Exciting new releases by Alexander MacLeod, Heather O'Neill, Lesley Crewe, Kim Fu, Lisa Moore, Rawi Hage, and more, plus great debuts that are going to knock your literary socks off.
A Knife in the Sky (June) is Haitian-Québécoise writer Marie-Célie Agnant’s most recent novel, translated by Katia Grubisic, a book preoccupied with colonial imposition and its weight specifically on women. In The Swells (January), a darkly hilarious satire by Will Aitken, class war erupts aboard a luxury cruise ship. A story of identity, connection and forgiveness, Anita Anand's A Convergence of Solitudes (May) shares the lives of two families across Partition of India, Operation Babylift in Vietnam, and two referendums in Quebec. Bestseller Kelley Armstrong returns to the captivating town of Rockton in The Deepest of Secrets (February), the next instalment in her celebrated crime series. Armstrong also releases A Rip Through Time (May), a series debut in which a modern-day homicide detective finds herself in Victorian Scotland—in an unfamiliar body—with a killer on the loose.
Samantha M. Bailey follows up her smash hit debut with Watch Out for Her (April), a tense psychological thriller about a mother who must keep watch at all times if she wants to keep her family safe. The English-language translation of Iranian actor and writer Baharan Baniahmadi’s Prophetess (April) is an allegorical novel exploring trauma, women's rights, and religious tradition. A powerfully emotional story of four people touched by a teen’s death, award-winning author Gurjinder Basran’s Help! I’m Alive (May) is a clear-eyed exploration of meaningful connection in the modern era.
True to her Latin American roots, Martha Bátiz shines a light on the crises that concern her most in her collection No Stars In the Sky (May): the plight of migrant children along the Mexico–US border, the tragedy of the disappeared in Mexico and Argentina, and the generalized racial and domestic violence that has turned life into a constant struggle for survival. In Somewhere There’s Music (April), a stark and unsparing coming-of-age story by Sean Bedell, shy and intelligent Joel watches helplessly as his alcoholic and abusive paramedic father spirals ever downward and out of control. Full of humour and heart, All I Stole from You (May), by Ava Bellows, is a fresh portrait of the pivotal relationships in our lives: with our romantic partners, our friends, our family and most importantly, ourselves.
The River Twice, by John Bemrose, the Giller-nominated author of the bestselling The Island Walkers, is a gripping new WW1 novel set in the same factory town familiar to Bemrose’s readers, where residents are reeling as the wounded return and the list of local young men who have been killed continues to grow. In Going to Beautiful (May), a "love letter to life on the prairies," Anthony Bidulka delivers a story of grief and loss that manages to burst with joy, tenderness and hope. From Audrey Blake, bestselling author of The Girl in His Shadow, comes The Surgeon's Daughter, a riveting historical novel about the women in medicine who changed the world forever. And Michael Blouin’s revisionist history, I Am Billy the Kid (April), seen through the lens of a 21st century sensibility, features the picaresque hero we thought we knew and the unexpected one we don’t: a fearless and determined young woman who is in no mood to be saved and would much prefer to be exacting her own revenge.
Rich with unforgettable characters and set in the interior hinterland of British Columbia, Cambium Blue (March), the second novel by Maureen Brownlee, is a masterful and compassionate illumination of the human politics of a small town, and the intersection of individual lives with political agendas and environmental catastrophes. What to do when your fictional sleuth refuses to die? A detective writer attempts to find out while writing his masterpiece in Cock-A-Doodle-Doo (April), by Pan Bouyoucas, translated by Maureen Labonté. And in K.R. Byggdin’s Wonder World (April), Isaac’s dreams of studying music and embracing queer culture in Halifax have gradually fizzled out, and he’s pulled back to his home on the Prairies once again.
Middle-aged sisters unravel a secret long kept by their mother about their late father, a doctor in WW2's Italian Campaign, with wartime letters revealing clues to his downward spiral in The Burden of Memories (May), by Janet Calcaterra. Rudy Black, a Northern Ontario college English teacher stuck both in middle age and in the middle of his five siblings, transforms the strangeness of his everyday life into exaggerated home-movie prose in Grin Reaping (April), by Rod Carley, whose Kinmount was longlisted for the 2021 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medallion for Humour. In Dark All Day (June), by Brenden Carlson, set in an alternate 1933, a sleuth and his robot partner are pitched in a legal battle that will decide the fate of the world’s machine population. In The Stand-In (May), by Lily Chu, a young woman is mistaken for a famous Chinese actress and falls head-first into glitzy new world.
