Talonbooks Spring 2020

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  • 1
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    Orwell in Cuba How 1984 Came to Be Published in Castro’s Twilight Frédérick Lavoie Canada, Donald Winkler Canada
    9781772012453 Paperback POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies Publication Date: May 06, 2020
    $24.95 CAD 8.5 x 5.5 x 1 in | 304 pages Carton Quantity: 1 Canadian Rights: Y Talonbooks
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      Description
      Orwell in Cuba: How ‘1984’ Came to Be Published in Castro’s Twilight is a personal account of contemporary Cuba at a pivotal point in its history, with the Castro brothers passing power on to a new generation. We discover Cuba through the adventures, inquiries, and encounters of a Canadian journalist and writer trying to make sense of the current climate in Cuba and of how Cubans feel about the past, present, and future of their island. Orwell in Cuba is also akin to a detective story, as the author investigates how and why a state-run publishing house came to release a new translation of George Orwell’s iconic anti-totalitarian novel Nineteen-Eighty-Four, formerly taboo, in the year 2016. These two quests are intertwined in the book, giving the reader an unusual experience: that of following a suspenseful trail while at the same time becoming increasingly familiar with the Cuban people’s relationship to the regime, and absorbing a wealth of information as to how they succeed in coping with the island’s often challenging living conditions.
      Bio
      Born in Chicoutimi in 1983, Frédérick Lavoie is a writer and freelance journalist. He is the author of three nonfiction books, including For Want of a Fir Tree: Ukraine Undone (Linda Leith Publishing, 2018). In Orwell in Cuba: How ‘1984’ Came to Be Published in Castro’s Twilight, winner of the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for French Non-Fiction, he continues his investigation of the many faces of humanity in troubled times.

      As a journalist, Lavoie has contributed to many Canadian and European media outlets, reporting from more than thirty countries. Previously based in Moscow and Chicago, he now divides his time between Montréal and Mumbai. Lavoie is currently writing a book on Bangladesh. Donald Winkler is a translator of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. He is a three-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for French-to-English Translation, and has been a finalist on three other occasions. He lives in Montréal.

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  • 2
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    Searching for Sam Sophie Bienvenu Canada, Rhonda Mullins Canada
    9781772012460 Paperback FICTION / General Publication Date: May 06, 2020
    $16.95 CAD 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.75 in | 208 pages Carton Quantity: 1 Canadian Rights: Y Talonbooks
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      Description
      Mathieu lives in the street by choice, eschewing drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol. His main companion is his dog Sam, a pitbull, who he says has helped keep him alive. When Sam disappears, Mathieu’s frantic search to find her brings him into confrontation with the secrets of his own past and the pain and grief that drove him onto the street. The novel is a monologue from Mathieu’s point of view, a sort of confessional in which Mathieu opens up to the reader. In flashbacks to his past, we discover the tragedies of his life and the people he has lost. In this book about survivors, Bienvenu takes a tender look at the underside of our cities, and the people that get left behind.
      Bio
      Sophie Bienvenu is an author and screenwriter. Her first novel, Et au pire, on se mariera, was published by La Mèche in 2011, and with France’s Éditions Noir sur Blanc in 2014. It earned her the Prix des Arcades de Bologne in 2013 and the Prix du premier roman de Chambéry 2015, and she co-wrote the adaptation for the big screen by director Léa Pool in 2017. Chercher Sam, her second novel, published in 2014 by Cheval d’août, was well received by critics and readers, and was on Ici Radio-Canada’s top 100 books. She likes: pit bulls, feminism, Montreal, the UFC, getting tattoos and wearing her boyfriend’s clothes. She hates pineapple, but takes no issue if you like them.
      Rhonda Mullins is a translator living in Montreal. She won the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation for Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals and is a five-time finalist for the award. Her translation of Anaïs Barbeau-Lavallette’s Suzanne was a 2019 finalist for CBC Canada Reads, as was her translation of Saucier’s And the Birds Rained Down, in 2015.
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  • 3
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    Impurity Larry Tremblay Canada, Sheila Fischman Canada
    9781772012477 Paperback FICTION / Literary Publication Date: April 06, 2020
    $16.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.5 in | 140 pages Carton Quantity: 1 Canadian Rights: Y Talonbooks
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      Description
      A playful and macabre narrative tour de force, structured like a matryoshka doll, Impurity weaves a complex web of interlocking narratives in multiple voices and a variety of forms. The bestselling author Alice Livingston is dead, leaving her philosopher husband, Antoine, dealing with a legacy towards which he has felt increasingly estranged. Confronted with his wife’s much reported disappearance, Antoine revisits their past relationship: open and liberated on the outside, but constrained and even deviant on the inside. The news of the day (the death of JFK Junior, the self-immolation of a Buddhist monk, etc.) announced by the television running in the novel’s background gradually becomes significant in the lives of the protagonists – as revealed in Alice’s last book. As narrators of the novel become less and less reliable, good intentions become corrupted, appearances prove to be deceiving, and Impurity’s multiple plots come to a gripping, asphyxiating conclusion.
      Bio
      Larry Tremblay is a writer, director, actor, and specialist in Kathakali, an elaborate dance theatre form which he has studied on numerous trips to India. He has published twenty books as a playwright, poet, novelist, and essayist. Thanks to an uninterrupted succession of new plays (Anatomy Lesson, Ogre, The Dragonfly of Chicoutimi, Les Mains bleues, Téléroman, among others) in production during the 1990s, Tremblay’s work continues to achieve international recognition. One of Quebec’s most versatile writers, Tremblay currently teaches acting at l’École supérieure de théâtre de l’Université du Québec à Montréal.
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  • 4
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    Cissy Three Gender Plays: Nelly Boy, My Funny Valentine, and Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls Dave Deveau Canada
    9781772012521 Paperback DRAMA / LGBT Publication Date: March 01, 2020
    $19.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.5 in | 176 pages Carton Quantity: 40 Canadian Rights: Y Talonbooks
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      Description
      Cissy is a collection of three plays on gender and young LGBTQ+ folk by the acclaimed playwright Dave Deveau. In Nelly Boy, an unknown man sits in a nondescript room trying to discover how Nelly came to be running naked along the side of a six-lane highway. Nelly’s world slowly unfolds; following Nelly’s epic journey through suburbia, we discover the inner workings of a brilliant teenage mind trying to grapple with the greater picture. Caught in the middle of opposing gender ideals, Nelly is forced to confront hatred and his/her own perceptions of the world in order to survive.

