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Happy Halloween! To celebrate, we put three of our most suspenseful, unsettling works of fiction by Larry Tremblay on sale. The special is still on, but only through the weekend, so now’s your chance!
The Obese Christ is Tremblay’s latest novel. This gripping, Hitchcockian tale of disturbed mama’s boy Edgar and his quest to “save” the victim of a rape he witnessed will draw you in for the kill.
In The Bicycle Eater, meet Christophe, who ten years ago failed the test of eating a bicycle for Anna as proof of his love and devotion. Desperate to escape his unrequited love, Christophe flees to the Island of Women off the coast of Mexico. There begins his transformation from a man possessed to a man confused, and nothing and no one is what they seem.
Piercing is a set of three tales about stalkers, runaways, and a strange encounter that begs the question: in contemporary urban settings, is violence the only way to break through alienation?
Get this thrilling, semi-Halloween-themed bundle for just $29.95! (Normally $52.85)
The wonderful novel Birth of a Bridge by Maylis de Kerangal (translated from French to English by Jessica Moore) has been reviewed by two major American publications recently. Below are highlights from each, with links to the full reviews online.
From Kirkus Reviews:
It’s fitting that the epigraph comes from Jorge Luis Borges, for the world de Kerangal creates has a surreal Borges-ean feel to it. The central character is the bridge itself, though it’s surrounded by humans of various shapes and statures. … The whole narrative unfolds in a dreamlike manner, and Moore’s translation is elegant and sensitively attuned to the author’s wordplay and neologisms.
From Publishers Weekly:
Moore stays true to de Kerangal’s unique prose, which flows from the mythic to the mundane. Her translation is clear and unadorned. The story told through its varied cast of characters, alternating from the grandiose to the intimate, is one that will stay with readers long after the book is closed and the bridge is built.
The author and translator are currently touring major Canadian writers’ festivals (Vancouver and Toronto), will stop in New York City this week, and have been well received.
Saturday’s edition of the Vancouver Sun included a rich review by Dennis E. Bolen of Phinder Dulai’s latest collection of poetry, dream / arteries. Here is a selection from the review:
Combined rhythmic discipline and a wide descriptive palette, wielded by a talented composer of word images; this would be the definition of anyone’s preferred reading. …
The volume is elegantly produced and includes strategically placed archival photos, some faintly impressed as sepia ghostings upon translucent panels. The effect is one of contemporaneous immediacy within an irresistible sense of the importance of the past.
It is a testament to Phinder Dulai’s consummate skill, aside from his personal connection to the material, that we come away from dream /arteries with a heightened awareness of all travel phenomenon, the harshness and revelatory thrill of new lands, the coldness of alienation and the vivacity of new connection.
Read the full review online.
Today we welcome to the Talon family of titles a new work about Robert Lepage and his incomparable contributions to theatre. Ludovic Fouquet’s The Visual Laboratory of Robert Lepage, translated for the first time into English by Rhonda Mullins, presents much-needed in-depth analysis of Lepage’s strategies and practices.
For more than three decades, Robert Lepage’s dynamic multimedia performance works have been produced on stages worldwide. Celebrated for his bold, visionary aesthetic, Lepage has received several high-profile commissions in recent years, including two Peter Gabriel world tours, Cirque du Soleil’s Ká in Las Vegas, a dramatic staging of Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and Lorin Maazel’s 1984 at London’s Royal Opera House. The book’s title refers to the experimentation so integral to Lepage’s creative process and the ways in which he and his creative arts company, Ex Machina, have always been attuned to the synergistic possibilities that emerge when art encounters science and technology.
This rich, generously illustrated, volume and its supplementary materials (chronology, index, etc.) will be of keen interest for theatre practitioners of all kinds, from set designers to directors, from academics to fans. It is truly a beautiful and informative book. Order your copy today for $29.95.
The Montreal Review of Books today published a review of Larry Tremblay’s gripping novel, The Obese Christ. Here are some highlights:
a disconcerting book – and that’s exactly what it intends to be. Three dozen scene-driven chapters, each two or three pages long; dense in their depiction of a man’s confusion, lucid and clear as a chair dragged across the linoleum floor of a quiet kitchen.
And though he talks to people, there’s not a single dialogue exchange in the entire book. This dehumanizing device depicts the way Edgar uses others solely to enact his mutating justifications as he moves from rescue to kidnapping to murder to exorcism – it’s dreadful, but incredibly effective as a technique. There are not many books that make this reader’s flesh crawl, but The Obese Christ is undoubtedly one of them. …
One can debate whether or not society needs another reason to be afraid of strangers and to put space between citizens, but there is no moral in this book, and neither is there moralism. There is no instructive desire, just a brief and fetid wallow in the mind of a very sick puppy, executed with composed atmosphere, dread-stretching pacing, and consummate control. If it sounds like your kind of fun, you’ll be hard pressed to find better …
On the first Wednesday of every (Gregorian) month, subscribers receive Talon’s e-newsletter by email and learn news about books, authors, events and the general goings-on at Talonbooks. Our November e-newsletter is due in a couple of weeks.
If you have not received our e-newsletter since before June 30, 2014, it may be because of our measures to comply with Canada’s new anti-spam legislation (CASL). CASL, which affects all business-related communications and came into effect on July 1, 2014, requires that you give us express permission to send commercial electronic messages to you (from which you can, of course, unsubscribe at any time). You may have been on our mailing list at some point, but if you did not respond to our outreach email in June, we removed you from the list.
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We thank you for your continued support and interest.
