Thistledown Press Spring 2014 Catalogue

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  • 1
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    The Glass Character Margaret Gunning Canada
    9781927068885 Paperback FICTION / Media Tie-In Publication Date:March 30, 2014
    $19.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.75 in | 450 gr | 312 pages Carton Quantity:36 Canadian Rights: Y Thistledown Press
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      Description
      In the heady days of the 1920s Jazz Age, people went to the movies almost every day, living vicariously through their heroes: Valentino, Garbo, Fairbanks, and Pickford. But comedians were the biggest draw, and broad slapstick the order of the day, with one very significant exception. Standing beside Keaton and Chaplin in popularity and prowess was a slight, diffident man named Harold Lloyd - the silent era's most influential comedian.

      For sixteen year-old Jane he was a living god, and though Lloyd had as many female followers as Gilbert or Barrymore, Jane knew no one could adore him more than she did, and no one would be willing to sacrifice more to be part of his life. But as guileless as Jane may seem, her unaffected vision reveals much about the politics of the major studios, the power plays of the directors, producers, and actors. Her story also reveals much about the human heart and our desire to love against impossible odds.

      "Margaret Gunning's fascination with Harold Lloyd and the fabled silent era of Hollywood is compelling and full of surprises . . . Her writing is stunning, surprising, deeply insightful, and well worth the respect of readers and writers." - David West, author, Franklin and McClintock, Caedmon's Hymn, The Tragic Voyage of HMCS Valleyfield

      "Having known the man and made a couple of films about him, I came to admire Harold Lloyd more and more. If you want to convert someone to silent films, just show them one, of his features. I'm sure he'd have been fascinated by this book." - Kevin Brownlow, author, The Search for Charlie Chaplin, Behind the Mask of Innocence: Films of Social Conscience in the Silent Era

      "Margaret Gunning writes with uncanny grace and unflinching clarity about what it is to be a young girl forgotten by the world . . . Her expressive turns can spur shivers of pleasure." - Montreal Gazette
      Bio
      Margaret Gunning's experience in print journalism includes hundreds of columns and book reviews in such publications as the Globe & Mail, Vancouver Sun, Victoria Times-Colonist and Montreal Gazette. Her poems have appeared in Prism International, Room of One's Own, Capilano Review and many others. Margaret's first novel (Better than Life), described by the Edmonton Journal as "fiction at its finest", celebrates the joy and anguish of family in small-town Ontario. Her second novel (Mallory) explores issues of bullying and social ostracism. Gunning currently lives in Coquitlam, BC.
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  • 2
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    Proudflesh P. J. Worrell Canada
    9781927068953 Paperback FICTION / Short Stories Publication Date:March 30, 2014
    $18.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.5 in | 375 gr | 208 pages Carton Quantity:52 Canadian Rights: Y Thistledown Press
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      Description
      In these stories, readers will not find heartwarming sentimentality, but mature literary prose with surprising twists and indeterminate endings, and women of intense substance and spirit. P. J. Worrell understands girls who dream of being wives and mothers in safe cozy homes, then find out that trying hard to secure that life does not necessarily make it happen. Her work is imbued with the feminism that early literary pioneers like Margaret Laurence and Alice Munro introduced in their fiction. Worrell writes close to the bone. Her characters may not be heroically dashing or intrepid, but they stare death in the face without flinching and this is what makes Proudflesh such an important first book.

      "Feisty, gritty, funny, harrowing, these stories shine with a bright and honest light. Worrell examines the eccentricities, frailties and courage of an impressive range of characters to show us a few things we might have forgotten about ourselves. A debut to celebrate" - Connie Gault

      "A sharp eye for detail, an economical hand with language, a droll sense of humour and the ability to thoroughly inhabit the points of view of a wide range of characters . . . Peggy Worrell makes good use of these qualities in her impressive debut story collection. - Dave Margoshes, author of Bix's Trumpet and Other Stories and A Book of Great Worth
      Bio
      P. J. Worrell has studied at St. Peter?s College (Muenster, SK), The Banff Centre, and The Munster Literature Centre (Cork, Ireland) with Sarah Selecky, Connie Gault, Jessica Grant, Seán Virgo, Lynda Monahan, and Michele Roberts as mentors. She has enjoyed modest success in the world of publication and contests. Worrell grew up on a SK farm, attended Sunday School, and has always tried to be a good girl. Social work practise in mental health and geriatrics have provided fodder for her stories. She has one foot in Swift Current, SK and the other in a cabin at a northern lake.
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  • 3
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    Swimming with Turtles Spirit of Place Doug Beardsley Canada
    9781927068878 Paperback POETRY / Canadian Publication Date:March 30, 2014
    $17.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.25 in | 275 gr | 96 pages Carton Quantity:104 Canadian Rights: Y Thistledown Press
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      Description
      This book is moving and true. Mexico begins with the shock of dislocation, entry into "the exotic"; Caribbean Odyssey feels like a darker and more troubled grappling with spirit and place (and the Bolden references are terrific.) In the third movement the traveler feels more settled; humour is available, with a kind of exhaustion around the edges that accepts the surreal almost as status quo. And then in the South Seas there's the sense of cosmic openness, contemplation, agape. Hula Hymns celebrates the mystery, in human terms. To end on Cook's death, shape-shifting, myth, legend, brings us full circle to dislocation, but a dislocation where all the parts are in a kind of suspension with the vision developed through the text allowing new perspective.

