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Most Anticipated: Our 2023 Spring Fiction Preview

Here are some of the books you're going to be loving best during the first half of 2023.

We are ELATED to be kicking off our Spring Preview with this exciting array of compelling new fiction, with new works from your favourite writers including Elizabeth Hay, Ian Colford, Ashley Audrain, Sharon Butala, Zoe Whittall, Kevin Chong and more, plus buzzed-about debuts by authors including Jessica Johns, Jonathan Garfinkel, JD Derbyshire, and Marta Balcewicz.

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Book Cover the whispers

The Almost Widow (May), a new thriller by Gail Anderson-Dargatz, asks the question: If the man you love went missing, how far would you go to find him? Returning to short fiction for the first time since her 2014 collection Stone Mattress, Margaret Atwood showcases both her creativity and her humanity in Old Babes in the Wood, tales that, by turns, delight, illuminate, and quietly devastate. And Ashley Audrain follows her smash debut The Push with The Whispers (June), a propulsive page-turner about four suburban families whose lives are changed when the unthinkable happens—and what is lost when good people make unconscionable choices

Book Cover SOme There Are Fearless

Beginning with the threat of the Cold War and the ripple effects of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, and punctuated by other disasters both natural and man-made, Some There Are Fearless (April) is an intimate and vulnerable exploration of the thin line between control and chaos from Becca Babcock, author of One Who Has Been Here Before. And an exhausted security guard dreams of home; a sculptor and a pothead have great sex—in the shadow of wax ex-lovers; diversity workshop devolves into a familiar nightmare; Valérie Bah playfully traces a portrait of the intertwined lives of a group of Black queer and trans friends as they navigate the social violence, traumas, and contradictions of their circumstances in The Rage Letters (June), translated by Kama La Mackerel.

Book Cover To the Forest

With psychological nuance and dark humour, Marta Balcewicz’s debut Big Shadow (May) explores the costs of self-deceit, fandom, and tenuous ambitions, exposing the lies we’ll tell ourselves and the promises we’ll make to edge closer to what we want... or what we think we want. When the pandemic forces a family to return to the mother’s childhood home, she seeks meaning in her ancestral roots and the violent beauty of the natural world in To the Forest (June), by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, translated into English by Rhonda Mullins. And the second novel in the Priscilla Tempest Mystery Series by Ron Base and Prudence Emery is Scandal at the Savoy (March), in which Priscilla, blackmailed by a Scotland Yard detective, wooed by a notorious gangster and hounded by the press, must use wit and resourcefulness to survive the treacherous upper echelons of London society and find a killer.

Book Coevr the Winter Knight

Arthurian legends are reborn in The Winter Knight (April), by Jes Battis, an upbeat queer urban fantasy with a mystery at its heart. Don Quixote meets Who Framed Roger Rabbit in The Hollow Beast (April), by Christophe Bernard, translated by Lazer Lederhendler, a slapstick epic about destiny, family demons, and revenge. And with Livingsky (June), for the first time since his award-winning Russell Quant novels, Anthony Bidulka begins a new mystery series, continuing in his tradition of presenting under-represented characters and settings that immediately feel familiar and beloved, while tugging at heart strings and tickling your funny bone.

Book Cover Dandelion Daughter

Caroline Bishop’s The Other Daughter (January) is a timely novel about an ambitious London journalist who reports on the fight for women’s rights in 1970s Switzerland, and the daughter who uncovers the long-buried truth about the assignment years later. Dandelion Daughter (March), an autobiographical novel by Gabrielle Boulianne-Tremblay, translated by Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch, was a runaway bestseller in Quebec, where it captured the hearts of readers and pushed trans-identity into mainstream conversation, and now appears in English, a courageous portrait of what it's like to grow up having been assigned the wrong sex at birth.

Book Cover Coq

After her fisherman husband is lost at sea off the coast of Newfoundland, Rose is left to pick up the pieces in Violet Browne’s This Is the House that Luke Built (February), part novel, part fable, part essay on grief, the story beginning two years later as Rose takes her first step through the wall of the house Luke was building when he died. From Leacock finalist Ali Bryan, the follow-up to the celebrated Roost is Coq (May), a witty and immensely fun dramedy about a family's memorial trip to the City of Love, where chaos ensues at every turn. And in Gina Buonaguro's The Virgins of Venice (December), set in 16th-century Venice, one young noblewoman dares to resist the choices made for her: a marriage of strategic alliance or the convent.

