Winter 2019

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  • 1
    catalogue cover
    Death Threat Vivek Shraya Canada, Ness Lee Canada
    9781551527505 Hardcover COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS / LGBT Publication Date: April 01, 2019
    $16.95 CAD 7.5 x 10 x 0.5 in | 60 pages Carton Quantity: 30 Canadian Rights: Y Arsenal Pulp Press
    • Marketing Copy

      Description

      In the fall of 2017, the acclaimed writer and musician Vivek Shraya began receiving vivid and disturbing transphobic hate mail from a stranger. Celebrated artist Ness Lee brings these letters and Shraya's responses to them to startling life in Death Threat, a comic book that, by its existence, becomes a compelling act of resistance. Using satire and surrealism, Death Threat is an unflinching portrayal of violent harassment from the perspective of both the perpetrator and the target, illustrating the dangers of online accessibility, and the ease with which vitriolic hatred can be spread digitally.

      Bio

      Vivek Shraya is the author of the young-adult collection God Loves Hair, the novel She of the Mountains, the poetry book even this page is white, and the children's picture book (with Rajni Perera) The Boy & the Bindi (all published by Arsenal Pulp Press), as well as I'm Afraid of Men and What I Love About Being QUEER. She is editor of the Arsenal Pulp Press imprint VS. Books, dedicated to work by young black, Indigenous, and writers of colour. Vivek was the 2014 recipient of the Steinert & Ferreiro Award for leadership in Toronto's LGBTQ community, the recipient of Anokhi Media's inaugural Most Promising LGBTQ Community Crusader Award in 2015, a 2015 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award finalist, and a 2015 recipient of the Writers' Trust of Canada's Dayne Ogilvie Prize Honour of Distinction. Originally from Edmonton, she now lives in Calgary, where she is an assistant professor in the University of Calgary's Department of English.



      Ness Lee is an illustrator/artist based in Toronto. Her illustrations have been chosen for award publications such as American Illustration 35 and the Society of Illustrators 57 and she has exhibited her works at galleries in Toronto, New York, Boston and Tokyo. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design with a Bachelors of Design degree in Illustration. She has continued to explore her practice using a wide range of mediums such as ceramics, drawing, painting, and mixed media sculpture.
      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      That Vivek shares her life so openly is an inspiration to many but is not without costs. I'm so grateful for her voice. It feels like a natural fit for comics. -Jillian Tamaki, co-creator of Skim and This One Summer
      Death Threat is fearless and ambitious. I have no idea where Vivek will go next but we should all be very excited to follow her there. -Michael DeForge, author of Ant Colony and Big Kids
      Death Threat perfectly expresses the feeling of being exposed to the hurtful and threatening presumptions of strangers. Vivek Shraya and Ness Lee transform a hideous and constrictive mindset into beauty and love. -Lisa Hanawalt, production designer/producer, BoJack Horseman; author of Coyote Doggirl
      In transcending hate and ignorance with strength and vulnerability, Shraya - with the assistance of Lee [and colorists] Phan and Tang - deliver a message of hope and courage to all trans women. -Gay League
  • 2
    catalogue cover
    9781551527550 Paperback FICTION / Women Publication Date: April 01, 2019
    $17.95 CAD 6 x 8 x 0.3 in | 176 pages Carton Quantity: 50 Canadian Rights: Y Arsenal Pulp Press
    • Marketing Copy

      Description

      In Tea Mutonji's disarming debut story collection, a woman contemplates her Congolese traditions during a family wedding, a teenage girl looks for happiness inside a pack of cigarettes, a mother reconnects with her daughter through their shared interest in fish, and a young woman decides to shave her head in the waiting room of an abortion clinic. These punchy, sharply observed stories blur the lines between longing and choosing, exploring the narrator's experience as an involuntary one. Tinged with pathos and humour, they interrogate the moments in which femininity, womanness, and identity are not only questioned but also imposed.

