happy new year!

Karen Connelly’s latest, The Change Room, is drawing big praise for its depiction of a married woman’s surprising, transformative affair. Reviews and fans affirm that the novel meets every one of my Perfect Summer Read criteria: urban, witty, funny, sexy, humane and no doubt as elegantly written as Connelly’s past works. We tend to give so much attention to debut novelists, but I love watching a writer evolve, and Connelly is building a beautiful body of work
— Katrina Onstad, author of Everybody Has Everything and The Weekend Effect

karen connelly will join us in the new year to talk about her book, 'the change room'. mark your calendars on monday january 29th for another great evening. Venue to be announce shortly. 

sign up for our email list to be the first to hear about tickets going on sale.

Connelly’s writing is rich and evocative, and the sex scenes are written tastefully, rolling off the page as easily as her food and landscape descriptions that also populate these pages. I liked the political undertones of this book too-Eliza spoke up for what she believed in, even when her opinions were met with disbelief, and Shar’s experiences as a sex worker were handled with empathy and intelligence.

the wild writers are back!

every year the wild writers festival brings some pretty amazing authors to our community for a festival that features talks and workshops. this year -- on the weekend of november 3-5 -- is no exception and you can get full details about the events and ticket prices here

two events in particular are not to be missed: the friday night showcase at the CIGI auditorium; this year featuring alison pick and kathleen winter in conversation. and, on sunday, a terrific brunch at rhapsody barrel bar with a panel featuring helen humphreys, wayne johnston and karen connelly. the settings are intimate and the authors are award winners. dont miss it. 


another date!

One suspects that individual readers will react differently to this novel. Some may see a wronged woman; some may instead see a narcissist who focuses on the frailties of others rather than her own. The author’s choice of narrative perspective ensures that this book is likely to provoke lively debate.
— quill and quire

despair not if you missed out on tickets for our event with stephen heighton! we have another evening organized for monday november 6 at nick and nat's uptown 21. this time with karen smythe, author of this side of sad. 

A gifted storyteller reminiscent of Alice Munro or Joan Didion, Karen Smythe finds poetic complexity in the seeming trivialities of the ordinary. Meditative, philosophical, and confessional, This Side of Sad is a provocative and piercing novel that explores the disintegration of a marriage; the enduring colloquy between the living and the dead; and the meaning we find within the random architecture of despair and joy.

buy tickets here

For fans of Joan Didion and Sheila Heti, and reminiscent of Jenny Offill’s The Department of Speculation, Karen Smythe’s THIS SIDE OF SAD is a mesmerizing tour of a woman’s fractured past – a provocative and piercing novel that lingers in mind and heart
— transatlantic agency

welcome back to another season of appetite for reading

a rich and disturbing literary thriller.
— annie proulx

welcome back from summer and to another season of appetite for reading.

first up this year: stephen heighton and his book, 'the nightingale won't let you sleep', at public kitchen on monday october 2. tickets on sale right after labour day. sign up for our email list to be notified early!

read a review of stephen's book in the globe and mail, the national post and the toronto star

learn a little more about the history of Varosha, the setting for the novel, here

Heighton brings his powers as a poet — he was awarded the Governor General’s Award for Poetry last year for The Waking Comes Late — to service in The Nightingale Won’t Let You Sleep, not in terms of elevated or specialized diction, but in keen observation, both of individuals and the larger world.
— the toronto star, march 25 2017

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.