The Music Game (February), by Stéfanie Clermont, translated by J.C. Sutcliffe, is an ode to friendship and the ties that bind, confronting the violence of the modern world and paying homage to those who work in the hope and faith that it can still be made a better place. Méira Cook’s The Full Catastrophe (June) is the story of Charlie Minkoff, a 13-year-old boy born with intersex traits, and his grandfather, Oscar, a Holocaust survivor and Charlie’s best friend and confidante. Because the Nazis disrupted Oscar’s opportunity for a bar mitzvah, Charlie decides to right the historical wrong and arrange for a joint bar mitzvah for himself and his zeide. Winner of the 43rd Annual 3-Day Novel Writing Contest, Emma Côté’s Unrest (March) is both a road trip story and a eulogy on life, death, and what we leave behind. A post-apocalyptic sex adventure and a woman’s journey of self-discovery, K.S. Covert’s The Petting Zoos (May) is an erotic love story for an age of extreme caution, in which the value of safety itself is questioned.
Bestseller Lesley Crewe's new novel Nosy Parker (June) brings readers to 1960s Montreal and features a would-be child detective searching for the truth about her mother. The stories in Francine Cunningham’s debut collection God Isn’t Here Today (May) ricochet between form and genre, taking readers on a dark, irreverent, yet poignant journey led by a unique and powerful new voice. As her recent memories fade, Mary lives increasingly in the past, returning to the secrets of her turbulent interracial love story in Jennifer Dance’s Gone But Still Here (April). And Danielle Daniel reaches back through the centuries to touch the very origin of the long history of violence against Indigenous women and the deliberate, equally violent disruption of First Nations cultures in Daughters of the Deer (March).
An exciting second instalment in Charles Demers’ Doctor Annick Boudreau Mystery Series, the endearing and unflappable Dr. Boudreau returns in Noonday Dark (May), a complex and nuanced portrait of psychology and a city. In the gripping family drama The Wards (May), award-winning author Terry Doyle offers heartbreaking and humorous insights into constructions of masculinity in working-class Newfoundland. At Last Count (May), by Claire Ross Dunn, is a wise and often laugh-out-loud funny tale that proves we don’t always need to believe everything our brain tells us. And the latest book in J.J. Dupuis’ Creature X Mystery Series is Umboi Island (March), in which the team travels to Papua New Guinea to investigate sightings of a surviving pterosaur.
Death at the Savoy (April), by Prudence Emery and Ron Base, launches an atmospheric, entertaining new mystery series introducing a plucky Canadian heroine and set in the world’s most famous hotel. Celebrated short story writer Sharon English’s first novel is Night in the World (May), a tender ensemble about family bonds, our urban connection to—and alienation from—nature, and the beauty and fragility of the natural world. Kimia Eslah’s Sister Seen, Sister Heard (March) will be familiar to every immigrant in the diaspora who has struggled to find a way between cultures, every youth who has rebelled against their parents and every woman who has faced the world alone. And in Nothing Could Be Further From the Truth (February), stories both absurd and all-too-real, Christopher Evans paints a portrait of the uncanniness of modern life through characters trapped in the space between expectation and reality.
Terri Favro’s The Sister Sputnik (April)—a sequel to her fantastic novel Sputnik’s Children—is an odyssey wrapped in a love story, set in a near-future of artificial people. A woman returns to her hometown after her childhood friend attempts suicide at a local haunted house—the same place where a traumatic incident shattered their lives 20 years ago—in Jennifer Fawcett’s debut, Beneath the Stairs (February). A failed musician obsessed with avant-garde art enters a shadowy world where bohemian excess meets the avaricious interests of a real estate cabal in In the City of Pigs (June), the debut by André Forget, former editor-in-chief of The Puritan. Forget also edits the anthology After Realism (April), an essential starting point for anyone interested in daring alternatives to the realist tradition that dominated 20th-century English-language fiction.
