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Most Anticipated: Our 2023 Fall Nonfiction Preview

The nonfiction we're looking forward to in the second half of 2023!

BooK Cover Life at the Lake

E.J. Hughes: Life at the Lake (October), the latest instalment in Robert Amos’s award-winning series on the life and work of E. J. Hughes, brings the reader into this very private artist’s home and studio on Shawnigan Lake. Matthew R. Anderson's Prophets of Love (September) alters our views of both Leonard Cohen and the Apostle Paul, re-introducing us to two poetic prophets of divine and human love. And an intergenerational source of wisdom and knowledge, Mitji- Let's Eat! Mi'kmaq Recipes from Sikniktuk, by Margaret Augustine and Dr Lauren Beck, combines a cultural history of Mi'kmaw cuisine with a practical cookbook.

Book Cover There Is No Blue

There Is No Blue (October), Martha Baillie’s richly layered response to her mother’s passing, her father's life, and her sister’s suicide, is an exploration of how the body, the rooms we inhabit, and our languages offer the psyche a home, if only for a time. In Imagining Imagining: Essays on Language, Identity and Infinity (November), Gary Barwin thinks deeply about big ideas: story and identity; art and death; how we communicate and why we dream. In her debut The Definition of Beautiful (September), Charlotte Bellows offers a potent fusion of insight and innocence—a story for those who suffer or have suffered from eating disorders, but, more, a vital coming-of-age story of a young gay and artistic woman, tugged and throttled by a myriad of pressures, not least from the dark gravity that is the underside of her own creative drive.

Book Cover Misfortune and Fame

Paul Berton takes aim at the waste and excess of consumer culture with a lively and satire-laced exposé of the rich, famous and totally miserable in Misfortune & Fame (October). Seeking Social Democracy: Seven Decades in the Fight for Equality (October), by Ed Broadbent, with Frances Abele, Jonathan Sas ,and Luke Savage, is the first full-length treatment of Ed Broadbent’s ideas and remarkable seven-decade engagement in public life. Food insecurity in the North is one of Canada’s most shameful public health and human rights crises, and in Plundering the North (October), Kristin Burnett and Travis Hay examine the disturbing mechanics behind the origins of this crisis: state and corporate intervention in northern Indigenous foodways. 

Book Cover How to Restore a Timeline

With Canticles III: MMXXIII, George Elliott Clarke concludes the most remarkable epic ever essayed in Canadian letters—an amalgam of Pound and Walcott, but entirely and inimitably his own. A granddaughter explores the story of her Ukrainian grandmother’s survival of Hitler’s forced labour camps in Sasha Colby’s The Matryoshka Memoirs:  A Story of Ukrainian Forced Labour, the Leica Camera Factory, and Nazi Resistance (September). And when a stranger shoots his dad on a Costa Rican pier, Peter Counter hauls his father to safety, and then returns home to discover a budding case of post-traumatic stress disorder, his new book How to Restore a Timeline (October) blending personal essays and cultural criticism to explore the profound and occasionally horrific truths of what it means to be traumatized.

Book Cover Sharp Notions

Resisting Eviction (November) centres tenant organizing in its investigation of gentrification, eviction and the financialization of rental housing, Andrew Crosby arguing that racial discrimination, property relations and settler colonialism inform contemporary urban (re)development efforts and impacts affordable housing loss. Blood on the Coal: The True Story of the Great Springhill Mine Disaster (September), by Ken Cuthbertson, is the riveting true story of one of Canada’s worst mining disasters, told in the voices of the men who survived it. And editors Marita Dachsel and Nancy Lee have curated the anthology Sharp Notions: Personal Essays from the Stitching Life (October), a collection of essays challenging the traditional view of crafting and examining the role, purpose, joy, and necessity of craft amid the alienation of contemporary life.