      "A pastiche of travel, Doug Beardsley's Spirit of Place is where the adventurous reader wants to go afar and meld with the paradisiacal of exotic places still in existence on an increasingly degradable earth. In Beardsley's travel narratives we have the right tonic for that restless global traveller. This poet has soul and I wish soul replaced the gold standard, but in this workaday consumer world, what is to be said is truly said by Beardsley. There is biting honesty, a hard edge to this volume." - Joe Rosenblatt

      "Once again, Doug Beardsley is 'going down into history'. In the tradition of Stevenson and Melville, he sails the waters of the South Pacific and the Caribbean in search of 'spirit of place'. Beardsley looks beyond the invasion of 'mahogany tourists' and finds he cannot help 'thinking of slavery' and 'sea dragons'. He meditates on those who have come before; from Cortez and Cook to Gauguin and Neruda. In Swimming with Turtles history and myth fuse with the present in fine poems like 'Dark Hummingbird's Dance' and the final 'Sacrificial Presence'." - David Day
      Bio
      Doug Beardsley has produced both poetry and prose that is visionary and historically rich. His celebrated friendships with Canadian legends Irving Layton and Al Purdy have further informed his writing and created a legacy of fourteen books dating back to the mid 1970s. He has published over 200 poems in a wide variety of periodicals; given over 125 poetry readings; and written over 250 book reviews. He has been nominated for the BC Poetry Prize and the George Woodcock Prize. Beardsley lives in Victoria, BC.
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  • 4
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    9781927068847 Paperback POETRY / Women Authors Publication Date:March 30, 2014
    $17.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.2 in | 250 gr | 96 pages Carton Quantity:104 Canadian Rights: Y Thistledown Press
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      Cara-Lyn Morgan joins those young Canadian poets who are driven by family experience to communicate with their pasts in order to inform their futures. Morgan's complex cultural history that was generated from her M?tis mother and her Afro-Caribbean father necessitates an exploration of their struggles as distinctive cultures. It also insists on understanding the connectivity of her ancestral, cultural roots and the disparate values that shaped her.

      "What Became My Grieving Ceremony draws us into a sprawling family, and we rub shoulders with Fr. Ed; Patrick, the daemonic uncle; Margrette Monkman; Leotha and with the author herself as she conducts her personal and familial archeology, locating the self in its web of relations. Morgan is also on a linguistic search for a lost Michif, that unique Western Canadian tongue, born of the union of two races. Following her, I was led to the wakes, the barns and various kitchens of her people, where I found myself both a stranger yet also home." - Tim Lilburn

      "Elegant and empathic, this fine book plumbs not only grief, but takes us through its rites: the anticipation of loss and its initial sting; the shouldering of a despair so vivid it hurts to succumb to memory's unheralded quietude. Drawing from her M?tis and Trinidadian heritage, Morgan counterpoints the unassuaged suffering of her people with her family's, experiencing them as only one alert person can. Open yourself to these poems, become their host, and live their affirmative message as your own." -John Barton
      Bio
      Cara-Lyn Morgan was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and her family has been on the Canadian prairies for many generations. Her Metis mother hails from Spiritwood, SK and her father came to Saskatchewan as a young immigrant from Trinidad, She is a working writer and painter and a graduate of the University of Victoria?s Creative Writing program. Her work has appeared in a variety of national literary magazines. She lives in the Toronto, ON area. What Became My Grieving Ceremony is her first book.
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  • 5
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    9781927068830 Paperback POETRY / Women Authors Publication Date:March 30, 2014
    $17.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.2 in | 275 gr | 80 pages Carton Quantity:120 Canadian Rights: Y Thistledown Press
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      Description
      How can we be certain of what we really know? Why does the reverie of reality seem so strange in the recklessness of our everyday lives? Not the First Thing I've Missed captures the debris and encumbrances of such questions with a wicked sense of ownership. These poems distill the upheaval that comes when delusion and reality merge, and comment on the resulting residue of self-examination.

