The Head is available now!

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO THE HEAD!

Congratulations to Edmonton-based author Robyn Braun on the release of her novella, The Head!

A surreal and penetrating tale of academia, work life, and surviving trauma.

On the morning of her thirtieth birthday, Dr. Trish Russo, a math professor at Cascadia University, discovers a disembodied but living infant head on her dresser. Attached to nothing, somehow it still manages to wail and produce tears. Unsure what else to do, she takes it with her to work, if only to keep her neighbours from complaining about the head’s terrible cries.

At the university, her colleagues are mortified, not of the head itself, but that Trish has brought it into the office with her. She is soon put on leave and hopes that visiting her parents might provide some solace and advice on what she should do with the head. But no matter where she turns, Trish finds no help and is instead vilified for not knowing what to do with this impossible thing that has happened to her.

The Head is a bizarre journey through trauma, bad relationships, and toxic workplace culture.

Stay tuned for more info on launch events.

This Lark of Stolen Time now available!

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!

Congratulations to Edmonton-based author Richard Cumyn on the release of his latest novel, This Lark of Stolen Time!

In this novel about love and belonging, Cumyn gives us a portrait of a family coming together and falling apart. Playing with structure and voice, This Lark of Stolen Time stitches together the stories of its varied characters and explores the small and large ways in which our lives connect.

This Lark of Stolen Time is available now at your favorite independent bookstore or online on our website.

And don’t miss the Edmonton launch at Audrey’s Books on May 16. Stay tuned for more info!

Behind-the-scenes of Opposite Identicals

In the spring of 2013, a Florida man was suddenly and tragically swallowed up by a massive sinkhole that opened up under his bed while he was sleeping. Despite the efforts of his brother, who tried to jump into the hole and save him, his body was never recovered. The house and neighboring homes were all eventually demolished. The land remains cordoned off a decade later, because the ground is still dangerously unstable.

The idea for Opposite Identicals sprung from this most unusual and tragic event. As soon as I heard the story on the news, I knew I wanted to write about a sinkhole. I was fascinated by the concept that everything we consider safe and secure in our world – including the very ground beneath our feet – could destabilize in the blink of an eye. And that a person could be doing something as innocuous as taking a nap in their own bedroom, and suddenly be sucked down into the bowels of the earth. I started researching sinkholes and, when I discovered that they’re often caused by atypical weather conditions, the plot pieces began connecting in my brain and leading me to the angle I wanted my story to take. 

I imagined a futuristic world, gripped by a climate crisis with the resulting extreme weather conditions having disastrous effects on the planet’s food supply. And, just like the event that transpired in Florida, I imagined one sibling getting swallowed up by a sinkhole under her bedroom floor while the other sibling tries in vain to save her. I centered the story around middle-grade characters, because they’re the ones who’ll eventually be inheriting the earth and all its problems. 

As the manuscript started veering more and more into the realm of speculative fiction, I read up extensively on climate change and scientific prognostications for the future of our planet. Just over a decade ago, climate change was a relatively new and controversial subject. It’s been equally astounding and horrifying to see so many of those prognostications coming true over the course of the ten years it took to write, revise, and publish this book. Phrases like fire season, danger season, melting ice caps, and ocean warming which might have sounded like dystopian hyperbole ten years ago have become our new reality. And sadly, not so speculative after all. 

As we head into 2024, is the world nearing the point where everything we consider safe and secure might, indeed, become destabilized in the blink of an eye? It certainly feels that way when we read reports about toxic orange skies hovering over New York City and apocalyptic flood waters submerging a third of Pakistan.

“Mother Nature’s got no poker face,” explains Mr. Otis, a character in Opposite Identicals. “Always giving away her hand. The signs are all there, if you know what to look for.” 

Indeed, the signs are there. And they’re getting increasing glaring with every passing year. Hopefully, if more people start paying closer attention to them, there might still be time for a planetary plot twist. But if we continue to ignore the signs, I wouldn’t want to speculate about what might happen next. 
If I ever decide to write a sequel to Opposite Identicals, it will be about how the heroic youth of our world stepped up and saved us from ourselves. And maybe…hopefully…it won’t be a work of science fiction.

By Deborah Kerbel

New Year, New Deals!

Get ready for I Love To Read month with print books discounted by 40-60% on our website. Sale ends February 15th.

Full List:

60% Off!!

Gracelessland, Adam Lindsay Honsinger
The Light that Remains, Lyse Champagne
Peculiar Lessons, Lois Braun
Privilege, Jason Patrick Rothery
Somewhere North of Normal, Adam Lindsay Honsinger
Where the Waters Meet, Stéphanie Boulay
Winter Willow, Deborah-Anne Tunney
Family of Spies, Jodi Carmichael

50% Off!!

Children of Tomorrow, J.R. Burgmann
Overcome, Anne Mahon
Winning Chance, Katherine Koller
Underland, Colleen Nelson and Nancy Chappell-Pollack
Parallel Prairies, edited by Darren Ridgley and Adam Petrash
A Daytripper’s Guide to Manitoba Volume 3 (2015), Bartley Kives

40% Off!!