Book Cover A War Guest in Canada

In Ignite (October), Andre De Grasse shares important lessons from his improbable journey to becoming an Olympic champion. During the Second World War, hundreds of children were sent from the UK to stay with family and friends in Canada as “war guests,” and A War Guest in Canada (September) collects the letters of one such war guest, young W.A.B (Alec) Douglas, who wrote from his wartime home in Toronto to his mother back home in London. And from bestselling author Ken Dryden comes The Class (October), a riveting new book about ordinary life in mid-century Canada.

Book Cover Daddy Lessons

Part memoir, part literary study, part formalist exercise in excitement, Daddy Lessons (October), by Steacy Easton, is a transgressive text of pleasure, bodies, the Lord, and the West. From zwieback to tamales and from sauerkraut to spring rolls, Eating Like a Mennonite (September), by Marlene Epp, reveals food as a complex ingredient in ethnic, religious, and personal identities, with the ability to create both bonds and boundaries between people. And the essays in The Walled Garden (November), by Mark Frutkin, include the wild, the tamed and the stunningly unusual.

Book Cover Her Space Her Time

Part memoir, part call to action, It Stops Here (August), by Rueben George, urges policy makers to prioritize sacred territory over oil profits and insists that colonial Canada change its perspective from bending natural resources to their will to respecting this territory and those who inhabit it. Paths of Pollen (September), by Stephen Humphrey, chronicles pollen’s vital mission to spread plant genes, from the prehistoric past to the present, while looking towards an ecologically uncertain future. And in Her Space, Her Time (October), one of Canada’s leading physicists, Shohini Ghose, celebrates the many, groundbreaking women scientists who came before her—unsung explorers of the cosmos who both discovered the fundamental rules of the universe and challenged social rules, yet whose names remain largely unknown to us.

Book Cover Passionate Mothers Powerful Sons

Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons: The Lives of Jennie Jerome Churchill and Sara Delano Roosevelt (September) is award-winning historian Charlotte Gray's captivating dual biography of two famous women whose sons would change the course of the 20th century. Shifting Gears (October), Meaghan Marie Hackinen's follow-up to her award-nominated debut South Away, charts her unforgettable, twenty-five-day journey on the Trans Am Bike Race: a coast-to-coast ride across the entire North American continent from Oregon to Virginia. And a profound personal story of loss and upheaval, self-discovery and healing, Accidental Blooms (October), by Keiko Honda is a deeply moving memoir celebrating the unpredictable beauty of life.

Book Cover Eve

In Eve: The Disobedient Future of Birth (November), Claire Horn takes us on a journey from the first orchid-like incubators in the 1880s to the cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs of today, exploring the most challenging and pertinent questions of our age. In The Duel (October), John Ibbitson, one of Canada’s foremost authors and journalists, offers a gripping account of the contest between John Diefenbaker and Lester Pearson, two prime ministers who fought each other relentlessly, but who between them created today’s Canada. And The Future of Us (October) is a fascinating look at the cutting-edge science and technologies that are on the cusp of changing everything from where we’ll live, how we’ll look, and who we’ll be, by the popular science broadcaster and bestselling author Jay Ingram.

Book Cover Races

Races (September), by Valerie Jerome, tracks Harry Jerome’s life through his inimitable athletic career and into his work as an advocate for youth sport and education, bringing readers inside the Jerome household, and revealing the hurdles they faced during the heavily segregated ’60s and the long reach of racism that plagued their family history. On the cusp of adulthood, a young writer’s life is stalled as he faces cancer that keeps coming back in the memoir The Wild Mandrake (August), by Jason Jobin. And Stephanie Kain’s Lifeline: An Elegy (October) asks, what happens when someone you love suddenly cliff-dives into mental illness? And then you discover that there may be no return?

