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2020 Alberta Book Publishing Awards Shortlist
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2020 Alberta Book Publishing Awards Shortlist

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– The Book Publishers Association of Alberta (BPAA) is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2020 Alberta Book Publishing Awards. The following shortlist represents the finest of Alberta book publishing as determined by leading professionals in the book industry from across Canada. "At a time in our world when reading and books have never been more important, it’s wonderful to showcase the books published right here in Alberta,” says BPAA executive director, Kieran Leblanc. "Please remember most of these books are accessible through our Read Alberta eBooks Collection, available through public libraries throughout the province.” The winners of the 2020 Alberta Book Publishing Awards will be announced in a virtual gala reception. Further details on the virtual gala will be released in the coming weeks.
Air Salt

Air Salt

A Trauma Mémoire as a Result of the Fall
edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian

Ian Kinney fell seven stories, and he survived. In Air Salt, Kinney (un)writes his hospitalization and recovery, using poetry as neuro-rehabilitation. A memoir written by an amnesiac, this collection stitches splintered narratives with projective verse, cutting up and reassembling found text from Get Well Soon Cards, emails between friends, excerpts from personal journals, written records of eye witnesses, the Police and EMS reports, relevant Real Estate listings, nurses’ charts, doctors’ no …

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Apostrophes VIII

Apostrophes VIII

Nothing Is But You and I
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : canadian

The late sun falls slowly into the afternoon of your eyes, and there it pauses as one might pause to take a breath —from “Lost”

Nothing Is But You and I, the breathtaking final volume in the Apostrophes series, reveals poet E.D. Blodgett at his most accomplished. Lyrical grace meets exquisite technique as Blodgett fathoms intimacy, knowledge, and being. The poems allow us to listen to one side of an intimate conversation; yet despite this inward focus, the speaker looks up and out at a lar …

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Exhibit

Exhibit

edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian

Margaret is unlike other women: her hands bark, she speaks Hawaiian Punch, and she can often be seen prodding at stars with sticks. And sometimes she is the happiest woman in the world: a pillow with a pillowcase. Her brother, Alex, feels pleasant enough, except that his parts are made of wood, and that a bunch of his hair is electrified. And then there are the gun-shot wounds to his head and chest. On this final ailment, Margaret may have had a hand.

In the winter of 1926, Margaret McPhail went …

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pressure cooker love bomb

pressure cooker love bomb

edition:Paperback
tagged :

Poems masquerading as recipes, poems masquerading as survival guides, poems simmered in love, Pressure Cooker Love Bomb is a humorous collection of poems. Ruprai's second collection is infused with intense sexuality, racial tensions, and questions of gender conformity. With various textures of poems, the collection reads as woman of colour's manifesto with instructions.

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Agnes, Murderess

Agnes, Murderess

edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback

Agnes, Murderess is a graphic novel inspired by the bloody legend of Agnes McVee, a roadhouse owner, madam and serial killer in the Cariboo region of British Columbia in the late nineteenth century. Fascinated by this legend?which originated in a 1970s guide to buried treasure in BC, and has never been verified?Sarah Leavitt has imagined an entirely new story for the mysterious Agnes: her immigration to Canada from an isolated Scottish Island; her complex entanglement with shiny things; and her …

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Melting Queen, The

Melting Queen, The

edition:Paperback

Shortlisted for the Sixth Annual Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize - Literary Fiction Category!

Every year since 1904, when the ice breaks up on the North Saskatchewan River, Edmonton has crowned a Melting Queen--a woman who presides over the Melting Day spring carnival and who must keep the city's spirits up over the following winter. But this year, something has changed: a genderfluid ex-frat brother called River Runson is named as Melting Queen. As River's reign upends the city's century-old …

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Excerpt

1
After a long winter

 

I go to the river every day to see if it's finally free.

Before the sun rises--before daylight comes to illuminate a miserable world, before dawn chases away the endless possibilities of night--I shuffle out onto the barren streets of this godforsaken city.

Edmonton. A prairie town, crushed flat by huge, heavy skies. A northern outpost, encased in ice for months on end. Its houses huddle together against the cold wind, which digs its claws under doors and around window frames. Its roads are lined with mountain ranges of dirt-encrusted snow, painted orange by weak sodium streetlights. Its people sleep, dreaming of summer. Dreaming of somewhere far away.

