The Goddess of Fireflies
Geneviève Pettersen

Winner, 2015 Archambault Prize

The year is 1996, and small-town life for 14-year-old Catherine is made up of punk rock, skaters, shoplifting, drugs, and the ghost of Kurt Cobain. Her parents are too busy divorcing to pay her headful of unspent angst much attention. But after she tries a PCP variant called mesc for the first time, her budding rebellion begins to spiral out of control. Acclaimed as the modern-day coming-of-age story for a generation of Québécois youth growing up in the 1990s, Geneviève Pettersen’s award-winning debut novel both shocked and titillated readers in its original French, who quickly ordained it a contemporary classic and a runaway bestseller.

Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, the hotly tipped Québécois director behind Inch-Allah (2012), is currently adapting the story to film. Now Esplanade Books is honored to present The Goddess of Fireflies to English readers for the first time in a powerful translation from award-winning novelist Neil Smith, author of Boo and Bang Crunch.

Praise:

"In The Goddess of Fireflies Geneviève Pettersen has assembled a narrator who will pull you, willing or not, through her swaggering, fumbling coming of age. A melange of blasé toughness and menacing vulnerability, Catherine and her story will resonate deeply with those of us who grew up in the 90s of Cobain, cocaine, and 18-hole Doc Martens, but it's a universal tale too: the raw scramble of a young woman on the brink. –Anna Leventhal, author of Sweet Affliction

“I really loved The Goddess of Fireflies, where the presence of the Saguenay is made to be as significant as that of Montreal.” –Michel Tremblay
Rock 'n' Radio
Ian Howarth

Rock ‘n’ Radio illustrates that Montreal was at the epicentre of the rock radio revolution in Canada, eventually attracting talented DJs from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Their personal stories and the inevitable collision with the power of alternative FM rock radio in the late 60s take the reader through some of the best rock music recorded and the social changes that percolated in the background.

The period 1926 to 1949 can be considered the Golden Age of radio when it was the hearth of the North American family. Much to everyone's surprise, it survived the incursion of television to live another Golden Age—the 1960s and 1970s when rock 'n' roll music seeped its way onto mainstream radio, pushing aside Perry Como and the Dorsey Brothers for Elvis and The Beatles.

The new golden era of radio spawned what would eventually be called Top 40 AM radio, whose premise was built on the philosophy: play all the hits, then play them again. Pioneer Top 40 DJs like Alan Freed in the U.S., widely recognized as the man who coined the phrase "rock 'n' roll," spawned a new breed of radio personalities—the fast-talking salesman who delivered the goods. Hundreds of radio stations in North American gave up their entire programming day over to rock music. And with that came a legion of young, hungry Top 40 DJs such as Dave Boxer, Ralph Lockwood and Doug Pringle, looking for jobs at stations across Canada.
The Pyx
John Buell

When heroin-addicted call girl Elizabeth Lucy dies in a fall from a swanky penthouse terrace, homicide detective Henderson is assigned to the case. Was it murder? Suicide? Through his investigation, Henderson uncovers a frightening underworld that is far more dark and dangerous than those of prostitution and the drug trade. But more than anything, this is Elizabeth’s story. Told through flashbacks and those who knew her, revelations unfold, revealing a life that ends with a struggle unlike any other.

A masterful debut, The Pyx has earned considerable praise in Canada and abroad. It served as the basis of the feature film of the same name starring Karen Black and Christopher Plummer.

The Pyx was first published by in 1959 by Farrar, Straus & Cudahy. For three decades, it enjoyed numerous translations and editions before going out of print in the early ‘nineties. This Ricochet Books edition marks the first in a quarter-century.
Stranger
Nyla Matuk

Poems that reawaken the reader’s sense of wonder.

In Stranger, Nyla Matuk’s provocative, unabashedly sensual voice leads us to revelations about how our lives are increasingly disembodied by social media’s flattened, outward identity markers. In place of this contested sense of self, Stranger reckons with a range of possible states of unknowing. Have we over-determined our identities, and thus diminished our appetites? “I fell asleep between two cold rivers,” Matuk reports, “while the blue shadows of uncomplicated / conifers leaned into their own.” Bold and spontaneous, piling images and ideas on top of each other to create opulent sound patterns, these poems reawaken the reader’s sense of wonder.
Sun of a Distant Land
David Bouchet

Twelve-year-old Souleye has just immigrated to Montreal from Senegal with his family. He wants to become “from here” as quickly as possible, but Canada and Senegal prove to be two completely different worlds, and their new lives don’t unfold as planned. Beyond the daily grind of finding an apartment, schools, and jobs, young Souleye (whose only friend renames him “Soleil” – Sun) has to contend with what it means to be black in a predominantly white society, a foreigner among the locals. And that’s all before his father’s mind begins to fall apart…

Poignantly translated from the French by Claire Holden Rothman, David Bouchet’s Sun of a Distant Land is by turns charming and tragic, an epic contemporary vision of what it means to be uprooted, and what it takes to plant roots in a new land.
Press

On Model Disciple:
The strengths of the collection reside in movement, and Prior’s ability to generate one image and end up somewhere surprising. –Micheline Maylor, The Quill & Quire.

On The Keys Of My Prison:
Frances Shelley Wees has established herself long since as Canada’s outstanding expert in the subtle art of the soft-spoken psychological thriller. The Keys of My Prison

On Late Victorians:


On A Place in Mind:
If you are looking for a good book to read, consider picking up a copy of Avi Friedman’s A Place in Mind

News

D.G. Jones
Poet-teacher-literary translator D.G. Jones has died at 87. Twice winner of the Governor General’s Literary Prize, and of other prizes, he was a formidable poet and pioneered the translation of Québec poetry.
In 2009 we were privileged to publish his collected poems, The Stream Exposed with All Its Stones.

Congratulations to Andy Sinclair
His novel Breathing Lessons is a Gay Fiction finalist for the 2016 Lambda Literary Awards. The awards ceremony will take place in New York, June 6.

Paul Bley
1932-2016
We are saddened by the January 3 passing of renowned jazz pianist Paul Bley, at 83. Born in Montreal he played and recorded with Lester Young, Ben Webster, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Paul Motian, Pat Metheny and many others. We were proud to publish his memoir Stopping Time: Paul Bley and the Transformation of Jazz and Paul Bley: The Logic of Chance by Arrigo Cappelletti.

Niko
Dimitri Nasrallah’s novel, Niko, makes the CBC Canada Reads Longlist.Swing in the House
Anita Anand is nominated for the Blue Metropolis/Conseil des arts du Montréal Literary Diversity Prize for a First Publication.
Discover

Mary Dalton celebrates the language and culture of Newfoundland on The Next Chapter.

Shoshanna Wingate interviewed on Irish radio about Radio Weather.

Hear George Tombs discuss Canada's Forgotten Slaves on CBC's C'est la vie

Hear Elaine Kalman Naves talk about Portrait of a Scandal on CBC's Cinq à six



SODEC, Québec  Canada Council for the Arts Canadian Heritage
The Canada Council
Véhicule Press acknowledges the generous support of its publishing program from the Book Publishing Industry Development Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage, The Canada Council for the Arts, and the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles du Québec (SODEC).