      Shut Up You're Pretty is the first book to be published under the imprint VS. Books, a series of books curated and edited by writer-musician Vivek Shraya featuring work by new and emerging Indigenous or Black writers, or writers of colour.

      Bio
      Téa Mutonji is an award-winning poet and writer. Born in Congo-Kinshasa, she now lives and writes in Scarborough, Ontario where she was named emerging writer of the year (2017) by the Ontario Book Publishers Organization. Shut Up You're Pretty is her first book.
      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      This book asks us to witness the journey of a girl into womanhood, holding in her arms the fragile understandings of femininity as a commodity, femininity as a caretaker, femininity as a storyteller. Dulled by the residue of trauma and sharpened by the expectations of the streets, Téa's characters are painfully and beautifully rendered in these gritty, must-read stories. --Catherine Hernandez, author of Scarborough
      Tea Mutonji's timely, original, and absorbing stories compose a shattered and shattering bildungsroman. Her lyric, dramatically charged fragments are linked by rich and vital prose, captivating and urgent storytelling, and an eye for the strange and striking detail. Probing the mundane, the traumatic, and all the struggles in between with authenticity, intelligence, and art, Shut Up You're Pretty is a stunning debut. -Daniel Scott Tysdal, author of Predicting the Next Big Advertising Breakthrough Using a Potentially Dangerous Method
      Shut Up You're Pretty is a chronicle of millennial malaise, gendered and seaming with a discontent that does not sleep on the status quo of any page. Tea Mutonji is a writer who is assured and measured with a style all her own, holding a hand up to greats like Hurston and Kincaid. She takes back the 21st century in this delicious feast of stories as vivid and taut as they are understated. --Canisia Lubrin, author of Voodoo Hypothesis and augur
      A sense of assuredness permeates Mutonji's writing in Shut Up Youâ??re Pretty. Through a series of 18 strikingly raw vignettes, Loli's identity flows like the Congolese river she is named after. -Toronto Star
      The stories are vivid and unsettling in their detail â?¦ Mutonji writes with grit and quick-witted humour. The ease with which these stories unfold is a facet of the author's craft: the prose holds its emotion in the same way the characters hold their pain. -Quill and Quire (STARRED REVIEW)
      Each story is a separate, richly-described glimpse into an aspect of the protagonist's life, and together they form a whole picture of a young woman who is struggling to understand herself and her world. -Book Riot
  • 3
    catalogue cover
    Dear Scarlet The Story of My Postpartum Depression Teresa Wong Canada
    9781551527659 Paperback COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS / Contemporary Women Publication Date: April 01, 2019
    $19.95 CAD 7 x 9 x 0.25 in | 128 pages Carton Quantity: 72 Canadian Rights: Y Arsenal Pulp Press
    • Marketing Copy

      Description

      In this intimate and moving graphic memoir, Teresa Wong writes and illustrates the story of her struggle with postpartum depression in the form of a letter to her daughter Scarlet. Equal parts heartbreaking and funny, Dear Scarlet perfectly captures the quiet desperation of those suffering from PPD and the profound feelings of inadequacy and loss. As Teresa grapples with her fears and anxieties and grasps at potential remedies, coping mechanisms, and her mother's Chinese elixirs, we come to understand one woman's battle against the cruel dynamics of postpartum depression.

      Dear Scarlet is a poignant and deeply personal journey through the complexities of new motherhood, offering hope to those affected by PPD, as well as reassurance that they are not alone.