      My Funny Valentine examines the 2008 murder of 14-year-old Lawrence Laetitia King who asked Brandon McInerney to be his valentine. The next day, during first period, McInerney took out a gun and shot King twice in the head. On February 13, King was declared brain-dead, but was left on life support so organs could be removed for donation. King passed away on February 14, 2008 – Valentine’s Day. My Funny Valentine enters the minds of people on the fringes of a murder that will forever affect them. It tackles the fracturing of opinion in the face of a horrendous act within a community and invites the audience to search for its own humanity amid the confusing and chaotic implications King’s death brings to the surface. In searching through this thick haze, it enables us to find our hearts.

      Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls is the story of 9-year-old Fiona who comes out as a boy and wants to be called Fin. Fin has always had this feeling – knowing something is different but not knowing what it was or how to say it. As Fin cuts his hair short and changes his name, his family works to understand and adjust to Fin’s gender identity. Dad is accepting of the change right away, but Mom doesn’t quite get it at first. We see Fin’s family struggle with this change and through the course of the play ultimately begin to accept and embrace Fin for who he is. Three powerful, intensely relevant plays by “one of Vancouver’s finest playwrights and one of our country’s finest gay writers” (Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents).
      Bio
      Dave Deveau is an award-winning writer and performer from Vancouver, B.C. Dave grew up as a film and television actor before crossing over to writing in his teens. He went on to study theatre and playwriting at York University (BFA) and had his first professional play produced while still an undergrad. He subsequently received an MFA in Playwriting from UBC. His work has been produced across Canada and the U.S. as well as in Israel and Ireland. He is the Playwright in Residence for Zee Zee Theatre who commissioned and produced his plays Nelly Boy, Tiny Replicas, the critically acclaimed My Funny Valentine, Lowest Common Denominator, and Elbow Room Café: The Musical (with Anton Lipovetsky). His plays for young audiences were all commissioned and premiered by Green Thumb Theatre, and have subsequently continued into other productions: Out in the Open, Celestial Being (co-commissioned with Théâtre La Seizième), and tagged, which is currently touring Israel in Hebrew. Deveau is one of the Associates at Playwrights Theatre Centre where he is developing a number of projects including new commissions for Zee Zee Theatre.