Book Cover Leaving Wisdom

Sharon Butala's thought-provoking new novel Leaving Wisdom (May) shows not only the suffering that comes from family secrets, but also unfolds one woman’s late life awakening to the complex shadows cast by World War Two and the Holocaust. Albert Einstein noted that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed from one form to another, and Kat, a middle-aged marketing executive from Vancouver, ponders the truth behind Einstein’s law as she tours the antiquities of Italy in Bernini's Elephant (May), by Jane Callan. And high society flair of Death on the Nile meets a 1920s ocean liner in The Merry Widow Murders (May), a new cozy mystery from Melodie Campbell. 

Book Cover Places Like These

Charlene Carr's Hold My Girl (January) is a heart-wrenching novel about two women whose eggs are switched during IVF. Award-winner Lauren Carter’s story collection Places Like These (April) plumbs the vast range of human reactions to those things which make us human—love, grief, friendship, betrayal, and the intertwined yet contrasting longing for connection and independence. And from the Booker Prize–winning author of The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton’s Birnam Wood (March) is a gripping psychological thriller grounded in a provocative and sly exploration of some of the most pressing issues of our troubled times.

Book Cover Spiritual Pursuits and Other Stories

Janie Chang’s latest is The Porcelain Moon: A Novel of France, the Great War, and Forbidden Love (February), set against the little-known history of the 140,000 Chinese workers who were brought to Europe as non-combatant labour during WWI. The five long stories in Spiritual Pursuits and Other Stories (May), by Lien Chao, set in multi-ethnic Toronto, explore contemporary Chinese people living in Canada. And The Journey Prize Stories 33, a much-anticipated, game-changing special edition of Canada's premier annual fiction anthology, edited by David Chariandy, Esi Edyugan, and Canisia Lubrin, celebrates the country's best emerging Black writers.

Book Cover The Whole Animal

Corinna Chong follows up her debut novel Belinda’s Rings with the short story collection The Whole Animal (April), exploring bodies both human and animal: our fascination with their strange effluences, growths, and protrusions, and the dangerous ways we play with their power to inflict harm on ourselves and on others. And Kevin Chong’s The Double Life of Benson Yu (April) follows a graphic novelist losing control of his own narrative as he attempts to write a polished retelling of his fraught upbringing in 1980s Chinatown.

Book Cover Carthaginian Peace

Evie Christie is back with the short fiction collection Carthaginian Peace and Other Stories (April), stories that follow youngish lovers and domestic partners attempting to find a cure for cosmic loneliness in an unstable society. A follow-up to the acclaimed 2008 collection Evidence, Ian Colford's Witness (March) offers readers a deeper look into the struggles of Kostandin Bitri, a refugee whose traumatic adolescence and solitary lifestyle have taught him to embrace the role of observer. With just the right amount of heart and humanity, Gregor Craigie’s Radio Jet Lag (March) is a satirical tale of an often chaotic medium and the serious stories it seeks to tell. And Paul Cresey’s debut Exit Strategies (May) is a compelling and inventive collection about the ways we leave and the reasons we choose what to leave behind. 

Book Cover Mercy Gene

Back in the low-income neighbourhood where she was raised, a young woman rediscovers the importance of community, home, and finding one’s voice in And the Walls Came Down (June), by Denise Da Costa. Mercy Gene (March) is the genre-smashing debut work of auto-fiction by acclaimed writer, playwright, and comedian JD Derbyshire, a beautiful, humorous, and brutal look at queerness, gender confusion, institutionalization, addiction, and abuse. And Eight Strings (March), by Margaret DeRosia, is a coming-of-age debut novel about a young woman in late 19th-century Venice who becomes a man to join the male-dominated world of the theatre as a puppeteer. 