      Bio
      Teresa Wong is a Calgary writer who had three children in less than five years. At first, she feared motherhood would destroy her, but is pleasantly surprised to find herself continually remade. When the kids are asleep, she writes and draws pictures. When she is asleep, it's never for long. Dear Scarlet is her first book.
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    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      From this easy-reading and welcoming story of Wong's very tough time, readers will understand that suffering from PPD is not unique, and there's lots of help -- and hope -- available. -Booklist
      This book is so important -- it's like a friend reaching through the darkness and telling your own story back to you. It's universal and heartbreaking and so, so reassuring. Moms are so strong. -Lucy Knisley, author of Kid Gloves
      Teresa Wong's spare, lovely exploration of postpartum depression is compassionate and direct in all the right ways and, most importantly, locates the thread of joy that runs through a life -- even if, in our most despairing hours or days or weeks, it seems as though it's been lost to us forever. -Emily Flake, author of Mama Tried
      In a society where women's stories of childbirth and early motherhood are expected to be either fairy tales or else not told at all, Dear Scarlet is an act of bravery. I am so grateful that Teresa Wong has chosen to share this sensitive, charming and honest work with us. -Sarah Glidden, author of Rolling Blackouts
      Full to bursting with sadness, insight and hope. -Tom Hart, author of Rosalie Lightning
      I love this book! It's full of pain, despair, beauty and joy -- communicated masterfully in simple, elegant comics. Teresa Wong moves easily from pages full of frank details about physical and emotional suffering to heartbreakingly silent depictions of the isolation and blankness of depression. Through it all, she maintains a self-awareness and sense of humour that keep us reading. Dear Scarlet offers validation and comfort, not to mention some laughs of recognition, for anyone who has suffered pain and kept 'fumbling through the sadness.' -Sarah Leavitt, author of Tangles: A Story about Alzheimer's, My Mother and Me
      This raw but reassuring memoir filled with helpful suggestions to mothers struggling with similar situations and feelings is sure to resonate with many new parents. -Publishers Weekly
      We see quiet but similarly daunting images: simple bird's-eye views of her baby surrounded by white space, tiny arms stretching out of her swaddle. The rendering's variance in tone feels true to life. It's sometimes quiet, sometimes deafening, and always complex. Whatever the volume, there are always possibilities for suffocation but also for beauty and hope. -Paris Review
      With heartbreaking candor and utterly disarming humor, Wong removes the rose-colored glasses through which our culture so often views new motherhood. -Bustle
  • 4
    catalogue cover
    Double Melancholy Art, Beauty, and the Making of a Brown Queer Man C.E. Gatchalian Canada
    9781551527536 Paperback SOCIAL SCIENCE / LGBT Studies Publication Date: April 01, 2019
    $18.95 CAD 6 x 8 x 0.4 in | 224 pages Carton Quantity: 50 Canadian Rights: Y Arsenal Pulp Press
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      According to Didier Eribon, melancholy is where it all starts and where it also ends: the lifelong process of mourning that each homosexual experiences, and through which they construct their own identity. In this beguiling book, an introverted, anxious, ambitious, artistically gifted queer Filipino-Canadian boy finds solace, inspiration, and a "syllabus for living" in art -- works of literature and music, from the children's literary classic Anne of Green Gables to the music of Maria Callas. But their contribution to his intellectual, emotional, and spiritual edification belies the fact that they were largely heteronormative and white, which had the effect of invisibilizing him as a queer person of colour. Part memoir, part cultural commentary, and a hybrid of besotted aesthetic appreciation and unsparing critique, Double Melancholy is by turns a passionate love letter to art and an embattled examination of its oppressive complicity with the society that produces it, and the depths to which art both enriches and colonizes us.
      Bio
      C.E. Gatchalian is a queer Filipino-Canadian author and theatre-maker born, raised and based on unceded Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver). A graduate of the the University of British Columbia's Creative Writing program, he is a two-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award whose plays have been produced locally, nationally and internationally. Double Melancholy is his first non-fiction book.
      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      Alberto Manguel meets Richard Rodriguez in this fearless, intimate memoir. Gatchalian's prose is evocative, lyrical, and poetic. It's also rigorous and tough. Gatchalian doesn't only expose oppressive legacies of our homophobic, racist, and patriarchal histories. He also exposes himself. In passages of raw, compelling vulnerability, he offers readers a window into the indefensible, incorrect desires, longings, and hatreds that we all carry in some form or other, and that many of us go to great lengths to mask. -Marcus Youssef, winner of the Siminovitch Prize and Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award
      C.E. Gatchalian's Double Melancholy charts a central and exciting path: a Canadian of Filipinx descent attempts to tease out the complexities of his identification with white and Western 'high culture,' from E.M. Forster to Anne of Green Gables, from Tennessee Williams to Maria Callas. As a brown and queer artist, Gatchalian is unsparing with both himself and others, often provocatively and wittily so. An ambitious and original book of warring voices, many of them the author's own. -Will Aitken, author of Antigone Undone
      C.E. Gatachlian's Double Melancholy is a brave and heartbreaking fireworks display of a book. The author, a self-described 'brown queer man' and well-known playwright, scrutinizes the inner pasts of various artists as a means of deepening his own self-awareness and displaying his singular prose style. -George Fetherling, author of Travels by Night
      A work of such psychic intimacy, one almost has the sense that they're watching Gatchalian think in real time on the page. Diaristic, theoretical, lyrical, Double Melancholy gives voice to a unique, multi-hyphenated identity. -Jordan Tannahill, author of Liminal
      Chris Gatchalian's Double Melancholy is a game-changing memoir. To be queer and to be brown are separate struggles, but to occupy a body and mind locked between the two is a world we cannot all experience. Stuck in the crevice where the personal meets the political, we the readers root for the narrator. Brilliant and gripping. -Chelene Knight, author of Dear Current Occupant
  • 5
    catalogue cover
    9781551527635 Paperback FICTION / Asian American Publication Date: March 01, 2019
    $19.95 CAD 6 x 9 x 0.7 in | 324 pages Carton Quantity: 26 Canadian Rights: Y Arsenal Pulp Press
    • Marketing Copy