Carley Fortune’s debut novel is Every Summer After (May), told over the course of six years in the past and one weekend in the present, a romantic look at the people and choices that mark us forever. Through arresting, compelling imagery, Jill Frayne shows both the fierce beauty of the Yukon, and the damaged, enduring landscapes of two human hearts in Why I’m Here (May). Based on a true story, the novel Léa (March), by Ariela Freedman, brings to life a heroine emboldened by struggle, and by the still-resonant terrors of her historical moment. Sara Freeman’s Tides (January) is a spare, visceral debut novel about the nature of selfhood, intimacy, and the private narratives that shape our lives, about a woman who walks out of her life and washes up in a seaside town. A powerfully touching celebration of friendship and forgiveness, Bobbi French's The Good Women of Safe Harbour (March) is about a woman who finally gives herself a chance to love and be loved.
All the Shining People (April), a story collection by Kathy Friedman, explores migration, diaspora, and belonging within Toronto’s Jewish South African community, as individuals come to terms with the oppressive hierarchies that separate, and the connections that bind. In the twelve unforgettable tales of Kim Fu’s Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century (February), the strange is made familiar and the familiar strange, such that a girl growing wings on her legs feels like an ordinary rite of passage, while a bug-infested house becomes an impossible, Kafkaesque nightmare. And Dayle Furlong’s collection of stories Lake Effect (May), charts the emotional lives of characters in the midst of private sorrows and triumphs, each story set in the cities and towns around the Great Lakes.
Filled with insights into grief, longing and creativity, The Most Cunning Heart (May), Catherine Graham’s second novel, is about how a quiet heroine learns to navigate deception, love, and loss. Bluebird (April) is set during the Great War and postwar Prohibition, the story of a young nurse, a soldier, and a family secret that binds them together for generations to come—the latest from bestselling author Genevieve Graham. Award-winning author Darren Groth’s Boy in the Blue Hammock (April) is the epic story of a dog who will protect the last remaining member of his family, an intellectually disabled boy, at all costs as human civilization crumbles around them. And from Rawi Hage, the internationally acclaimed author of the novels De Niro’s Game, Cockroach, Carnival and Beirut Hellfire Society, comes Stray Dogs (March), a captivating and cosmopolitan collection of stories.
Tory Henwood Hoen's The Arc (February) is a smart, high concept love story that asks "is it possible to optimize our most intimate relationships"? Jane Austen’s Emma goes Bollywoood in Kamila Knows Best (March), a delightful retelling from Farah Heron, the highly acclaimed author of Accidentally Engaged. Victoria Hetherington follows up her celebrated debut, Mooncalves, with Autonomy (February), set in a near future ravaged by illness where one woman and her AI companion enter a dangerous bubble of the super-rich. Pure Colour (February) is a new novel about art, love, death, and time from Sheila Heti, author of Motherhood and How Should A Person Be? Reading the Water (May), by Mark Hume, is about the ways in which fly fishing and fatherhood require many of the same skills: patience, flexibility, and the knowledge of when to reel in and when to let go.
Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for French-language fiction, Remnants (June), by Céline Huyghebaert, translated by Aleshia Jensen, uses various voices and hybrid forms—including dialogues, questionnaires, photographs, and dream documentation—to build a fragmented picture of a father-daughter relationship shaped by silences and missed opportunities. A small rural community reels in the aftermath of a brutal murder in A Snake in the Raspberry Patch (May), by Joanne Jackson. John Jantunen’s In For a Dime (May) is billed as "the post-apocalyptic love child of Stephen King and Cormac McCarthy." Natalie Jenner follows up her smash hit The Jane Austen Society with Bloomsbury Girls (May), a story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world.