Book Cover Becoming a Matriarch

Helen Knott’s bestselling In My Own Moccasins wowed reviewers, award juries, and readers alike with its profoundly honest and moving account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, resilience, and survival, and now, with her highly anticipated second book, Becoming a Matriarch (September), Knott exceeds the highest of expectations with a chronicle of grief, love, and legacy. From Amanda Jette Knox, the bestselling author of Love Lives Here, comes One Sunny Afternoon (August), a deeply personal memoir about facing life-long trauma head on, and bravely healing the scars that endure. And Anne Koval’s Mary Pratt: A Love Affair with Vision (October) is an in-depth study of Pratt’s life exploring the complex issues of gender, feminism, and realism in Canadian art, resulting in a richly layered biography of an artist who redefined the visual culture of her period and whose art and life intersect in varied and surprising ways.

Book Cover East Side Story

 Natural Allies (August) looks at the history of US-Canada relations through an environmental lens, from fisheries in the late nineteenth century to oil pipelines in the twenty-first century, Daniel Macfarlane recounting the scores of transborder environmental and energy arrangements made between the two nations. Filled with reminiscences of an age when Canadian newsrooms were populated by outsized characters, outright rogues and passionate practitioners, Roy MacGregor’s Paper Trails (August) is a must-read account of a life lived in stories. In East Side Story: Growing Up at the PNE (August), a funny, charming memoir of fair life, Nick Marino revisits the "Wild West" of Vancouver’s East Side, home to the PNE, sharing stories from his six summers working at the fair, where arcade bouncers went on midnight roller coaster rides, riots broke out at concerts, and local kids helped themselves to everything.

Book Cover My Body is Distant

In The War as I Saw It: In Rhodesia, Now Zimbabwe, Through the Eyes of a Black Boy (June), George Matuvi invites us into the world of a young boy living through a war he doesn’t understand. Part trans woman’s coming-out story and part heartfelt romance, My Body Is Distant (September) follows Paige Maylott from a childhood obsession with the 1980s game Zork, through a health crisis and divorce, to, ultimately, an affirmation of authenticity and self-love. And Fleece and Fibre: Textile Producers of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands (October), by Francine McCabe, is a fascinating look at the world of small-scale textile farms along the Salish Sea and their pivotal role in sustainable, artisanal textile production and the slow fashion movement.

Book Cover Black Activist

Black Activist, Black Scientist, Black Icon: The Autobiography of Dr. Howard D. McCurdy (October), by Howard Douglas McCurdy and George Elliott Clarke, is the long-overdue biography of one of Canada's most iconic Black politicians and activists, written with the country's former Parliamentary Poet Laureate. Arctic historian Ken McGoogan approaches the legacy of nineteenth-century explorer Sir John Franklin from a contemporary perspective and offers a surprising new explanation of an enduring Northern mystery in Searching for Franklin (October). And with In Light Revealed (September), scratchboard master artist Scott McKowen builds on his 2009 retrospective, "A Fine Line," with a personal selection of more than 150 new works.

Book Cover Letters With Smokie

 The Suicide Magnet: Inside the Battle to Erect a Safety Barrier on Toronto’s Bloor Viaduct (November), by Paul McLaughlin, is the inside story of the grassroots fight to have a suicide barrier erected on Toronto’s “bridge of death.” As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world and the realities of lockdown-imposed isolation set in, the letters published as Letters with Smokie: Blindness and More-than-Human Relations (September) provided friends Rod Michalko and Dan Goodley with a space in which to come together in a lively exploration of human-animal relationships and to interrogate disability as disruption, disturbance, and art. And Kristen Miller’s Knots and Stitches: Community Quilts Across the Harbour (September) is a touching memoir about the power of community, and a celebration of the stalwart women who honed their nautical skills, fell in and out of love, celebrated life’s milestones by making quilts together, and thrived in a harsh and sometimes dangerous environment.

