Tuesday, August 24, 2010

For the Real Reader (Not the E-Reader)

This Fall the Literary Press Group is launching its Handmade Campaign, focusing on well-designed physical books in this age of e-reading hysteria. This, to my mind, is one of the more intelligent and creative back-to-the-book promos I've seen in a few years. There's some great titles there, by some of the best indie presses in the land: Coach House, Anvil, Pedlar, Invisible. And Biblioasis, of course.

Zach Wells's Track & Trace, K.D. Miller's Brown Dwarf and Mauricio Segura's Black Alley make up the Biblioasis contribution to this campaign. But if you're looking for some other great Biblioasis titles with that handmade appeal, why not also check out Mike Barnes's Thaw Foretold, Salvatore Ala's Straight Razor, Glenn & Kingwell's Idler's Glossary, Goran Simic's From Sarajevo With Sorrow.

Check in with you local indie bookseller to see if they'll be carrying these titles. For more information please go here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The full Q&Q: Combat Camera

The full review of Combat Camera in September's Quill & Quire is up at the website and can be found here.

Even a toddler can do it....

Zach found this and posted last week, but if you have not seen it it is worth a look.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lessons from Sarajevo

In Saturday's Globe, Goran Simic, who's new collection of poetry Sunrise in the Eyes of the Snowman we will be releasing in late October, muses on the plight of the Tamil refugees.

Back in my hometown to wash the family gravestone and meet friends, mostly writers, who never left Sarajevo, I heard a joke from the time of the siege, when the famous tunnel under the airport runway was the only way to escape the embattled city.

In the middle of the tunnel, two brothers heading in opposite directions bump into one another. They immediately begin shouting the same words: “Where the hell are you going? There is nothing there.”

I still feel the weight of that question mark.

As I watch the news about the Tamil refugee claimants touching shore in Vancouver, I think of the Siege of Sarajevo, which lasted longer than the Siege of Leningrad. Though every survivor has the right to tell his own stories, I published some on behalf of the 10,000 who were killed – by the daily barrages of sniper bullets, by grenades, by hunger. Even I was killed once – when the newspaper published my name on the list of victims of the 1992 bombing of the city.

For the rest of the article, please go here.

A Peripatetic Summer

It hasn't been a great summer of sailing this year: too much Biblioasis and CNQ work to catch up on, travel soccer, other things. Though we have managed to get out a few times. And, if the haze clears this morning, and you find yourself out on Lake St. Clair, you may find the Peripatetic out as well.
And after a couple of hours sailing, you might find us down at the boat wash for a quick swim.

See you out there.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Artwork of Mary Harman

Mary Harman's artwork has graced both CNQ and Biblioasis covers, and will again, I expect, in the near future. I came across this video of a recent exhibition, and thought it would be of interest to Thirsty readers.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quill & Quire reviews Combat Camera

Our first official Fall 10 review is out, with Claire Cameron reviewing A. J. Somerset's Combat Camera in the Quill & Quire. Cameron says, in part:

A book about a wounded alcoholic and a battered porn star might sound like a grim read, and in some ways that is just what Combat Camera is. Full of violence, both domestic and foreign, the story is gritty and raw. But somerset draws connections between disparate places to uncover universal truthsabout our reactions to violence ... Ultimately Zane is a rambling, tragic and surprisingly funny figure, and his tragic circumstances take on a strange kind of beauty. What this novel successfully shows is the way in which art can exist in the midst of mayhem.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Re-Lit Longlists

Three Biblioasis titles made the just-announce Re-Lit longlists. Congrats to Amy Jones, in the short fiction category, for What Boys Like, Terry Griggs, in the novel category for Thought You

Were Dead, and Zach Wells in the poetry category for Track & Trace. Wayne Clifford also made it for his Exile Papers, instead of Jane Again, so congrats to Wayne as well.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fall 2010: A.J. Somerset's Combat Camera


Once a celebrated war photographer, Lucas Zane is burnt out after covering twenty years of war. Drunk, hallucinatory, all ambition fled, Zane earns the rent working for an impresario of shoestring pornographic movies. Here he encounters Melissa and hatches a plan that might save her, his career, and quite possibly himself.

The power of Combat Camera lies in its voice, a voice that is restless, ceaseless, meandering, tragic, sometimes very funny, a mind and a voice that maintain an almost hypnotic grip on the reader.

"Taut and terrific: Combat Camera is a lean, mean piece of story-telling machinery."
--Ray Robertson, author of David

**Yes: it will be Winner of the Metcalf-Rooke Award.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Forever Young

Another good review of Terence Young's latest collection of short fiction, The End of the Ice Age, this one from Montreal's The Rover.

Contrary to the codes of cliché, there’s more to men at midlife than Ferraris and pharmaceuticals. In his fifth book, the excellent short story collection The End of the Ice Age, Terence Young trains his sharp eye on the tricky state of being between young and old. His meaningful stories catalogue an array of possible experiences that reach beyond the platitudes so heavily relied upon by lazy advertisers, and reveal more nuance than can be expressed in 30 seconds.

Not every man has a so-called crisis, not every man acts out upon reaching a certain age. Some don’t even notice they are aging at all. In the book’s title story, an unnamed he is informed by his lover, an unnamed she, “Your problem is you still don’t think you’re old.” Indeed, he observes, he does feel like he’s younger than everyone else, even those who are officially younger, but he’s perplexed as to why he should consider it a problem. With this character who feels immune to getting older, as if he alone is capable of resisting the march of time, Young alludes to our tendency to feel self-important. He shows, however, that the clock is undeniably ticking, unstoppable, literally and figuratively. The lover is too absorbed in her compulsive reading to ever check the time. Instead, she repeatedly asks Mr. Ageless to check for her. Even if he doesn’t get the message, the reader does. And with a deft switch to the present tense for the last sentence of the story, Young reminds us time stops for no one, not even his own characters.

For the rest of the review please go here.