Book Cover Above Discovery

From Cherie Dimaline, bestselling author of Empire of Wild, comes VenCo (February), a wickedly subversive, deliciously imaginative, deeply feminist novel of contemporary witches on the rise. Julie, a young Jamaican Canadian screenwriter, is passionately working on an adaptation of one of the most beloved American novels of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird, telling the story from the perspective of the Finch family’s Black maid, in Audrey Dwyer's play Calpurnia (April). Funny, tough, and serious-minded, Ruth DyckFehderau's I (Athena) (April) recalls the work of Barbara Gowdy and Elizabeth Strout. And in Jennifer Falkner’s richly imagined first collection Above Discovery (May) (the follow-up to terrific novella Susanna Hall: Her Book, about Shakespeare's daughter), past and present glancingly converge, making the familiar outlines of myth, history, and everyday life seem suddenly strange.

In a Land Without Dogs the Cats Learn to bark

A random connection sends two strangers on a daylong adventure where they make a promise one keeps and the other breaks, with life-changing effects, in Meet Me at the Lake (May), a new novel from bestselling author Carley Fortune. Amanda Doucette pursues the connection between a reclusive artist and the wealthy surfer who turns up dead on a remote island in Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim in Barbara Fradkin's wilderness-infused mystery Wreck Bay (January). And in his wildly ambitious and darkly funny debut novel In a Land Without Dogs the Cats Learn to Bark (February), Jonathan Garfinkel probes the fractured nature of identity, the necessity of lies, and the bloody legacy of the Soviet Empire.

Book Cover Our Lady of Mile End

Daniel Gawthrop’s debut novel is Double Karma (April), set in Burma during the 1980s and 1990s. Against a backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance and Haile Selassie’s Ethiopia, a young man tails Hubert Julian—a pilot, inventor, adventurer, charlatan, and possible threat to America—in Chasing the Black Eagle (April), by Bruce Geddes. And Our Lady of Mile End (May), by Sarah Gilbert, a neighbourhood of stories where recurring characters face personal challenges and unexpected intimacies against a backdrop of renoviction threats and walking tours.

Book Cover The Great Goldbergs

Rich in understanding of the relationships between parents and children, the loyalty we show our friends, and how a family’s past haunts its present, The Great Goldbergs (February), by Daniel Goodwin, is about the compromises we make in pursuit of wealth and acceptance, and for love. In Your Driver Is Waiting (February), by Priya Gunns, an electrifyingly fierce and funny social satire— a gender-flipped reboot of the iconic 1970’s film “Taxi Driver”—a ride share driver is barely holding it together on the hunt for love, dignity and financial security . . . until she decides she's done waiting. And from Giller Prize-winning Elizabeth Hay comes Snow Road Station (April), a new novel, witty and wise, about thwarted ambition, unrealized dreams, the enduring bonds of female friendship, and love’s capacity to surprise us at any age. 

Book Cover Suite as Sugar

From Winnipeg winterscapes to Toronto’s condo culture, from Havana’s haunted streets to Trinidad’s calamitous environs, the stories in Suite as Sugar (April), by Camille Hernández-Ramdwar, are permeated with the violence of colonial histories, personal and intimate, reflecting legacies of abandonment and loss. The latest from Catherine Hernandez, acclaimed author of Scarborough, is The Story of Us (February), the story of an overseas Filipino Worker in Canada whose care for an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease results in a powerful and transformative friendship. And for readers of Emily Henry, Gail Honeyman and Josie Silver, Chantel Guertin’s latest, Two for the Road (March) is a tender, funny and wise new novel about a romance bookshop owner who embarks on the adventure—or misadventure—of a lifetime in search of her own happily ever after.

Book Cover Instructions for the Drowning

With the plot twists of a thriller, lean prose crackling with intensity, and big ideas explored alongside the messy truth of human relationships, Liz Harmer’s Strange Loops (January) simultaneously shocks and thrills the reader, all while asking vital questions about faith, love, and desire. Erum Shazia Hasan’s propulsive debut We Meant Well (April) grapples with timely questions about what it means to be charitable, who deserves what, and who gets the power to decide. And Steven Heighton's Instructions for the Drowning (April) is the unforgettable last collection by a writer working at the height of his powers. 

