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Guernica Editions Spring 2021

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  • 1
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    Series: World Drama
    Il Vagabondo: An Urban Opera A Tale of Gusto and Enchantment, Adaptation, Loss, and Preserving the Old Ways of Making a Life Glenn Carley Canada
    9781771836364 Paperback MUSIC / Genres & Styles Publication Date:April 01, 2021
    $29.95 CAD 5 x 9 x 1.23 in | 1 gr | 400 pages Carton Quantity:12 Canadian Rights: Y Guernica World Editions
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      Description

      Enter the cross-cultural tale of gusto and enchantment, adaptation and loss, preserving the old ways of making a life. Presented in six acts with intermissions and curtain calls, it is a new form of literature presented in interactive libretto form. Read it silently, read it out loud, or step upon the imaginary stage of all life to commandeer the operatic recitative called sing/speak. Il Vagabondo is a love story-an opera rusticana of the people, by the people, for the people. It is all true.

      Bio

      Glenn Carley is the author of Polenta at Midnight: Tales of Gusto and Enchantment in North York, and Good Enough From Here. His stories have appeared in Italian Canadians at Table: A Narrative Feast in Five Courses and in Accenti Magazine. A retired chief social worker, Glenn lives in Bolton Ontario with his wife, Mary. Their family is blessed with a daughter, son and daughter-in-law.

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      Awards
      Reviews

      It was a pleasure to read [Carley's] book. I enjoyed it all. Thanks for bringing back some of the memories of my family, especially my grandparents and the style of life they brought. Il Vagabondo brought me joy and happiness remembering the simple things of roasting peppers and making sauce, while spending time with my family. I felt love, tragedy, the respect for each other and the welcoming arms of this family. […] Some can only hope for this love and passion. Every Italian and their extended families should read Il Vagabondo. This is truly a trip down memory lane.

  • 2
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    Choosing Eleonore Andrée Gratton Canada, Ian Thomas Shaw Canada
    9781771836500 Paperback FICTION / Literary Publication Date:April 01, 2021
    $17.95 CAD 5 x 8 x 0.23 in | 1 gr | 80 pages Carton Quantity:96 Canadian Rights: Y Guernica Editions
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      Description

      Choosing Eleonore tells the story of a one-way friendship, of tragic loneliness. In it, award-winning Quebec author Andrée A. Gratton explores the syndrome of the delusion of being loved. Centred on two young women: Eleonore and Marianne, this is Marianne's story. From the first sentence, we feel that something is wrong in her perception of reality. "Long before we met, Eleonore had been dreaming of me," she says. But who is this Eleonore, whom Marianne had never spoken to? What is so fascinating about her? Neither humiliation and rebuffs nor rejection will disabuse Marianne of her certainty of being loved by Eleonore.

      Bio

      Andrée Gratton was born in Arvida in 1980. She lives in Montreal and teaches philosophy at Collège Maisonneuve. Choisir Eléonore (Choosing Eleonore) is her first novel.



      Ian Thomas Shaw was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. For the last 33 years, he has worked as a diplomat and as an international development worker, living in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. He currently lives in Aylmer, Quebec. He is the founder of Deux Voiliers Publishing, the Prose in the Park Literary Festival and the Ottawa Review of Books.

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      Awards
      Reviews

      In a way we are Marianne as we read. Her delusion, in fact, makes her uneasily relatable, an everywoman. This is at least partly to do with Gratton’s spare, tender and utterly convincing style, and Ian Thomas Shaw’s lucid translation. As for the rest, some human mysteries can only be experienced, not explained.

  • 3
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    9781771835879 Paperback POETRY / Canadian Publication Date:May 01, 2021
    $20.00 CAD 5 x 8 x 0.25 in | 1 gr | 70 pages Carton Quantity:81 Canadian Rights: Y Guernica Editions
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      Description

      The poems in The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak explore the many identities, both visible and invisible, that a body contains. With influences from pop culture, the Bible, tech, and Hong-Kongese history, these pieces reflect and reveal how the stories of immigrants in Canada hold both universal truths and singular distinctions. From boybands that show the way to become “the kind of girl a girl could love” to “rich flavours that are just a few generations of poverty away,” they invite the reader to meditate on spirituality, food, and the shapes love takes.

      Bio

      Grace is a Hong-Kong-born, Chinese Canadian writer raised in Vancouver and currently living in Toronto. She enjoys Harry Styles’ fashion choices, swaying to music, and sushi. Find her on social media @thrillandgrace.

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    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry 2022, Short-listed
      Reviews

      Lau’s work lurches off the page and seizes your hand like an old friend that cannot wait to catch up with you; you learn of the speaker’s romantic escapades, their family, their hurts old and new. Reading this collection makes you feel reached out to, and that is no small feat in a time everything and everyone can seem very, very far away.


      Ripe with intention and embroidered with the tiny pinpricks of pain, her language, the one she discovers alone in the dark, where we have all been left for so long, is naked, free of ballast as a sinking ship that does not sink but sails into the next sunrise, truth.


      Lau plays expertly in the messy gray between forms and realities, between languages and cultures. Through these juxtapositions we see what it’s like to live intersectionality: the beauty and the struggles. It is in this space between the black and white that the collection makes its home.