      Deveau's first feature-length screenplay Us in Nine Months, based on his play Tiny Replicas, just won the Harold Greenberg Award at the Canadian Film Festival and starts shooting in 2020. Dave was recently included in Xtra’s Top 30 under 30 and OUTtv’s Queers of the Year and is the 2014 recipient of the Pride Legacy Award for Art. He is currently working on new commissions for Green Thumb Theatre, Roseneath Theatre, and The Belfry. In total, his plays to date have been nominated for 20 Jessie Richardson Awards.
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  • 5
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    Iron Peggy Marie Clements
    9781772012538 Paperback DRAMA / Canadian Publication Date: June 09, 2020
    $16.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.5 in | 106 pages Carton Quantity: 1 Canadian Rights: Y Talonbooks
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      Description
      Peg is struggling for survival at her boarding school. Three über-cool “it” girls take aim at Peg and make her life utterly miserable. When her beloved Grandmother dies she just wants to disappear. Then an unexpected gift arrives; inside it, Peg finds three cast-iron Canadian soldiers. In despair, she throws them against the floor. How can they help her? They are so small, and the girls’ shadow is so big. But, miraculously, the toys come to life as Indigenous snipers from World War I, just in time to wage an epic battle against the girls. A powerful play that will appeal to audiences both young and old, Iron Peggy uses a creative and ever-surprising blend of voices and sceneries to tell this moving story. With 2018 marking the 100th-year anniversary of WWI, Iron Peggy is an excellent introduction to its history and a touching testimony that not only celebrates the First Nation participation in the war effort but also a young girl’s personal victory. 

      Iron Peggy, by award-winning, international Métis performer and playwright Marie Clements, was commissioned by the Vancouver International Children’s Festival and premiered at Vancouver’s Waterfront Theatre in 2019. (Adapted from Vancouver International Children’s Festival online presentation.)
      Bio

      Marie Clements is an award-winning Métis performer, playwright, and director whose work has been presented on stages across Canada, the United States and Europe. She is the founder of Urban Ink productions, a Vancouver-based First Nations production company that creates, develops and produces Indigenous and multicultural works of theatre, dance, music, film, and video. Clements was invited to the prestigious Festival TransAmériques in 2001 for Urban Tattoo and in 2002 for Burning Vision. In 2002, she worked in the writing department of the television series Da Vinci’s Inquest. A fellowship award from the BC Film Commission enabled her to develop the film adaptation of her stage play, The Unnatural and Accidental Women. She is also a regular contributor on CBC Radio. 

      Clements writes, or, perhaps more accurately, composes, with an urbane, incisive and sophisticated intellect; her refined artistry is deeply rooted in the particulars of her place, time, and history. The world premiere of Copper Thunderbird is the first time Canada’s National Arts Centre has produced the work of a First Nations playwright on its main stage.

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  • 6
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    Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer A Satirical Land Claim Fable Kevin Loring Canada
    9781772012545 Paperback DRAMA / Canadian Publication Date: June 08, 2020
    $16.95 CAD 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.5 in | 96 pages Carton Quantity: 1 Canadian Rights: Y Talonbooks
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      Description
      Little Red Warrior is the last remaining member of the Little Red Warrior First Nation. One day, he discovers a development company has begun construction on his ancestral lands. In a fit of rage, Little Red attacks one of the engineers and is arrested for assault and trespassing on his own lands. In jail he meets his court-appointed lawyer, Larry, who agrees to help Little Red get his lands back. Larry convinces his wife, Desdemona, to allow Little Red to move into their basement while they sort out Red’s case. Desdemona and Red strike up an uneasy relationship. When Red notices that one of Desdemona’s eyes is slightly lazy she becomes increasingly neurotic, convinced that Little Red is up to something. Despite herself Desdemona, who is not accustomed to being thrown off her game, is increasingly drawn to Red’s apparently hypnotic Indigenous charisma. As sparks begin to fly between them Larry prepares to fight for Little Red’s Land Rights. An unexpected intervention by a greater power occurs in the court case, and nothing will ever be the same.
      Bio

      Kevin Loring is a member of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation in Lytton, B.C. As an actor he has performed in numerous plays across Canada including Marie Clements’s Burning Vision and Copper Thunderbird, and in the NAC’s 40th anniversary production of George Ryga’s The Ecstasy of Rita Joe. He also starred in the 2007 feature film Pathfinder, and co-produced and co-hosted the documentary Canyon War: The Untold Story about the 1858 Fraser Canyon War. He is currently the artistic director for Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. 
      Loring was the recipient of the 2005 City of Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Theatre Artist, Artist in Residence at The Playhouse Theatre Company in 2006, and Playwright in Residence at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa, in 2010. His first play, Where the Blood Mixes, won the Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Script; the Sydney J. Risk Prize for Outstanding Original Script by an Emerging Playwright; and the 2009 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. 

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