Book Cover Goddess

Deborah Hemming’s second novel, Goddess (February) is an entrancing story about a wellness retreat on a remote Greek island hosted by a celebrity guru who is more than meets the eye. Jason Hereaux (who was Poet Laureate of Kingston from 2019 to 2022) releases new short fiction collection Survivors of the Hive (May). And Someday I'll Find You (June) is a dazzling novel about Ilse, a spy, and Billy, a pilot, who fall in love but are wrenched apart during World War II, and must find their way back to each other—from bestselling author C.C. Humphreys.

book cover bad cree

Bestseller Uzma Jalaluddin returns with Much Ado About Nada (June), second-chance romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion. An electrifying mash-up of the western, sci-fi, and horror genres are set against a backdrop of the housing, mental health, opioid, and climate crises in John Jantunen’s latest Mason’s Jar (June). The debut novel by Jessica Johns, who won the 2020 Writers' Trust Journey Prize and won silver at the 2020 National Magazine Awards, is Bad Cree (January), a fierce and haunting ode to female relations and the strength found in kinship. And a once-famous but now-abandoned aquarium-in-a-ship in Florida is the captivating backdrop for Amy Jones' latest, Pebble and Dove (May), a novel of family secrets and dysfunction, and the ways in which it can sometimes take an animal to remind us how to be human.

Book Cover Sleepers and Ties

Sandra Kelly's Echo Lane (June) is the story of Patsy who lives in a world of her own creation where her mother's maternal shortcomings are just a bad memory, which would be a perfect world if Patsy weren't eternally haunted by the memory of what really happened the day her sister went missing—and by the foolish lie she told that day. And Gail Kirkpatrick's debut novel is Sleepers and Ties (April), about a woman embarking on an adventure that will test more than just an executor's duty and loyalty to her sister's legacy, but also force her to make decisions that will forever change a landscape, her career, her marriage, her friendships, and her very own legacy.

Book Cover Wait Softly Brother

From lost siblings to the horrors of war to tales of selkie wives, Wait Softly Brother (May), a new novel by celebrated writer Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, is filled with questions about memory, reality and the truths hidden in family lore. Landscapes (May) is a darkly absorbing, prismatic debut novel from Christine Lai, set in a near future that is fraught with ecological collapse and geopolitical upheaval, exploring memory, empathy, and art as an instrument for recollection and renewal. And from Vincent Lam, bestselling, Giller Prize-winning author of Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures, comes On the Ravine (February), an exquisitely crafted novel, piercing in its urgency and breathtaking in its intimacy, about the devastating experience of addiction.

Book Cover Homebodies

The latest by Mishka Lavigne, winner of the 2021 Governor General's Award for Drama, is Haven (March), translated by Neil Blackadder, a portrait of how certain life events can be incredibly isolating, and what happens when people come into our lives when we need them most. Amy Leblanc follows her novella Unlocking (one of our summer books picks in 2021) with the story collection Homebodies (May), about haunted bodies, haunted houses, and haunted relationships. And Curtis LeBlanc’s Sunsetter (April) is a fast-paced literary thriller that peels back the layers of small-town police corruption, drugs, and teen disillusionment to expose unlikely heroes and unexpected villains.

Book Cover Burr

Three generations of Acadian women grapple with the impacts of dislocation, exile, and violence in award-winning writer Judy LeBlanc’s debut novel, The Broken Heart of Winter (January). The characters in Susan Lloy's collection Nothing Comes Back (April) have been plucked and blown through time like pollen on the wind, often rooting themselves in foreign landscapes both beautiful and adverse, sometimes altered, yet always unyielding, ripe for transformation. And Burr (April), the debut by Brooke Lockyer, is a '90s-era Southern Ontario Gothic novel about holding on to the dead, voiced with plaintive urgency and macabre sensuality.

Book Cover Troll

Described as a book as gripping and unforgettable as Fredrik Backman’s Bear Town and Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone, Carrie Mac’s haunting Last Winter (January) digs into the impact of a fatal avalanche on a small BC mountain town, as seen through the eyes of those who survive the tragedy. Striking and timely, Troll (April), by Logan Macnair, offers a meditation and authentic critique on the unique conditions and occasional ugliness of modern online communication. And Winners And Losers: Tales of Life, Law, Love and Loss (April), by Darlene Madott, is a collection of linked short stories that turns a dazzling searchlight on the inner workings of the legal profession, told from the viewpoint of a feisty narrator finding her way through a hostile and competitive law environment.