Book Cover Curious Sounds

Inspired by the fact that the average human attention span lasts 8.25 seconds, Curious Minds (October), by Roger Mooking and Francesca Ekwuyasi, is a collection of small bursts of light, colour, and words that explore how time shapes and defines the world, especially from a Black perspective, a series of fleeting moments and visuals that help us to discover the beauty in our own chaos. From global art superstar Kent Monkman and his long-time collaborator Gisèle Gordon, The Memoirs of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle: Vol. 1: A True and Exact Accounting of the History of Turtle Island (November) is a transformational work of true stories and imagined history that will remake readers’ understanding of the land called North America. “It’s a girl!” the Ontario press announced when Canada’s first woman lawyer was called to the Ontario bar in February 1897, and Mary Jane Mossman's Quiet Rebels (November) explores experiences of exclusion among the few women lawyers up to 1957, and how their experiences continue to shape gender issues in the contemporary legal profession.

Book Cover Kings of Their Own Ocean

 Finding Larkspur (October), by Dan Needles, takes a walk through the Canadian village of the twenty-first century, observing customs and traditions that endure despite the best efforts of Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon. In Stored in the Bones (October), Agnieszka Pawłowska-Mainville details her work with Anishinaabeg and Inninuwag harvesters, showcasing their cultural heritage and providing a new discourse for the promotion and transmission of Indigenous knowledge. And in the tradition of Mark Kurlansky and Susan Orlean, Karen Pinchin weaves a tale with elements of true crime, biography, investigative reporting, activism, ecology, business, and food culture in Kings of Their Own Ocean: Tuna, Obsession, and the Future of Our Seas (July).

Book Cover All the Years Combine

From non-fruiting fruit trees to the devotion to the cottage, all is up for consideration in Garden Inventories: Reflections on Land, Place and Belonging (November), by Mariam Pirbhai, which also looks at belonging and acceptance of immigrants in new lands. Casey Plett contributes the latest instalment of the Biblioasis Field Notes series with On Community (November), which delves into the thorny intractability of community’s boons and faults. And in All the Years Combine (October), Ray Robertson listens to and writes about fifty of the Grateful Dead’s most important and memorable concerts in order to understand who the band were, what they became, and what they meant—and what they continue to mean.

Book Cover To Change the World

Award-winning journalist Cecil Rosner insists that we can pressure news organizations to stop blindly regurgitating the firehose of press releases and focus instead on determining what is actually true, and also empowers readers by sharing his techniques for detecting misinformation and disinformation in Manipulating the Message (October). To Change the World: My Work With Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Canada (September), by Chandrakant P. Shah—in the words of Adalsteinn Brown“shows a model Canadian story of an immigrant physician who wins professional success while focusing on making the country more inclusive and more just.” And Where the Falcon Flies (October) invites readers on an extraordinary armchair adventure that spans five eco-regions and centuries of fascinating history, and is a masterwork by Adam Shoalts, one of Canada’s most successful and audacious authors.

Book Cover My Name is Not Harry

Veteran Toronto Star editor Haroon Siddiqui, brown and Muslim, tells the story of his life in the media front lines covering conflicts both global and local in My Name Is Not Harry (September). The memoir When My Ghost Sings: A Memoir of Stroke, Recovery, and Transformation (September), by Tara Sidhoo Fraser, is a lucid exploration of amnesia, selfhood, and who is left behind when the past is obliterated. Transland (October), by Mx. Sly, is a fiery and revealing memoir that explores what happens when a non-binary person goes looking for self-worth and a sense of belonging in fetish subculture, only to find that fetish communities come with just as many problematic rules, expectations, and hierarchies as mainstream ones.

Book Cover Where the World Was

An analysis of Canada’s COVID-19 response from the perspective of those who staffed it, Conscripted to Care (September), by Julia Smith, presents crucial lessons for those interested in public health and how it relates to gender and economic equality, as well as public policy. At the outbreak of the war in Ukraine in February 2022, Canadian author Marina Sonkina flew to the Ukrainian-Polish border to volunteer in a refugee camp using her knowledge of Russian and some Ukrainian and tells the story of the suffering she witnessed in Ukrainian Portraits: Diaries from the Border (October). Bestselling writer, activist, and world traveller Rosemary Sullivan has at long last written a book about herself, Where the World Was (September), about her life quest to “meet the world, to celebrate its richness, to face its darkness.”