The amazing Susan Juby’s latest novel for adults is Mindful of Murder (March), an entirely unique take on detective fiction. The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections (January), by Eva Jurczyk, is a deliciously bookish mystery set in a rare books library. In Nobody From Somewhere (June), an action-packed caper by Dietrich Kalteis, a long-retired cop gets wrapped up with a girl on the run. In Letters to Singapore (May), by Kelly Kaur, Simran has no interest in familial expectations that she pursue marriage and motherhood, and after a close escape (almost at the altar!), she earns a reprieve to attend university in Canada, letters exchanged with her mother, sister and friends revealing that no matter which paths women take, life is fraught with conflict, hilarity, and peril. A suspenseful new tale of love, lies, and loyalty, set against the sweeping backdrop of the early Jacobite rebellions, The Vanished Days (April) is the new novel from New York Times bestselling author Susanna Kearsley.
A stunning work of Prairie magical realism, A Kid Called Chatter (May), by Chris Kelly, is a kaleidoscopic mingling of history, truth, folk tale, and fiction. Full of romance, hijinks, and longing, Good Girl Complex (February) is bestselling author Elle Kennedy at her very best. In Deep House (January), the follow-up to Obsidian, Thumps DreadfulWater returns with wit and wry humour to solve a mystery that only Thomas King could create. Bob Kroll’s The Punishing Journey of Arthur Delaney (June) is a 19th-century tale of a father’s greatest regret and path to redemption. Aquariums (March), by J.D. Kurtness, is an intimate yet wide-sweeping story of a marine biologist working to save ocean ecosystems from climate change.
What Is Written On the Tongue (April), by Anne Lazurko, is a transportive historical novel about finding morality in the throes of war and colonization. A young woman goes into a self-destructive spiral after becoming obsessed with a downtown Montreal hipster in Eve Lemieaux’s debut, Like Animals (April). Don LePan’s Lucy and Bonbon (May) is a story of freedom and captivity, of love and friendship, of borders and of border crossings, and of what it means to be a human animal. In Elise Levine’s Say This (March), two linked novellas borrow, interrogate, sometimes dismantle the tropes of true crime, lyrically render the experiences of grief and dissociation, and mine the fault lines of power and consent, silence, justice, accountability, and class.
Winner of the Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award from the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop, Dandelion (April), by Jamie Chai Yun Liew, is a beautifully written and affecting novel about motherhood, family secrets, migration, isolation, and mental illness. In Nicole Lundrigan’s An Unthinkable Thing (April), tragedy brings a young boy into the home of a “perfect” family—one whose dark secrets begin closing in, until a horrifying moment changes everything. The Apothecary’s Garden (June), by Jeanette Lynes, is an enchanting and spirited story about the language of flowers and the supernatural power of love. Alexander MacLeod follows up his stunning debut, Light Lifting, with the much-anticipated Animal Person (April), a collection about the needs, temptations, and tensions that exist just beneath the surface of our lives. From Emily St. John Mandel, bestselling author of the Scotiabank Giller Prize–shortlisted The Glass Hotel and the internationally bestselling Station Eleven, comes Sea of Tranquility (April), a new novel of dazzling imagination. For readers of Joanna Goodman and Genevieve Graham comes Looking for Jane (March), by Heather Marshall, a masterful debut novel about three women whose lives are bound together by a long-lost letter, a mother’s love, and a secret network of women fighting for the right to choose—inspired by true stories.
Uncertain Kin (April) is a luminous, mesmerizing collection of linked stories about the lives of woman and girls in the Bahamas, from rising literary star and Governor General’s Award–finalist Janice Lynn Mather. The seventeen stories in Elaine McCluskey’s latest collection, Rafael Has Pretty Eyes (March), follow characters who have reached a four-way stop in life—some are deciding whether to follow the signs or defy them, others finding a sinkhole forming beneath their feet. A creature of habit, trapped in an uninspiring job, an uneventful life in the suburbs of Montreal, Philippe’s wild student days spent chasing neo-Nazis across Europe were a lifetime ago—until a ghost from the past turns up on his doorstep in Marc Ménard’s second novel Firebrands (April), translated by Peter McCambridge. And all bets are off in the City of Light where life and love can change in less than a day in the romantic comedy 24 Hours in Paris (May), by Romi Moondi.