      Description

      The Walking Boy is a quest novel set in early eighth-century Tang Dynasty China, in the final days of the rule of the first Female Emperor Wu Zhao. The ailing hermit monk Harelip sends his disciple Baoshi on a pilgrimage from Mount Hua to Chang'an, the Western capital; Baoshi is the "walking boy" charged with locating Harelip's missing former lover Ardhanari. Baoshi lives with a secret only his Master knows, and he is filled with fears of being discovered. On his journey, Baoshi crosses paths with both commoners and imperial officials, as well as others who take delight in their queer identities; in doing so, he is released powerfully from his past shame.

      The Walking Boy, set in the years following Kwa's recent novel Oracle Bone, is a book of quiet subversion, upending classical Chinese tropes with contemporary ideas around gender and feminism. Filled with psychological complexities, magic and poetic allusions to classical Chinese literature, The Walking Boy explores the intrigue of inner alchemy while exorcising the ghosts of history.

      Bio

      Lydia Kwa is the author of the novels Oracle Bone,This Place Called Absence (shortlisted for the Books in Canada First Novel Award), The Walking Boy (shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize), and Pulse, as well as two books of poetry, The Colours of Heroines and sinuous. A new updated edition of The Walking Boy was published in 2019. She lives and works in Vancouver as a writer and psychologist.

      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      Oracle Bone was my favourite speculative fiction novel of 2017, and since then I've been looking forward to the next book in Lydia Kwa's chuanqi trilogy. My eagerness has been handsomely rewarded: in The Walking Boy, Kwa's world-building is meticulous and rich, her characters both intellectually gripping and incredibly sensual, and she puts her signature subversive queer, feminist spin on the narrative. -Amber Dawn, author of Sodom Road Exit
      At the court, at the caves, in the cities and the mountains, secrets and mysteries abound. This novel has it all, palace intrigues, betrayals, spirits, enlightenment, magic, and visual and sensual delights. A diverse cast of fascinating characters and, page after page, poetic pronouncements to guide one, to live and to die by. I was spellbound to the end, and when it came, I didn't want to leave the world of Kwa's The Walking Boy. -Shani Mootoo, author of Moving Forward Sideways, Like a Crab
  • 6
    catalogue cover
    Tonguebreaker Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha Canada
    9781551527574 Paperback POETRY / LGBT Publication Date: March 01, 2019
    $18.95 CAD 6 x 8 x 0.4 in | 142 pages Carton Quantity: 50 Canadian Rights: Y Arsenal Pulp Press
    • Marketing Copy

      Description

      In their fourth collection of poetry, Lambda Literary Award-winning poet and writer Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha continues her excavation of working-class queer brown femme survivorhood and desire.

