barbara gowdy has a new book

Gowdy’s characters are unforgettable, her dialogue dead-on funny and smart. Her children are perfectly drawn, and, oh, the grown-ups! They are brilliantly irreverent, full of wit and wisdom, creating a story so strange, so moving, that you will tuck it into your heart and keep it there.
— Linda Spalding, Governor-General's-Award winning author of The Purchase.
exactly the sort of intelligent, enthralled, playful and empathetic literature that Gowdy has been delivering for the last three decades.”



— José Teodoro, globe and mail april 21, 2017

ten years after her last novel, 'helpless', barbara gowdy has a new book. and she is coming to waterloo to talk to us about it on may 24. 

barbara has been nominated for every major canadian book prize (the giller, the governor general's award, the rogers writers trust) as well as for the man booker prize. after this long absence, we are delighted to welcome barbara to waterloo to talk about her latest novel.

Rose is a sensible woman, thirty-four years old. Together with her widowed mother, Fiona, she runs a small repertory cinema in a big city. Fiona is in the early stages of dementia and is beginning to make painful references to Rose’s sister, Ava, who died young in an accident.

It is high summer, and a band of storms, unusual for their frequency and heavy downpour, is rolling across the city. Something unusual is also happening to Rose. As the storms break overhead, she loses consciousness and has vivid, realistic dreams—not only about being someplace else, but also of living someone else’s life.

Is Rose merely dreaming? Or is she, in fact, inside the body of another woman? Disturbed and entranced, she tries to find out what is happening to her.

Like The White Bone, Gowdy’s international bestseller, Little Sister is a fictional tour de force. As the author explores the limits of the human mind, the result is an impassioned tale of one woman’s determination to help a woman she has never met, and to come to terms with a death for which she has always felt responsible.

kerry clare arrives on april 26

A provocative, compelling novel that should be - and will be - discussed between friends and debated at book clubs. Wise, perceptive and rebelliously funny Kerry Clare has given a voice to what we think but don’t say, feel but can’t accept, about parenthood, relationships and the struggle to reconcile our public selves with the truths that lurk within.
— marissa stapley, bestselling author of 'mating for life'
In Mitzi Bytes, Kerry Clare melds a stew of motherhood, modernity, and mounting, with a sly combo of humour, humanity and lively congenial truths. This is a delightful novel where a woman finds self-acceptance amid the unfortunate ramifications of her snappy social observations.
— anakana schofield, scotiabank giller-prize shortlisted author of 'martin john'

kerry clare is a national magazine award-nominated writer and editor of the anthology, 'the m word: conversations about motherhood' and 'mitzi bytes' is her first novel.

Back at the beginning of the new millennium, when the Internet was still unknown territory, Sarah Lundy started an anonymous blog documenting her return to the dating scene after a devastating divorce. The blog was funny, brutally honest and sometimes outrageous. Readers loved it. Through her blog persona, “Mitzi Bytes,” Sarah not only found her feet again, but she found her voice.

Fifteen years later, Sarah is happily remarried with children and she’s still blogging, but nobody IRL—not even her husband or best friends—knows about Mitzi. They don't know that Sarah’s been documenting all her own exploits, as well as mining the experiences of those around her and sharing these stories with the world. Which means that Sarah is in serious trouble when threatening emails arrive from the mysterious Jane Q. Time’s up, the first one says. You’re officially found out.

As she tries to find out Jane Q’s identity before her secret online self is revealed to everyone, Sarah starts to discover that her loved ones have secrets of their own, and that stronger forces than she imagined are conspiring to turn her world upside down.

heather oneill coming monday april 24

O’Neill is an extraordinary writer, and her new novel is exquisite. . . .O’Neill has taken on sadness itself as a subject, but it would be terribly reductive to say that this book is sad; it’s also joyful, funny, and vividly alive.
— emily st.john mandel, author of station eleven
A fairy tale laced with gunpowder and romance and icing sugar, all wrapped round with a lit fuse. Each of Heather O’Neill’s sentences pricks or delights. If you haven’t read her other books, start with this one and then read all of the rest.
— kelly link, author of pulitzer prize finalist 'get in trouble'

heather oneill's debut novel, "lullabies for little criminals" was the 2007 canada reads selection. her second novel, "the girl who was saturday night", was shortlisted for the scotiabank giller prize in 2014. 

on april 24 heather joins us to talk about her latest novel, 'the lonely hearts hotel'.  set in Montreal and New York between the wars, 'the lonely hearts hotel' is a spellbinding story about two orphans whose unusual magnetism and talent allow them to imagine a sensational future.

two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914. Before long, their true talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing for the rich, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen.

Separated as teenagers, both escape into the city's underworld, where they must use their uncommon gifts to survive without each other. Ruthless and unforgiving, Montreal in the 1930's is no place for song and dance. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes, the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they'll go to extreme lengths to make those dream come true. After Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls hit the stage and the alleys, the underworld will never look the same.

christine pountney will join us on january 30

christine pountney, author of 'sweet jesus' and currently writer in residence at the hamilton public library, will join us for dinner on january 30 to discuss her novels and field your (always animated) questions. 

christine, a self-described "mother, writer, teacher/editor and therapist", tells the story of three siblings, each of whom is forced to relinquish a cherished dream and are struggling for new meaning for their lives. while the characters travel south to the united states together, the novel remains "quietly but fiercely canadian" with vivid descriptions of victoria, toronto, and st. johns. 

 

The route taken by Hannah, Connie and Zeus in Sweet Jesus is no mere travelogue, but an atlas of family relationships lost and found again. As each character brings the depths of past experience to bear on the present, lessons wrought by maturity bring the emergence of new intimacies between them — a journey from estrangement to deeper understanding. You’ll be glad you went along for the ride.
— shawn syms, national post