Thistledown Press Spring 2018

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  • 1
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    Autant Paulette Dubé Canada
    9781771871563 Paperback FICTION / Family Life Publication Date:May 01, 2018
    $19.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.32 in | 200 gr | 114 pages Carton Quantity:72 Thistledown Press
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      Description

      “If heaven is full of angels like me, hell must be empty.” So begins Autant, a tale woven over the course of four days and fifty-four years, based on the relationship between bees and one Franco-Albertan family, the Garances, of Autant, Alberta. Tension emerges in the balance of power between siblings, between seen and unseen forces of good and evil, between perception and reality, between loyalty and traitors, and between what we are taught and what we actually learn.

      Poised between an ever-practical God and a quixotically old Coyote, it is a tale told to explain the disappearance of bees in northern Alberta and becomes a sometimes not-so-subtle exploration of how old and young, male and female, humans and non-humans perceive love.

      Bio

      Because her parents “made it to a hospital on time,” Paulette Dubé was born in Westlock, Alberta. Growing up in the French village of Legal, she watched her third sister being born on the kitchen table and was hooked on “magic,” as her dad called it. Today, she relies heavily on the good fortune of living in Jasper National Park with her family for her daily dose of magic realism. Talon, her first novel, made the shortlists for the 1999 Canadian Literary Awards, the Alberta Writers’ Guild Best Novel Award (2003) and the Starburst Award (2003). Her poetry garnered a number of rewards including the Milton Acorn Memorial People’s Poetry Award (1994), the CBC Alberta Anthology (1998) and the CBC Literary Awards (2005). Her most recent book is the poetry collection, Gaits (Thistledown, 2010).

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  • 2
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    9781771871570 Paperback FICTION / Short Stories Publication Date:May 01, 2018
    $19.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.5 in | 325 gr | 171 pages Carton Quantity:56 Thistledown Press
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      Description

      The stories in Farnsworth’s The Things She’ll Be Leaving Behind explore what it means to be a woman in the modern world, struggling against circumstances that are often unfair, inexplicable, and destructive. The women in this book don’t always behave in ways that are sensible or advisable or, for that matter, likely to result in success, but there’s a warped logic to what they do and the reasons they do it are intrinsically human. These women have nothing in common except that they all find themselves trying to find their footings, preserve their sanity, and just generally survive in circumstances they never thought they would encounter. They don’t always do it gracefully. Occasionally alcohol or firearms are involved. Just like in real life.

      The twenty-eight stories in the collection vary in length, intensity and impact. The short pieces that fluctuate between flash fiction and apologue are interspersed with events where women explore how to pick up a man, with more surreal episodes that deconstruct office reality, or even experimenting with rainfall with God and the devil. The longer stories in The Things She’ll Be Leaving Behind stray into the deep and dark territories of women’s suffering, guilt, and survival. In these tales, anxiety, restlessness and volatility are tapped like raw nerves, and the dangers and menace of events only mitigated by Farnsworth’s savvy use of black comedy and irony. Here women go toe-to-toe with chronic liars, dead grandfathers, beleaguered sons, mysterious voices, unfaithful husbands, midnight callers, spiteful sisters, and hallucinated clowns. Husbands go crazy or wayward or missing. Life hits walls and somersaults and does breathless, tactless things. The end result is fascinating inventive fiction.

      Bio

      Vanessa Farnsworth is a freelance writer and long-time resident of the BC Interior. Her short fiction has appeared in literary journals across Canada and in the US, including The Dalhousie Review, dANDelion, filling Station, The New Quarterly, PRECIPICe, QWERTY, and Reed Magazine. Her memoir, Rain on a Distant Roof: A Personal Journey Through Lyme Disease in Canada (Signature Editions), was widely acclaimed when it was published in 2013.

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  • 3
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    The Spoon Asylum Caroline Misner Canada
    9781771871556 Paperback YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Literary Reading age from 14 - 18 Publication Date:May 01, 2018
    $15.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.6 in | 400 gr | 233 pages Carton Quantity:40 Thistledown Press
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      Description

      It is the summer of 1933 and young Haven Cattrell, seeking work, finds himself abandoned in the small northern Ontario town of Davisville. At an exclusive summer camp for girls he befriends Wetherby Moss and his son Jude who introduce him to the joys and heartaches of jazz.

