Thursday, June 17, 2010

In the Trackless Wastes Beyond Emeryville...

We are getting set to launch the new issue of CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries, newly arrived from the printer. You might notice something new about it, a certain new spring in its step. And for subscribers, a certain something between its pages, printed specially for you.

It also may well be one of the best issues we've put together. The Short Story issue, appearing concurrently with the biennial convention of the Society for the Study of the Short Story in English, currently going on in Toronto. This issue contains articles by Clark Blaise, Mark Anthony Jarman and Alex Good on the short story; Douglas Glover, Robert Thacker and Nathan whitlock on Alice Munro; Caroline Adderson on Mavis Gallant; Michael Darling on Audrey Thomas; a new story by Rebecca Rosenblum; poetry by Lisa Besner; Ryan Bigge on the 2009 Gillers; the first in our new CNQ Abroad feature, with Murray Wilson's visit to Robert Graves; a cartoon and fresh design by Seth; the usual gathering of excellent reviews ... and much more.

On newsstands and in mailboxes in the next week.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Over at Banjaxed A. J. Somerset sends a not too subtle note: don't fuck with my commas. And other stuff. And I haven't even started copyediting yet. That's later this week.

Dear [Redacted],

Why in the name of blue thundering Jesus Smurf do you keep moving my commas? Is there any reason? Can you not perceive that those sentences have a rhythm, a rhythm that you, with your tin ear and newspaperman’s sensibility, are fucking up in detail? I swear, if you move one more comma without just cause, I will cut it out, photocopy it to a million times its size, fly to British Columbia, and shove it up your ass, paper cuts be damned. Kindly stop moving my commas around. I put them there for a reason.

There's also some A-Team dialogue I'm not expecting to see in the movie:

Mr. T: I pity da foo who moves my comma!

Ed: “I pity the fool.”

Mr. T: Foo! Don’t you be messin’ with my aesthetic!

[Sound of breaking limbs.]

Ed: I need anaesthetic.

Mr. T: Foo! You got no aesthetic.

I've been warned.

For the rest, please go here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Brown Dwarf in the National Post

In today's National Post, Jeet Heer raves about K.D. Miller's latest:

Miller uses the conventions of the detective novel but is concerned with more than just the bare-bones question of whodunit. Although she remains under-appreciated, she is one of Canada’s finest writers, able to probe deeper into the human heart than the best surgeon. Here, as in her earlier stories, Miller’s concern is with why people do what they do rather than just what they do. Miller has a keen sense for how mixed all human motives are, how closely aligned love and hate can be and how deceiving others always involves a bit of self-deception.

Aside from its literary resonance, the story of Brand and her childhood friend Jori Clement also tells us more about Ann Perry’s real life story than any of Perry’s own books. In both the actual Perry murder case and in Miller’s novel, young girls in the hothouse of early adolescence form an intense quasi-sexual friendship that leads them to behave in unexpected ways.

Friday, June 04, 2010


In the mail today a treat: a review copy of Kathleen Winter's Annabel. I'm quite excited to dig into this one. A novel by the Metcalf-Rooke Award winning author of boYs, there's been a lot of fabulous pre-publication buzz about this one. Published by Anansi in Canada, it is also set for British publication by Jonathan Cape, and Grove in the States. Though I hate the thought of any of our writers leaving, I'm quite proud of Kathleen's success, and the two of us here at the Bibliomanse this afternoon wish her all the best.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Track & Trace

Over at PMT, Kerry Clare offers up some thoughts on Zach Wells's Track & Trace:

The one problem with having defined tastes and a bookish reputation is that nobody ever gives you books (and when they do, you usually don’t like them). So it was a wonderful surprise to receive Zachariah Wells’ collection Track & Trace as a gift from my mother, since it’s a book I’ve had my eye on for quite awhile. Just to receive such a thing was a kind of gift, but then the book itself was also an incredible package– small and beautiful, its cover embossed with footprints, with the “decorations” by Seth (which are plain and wonderful landscapes, horizons as broad as Wells’ poetry).

Reading this collection was a series of such unpackings. The poems themselves in general are about man’s relationship to the natural environment, the marks he leaves upon it, but each poem is also very distinct in how it relates to these ideas. Within each poem, the words fit together in surprising ways, with subtle rhyme, rhythm and alliteration. Within each word, the syllables, the vowels and consonants on and around my tongue. I read these poems aloud, lying on the carpet while my daughter threw blocks in the mornings, and the poems were a pleasure to put my mouth around, the starts and stops and open spaces.

For the rest, please go here.

CBC's Top 10 Music Books ...

includes our own Moody Food, by Ray Robertson, coming in at number 7 (& number 4 in terms of fiction).

For the entire list please go here.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Salty Ink's Book of the Month

June's Book of the Month over at Chad Pelley's Salty Ink is Amy Jones's Fall 2009 release What Boys Like, a collection Pelley puts in his top 10 short story collections.

Jones’s stories are as vibrant as the book’s cover. This is lively writing, punchy diction, and critically acclaimed dialogue, with closing lines that are occasionally a whole lot more for the deeper reader. They are character-forward stories featuring memorable characters — like the longing, list-writing Miriam Beachwalker — and if the title gives the illusion it is a sexually charged book: at times it is. The writing in stories “An Army of One” and “All We Will Ever be” censor nothing about the line between lust and longing, and properly captures the potency of unrequited love or, forgive me here, “the power of love.” The writing is tender in places and explicit in others, so that the vivacity of memories, passion, emotion, and desire punch through more than effectively.

Also commendable: she tells her stories in a way that is all Amy Jones. She tells them in a way that alternates between a wind-stealing punch in the guts and a playful punch on the shoulder. These stories, at times, fierce, powerful, and sexually charged, come from a tender, honest, and at-times vulnerable place, not an obnoxious, boisterous one. It is a deeply human collection, as vibrant as the front cover image.

Read the rest of this enthusiastic review here.

In other Amy Jones news, we're pleased to announce that we've sold a film option to the title story A Good Girl to Opolo Pictures. Here's hoping we see a feature film of A Good Girl (at least in cinematic terms) soon!