I dream of green grass and running water as I walk to the river. My boots crunch on the salt-stained sidewalks. The dry air scratches at my skin, flaying my nostrils for daring to inhale, trying to force me back to bed. But I bow my head against the winds and soldier on, driven by the tiniest ember of hope.

When I reach the stairs that lead down into the river valley, I close my eyes and look out at the landscape. I let my desperate dreams flare up, projecting my desires onto the world. I imagine myself looking out on a shattered river, freed from its icy prison. I say a prayer to all the ancient gods of the earth and the river:
Please. Let it be today. Let the ice break. Let winter end.

But every day for the past six months I've been disappointed. The world defies my dreams. I stand on the top step and open my eyes and see a solid ribbon of dead white ice. The river is held captive, its waters locked in place. The skeletal trees along its banks stretch their brittle branches toward the sky. Tufts of blanched grass poke up through heaped snowbanks. The whole river valley--emerald green in summer, golden yellow in fall, blossoming pink in spring--is trapped in grey stasis.

I swallow my disappointment and start down the stairs, to search the ice forsigns of fracture.

Edmonton is a typical grid city. It sprawls out over the flat, wheat-stubbled prairie like a smashed egg oozing across a crumb-covered kitchen floor. Its perfect, rectangular blocks are completely interchangeable. They stretch to the horizon like the world's easiest and most boring jigsaw puzzle. Apartments and restaurants and office blocks. Schools and houses and strip malls. Every part of this city looks the same: short, squat, and square.

But the river valley is different. The river rips this city in two. It carves a winding path through the heart of Edmonton, pulling the paved-over prairie down into a deep crevasse. The orderly grid of streets unravels into nonsensical curves. The structured metropolis gives way to a wild urban forest. Two dozen bridges stretch across the river, pulling the two halves of the city together like stitches trying in vain to close a wound.

I've walked across each of them, inspecting the ice from above. I hunt for some hint of a crack, some hope of an imminent collapse. But the ice is flawless, pristine, spread from shore to shore like a starched white sheet. It's just as strong today as it was yesterday, and it was just as strong yesterday as the day before that. And the day before that. And the day before that.

It's been six months since the First Snow fell. Six months since that grim fall day when frosty lily pads started to clog the river. The longest winter in living memory. It should've been spring weeks ago, but still the ice locks the river in place. It's the middle of May, and there are still no signs of summer.

After a while, my inspection of the ice becomes too depressing. The sun comes up, my dreams of spring evaporate in the pale white light, and I start to believe that the river will never be free. Winter will last forever.

I stand on the High Level Bridge, stare down at the thick white ice, and wonder what it would take to break it. Would an object, falling from a great enough height, have enough force to shatter the river and free us all from the tyranny of winter? I've flirted with the idea--hauling a bunch of rocks up to the bridge deck and throwing them down with all my strength. Or dragging one of the historical cannons from the Legislature grounds and tipping it over the railing. Or just taking a tiny step forward...

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Imperial Standard

Imperial Standard

Imperial Oil, Exxon, and the Canadian Oil Industry from 1880
edition:Paperback

For over 130 years, Imperial Oil dominated Canada’s oil industry. Their 1947 discovery of crude oil in Leduc, Alberta transformed the industry and the country. But from 1899 onwards, two-thirds of the company was owned by an American giant, making Imperial Oil one of the largest foreign-controlled multinationals in Canada.

Imperial Standard is the first full-scale history of Imperial Oil. It illuminates Imperial’s longstanding connections to Standard Oil of New Jersey, also known as Exxon Mo …

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John Rae, Arctic Explorer

John Rae, Arctic Explorer

The Unfinished Autobiography
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook

John Rae is best known today as the first European to reveal the fate of the Franklin Expedition, yet the range of Rae’s accomplishments is much greater. Over five expeditions, Rae mapped some 1,550 miles (2,494 kilometres) of Arctic coastline; he is undoubtedly one of the Arctic’s greatest explorers, yet today his significance is all but lost. John Rae, Arctic Explorer is an annotated version of Rae’s unfinished autobiography. William Barr has extended Rae’s previously unpublished manus …

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