of which depicts the contemporary lives of new Chinese immigrants to Canada, illustrating newcomers’ perspectives of multicultural Canada.

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