Model Disciple
Michael Prior

One of the most commanding poetic debuts in years.

A mesmerizing and moving first collection, Model Disciple gives us a poetry of two minds. Confounded by Japanese-Canadian legacies too painful to fully embrace, Michael Prior’s split speakers struggle to understand themselves as they submit to their reinvention: “I am all that is wrong with the Old World, / and half of what troubles the New.” Prior emerges as a poet not of identity, but identities. Invented identities, double identities, provisional identities—his art always bearing witness to a sense of self held long enough to shed at a moment’s notice. Model Disciple ‘s Ovidean shape-shifting is driven by formal mastery and mot juste precision. It’s also one of the most commanding poetic debuts in years.

"Model Disciple comes alive in its beautiful precision of detail, defamiliarizing language, resonant music, and deep intimacy. These poems are lyrical accounts of the natural world intersecting with the manmade. They are viscerally present, and felt, written to illuminate and endure."—Hannah Sanghee Park, author of The Same-Different

“With Model Disciple, Michael Prior launches, fully-armed, into the fray, taking on the topics of love, loss, war and cultural identity with a combination of fierceness and delicacy so rare in a first collection. Prior’s book swarms with presences both animal and human, as well as spectral; it bristles with texture and glows with unforgettable images that are laden with both ghastliness and grace.” —Alexandra Oliver, author of Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway and Let the Empire Down
Tumbleweed
Josip Novakovich

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.
Hungary-Hollywood Express
Éric Plamondon

A novel celebrating America’s vibrant 20th century.

When Gabriel Rivages recounts the life of Olympic gold medalist and silver-screen heart-throb Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984), he brings to life a vibrant patchwork of America’s 20th century, from its athletic exploits to its literary underground, from its cinematic glory to its obscure failures. Burroughs sells pencil sharpeners, Einstein crosses paths with squirrel hunters, we play golf in Cuba, JFK becomes an airport, the world record for the 100m freestyle swim is broken, Tarzan saves Jane, a corrupt accountant runs away with the savings, the Second World War makes waves in Lake Michigan, and a living legend wraps up a storied career as a host in a Las Vegas restaurant.

Hungary-Hollywood Express is the first novel in Éric Plamondon’s 1984 trilogy. The second and third volumes, Mayonnaise and Apple S, turn their lens on the poet Richard Brautigan and Apple founder Steve Jobs respectively. Esplanade Books will publish them in 2017 and 2018 translated by novelist Dimitri Nasrallah.
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
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 Stranger:
“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 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 The Goddess of Fireflies:
"Fireflies is an unflinching account of teen life. The novel avoids a moralizing tone and leaves judgment to readers, but most importantly, it is a story about girlhood, coming-of-age, and the fraught negotiation of sexuality and identity faced by young women."-Rachel Carlson, The Winnipeg Review

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).