Art Lessons, Katherine Koller
Backbone of Night, GMB Chomichuk
Cedar Dance, Monica Nawrocki
Chasing Baby, Morwenna Trevenen
Pulse Point, Colleen Nelson and Nancy Chappell-Pollack
Redemption, Anne Mahon
The Shadow Over Portage and Main, edited by Keith Cadieux and Dustin Geeraert
The Truth About the Barn, David Elias

30% Off!!

My Left Skate, Anna Rosner


Fall 2023 Titles Are On the Way

While we don’t want summer to end just yet, we wanted to give a reminder that our Fall titles are available for pre-order and will be out in the world before you know it! Our first of the fall season is the novel Children of Tomorrow by J.R. Burgmann which is being published on September 12, followed swiftly by the debut memoir from Carol Youngson, Take Your Baby and Run on October 10. For younger readers, Opposite Identicals by Deborah Kerbel drops on October 24. And last but certainly not least is the final entry in Gordon Goldsborough’s popular Manitoba history trilogy, On the Road to Abandoned Manitoba, publishing on November 21. All titles are available directly through us or at your favourite bookstore.

Arielle Aaronson – Women in Translation Month

August is Women in Translation Month, an annual celebration of women writers from around the world writing in languages other than English. It’s also a chance to recognize the women who work to translate works from other languages into English in order to share those voices. This month, we want to share some words from Arielle Aaronson, translator of the recent translation of Marie-Renée Lavoie’s middle grade novel, The Curious Misadventures of Kitty the Cat. Here she explains a little bit of what it’s like to bring a story from one language into another.

“This is the fourth title by Marie-Renée Lavoie that I’ve translated. Every time I sit down with one of her books, it feels like I’m continuing a conversation with an old friend. I get to laugh at her humor and wit, but I’m also able to watch her characters and themes develop as her writing evolves. It’s a lot like sitting in the passenger seat for a very scenic drive. Often you can tell where the car is headed, sometimes you want to reach over and take the wheel, but mostly you act as a second pair of eyes and ears (or paws, in this case).

For this book, it was such fun to imagine the universe of a family pet. My task was threefold: I had to translate Marie-Renée’s words into English, create an English voice for Kitty himself, and develop a style that was accessible yet goofy enough to draw in younger readers. Some of my biggest challenges involved striking the right tone for a pun (would you believe it took me months to come up with”poo-tunia”?) or landing on a name like “Spitball.” If I’ve done my job right, you’ll fall in love with Kitty just as I did.”

Great Reviews for Saving

We’re so happy to share some of the love from critics for Shane Neilson’s memoir Saving.

Chris Smith at the Winnipeg Free Press says, “It’s a hell of a story.”

The Midwest Book Review shares that Saving is, “Candidly engaging, emotional poignant, impressively informative, and ultimately inspiring, “Saving: A Doctor’s Struggle to Help His Children” is an extraordinary memoir and one that will be of extraordinary interest to anyone facing the often daunting task of securing appropriate and adequate health care for their own families.”

Dr. Neilson was also interviewed in the latest issue of Prairie Books Now and on the podcast GET LIT with Jamie Tennant.

Have you already picked up Saving: A Doctor’s Struggle to Help His Children? Be sure to leave an online review on Amazon or GoodReads.

2 Yellow Dog titles nominated for Red Cedar Awards!

We are delighted to share that 2 of our Yellow Dog titles have been nominated for the 2023/24 Red Cedar Awards!

My Left Skate by Anna Rosner is nominated for the Nonfiction Award!

Peanut Butter and Chaos by Anita Daher is nominated for the Fiction Award!

The Red Cedar is organized by the Young Readers’ Choice Awards of British Columbia. More information, and the full list of nominated books and authors can be found on their site at www.redcedaraward.ca

Lessons in Fusion by Primrose Madayag Knazan co-winner of the 2023 McNally Robinson Book for Young Readers Award

At an event on June 11, 2023 at Winnipeg Book Store McNally Robinson, the Manitoba Book Award winners were announced. We are delighted to share the news that Primrose Madayag Knazan’s debut YA novel Lessons in Fusion was the co-winner (alongside David A. Robertson’s The Stone Child) of the McNally Robinson Book for Young Readers Older Category Award.

More info on all the nominees and awards can be found at www.manitobabookawards.ca

K.R. Byggdin wins $30,000 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

WONDER WORLD, the debut novel by queer novelist K.R. Byggdin wins the 2023 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award

At the Atlantic Book Awards ceremony in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Manitoban ex-pat K.R. Byggdin was announced as the winner of $30,000 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Byggdin’s debut novel Wonder World, published by Manitoba publisher Enfield & Wizenty, is a refreshing coming-of-age story that challenges stereotypes of rural life. Of the book, the Raddall jury said, “As funny and sassy as it is poignant and observant, Wonder World is a virtuoso exploration of love and hope, a story of building bridges to family and community while staying true to oneself.”  

More information on the award and the other nominees can be found at the Atlantic Book Awards website.