spring has sprung


well almost sprung. maybe by the time this next event rolls around, we will see a few meagre signs.

monday april 1 at public kitchen we will have drinks, dinner and some conversation with susan swan, author of ‘the western light’. buy tickets here

Susan Swan’s critically acclaimed fiction has been published in twenty countries. Her novel, The Western Light, (published by Cormorant Books 2012) tells the story about a girl’s love for a dubious father substitute, an ex-NHL star and convicted murderer. Its heroine Mouse Bradford appeared in her international bestseller, The Wives of Bath, which was made into a feature film, Lost and Delirious (2001). The Wives of Bath, (about a murder in a girls’ boarding school) was a 1993 finalist for the U.K.’s Guardian Award and Ontario’s Trillium Award. It was picked by a U.S. Readers’ Guide as one of the best novels of the nineties.

Swan vividly recreates that seemingly innocent period in the 1950s, casting the reader back through her brilliant time machine of words, when people still received an evening newspaper on their doorstep and kids traded hockey cards with pictures of Tim Horton and others.
— the toronto star

we have a governor general's prize winner!


sarah henstra recently won the governor general’s prize for literary fiction for her book, ‘the red word’. she will be joining us for drinks, dinner and what we expect will be a fascinating conversation on monday january 21 at public kitchen and bar.

go to the join us page for tickets.

“The Red Word is the story of an epic war between two student houses on campus. One is a group of young, female students new to third wave feminism. They’re looking for ways to apply these ideas to their daily lives. The other house belongs to a fraternity whose main objective is to party. The girls in the student house have decided that fraternities are one of the biggest problems on campus and wage a campaign to get them banned. One of the things I wanted to explore in The Red Word was the murky terrain of party culture and the free-for-all that can unfold at a fraternity party.

— sarah henstra on cbc radio's 'the next chapter'
Groundbreaking and provocative, this is an astonishing evisceration of the clichés of sexual politics as they exist not only on our college campuses, but also within broader present-day society. Alternately heartbreaking, funny, and critical, no one gets off easily. The Red Word plumbs the depths of literature, mythology, history, philosophy, and a host of contemporary issues—an utterly effing good read.

— governor general's peer assessment committee
The writing in The Red Word is undeniably gripping and at times beautiful, seamlessly weaving the Greek mythology Karen is studying in class into her own personal story and creating realistic, complex characters the reader wants to root for despite their flaws.
— quill and quire magazine

and that's how we roll with book clubs

books take us some amazing places. and when we gather around a meal (and a cocktail or wine), we can get to some even more extraordinary places. that’s what we love about book club.

last night’s gathering with sarah selecky was a perfect example of what we mean. a great surprise in a first novel by sarah selecky (thanks for that tip dave). a tasty tapas dinner (the sangria was pretty delicious too) to share with friends old and new (thanks for that nick and stephanie). a group that was engaged with the themes of the book (as always, thanks loyal appetiters). and an author who was happy to explore those issues more deeply and so thoughtfully and eloquently. a thousand thanks to sarah.

we are so excited to be part of this project and really looking forward to the next books that are coming our way. you’ll be hearing from us!!



at long last, a rainy day in this hot-humid-no rain- summer. time to get to work on book club. we are very excited to announce that our good friend, editor at the new quarterly, organizer extraordinaire of the wild writers festival and  author, pamela mulloy, has written a book of fiction!

pamela will join us on september 24 at public kitchen to talk about her book, 'the deserters'. watch this page (and be sure to sign up for our email list, if you have not already) for more details about tickets going on sale.

Shifting across three countries, The Deserters explores themes of trust, isolation, abandonment, and emotional disconnection in a world dramatically altered by the experience of war. Eugenie is trying—and mostly failing—to restore an inherited old farm in New Brunswick while her husband, a master carpenter, is away in Spain. The work involved overwhelms her, so she hires Dean to help bring the farm back to working order. But Dean is a deserter from the us Army suffering PTSD, and he is using the untamed backwoods of her property to hide out from immigration officials. As Eugenie and Dean fall into a relationship, he is tormented by flashbacks, nightmares, and flickering memories of his wartime experiences in Iraq. And then Eugenie’s husband returns.

In The Deserters, her beautiful and understated debut novel about those who love, those who fight, and those who leave, Pamela Mulloy makes connections between characters, continents and centuries and creates a constellation.
— kerry clare
Sparely and beautifully written, The Deserters is a story not of escape but of the deep, human need to belong to a place, and to one another.
— helen humphreys

coming in april


elizabeth renzetti, regular columnist with the globe and mail, will join us april 23rd to discuss her new book, 'shrewed', a darkly funny collection of essays that charts her path from timid pre-teen to ‘big, galumphing war horse.’

tickets will go on sale the week of march 19 but, for a sneak preview of one of the essays, see her column in last saturday's globe and mail.