Lisa Moore returns with This Is How We Love (May), a novel that asks: What makes a family? How does it shape us? And can we ever really choose who we love? Finding Edward (June) is the debut novel by Sheila Murray, in which a mixed race man from Jamaica begins unearthing hidden pieces of Canadian history. Hotline (March), by Dimitri Nasrallah, is a vivid love letter to the 1980s and one woman's struggle to overcome the challenges of immigration. For fans of My Sister, the Serial Killer, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, and the award-winning TV show Killing Eve, Jamella Green Ruins Everything (March) is a hilarious satire about a disillusioned American Muslim woman who becomes embroiled in a plot to infiltrate an international terrorist organization and, in the process, reconnects with her loved ones and her faith, from Zarqa Nawaz, the creator of Little Mosque on the Prairie.
From reader favourite Heather O’Neill comes When We Lost Our Heads (February), a spellbinding story about two young women whose friendship is so intense it not only threatens to destroy them, it changes the course of history. Fawn Parker’s What We Both Know (May) is a mesmerizing, disturbing, and thoroughly compelling novel about one woman’s role in preserving—or destroying—her famous father’s legacy. A savvy former street child working at a human rights law office in Mumbai fights for redemption and a chance to live life on her own terms in Such Big Dreams (April), a fresh, propulsive debut novel about fortune and survival by Reema Patel. When the earthquake hits, the city of Vancouver erupts in chaos and fear and exposes the faultlines running through relationships in Frances Peck’s debut novel The Broken Places (April).
The lines between love, envy, and obsession blur in Laurie Petrou’s second novel, Stargazing (June), a darkly compelling coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. Our American Friend (February), by Anna Pitoniak, is a propulsive Cold War-era spy thriller crossed with a fictional biography of a First Lady, spanning from the 1970s to the present day, travelling from Moscow and Paris to Washington and New York. In Robert Pobi's thriller Do No Harm (February), a series of suicides and accidental deaths in the medical community are actually well-disguised murders and only Lucas Page can see the pattern and discern the truth that no one else believes.
Dawn Promislow’s debut novel, Wan (May), grapples with questions of complicity, guilt, and privilege in 1970s South Africa when, after an anti-apartheid activist comes to hide in her garden house, one woman’s carefully constructed life begins to unravel. In ten vividly told stories, Alex Pugsley’s Shimmer (May) takes characters through relationships, within social norms, and across boundaries of all kinds as they shimmer into and out of each other’s lives. At the crossroads of youthful hope and the startling magic of coincidence, Where the Silver River Ends (March), by Anna Quon, delves deep into mixed-race identity, systemic oppression, family reconciliation, and what happens when we gather the courage to slip out of the current and make our own way in the world. Mud Lilies (May), by Indra Ramayan, is the powerful story of a young woman finding a path of hope in the darkest of places and defiantly choosing to pursue it. Profound, perceptive, and wryly observed, Estates Large and Small (May), by Ray Robertson, is the story of one man’s reckoning and an ardent defense of the shape books make in a life.
In the literary thriller Don’t Ask (April), by Gina Roitman, a woman agonizes over her Holocaust survivor mother’s suicide and is thrown into turmoil over her attraction to a German. A wry comic novel with an acerbic wit, Naben Ruthman’s A Hero of Our Time (January) is a vicious takedown of superficial diversity initiatives and tech culture, with a beating heart of broken sincerity. Martha Schabas follows up her acclaimed Various Positions with My Face in the Light (April), the story of a young woman owning up to the lies she’s fallen in love with, and figuring out if she can still recognize herself when she finally lets them go. From Shyam Selvadurai, bestselling author of Funny Boy comes Mansions of the Moon (May), a breathtaking re-imagining of ancient India through the life of Yasodhara, the woman who married the Buddha.
J.T. Siemens’s To Those Who Killed Me (April) is a debut that provides a heavy dose of hardboiled suspense and introduces a fiery new heroine in crime fiction. In Face: A Novel of the Anthropocene (May), Jaspreet Singh links a fossil fraud in India, an ice core archive in Canada, and a climate change laboratory in Germany. The rom-com Sari, Not Sari (March), by Sonya Singh, follows the adventures of a woman trying to connect with her South Asian roots and introduces readers to a memorable cast of characters in a veritable feast of food, family traditions, and fun. Bestseller Eva Stachniak’s latest is The School of Mirrors (February), an engrossing tale of love, deception, and scandal in the 18th-century French court of King Louis XV. And Mike Steeves’ Bystander (April)—a bold work of intense psychological realism narrated by a professionally successful but socially bankrupt anti-hero—excoriates the contingency of contemporary morality, and, at a time of growing isolation, forces the reader to examine what it means to be a good neighbour.