Book Cover In the Defense of Liberty

Set on a US college campus in 1964, Keith Maillard’s In the Defense of Liberty (May) is a powerful, fast-paced novel exploring gender nonconformity and the reach of history. Ultimately a postmodern fable, Charlotte Mendel cleverly plays with perceptions of truth in The Hostage (May), while exploring the concept of imprisonment, the wider impacts of social media, and challenging widely held assumptions about fame. And Jennifer Manuel’s second novel The Morning Bell Brings the Broken Hearted (April) is a captivating story about the complexity of hope and the limits of good intent, offering a grave look at how the education system fails remote Indigenous communities, leaving Indigenous students, with all their brilliance and resilience, in the hands of transient educators. 

Book Cover What Comes Echoing Back

From family secrets and old relationships that resurface, to the tape loops that endlessly replay private moments of trauma and despair, What Comes Echoing Back (June), a new novel by Giller Prize-shortlisted author Leo McKay, Jr. travels back and forth in time to get to what's true, with humour, humanity, and the healing power of music. The devil, a ghost, a doppelganger, a selkie, a hobgoblin—these creatures appear in Marianne Micros’s Statue (June), a collection of tales which combine traditional and ancient elements with contemporary issues and experiences. And an enrapturing mystery and a sharp exploration of guilt and sorrow, Trembling River (February) is a powerful work of internationally renowned novelist Andrée A. Michaud, translated to English by J.C. Sutcliffe. 

Book Cover Fordmates

Fordmates (March), by Ivo Moravec, a former Ford employee who worked on the line at the St. Thomas Assembly Plant for 21 years, explores, with humour and poignancy, the basic conflict that exists between the demands of mass production technology and the all-too-human instincts, needs and aspirations of the workers who serve on the assembly line. Geoffrey Morrison's fiction debut is Falling Hour (February), described as a strange, meandering sojourn, described as "if the history-haunted landscapes of W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn were shrunk down to a mere 85 acres." In Sofia Mostaghimi’s debut novel Desperada (April), a young Iranian-Canadian woman quits her job after her younger sister dies, and then flees her family, seeking escape and possibly transformation in travel, sex and drugs. And an act of passion reverberates across continents when a retired army officer decides to remain in Calcutta when his family migrates to Canada in Hands Like Trees (April), by Sabyasachi Nag, which George Elliott Clarke describes as reading like "Arundhati Roy as if written in the mode of Alice Munro." 

Book Cover Tauhou

In the internationally acclaimed and award-winning novel In the Belly of the Congo (February), Congolese-Canadian author Blaise Ndala examines Belgium and Congo’s colonial past and current legacy through the lives of two unforgettable women, connected by family and history across continents and decades. With unvarnished and high-voltage prose, The Family Code (June), by Wayne Ng, unabashedly reveals the power and perils of parenting, but also the longing and vulnerability of children. And in a testament to the resilience of Indigenous women, two sides of a family, Coast Salish and Māori, must work together in understanding and forgiveness to heal that which has been forced upon them by colonialism in innovative hybrid novel Tauhou (April), by Kōtuku Titihuia Nuttall.

Book Cover A History of Burning

A History of Burning (May), by Janika Oza, is a moving epic novel spanning India, Uganda, England, and Canada, about how one act of survival reverberates across four generations of a family and their search for a place of their own. What begins as a search for a lost dog propels a group of unconnected characters into a difficult journey of self-discovery in Lost Dogs (March), by Lucie Pagé. And BH Panhuyzan’s A Tidy Armageddon (April) is a mash-up of The Road and Station Eleven, showcasing the devastating scale of mass consumption while delivering a suspenseful and action-rich tale of human connection, loss, and resilience. 

Book Cover Any Other City

From Hazel Jane Plante, author of cult favourite Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) comes Any Other City (April), the fictional memoir of a trans indie rock musician that reveals how the act of creation can heal trauma and even change the past. The latest English translation of work by Marie Helene Poitras is Sing, Nightingale (February), a Gothic tale of secrets and revenge. Five generations of Métis women argue, dance, struggle, laugh, love, and tell the stories that will sing their family, and perhaps the land itself, into healing in Michelle Porter's brilliantly original debut novel A Grandmother Begins the Story (May). And the latest from Tom Rachman (The Imperfectionists) is The Imposters, about an aging and embittered novelist spinning stories to ward off her end.