      "The more I have read of Fionncara's work, the more I have come to admire her for continuing to make me feel a bit uneasy and alert and humble. She has an edgy, lyrical voice full of disdain, despair, love, and light focused on things and people that matter. She is a writer to watch." - John Lent

      "These poems are as much mini short stories as they are quirky and biting minimalist observations on contemporary living. Offering compassion, unexpected insight and humour, MacEoin transforms sadness and despair into a catalogue of memories of survival. These are stories we didn't know we wanted, nor needed, to hear." - Priscila Uppal

      "How do you write about despair? Beside Rockwell's oatmeal and fishing rods, MacEoin's version of the world doesn't have a chance. Life inside and outside the institution is one proliferation of the progressive tense . . . that mutated world where present, past, and future are one. "You could call it living," moving from "bed to chair/bed to chair" where time is a "barrier to be broken" because no one wants the depressives. These poems stagger and drool. Sometimes, they brawl. Nothing like Purdy's fisticuffs in a northern bar, this landscape is inside the head, the one in the mirror, the hospital bed." - Susan Stenson
      Bio
      Fionncara MacEoin is a poet living in Saskatoon. MacEoin has participated in writing retreats and workshops in Saskatchewan and at The Banff Centre. Her poetry has appeared in The Society, In Medias Res, Transition, CV2, and the chapbook Even the Sky Parts (JackPine Press 2011)
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  • 6
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    Sophie, in Shadow Eileen Kernaghan Canada
    9781927068946 Paperback FICTION / Fantasy Reading age from 14 - adult Publication Date:March 30, 2014
    $15.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.62 in | 375 gr | 248 pages Carton Quantity:44 Canadian Rights: Y Thistledown Press
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      Description
      It's 1914. Sixteen year old Sophie Pritchard, orphaned two years earlier by the sinking of the SS Titanic, is about to begin a new life in the unfamiliar world of British India. For Sophie, still devastated by her parents' death, India proves a dangerously unsettling environment. Are her terrifying experiences in Kali's temple and the Park Street cemetery hallucinations, or has she somehow been drawn back through the centuries as a witness to dark places in Calcutta's past?

      Sophie it seems has become an unwilling traveller in a timeless zone where past, present and future co-exist. Kidnapping, enemy spies, and terrorist plots all play their parts against the background of a world at war and growing unrest in the Indian subcontinent. Soon Sophie's powers of precognition will be called upon to help thwart a conspiracy that could incite a bloodbath in Calcutta, and deliver India into enemy hands. "Sophie, in Shadow deftly weaves intrigue, spies, and mystics with more than a dash of the occult into a story that will captivate any reader." - Linda DeMeulemeester, author of the Grim Hill Series
      Bio
      Eileen Kernaghan lives in New Westminster, British Columbia. Sophie, in Shadow is Kernaghan's ninth book in the fantasy genre. Eileen's first young adult fantasy, Dance of the Snow Dragon, was set in 18th century Bhutan. It was followed by The Snow Queen, which won an Aurora Award for Canadian science fiction and fantasy, and was shortlisted by the Canadian Library Association for Best Children's Book of the Year. The Alchemist's Daughter, set in Elizabethan England, was shortlisted for the Sheila Egoff Prize for Children's Literature and the Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award. Winter on the Plain of Ghosts, which also appeared in 2004, is an adult historical fantasy set in the ancient Indus Valley civilization. Wild Talent: a Novel of the Supernatural, a novel of spiritualism in Victorian England and fin de siècle Paris, appeared in 2008, and was shortlisted for a Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic.
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  • 7
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    9781927068915 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Fantasy & Magic Reading age from 9 - 13 Publication Date:March 30, 2014
    $12.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.44 in | 300 gr | 264 pages Carton Quantity:40 Canadian Rights: Y Thistledown Press
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      Description
      It was supposed to be a homecoming and reunion, but when Anne Tennyson Miller (Tenn to her friends and family) returns to Driftwood Bay with her new friend Una, they find a ghost town.

      Something has gone terribly wrong in the world. The sea is rising fast, and everyone - almost everyone - has fled to the hills. Danger and treachery lurk on a highway littered with abandoned cars and possessions, and the girls, along with two young strangers who conceal a mystery of their own, head across country. They climb through the wilderness in hopes of finding the Miller family and safety, perhaps, from the relentless tide. But their adventures have only begun . . .

      "Givner's characters are so real that the reader will have no problem identifying with them" - CM Magazine.

      "Her writing is crisp and clear, while her ability to wrap up the story, and prepare for a sequel is absolutely wonderful." - Erika Sorocco, reviewer
      "The several threads of the story weave together without fanfare but with a calm assurance that creates a sturdy sense of character and believability" - Kirkus reviews
      Bio
      Joan Givner has written a dozen books of biography and fiction. She is also recognized for her series of books for young adults that include the Ellen Fremedon Series and A Girl Called Tennyson trilogy. Givner currently resides in a small seaside town north of Victoria, BC. Although she is retired from teaching, she still continues to write fiction, as well as review books for BC Bookworld, the Toronto Star, and other publications.
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