My Volcano (March), a new novel from John Elizabeth Stintzi, author of Vanishing Monuments, shortlisted for the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, sets the mythic and absurd against the starkly realistic, attempting to portray what it feels like to live in a burning world stricken numb. From Miguel Syjuco, the author of the Man Asian Award-winning Ilustrado, I Was the President's Mistress!! (April) is an unflinching satire about power, corruption, sex, and all the other topics you were told never to discuss in polite company. Both a coming-of-age story and an allegorical novel about Canada-US relations, Margaret Sweatman’s The Gunsmith’s Daughter (April) is a portrait of a brilliant gunsmith and his 18-year-old daughter, an engrossing story of ruthless ambition, and one young woman’s journey toward independence.
In Katie Tallo's thriller Poisoned Lilies (May)—the follow-up to her international bestseller Dark August—Gus Monet becomes dangerously entangled with a powerful family whose wealth and success are built on dark and deadly secrets. Award-winning author Darcy Tamayose returns with Ezra’s Ghosts (April), a collection of fantastical stories linked by a complex mingling of language and culture, as well as a deep understanding of grief and what it makes of us. Everyone knows of the horses of Iceland—wild, and small, and free—but few have heard their story, and Sarah Tolmie's All the Horses of Iceland (March) weaves their mystical origin into a saga for the modern age. Shifting restlessly from dark to light and back again, the stories in Phoebe Tsang’s Setting Fire to Water (May) illuminate the lives of those who exist inside otherness. And Brent van Staalduinen’s Cut Road (June) explores the loss and scars that conflict always leaves behind.
Inspired by classic and contemporary speculative fiction, Chelsea Vowel’s Buffalo Is the New Buffalo (April) explores science fiction tropes through a Metis lens: a Two-Spirit rougarou (shapeshifter) in the 19th century tries to solve a murder in her community and joins the nehiyaw-pwat (Iron Confederacy) in order to successfully stop Canadian colonial expansion into the West. Birth Road (April) is a bold and evocative work of historical fiction by debut author Michelle Wamboldt that travels from rural Nova Scotia to Boston and back again, told in startling vignettes. And Rhonda Waterfall’s The Strait of Anian (April) is a compelling tale of personal discovery that reveals that being a daughter has nothing to do with one's DNA.
Mad Honey (May), by Kate Welch, immerses the reader in a search for truth bounded by the everyday magic of beekeeping, of family and of finding peace, all while asking how much we really understand the natural world. Death by chocolate may be a favourite fantasy, but death by poisoned chocolate is another matter entirely in Vanessa Westerman’s mystery Cover Art (April). Iona Whishaw’s bestselling Lane Winslow mystery series continues with its ninth instalment, Framed in Fire (April), in which a shallow grave, a missing person, and near-fatal arson keep Lane, Darling, and the Nelson police on high alert. A successful art dealer confesses the story of his meteoric rise in Antoine Wilson’s Mouth to Mouth (January), a book that blurs the line between opportunity and exploitation, self-respect and self-delusion, fact and fiction—exposing the myriad ways we deceive each other, and ourselves.
From rural villages to bustling cities in story collection Taobao (May), Dan K. Woo deftly charts the paths of young people searching for love, meaning and happiness in a country that is often misunderstood in North America. With jolting revelations and taut ambiguity, In the Dark We Forget (June), by Sandra S.G. Wong, vividly examines the complexities of family—and the lies we tell ourselves in order to survive. Celia, Misoka, I (March) is a meditation on the meaning of life in an increasingly global world, from acclaimed Chinese-Canadian author Xue Yiwei. In Vivian Zenari’s novel Deuce (June), Phil is intersex, and his twin Gilda credits all of Pete’s social problems with this biological fact. But as far as Pete is concerned, the problems lie with Gilda, who is constantly on his case. Their mother frets about both of her twins, neither of whom seem to be thriving.
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