Exploring Montreal’s Underground City
Alan Hustak

For almost six decades Montreal’s fabled underground city has been an inspiration to civic planners from around the world. What began as a subterranean pedestrian network beneath Place Ville Marie is now an integral part of the city and a major tourist attraction. It has developed into a parallel metropolis, an amazing labyrinth of passageways, alleys, atriums, and hallways that snake their way along 40 km, connecting 85 downtown skyscrapers, ten hotels, 2000 stores apartment blocks and 68 Métro stations. Alan Hustak looks at its history, takes you on a personal tour of the multi-level environment, and reveals its many hidden surprises along the way.

Like the city above ground the underground city has its own mix of sun and shade, public squares, fountains, green spaces, and even an indoor skating rink. It is not so much an underground city—that’s a misnomer—as it is an enclosed, weather proof city: a climate-controlled environment, above and below ground that is air-conditioned in summer and warm against the blast of winter.

For Montrealers and visitors alike, Exploring Montreal’s Underground City is an indispensable guide with tours, maps, and indexes, and full colour photographs.
The Keys Of My Prison
Frances Shelley Wees

A disturbing tale of identity and deception set in 1950s Toronto.

That Rafe Jonason’s life didn’t end when he smashed up his car was something of a miracle; on that everyone agreed. However, the devoted husband and pillar of the community emerges from hospital a very different man. Coarse and intolerant, this new Rafe drinks away his days, showing no interest in returning to work. Worst of all, he doesn’t appear to recognize or so much as remember his loving wife Julie. Tension and suspicion within the couple’s Rosedale mansion grow after it is learned that Rafe wasn’t alone in the car that night. Is it that Julie never truly knew her husband? Or might it be that this man isn’t Rafe Jonason at all?

Originally published in 1956 by Doubleday, The Keys of My Prison is one of several suspense novels Wees set in Toronto. This Ricochet Books edition marks its return to print after fifty years.
A Three-Tiered Pastel Dream
Lesley Trites

A career-focused woman finds her life taken off course by an unexpected pregnancy and its challenging aftermath; a troubled doctor abandons her family on her daughter’s birthday, the three-tiered pastel layer cake in the passenger seat beside her; a young mother must contend with how to explain her husband’s suicide to their child. In her first story collection, Lesley Trites digs bravely into the dilemmas faced by contemporary women who must be everything to everyone, as they navigate the triangle of responsibilities between motherhood, work, and love.

Written with keen insight and deep affection, Lesley Trites’s A Three-Tiered Pastel Dream unearths pearls of wisdom from the secret lives of women who could easily live next door, drop off their kids at the same school, or work in the next cubicle.
The Chemical Life
Jim Johnstone

An exploration of mental illness and addiction.

Praised for his darkly psychological accounts of extreme experiences, Jim Johnstone’s fifth book of poems explores his most difficult terrain to date: mental illness and addiction. Like Coleridge's opium dreams, Johnstone's narratives in The Chemical Life are hallucinatory, coloured by his use of both prescription and recreational drugs. Returning often to the notion of rival realities—“in everything, there is a second state”—Johnstone is brilliantly disruptive and disorientating; a poet whose savagely austere forms, electrically precise images and keyed-up rhythms reveal an obsession with the mind-altering properties of language itself.
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.
Press

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 The Pyx:
“Mr. Buell proves he has real talent…. The author’s choice of a mystery or suspense story format to serve his serious purpose reminds one of Graham Greene’s novels, but The Pyx is not just another in a long line of imitations.” --The Critic

On Stranger:
“Matuk has the keen-eyed, phrase-making brilliance of Marianne Moore” –Times Literary Supplement “We’re all strangers, even if we think we know each other. Poet Nyla Matuk artfully meditates on our disconnected digital age, while awakening a sensuality to this vulnerable state of unknowing… [She] creates space for the mundane hum of the every day, and opens towards a sense of curiosity. Stranger harnesses the unknown within, and makes it safe to uncover an estranged self.” -Shannon Webb-Campbell, Montreal Review of Books

On The Body on Mount Royal:
"They’re cheap, gritty, good reads, and they feel like home. ""–Katia Grubisic

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).