Book Cover Skid Dogs

Skid Dogs (September), by Emelia Symington-Fedy, is a raw and riveting coming-of-age story about the wild love of teenage friendships and the casual oppression of 90s rape culture. In The Knowing (October), award-winning and bestselling Anishinaabe author Tanya Talaga, one of Canada’s top investigative journalists, retells the history of this country as only she can—through an Indigenous lens, by tracing the life of her great-great grandmother and family as they lived through this government- and Church-sanctioned genocide. And The Age of Insecurity (September), by Astra Taylor, exposes how seemingly disparate crises—our suffering mental health and rising inequality, the ecological emergency, and the threat of fascism—are tied to the fact that our social order runs on insecurity as, across disparate sectors, from policing and the military to the wellness and beauty industries, the systems that promise us security instead actively undermine it.

Book Cover What Television Remembered

In By the Ghost Light (October), R.H. Thomson offers an extraordinary look at his family’s history while providing a powerful examination of how we understand war and its aftermath. In 1980, when Y-Dang Troeung and her family were among the last of 60,000 refugees from Cambodia, their landing in Canada was widely documented in newspapers, with photographs of the PM shaking Y-Dang’s father’s hand, reaching out to pat baby Y-Dang’s head, and 40 years later, in Landbridge: life in fragments (August), Y-Dang returns to this moment, and to many others before and after, to explore the tension between that public narrative of happy “arrival,” and the multiple, often hidden truths of what happened to the people in her family. And with What Television Remembers (October), Jennifer VanderBurgh intervenes in the story of the medium in Canada by exploring the long relationship between TV and the city of Toronto. 

Book Cover Here With You

From Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Padma Viswanathan comes the memoir Like Every Form of Love (August), a gripping exploration of class, race, friendship, sexuality, what an author owes her subject and what it means to be a good person—all wrapped up in a riveting Canadian true crime story. Here With You (September), by Kathy Wagner, is the powerful story of a mother’s struggle to save her son from addiction—and the strength and hope for change that she found in her grief.

Book Cover Girls Interrupted

Cheated: The Laurier Liberals and the Theft of First Nations Reserve Land (October), by Bill Waiser and Jennie Hansen, is a gripping story of single-minded politicians, uncompromising Indian Affairs officials, grasping government appointees, and well-connected Liberal speculators, set against a backdrop of politics, power, patronage, and profit. Hockey has a curious connection to editorial cartooning and sports illustration, one as old and storied as the game itself, which Don Weekes explores in Picturing the Game: An Illustrated Story of Hockey (October). In her scathingly witty collection of essays, Girls, Interrupted: How Pop Culture is Failing Women (October), Lisa Whittington-Hill argues that pop culture's treatment of women continues to be  marked by misogyny and misunderstanding.

Book Cover We the Data

Wendy H. Wong's We, the Data (October) is a rallying call for extending human rights beyond our physical selves—and why we need to reboot rights in our data-intensive world. In Fifteen Thousand Pieces (September), the story of Chief Medical Examiner Dr. John Butt and the tragic 1998 air crash that killed 229 people off the coast of Nova Scotia, award-wining writer Gina Leola Woolsey explores one man's journey to accept his true nature and find his place in the world. And having visited both Poles and circumnavigated the world, Yosef Wosk, a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, has developed his own field of psychogeography, which he explores in the essay collection Naked in a Pyramid (October).

Book Cover Sporting Justice

Sporting Justice (August), by Miriam Wright, begins with a look at a vibrant Black baseball network in southwestern Ontario and Michigan in the 1920s, which fostered the emergence of the Chatham Coloured All-Stars in the 1930s. Built on fifty years of experience observing the growth of Canadian culture, The Compassionate Imagination (July), by Max Wyman, is a radical reimagining of the role of art and culture in contemporary democracy. It proposes a new Canadian Cultural Contract that re-humanizes our way of living together by tapping into our instincts for generosity and compassion that find their expression in art.

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