Welcome to Talonbooks

Canadian distribution for Talonbooks is now through the University of Toronto Press Distribution. Returns also go through the University of Toronto. We have four Spring books hot off the presses: Mercedes Eng's my yt mama, Arleen Paré's Earle Street, Laiwan's TENDER, and Dave Deveau's Cissy: Three Gender Plays: Nelly Boy, My Funny Valentine, and Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls. Check out our Spring 2020 Catalogue for a look at the rest of the exciting titles we have forthcoming. Sign up for our monthly newsletter here, peruse our list of upcoming events here, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

News, Events, and Announcements

news | Monday March 2, 2020

Our Spring 2020 Catalogue is now available!

Our Spring 2020 catalogue, featuring new books from Frédérick Lavoie and Donald Winkler, Sophie Bienvenu and Rhonda Mullins, Larry Tremblay and Sheila Fischman, Gladys Hindmarch, Mercedes Eng, Margaret Christakos, Arleen Paré, Laiwan, Dave Deveau, Marie Clements, and more, has arrived!

Talonbooks Spring 2020 Catalogue PDF

These books can all now be purchased in Canada through our new distributor, University of Toronto Press Distribution. Click here for Talon’s full sales and distribution information.

news | Thursday April 2, 2020

Livestreamed reading of Kim Senklip Harvey's Kamloopa now available

Last Friday, March 27, Kim Senklip Harvey and the Fire Company – Yolanda Bonnell, Samantha Brown, Kaitlyn Yott, and Emily Soussana – did a live reading of Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story, in partnership with the National Arts Centre.

Check out the archived version of the reading!

cover of Kamloopa

news | Thursday April 2, 2020

Frédérick Lavoie reads from Orwell in Cuba, translated by Donald Winkler

Orwell in Cuba, translated by Donald Winkler, chronicles journalist Frédérick Lavoie’s attempts to unravel the motives behind the mysterious appearance of a new translation of George Orwell’s 1984, formerly taboo in Cuba, just ahead of the country’s twenty-fifth International Book Fair. Lavoie works to make sense of how Cubans feel about the past, present, and future of their island – and how the political regime is adapting, or not, to life in the twenty-first century. His intertwined quests give readers the unique experience of following a suspenseful trail while at the same time becoming increasingly familiar with Cubans’ relationship to the regime and their strategies for coping with the island’s often challenging living conditions.

Avant l’Après, the original French edition of the book, won the Governor General’s Award for French-Language Non-Fiction.

Today, we are sharing a video of Frédérick Lavoie reading an excerpt from the section of the book that he wrote to be read aloud at the twenty-sixth edition of the Havana International Book Fair, in 2017.

Order your copy of Orwell in Cuba today!

news | Wednesday April 1, 2020

An excerpt from annie ross's Pots and Other Living Beings

photos from Pots and Other Living Beings

Pots and Other Living Beings is a literally and visually compelling first poetry collection by Indigenous artist annie ross. The text combines socially conscious poems with geographically grounded photographs, each describing an aspect of living in the postmodern, neoliberal age. All compositions emphasize in evocative ways our times’ disillusions and disenchantments, promised and failed utopias, material and cultural ruins, alienations and dispossessions.

Click “more” to read a poem from Pots and Other Living Beings.

news | Monday March 30, 2020

Danielle LaFrance reads from Just Like I Like It

In JUST LIKE I LIKE IT, Danielle LaFrance combines poetry and autotheory as a means of targeting ideological infatuation, spilling into an obsession with ideological abolishment. JUST LIKE I LIKE IT searches for ways to kill and abolish “it,” seeking means to get it done right, even when attempted slowly and stupidly, even if the only way out is death.

LaFrance reads an excerpt from “IT MAKES ME ILIAD,” the first section of JUST LIKE I LIKE IT, below – and keep scrolling to see the text of the poems, as well!

news | Friday March 27, 2020

An excerpt from Deni Ellis Béchard's My Favourite Crime

Deni Ellis Béchard is the author of Vandal Love (Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book); Of Bonobos and Men (Grand Prize winner of the Nautilus Book Award for investigative journalism); and Into the Sun (Midwest Book Award for literary fiction, selected by CBC Radio Canada as one of 2017’s Incontournables and one of the most important books of the year to be read by Canada’s political leaders).

His new non-fiction collection, My Favourite Crime, ranges across the world and over a wide array of contemporary issues. Divided into five sections, all united by a recurring consideration of how writing helps transform our understanding of our family, of ourselves, and of the world, the book addresses a range of disparate topics, including the author’s tumultuous relationship with his father, and the temptation to lapse back into crime when one has been raised with it.

Today, we are sharing the collection’s titular essay, “My Favourite Crime.”