      Jazz had taken a hard blow, during the first-half of the 1930s. Although there was still work to be had for some in places like New York, musicians in other parts of the country were barely existing on what venues remained. Wetherby and Jude had come from that reality and, as Haven mastered the jazz trumpet, he learns the horrifying truth about why Wetherby, his mentor, had to flee his home in Detroit and find sanctuary with his son among the unique subculture of rural Northern Ontario.

      But Haven’s story is bigger than his love of jazz. It is the story of the racism that haunted black jazz musicians in the 30s, and how that racism found its way to Davisville. It is the story of how love can blind young men and save them from themselves, and it is the story of how important it is to dream when the chaos and hard times around you want to drag you down.

      Bio

      Caroline Misner’s work has appeared in numerous publications in the US, Canada, India, and the UK. She has been nominated for the prestigious McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize for the short story “Strange Fruit;” in 2011 another short story and a poem were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands of Northern Ontario where she continues to draw inspiration for her work. She is the author of the young adult fantasy series, The Daughters of Eldox.

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  • 4
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    Matronalia A. B. Dillon Canada
    9781771871532 Paperback POETRY / Canadian Publication Date:May 01, 2018
    $20.00 CAD 5 x 7.5 x 0.4 in | 350 gr | 144 pages Carton Quantity:80 Thistledown Press
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      Description

      A mother reveals a festering secret to her daughter after years of trying to conceal it. Since her daughter’s birth, she has been suffering from a disease that causes bizarre symptoms: sudden calcification, the growth and disintegration of extra ribs, coral splinters in the heart, unrelenting depression. As the mother examines the pathology of her disease, she offers her daughter fierce and harrowing advice on everything from sex to survival to love.

      A mother is a recorder, a journal, an illimitable, constant aperture.

      We are seers, voyeurs of the worst order.

      Part ode, part prayer, and part manifesto, Matronalia interlaces ancestral legacies and personal tribulations to reveal what often remains unsaid from mother to daughter. The energy, intelligence and grace of the language and imagination is itself antidote to the dilemmas and shame they explore. Matronalia is, in essence, a confession that evolves into a love poem.

      Go to art when you are lost, my darling.

      Stand before something that breaks you.

      Bio

      A. B. Dillon was born in 1968 in Owen Sound, Ontario. She now lives in Calgary, Alberta, where she devotes her time to writing and counselling. Her poetry has been featured in FreeFall, Café Beano Anthology and the Calgary Herald. She has also been published in Swerve, Avenue Magazine and Where Calgary. This is her first collection of poetry.

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  • 5
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    9781771871549 Paperback POETRY / Canadian Publication Date:May 01, 2018
    $20.00 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.2 in | 250 gr | 80 pages Carton Quantity:120 Thistledown Press
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      Description

      A culvert anchors a key scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The 39 Steps and a scene in Two for the Road starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney. Culverts appear in books by Tony Burgess, Dennis Cooley, Alice Munro, Annie Proulx, and Virginia Woolf. Culverts called to Brenda Schmidt’s imagination as well. As a child she played in and around their steel dark openings and took risks. In the daring poetry and prose of Culverts Beneath the Narrow Road the risk-taking continues. In her journeys, she asked people from all walks of life — construction workers, farmers, biologists, writers, musicians — about their culvert stories. Their recollections of experiences with or near culverts, both dark and light, gave voice to her own experiences, providing another sense of the connections we share and the way stories emerge and flow. Schmidt does this by using the stories as a jumping off point when they call up her own memories. She expands on interview quotes, stretching and bending them to create new stories and poems.

      Bio

      Brenda Schmidt is a naturalist and visual artist living in Creighton, a mining town on the Canadian Shield in northern Saskatchewan, where she explores creative paths between the natural and digital worlds. Author of four books of poetry, including More Than Three Feet of Ice (Thistledown, 2005) and A Haunting Sun (Thistledown, 2001), as well as a book of essays, her work has been published, performed, shown and broadcast across Canada and was part of a poetry installation at the University of Exeter (UK). A past reviewer of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry for Quill & Quire, she founded the Ore Samples Writers Series in 2016 and currently serves on the Sage Hill Writing board of directors. Her work is included in The Best of The Best Canadian Poetry in English: Tenth Anniversary Edition (Tightrope, 2017). She is the seventh Saskatchewan Poet Laureate (April 2017 to December 2018).

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