Stories of emigration and rootlessness.
In this latest short-story collection Josip Novakovich explores the shallow roots of emigration as he traverses North America from university post to writing residency. These stunning stories showcase the author at his most intimate, taking on an aura of memoir as they invite us into the privacy of his family experiences. Above all, Novakovich is in search of a natural existence, whether it be living close to the land or raising animals.
The author of the critically acclaimed Ex-Yu, which illustrated the lives of those scarred by the Balkan wars, here revels in the rootlessness of America and its wide-open spaces. As a companion to Ex-Yu (2015), Tumbleweed reveals a rarefied author who is as capable of warming readers’ hearts as he is of probing the depths of global despair.
“A portrait and kaleidoscope of a character who is truer than life.” –Josée Lapointe, La Presse
“A novel for the Wikipedia generation.” –Dominque Tardif, Voir
“[Plamondon] demonstrates that we can approach drama without falling into pathos or cynicism.” –Judy Quinn, Nuit Blanche
All That Sang
Obsession, unrequited passions and the power of music.
A visceral tale of obsession and creativity, unrequited passions and the power of music. A love story in which art is a foil to companionship, and the intellect an interlocutor of the heart.
In the utterly unique All that Sang, the second fiction by Lambda Literary Award-finalist Lydia Perovic, a Toronto opera critic on assignment in Paris falls in love with the subject she’s been sent to interview, France’s leading female conductor. But is the attention evenly matched, is genuine connection even possible?
Perovic guides us through the panorama that orbits contemporary courtship. The jilted lover, the housekeeper, the chiropractor, the manager, all take part in a chorus of voices that illustrate the unknowable creative spirit whose inaccessibility fires the writer’s obsession.
Reminiscent of the bold and inventive fictions of Ali Smith and Siri Hustvedt, postmodern refractions play with the reader’s sense of perspective to build the persona of affection, a figure of reality and imagination that we all recognize but can never truly access.
“This kaleidoscopic love story – told from many angles in elegant, crystalline prose – creates a world that holds the reader skillfully in between. Between Toronto and Paris, music and listening, lust and loss. Unrequited and erotic, All That Sang is a story of longing beautifully sent to us in the manner that only true longing can convey.’ –Jacob Wren, author of Polyamorous Love Song
“I loved this book, the gripping intelligence of its desire and the ways in which it maps lust and existence, place and devotion. Lydia Perovic’s slender, passionate novella grieves, remembers and celebrates a universe.” –Madeleine Thien, author of Dogs at the Perimeter
The Goddess of Fireflies
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.
"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