Book Cover Coronation Year

The Jazz Club Spy (April) is a riveting historical thriller about a Jewish cigarette girl in 1930s New York who finds the soldier who burned down her Russian village years earlier only to be swept up in a political conspiracy on the eve of World War II—from Roberta Rich, bestselling author of The Midwife of Venice. The latest from C.S. Richardson is All the Colour in the World (January), a story of the restorative power of art in one man’s life, set against the sweep of the twentieth century—from Toronto in the ’20s and ’30s, through the killing fields of World War II, to 1960s Sicily. Standing in the Shadows (May) is Peter Robinson's twenty-eighth instalment of the bestselling Inspector Banks series. And bestseller Jennifer Robson returns with Coronation Year (April), another enthralling and royal-adjacent historical novel, as the lives of three very different residents of London’s historic Blue Lion hotel converge in a potentially explosive climax on the day of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation.

Book Cover Tucked Away

In Tucked Away (June), by Phyllis Rudin, a woman's decision to spend a year of her life in Montreal's Underground City sends her life into freefall. When Edie’s mother remarries, the groom’s son shows up for the wedding, quickly recruits Edie as his sidekick, and just when she thinks she’s figured him out, he reveals a darkness she didn’t see coming, the new unwieldy family doing an elaborate dance all summer to discover what they are to one another, creating connections, testing boundaries, and coming together and apart in unexpected ways in Beth Ryan’s If We Caught Fire (April).

Book Cover Camp Zero

What wilderness seethes beneath the skin? Knowing your wild potential, is it possible to live a life both urban and urbane? Urbane (June) continues the stories of the people, human and otherwise, we met in Anna Marie Sewell's 2020 novel Humane. A vivid time capsule from an era of Millennial love, recession discontent, and city garbage strike racoons, Quality Time (May), by Susannah Showler, is about that rare, innocent moment when we feel like masters of our own fate, and what happens when the real world starts to press in from the edges. Some Unfinished Business (February), by Antanas Sileika, tells the story of a young man who is determined to prevail through anti-Soviet resistance in occupied Lithuania, imprisonment in the Gulag, and the icy hands of bureaucracy that attempt to thwart his love for a woman with a mysterious past—all while chasing the back of the man who dared him to dream in the first place. And in a near-future northern settlement, a handful of climate change survivors find their fates intertwined in Camp Zero (April), by Michelle Min Sterling.

Book Cover Because

Boy meets Girl, Boy marries Girl, and years later Boy mysteriously disappears in Ken Sparling's Gordon Lish–style novel Not Anywhere, Just Not (June). Because (May), by celebrated writer Andrew Steinmetz, is an engrossing punk-rock novel about teenage daydreams and sibling dynamics. Unable to mourn while tormented by a poltergeist, Aimee needs to figure out how to un-tether herself from the past, and escape forces from beyond in D.K. Stone's latest, Inescapable (June). And in Amy Stuart’s A Death at the Party (March), set over the course of a single day, a woman prepares for a party that goes dreadfully wrong.

Book Cover the Marigold

Weaving together disparate storylines and tapping into the realms of body horror, urban dystopia, and ecofiction, Andrew F. Sullivan’s The Marigold (April), set in a near-future Toronto buffeted by environmental chaos and unfettered development, explores the precarity of community and the fragile designs that bind us together. In seven stories, Michelle Syba’s End Times (May) explores the lives of people variously entangled with evangelical culture, excavating their hidden longings and desires. And Margie Taylor's novel Rose Addams (April) is (according to writer Barb Howard) written in "a style reminiscent of Carol Shields and Bonnie Burnard, the story of a woman compelled to insert herself into every situation."