Photo by Itai Erdal
Based on the poetry of the original Four Horsemen – bpNichol, Steve McCaffery, Paul Dutton, and Rafael Barreto-Rivera – The Four Horsemen Project is a remarkable theatrical experience that breathes life into some nearly forgotten work – iconoclastic, brilliant, delightfully irreverent – that set the whole world on its ear. Live, on-stage, swirling animation and sonic hi-jinx make the poetry of Canada’s 1970s avant-garde scene leap off the page and onto the stage. Don’t miss this multi-disciplinary extravaganza!
October 28, 2014 – November 2, 2014
The Cultch (Historic Theatre)
Photo by John Lauener
Tickets start at $19 and are available online or by calling The Cultch box office at 604.251.1363.
Photo by Itai Erdal
The winners of this year’s City of Victoria (BC) Book Prizes were announced last evening at its annual gala. Talonbooks is pleased to announce that author M.A.C. Farrant was named the winner, for her collection of “miniature” fiction, The World Afloat. From the City of Victoria Book Prizes press release:
Two Greater Victoria authors were recognized for their literary achievements tonight at the 2014 Victoria Book Prizes Gala. M.A.C. (Marion) Farrant, author of The World Afloat (Talonbooks) was named the winner of the 11th annual City of Victoria Butler Book Prize; and Daniel Loxton, with Jim W.W. Smith, author of Pterosaur Trouble (Kids Can Press) was named the winner of the 7th annual Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize.
Mayor Dean Fortin and event sponsor Brian H. Butler presented Ms. Farrant with the $5,000 prize for her award-winning fiction. Samantha Holmes of Bolen Books presented the $5,000 Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize to Mr. Loxton for his award-winning book for children ages 4-7.
Despite her prolificacy and acclaim, this is Farrant’s first award, and we couldn’t be happier for her. Congratulations, M.A.C.!
The World Afloat, a collection of seventy-five irreverent and humorous stories that meld narrative with elements of prose poem and farce, is available from Talonbooks for the strikingly affordable price of $12.95.
It’s a happy day at Talonbooks! We finally get to have and hold one of the most important books of the season: Peacock Blue: The Collected Poems of Phyllis Webb (edited by John F. Hulcoop). A limited number of hardcover and paperback editions of Peacock Blue have arrived from the printer and will be available for sale only at Webb’s Vancouver Writers’ Fest event later this month.
When Webb published Wilson’s Bowl in 1980, Northrop Frye hailed it as “a landmark in Canadian literature.” Wilson’s Bowl was Webb’s fifth volume of poetry. Three more followed and then she fell silent, turning from literature to abstract painting. Peacock Blue compiles in a single volume all of Webb’s published, unpublished, and uncollected works from a writing career that spanned fifty years. It offers readers the opportunity to relish the arc of Webb’s entire poetic oeuvre.
Come to the Vancouver Writers’ Fest and buy your copy! Webb will be celebrated on Saturday, October 25, 2014. A number of poets, each impressive in his or her own right, will read from Webb’s work, and Webb will be in attendance. This will be the first time Webb has been off of Salt Spring Island, where she makes her home, in many years, and it will be a unique opportunity to see her in person. Tickets for “A Celebration of Phyllis Webb” are still available, though more than half have been sold; if you’d like to attend, now is the time to carpe the diem!
The hardcover edition of Peacock Blue will be available for sale from bookstores and from our website in November, and the paperback in Spring 2015.
The second novel in Michel Tremblay’s Desrosiers Diaspora series is hot off the presses!
In Crossing the City, we meet Maria as she leaves the city of Providence, Rhode Island, pregnant and alone. Two years later, we also meet Maria’s older daughter, Rhéauna, as she disembarks the train at Windsor Station, having crossed the continent from her grandparents’ farm in Saskatchewan, called home to Montreal to care for her one-year-old baby brother while Maria works. Readers will delight in the affectionate and accurate depiction of Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood at the beginning of the last century, and Tremblay fans will revel in the backstory to the characters of his great Chronicles of Plateau Mont-Royal, particularly of his mother, celebrated as Nana throughout his work.
Crossing the City was translated by Sheila Fischman and is available for $16.95.
By Daniel Canty
Daniel Canty, author of Wigrum (2013) and Les États-unis du vent (to be published in English by Talonbooks in 2015), is completing a six-month residency at the Studio du Québec, in London, England. In this, his first report, Canty tells of his haunts and jaunts.Friday October 24, 2014 in Meta-Talon
Read an interview with Garry Thomas Morse, which was conducted by Lee Gulyas and her class at Western Washington University in October, 2014 while studying his book Discovery Passages.Monday October 20, 2014 in Meta-Talon
Being Talon’s resident master of the eerie and the unsettling, it seems fitting to highlight Larry Tremblay’s especially freaky fiction in the month of All Hallows. On Meta-Talon today, we gather his recent works of fiction, The Obese Christ, Piercing, and The Bicycle Eater. Best part? This trifecta of books is on sale until the end of the month!Tuesday October 14, 2014 in Meta-Talon
Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, 1840 (age 25)
Did you know the world’s first computer programmer was a woman? Ada Lovelace was enthralled by mathematics as a young woman, and she is also known for her lineage, being the only (legitimate) child of Romantic poet Lord Byron. Lovelace wrote in the 1840s what are now recognized as the first computational algorithms, and she wrote prescient commentary on the future of computing.
By complete coincidence, Talon has recently published no fewer than three titles that make mention of Lovelace. Today on Meta-Talon we share excerpts from these titles, in honour of Ada Lovelace Day (October 14, 2014).
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