My Favourite Crime

There’s a story my father often told me. I imagine most boys hear stories from their fathers, but not this sort. It was about a bank heist in 1967, the burglary of half a million dollars in West Hollywood. He called it the Big Job, an elaborate crime he’d started plotting when he was first incarcerated. Prison, he liked to say, turned him into a professional. He went in a petty crook and left wanting to do the Big Job, not unlike the way I went to college to study writing and left dreaming of the great American novel.

news | Wednesday March 25, 2020

An excerpt from Mercedes Eng's new book, my yt mama

We are so pleased that BC and Yukon Book Prize–winner Mercedes Eng’s new book, my yt mama, has arrived in-house. my yt mama is a collection of poems that considers historic and contemporary colonial violence in the Canadian prairies, a settler geography and state of mind that irrevocably shaped Eng’s understanding of race as person of colour born and raised in Treaty 7 Territory in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

In a recent paper edition of the Globe and Mail, the Paper Hound bookstore recommended my yt mama, writing, “[h]er books Mercenary English and Prison Industrial Complex Explodes are sharply observed and incredibly poignant/personal long poems; her latest title my yt mama just came out and is, predictably, quite brilliant.” If you’re in Vancouver, call the Paper Hound at 604-428-1344 to order your copy; if you’re outside of Vancouver, order at talonbooks.com/books/my-yt-mama.

Here, we are sharing a three-poem sequence from my yt mama.

news | Wednesday March 25, 2020

An excerpt from Larry Tremblay's new book, Impurity, translated by Sheila Fischman

A playful and macabre narrative tour de force, structured like a matryoshka doll, Impurity weaves a complex web of interlocking narratives in multiple voices and a variety of forms. The bestselling author Alice Livingston is dead, leaving her philosopher husband, Antoine, dealing with a legacy towards which he has felt increasingly estranged. Confronted with his wife’s much reported disappearance, Antoine revisits their past relationship: open and liberated on the outside, but constrained and even deviant on the inside.

We are happy to share the excerpt, below, from Larry Tremblay’s new novel, Impurity, translated by Sheila Fischman.

Why does he work himself into such a state? Antoine waits nervously for the journalist’s arrival. He has vacuumed the living room and cleared up the dirty dishes in the kitchen. Claire Langlois arrives on time. He figures that she’s at most twenty-five. He shows her into the living room, offers coffee. She comments on the paintings on the walls. Finds them interesting. Whenever someone describes something as interesting he forms two conflicting hypotheses: either the thing in question is worthless or the person who drops the hollow remark knows nothing about the thing in question. Antoine grows tense. Still, he can’t help commenting on the young woman’s dress. Elegant. He’s just paid her a compliment. The journalist tackles the first question:

news | Tuesday March 24, 2020

An excerpt from Laiwan's new book, TENDER

Today, we’re excerpting “she who had scanned the flower of the world,” a poem from Laiwan’s TENDER, which just arrived in-house at Talon.

Pick up your copy of TENDER today!

a celebration of spring, the coming of light and longer days. a metaphor for a working psychic ecology. towards a sensual economy and its embodiment

in winter
we learn to name the oppressor and the name becomes oppressive
this is the logic of repression

she who had scanned the flower of the world

news | Monday March 23, 2020

Oana Avasilichioaei performs Operator, from Eight Track

Today, we are sharing a video performance of Oana Avasilichioaei’s “Operator,” from Eight Track.

Operator is a multimedia performance. The concept, text, images, and sound are by Oana Avasilichioaei, and the VFX and video editing are by Jessie Altura.

Operator explores the subject position(s) of military drone operators engaged in the act of tracking, identifying, and ultimately destroying. The performance deals with violence and may not be suitable for all audiences.

Pick up your copy of Eight Track today.

news | Thursday March 19, 2020

Margaret Christakos's charger has arrived!

Cover of charger

We are so pleased that Margaret Christakos’s charger has arrived in-house!

A moving new collection from award-winning poet, novelist, critic, and creative-writing instructor Margaret Christakos, charger considers our plugged-in selves, and the technologies that deliver us to each other.

The book is particularly relevant as we practice physically distancing while socially connecting online!

Pick up your copy of charger today!

Featured Books

By Dave Deveau

176 pages | Drama


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Earle Street
By Arleen Paré

128 pages | Poetry


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By Roy Miki
Edited by Michael Barnholden

640 pages | Poetry


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By Larry Tremblay
Translated by Sheila Fischman

160 pages | Fiction


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Iron Peggy
By Marie Clements

106 pages | Drama


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By Kim Senklip Harvey

112 pages | Drama


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my yt mama
By Mercedes Eng

108 pages | Poetry


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Rite of Passage
By Michel Tremblay
Translated by Linda Gaboriau

208 pages | Fiction


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Searching for Sam
By Sophie Bienvenu
Translated by Rhonda Mullins

208 pages | Fiction


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By Laiwan

144 pages | Poetry


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