      Tonguebreaker is about surviving the unsurvivable: living through hate crimes, the suicides of queer kin, and the rise of fascism while falling in love and walking through your beloved's neighbourhood in Queens. Building on her groundbreaking work in Bodymap, Tonguebreaker is an unmitigated force of disabled queer-of-colour nature, narrating disabled femme-of-colour moments on the pulloff of the 80 in West Oakland, the street, and the bed. Tonguebreaker dreams unafraid femme futures where we live -- a ritual for our collective continued survival.

      Bio

      Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled femme writer and performer of Burgher/Tamil Sri Lankan and Irish/Roma ascent. Her most recent titles are the nonfiction book Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice (2018) and the poetry book Tonguebreaker (2019). Her memoir Dirty River was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and a Publishing Triangle Award (Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction). She is also author of the poetry books Bodymap and Love Cake (Lambda Literary Award winner) and Consensual Genocide, and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities. She is the co-founder of Mangos With Chili, North America's touring queer and trans people of colour cabaret, and is a lead artist with the disability justice incubator Sins Invalid.

      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews

      Leah is a passionate healing cry in the wilderness of interlocking oppressions. And in these pages you will find the love, from a brown queer disabled femme epicenter of fight and faith, to get us through. -Alexis Pauline Gumbs, author of Spill and M Archive: After the End of the World


      With a great deal of skill and an unsinkable boat full of grace, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's newest collection is pissed off and loving, wise and lustful. These eulogies and lamentations are prayers, medicine, love. Leah moves towards the mess that is real life with these 'complex, liminal-ass' poems and performance writings, and the world is better for them. -Bao Phi, author of Thousand Star Hotel


      Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha dares a future to hold us, keep us, cherish our fallibilities as much as it covets efficiency. These poems are lanterns that float on water inside which one can live openhearted -- and safe. Leah's poems put safe's taste on my tongue, its song in my chest. Leah's poems are the homes in which we, the disabled, can 'recalibrate the world to our bodies,' where we're not just welcome, but crucial. -Tara Hardy, author of My, My, My, My, My

  • 7
    catalogue cover
    9781551527598 Paperback POETRY / LGBT Publication Date: March 01, 2019
    $16.95 CAD 6 x 8 x 0.2 in | 80 pages Carton Quantity: 90 Canadian Rights: Y Arsenal Pulp Press
    • Marketing Copy

      Description

      In her powerful debut collection of poetry, Arielle Twist unravels the complexities of human relationships after death and metamorphosis. In these spare yet powerful poems, she explores, with both rage and tenderness, the parameters of grief, trauma, displacement, and identity. Weaving together a past made murky by uncertainty and a present which exists in multitudes, Arielle Twist poetically navigates through what it means to be an Indigenous trans woman, discovering the possibilities of a hopeful future and a transcendent, beautiful path to regaining softness.