Book Cover Hold Your Tongue

Evoking an oral storytelling epic that weaves together one family's complex history, Matthew Tétreault's Hold Your Tongue (May) asks what it means to be Métis and francophone. From Yasuko Thanh, bestselling author of Mistakes to Run With, To the Bridge (May) is a heartrending tale of a mother hell-bent on saving her family after her daughter's suicide attempt—despite the destruction it might mean for herself. And the fates of two unforgettable women—one just beginning a journey of reckoning and self-discovery and the other completing her life's last vital act—intertwine in In the Upper Country (January), by Kai Thomas, a sweeping, deeply researched debut set in the Black communities of Ontario that were the last stop on the Underground Railroad. 

Book Cover Pervatory

"Cat Person" meets Station Eleven in Aaron Tucker's Soldiers, Hunters, Not Cowboys (June), an apocalyptic depiction of toxic masculinity. RM Vaughan was an astute art critic, a dazzling poet, and an important queer activist whose untimely death in October 2020 was a tremendous loss, but he left his novel Pervatory (February) about Berlin: a city for artists and libertines, a perfect place to find love and madness. And Chrysalis (March), by Anuja Varghese, is a collection of genre-blending stories of transformation and belonging that centre women of colour and explore queerness, family, and community. 

Book Cover What Remains of Elsie Jane

Examining the ceaseless labour of motherhood, the stigma of death by drug poisoning, and the allure of magical thinking in the wake of tragedy, What Remains of Elsie Jane (January), by Chelsea Wakelyn, is a heart-splitting reminder that grief is born from the depths of love. Hopeful and cautionary, Emily A. Weedon’s Autokrator (April) reimagines gender and power in society against the backdrop of an epic, deeply etched, speculative world. The first novel by Keziah Weird, a senior editor at Vanity Fair, The Mythmakers (June) is a compulsively readable story about authorship, memory, time, and those moments when the trajectories of our lives are forever altered. A father disappears from his family home, the mother vanishes too a few months later, and as police investigations go on and reporters descend on the home—as well as visits by social workers, doctors, and concerned relatives—the abandoned seventeen-year-old Cirrus starts his own investigation into who his parents really were, or who they might have been, in Martin West's novel The Father of Rain (April).

Book Cover To Track a Traitor

The latest from Thomas Wharton, whose first novel, Icefields, won the 1996 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in Canada and the Caribbean, is The Book of Rain (March), deeply affecting work of environmental literary suspense. With events spanning both world wars, Iona Whishaw’s To Track a Traitor (April), the tenth instalment in the Lane Winslow mystery series, is a transatlantic tale of sibling rivalry, infidelity, and espionage. And from Zoe Whittall, the author of The Best Kind of People and The Spectacular, comes The Fake (March), a sharp, emotional novel about lies, liars and the people who love them.

Book Cover Sunset and Jericho

Sam Wiebe's new novel is Sunset and Jericho (April), the fourth instalment of the Wakeland detective series, exploring the depths of Vancouver’s criminal underworld. Girlfriend on Mars (June), by Deborah Willis (whose short story collection The Dark was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize), is a funny, poignant, and page-turning debut novel that skewers billionaire-funded space travel in a love story of interplanetary proportions. And a poignant meditation on loss, aging, gentrification, and the barriers that Chinese Canadian seniors experience in big cities, Denison Avenue (May), by Christina Wong, illustrated by Daniel Innes, beautifully combines visual art, fiction, and the endangered Toisan dialect to create a book that is truly unforgettable. 

Book Cover the Spirits have nothing to do with us

From Lindsay Wong, the bestselling, Canada Reads-shortlisted author of The Woo-Woo, comes Tell Me Pleasant Things about Immortality (February), a wild, darkly hilarious, and poignant collection of immigrant horror stories that will haunt and consume readers—in strange and unsettling ways. The Spirits Have Nothing to Do with Us (May), edited by Dan K. Woo, is an anthology of fascinating and singular short stories from some of the best Chinese Canadian authors writing today. In Far Cry (February), a novel as compelling as the forbidden love at its heart, Alissa York evokes an era of unspoken desires in which pain and longing are braided together along treacherous lines. And the stories in Reimagining Chinatown (April), edited by Linda Zhang, describe the importance of Chinatown as a source of Chinese identity, a familiar meeting place for people, and a place to find foods, ingredients, and medicines not found or understood elsewhere.

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