      Bio
      Arielle Twist is a writer and sex educator from George Gordon First Nation, Saskatchewan, now based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is a Nêhiyaw, Two-Spirit, trans femme supernova writing to reclaim and harness ancestral magic and memories. Within her short career pursuing writing, she has attended a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity and has work published with Them, CBC Arts, Canadian Art, The Fiddlehead, and PRISM international. Disintegrate/Dissociate is her first book.
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    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      Arielle Twist's visceral poetry is built and rebuilt through breaking, demonstrating the vitality of destruction. This sharp, absorbing debut collection will break you and then rebirth you. -Vivek Shraya, author of I'm Afraid of Men and even this page is white
      A dazzling debut that is one of the most exciting developments in the literary queer poetic tradition. Combining deft eloquence with fierce emotional intensity, these poems form a bridge between past and present, pain and pleasure, ancestral love and romantic love. Twist's voice is urgent, sexy, and deeply intelligent. To read this book is to dive deep into an exploration of the ways in which the body is marked by time and place -- by sexuality, violence, colonization, kinship, and hope. Long after you turn the final page, you will still hear these poems singing somewhere inside your bones. -Kai Cheng Thom, author of a place called No Homeland and Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars
      Arielle Twist is an expansive force of holy radiant power and illuminating fury. Disintegrate/Dissociate follows in the literary footsteps of legendary trans femme writers, but Twist carves a new path for herself. Rooted in a fierce Nehiyaw love, the book is an uncompromising articulation of Indigenous sovereignty, trans girl beauty, and radical sex. In Arielle's writing, the ancestors sing loudly and without shame, creating new worlds and decolonial possibilities for everyone who witnesses Twist's brilliance. -Gwen Benaway, author of Holy Wild and Passage
      Arielle Twist's Disintegrate/Dissociate is a miraculous debut of poetry that enacts exactly what it summons into the world. I am reminded here that we cannot, and should not, remove the body from story -- we must witness what we break and reciprocate wholly to what we must rebuild. This book is majesty, it is unabashedly honest, heart rupturing so, but also wondrous in its medicine-weaving. From floorboards filled with flora to a world destroyed because the speaker can will it so, from the waving Cree prairie through to a Mi'kmaq oceanic, Twist teaches us that 'if we must survive [then] we must write' and emerges a prominent new otâcimow in Indigenous literature. -Joshua Whitehead, author of Jonny Appleseed and full-metal indigiqueer
      'I will sing with no voice, no language, no song, can you hear it?' Arielle Twist's poetry is striking, visceral, honest. Reading her work is like taking a ginger shot: painful, but ultimately you're better for it. With few words, she conveys so much about the legacies of colonization, the terror of transmisogyny, and the colossal force of them both. Her candour is both urgent and compelling, confrontational and compassionate, world-making with its insistence on another way to live. In a political moment hell-bent on erasing Indigenous trans voices, Twist's Disintegrate/Dissociate is here to stay. -Alok Vaid-Menon, author of Femme in Public
  • 8
    catalogue cover
    Scorpio Rising A Queer Film Classic R.L. Cagle
    9781551527611 Paperback PERFORMING ARTS / Film Publication Date: April 30, 2019
    $18.95 CAD 5 x 8 x 0.6 in | 176 pages Carton Quantity: 38 Canadian Rights: Y Arsenal Pulp Press
    • Marketing Copy

      Description

      The final book in the Queer Film Classics series is R.L. Cagle's take on Scorpio Rising (1963), Kenneth Anger's avant-garde short film that about gay Nazi bikers preparing for a race. The film marked Anger's spectacular return to the US underground cinema scene after an absence of nearly ten years. Scorpio Rising resonates with the thrill and energy Anger discovered as he mingled with young Americans on the beaches and under the boardwalk at Coney Island. He stuffs his film -- one of the first to feature an all rock'n'roll soundtrack -- with the symbols of their generation -- motorcycles, transistor radios, comic books, matinee idols -- until it literally explodes onscreen.

      Cagle reads Anger's film intertextually, bringing together a corpus of materials that includes Anger's pre-1963 works, feature films, pop music, and popular cultural icons. The book places the film in the larger social context of articulating gay identity in ways that reflect both "gay" sensibility (camp) and contemporary popular media theories.

      Launched in 2009, Queer Film Classics has been a critically acclaimed film book series, publishing books on 19 of the most important and influential films about and by LGBTQ people, made in eight different countries between 1950 and 2005, and written by leading LGBTQ film scholars and critics.

      Bio
      R.L. Cagle writes about film and popular culture. His essays have appeared in Cinema Journal, The Velvet Light Trap, and cineAction! and in such anthologies as Gendering the Nation, Seoul Searching, and Korean Horror Cinema.
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