      Grace Lau’s debut poetry collection is blessed by fine details—fine details that hold immense meaning. Multi-generational histories steep in Grandma’s cup of cha. A lifetime of queer desire knits along with the poet’s own skinned knees. Lau’s refined poetic lines and crisp stanzas ask us to slow down the pace of our reading, so we too can discover the deep substance of each image and word.


      Grace Lau’s poetry will saunter into a room inside of your heart, take a seat in the front row, and stay there for weeks. These poems bravely make their way into the lonely corners and abandoned underbellies of some very painful places: a childhood closet, a complicated inheritance, forsaken faith, queer love, and family, to name just a few, and somehow render these memories into heirlooms. I read these poems once to discover what this poet has given us, and will now read them again and again, in order to truly unwrap and cherish her gifts.


      The poems in Grace Lau’s debut collection, The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak embody wryness, curiosity, and care.

  • 4
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    Higher Teaching A Handbook for New Post-secondary Faculty John Oughton Canada
    9781771835954 Paperback EDUCATION / Higher Publication Date:April 01, 2021
    $20.00 CAD 6 x 9 x 0.4 in | 1 gr | 150 pages Carton Quantity:56 Canadian Rights: Y MiroLand
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      Description

      Higher Teaching is divided into two sections: "Practice," which addresses what to teach when you get your first course outline, how to choose strategies and plan lessons, and how to manage your classroom so it is a safe and positive place in which students learn. There are chapters on instructional media, teaching online assessment and evaluation, dealing with difficult students and academic integrity issues, and how to improve your teaching. The second part "Theory and Background," focuses on the theories that inform current higher education teaching and curriculum, adult education, and a very useful chapter of advice extracted from experienced teachers responding to the question, "What's the advice you would give to a brand new teacher?" Also useful to a new teacher are the glossary of academic jargon and a lesson plan template.

      Bio

      John Oughton lives in Toronto and has retired as Professor of Learning and Teaching at Centennial College in Toronto. He is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Counting Out the Millennium, the mystery novel Death by Triangulation, and over 400 articles, reviews and interviews. John's studies include an MA in English Literature, where his teachers included Irving Layton, Frank Davey, Eli Mandel and Miriam Waddington, and non-credit courses at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, where he worked with Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, William Burroughs and Robert Duncan. John is the a long-time member of the Long Dash Poetry Group. He is also a photographer and guitar player.

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  • 5
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    Easily Fooled H. Nigel Thomas Canada
    9781771835817 Paperback FICTION / LGBTQ+ Publication Date:April 01, 2021
    $25.00 CAD 6 x 9 x 0.75 in | 1 gr | 330 pages Carton Quantity:32 Canadian Rights: Y Guernica Editions
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      Description

      Less than an hour after Millington receives his permanent resident visa, he wonders if his husband Jay would now end their marriage. And Jay has multiple reasons to. Millington is an ex-Methodist minister, who once believed he could be celibate. When he fled Caribbean Methodism and came to Montreal, he thought he’d resolved the issues that made him leave, but he comes to understand that psychological trauma, childhood conditioning, parental and community expectations and his own need for community and family valorization are not easily exorcised. The third installment in the No Safeguards quartet of novels.

      Bio

      Recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award (2020) and The Molson Prize for the arts (2022)

      Born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and living in Quebec since 1968, H. Nigel Thomas is the author of four novels (including No Safeguards with Guernica), three collections of short fiction, a collection of poems and two scholarly texts.

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      Awards
      Reviews

      It is a fairly boisterous atmosphere we are drawn into at the outset – and it comes in welcome sharp contrast to that trend of moody psycho-sexual novels about two or three lonesome people in downtown high-rises or sitting on rock cliffs in lonely coastal fishing towns. I mean, it’s okay to ponder over just-released criminal pedophile uncles in isolated towns, but there is a world outside worth talking about as well, and that is what makes Thomas’ novel invigorating, intelligent and persistent about the original sin of religious doctrinairism.


      Complex questions regarding the queerness of one’s status emerge in Easily Fooled. These questions take us beyond a focus on sexuality as the dominant or singular attribute of queerness in the archipelago. The novel attends to how one’s immigrant status dictates how Caribbean peoples might be queered in diaspora.

  • 6
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    The Archeology of a Good Ragù Discovering Naples, My Father and Myself John Domini
    9781771835534 Paperback BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs Publication Date:May 01, 2021
    $20.00 CAD 6 x 9 x 0.75 in | 1 gr | 285 pages Carton Quantity:28 Canadian Rights: Y Guernica World Editions
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      Description

      The Archeology of a Good Ragù offers a unique take on the recovery narrative. A damaged but savvy author finds new wholeness by way of a fascinating old city: Naples, Italy. John Domini’s exploration of the place— little known to North Americans, yet rich in culture and challenge— draws on decades of research, living with local friends and family. His work has appeared previously in the New York Times and elsewhere, and he’s published award-winning Neapolitan novels. This memoir will take readers into the back alleys and hidden beaches. It will examine intricacies of both romance and crime, and provide insight into the latest Naples immigrants, African refugees. Overall, Archeology of a Good Ragù turns the city into a prism that throws its colors across both urban and spiritual experience, everywhere.

      Bio

      John Domini's exploration of the place--little known to North Americans, yet rich in culture and challenge--draws on decades of research, living with local friends and family. His work has appeared previously in the New York Times and elsewhere, and he's published award-winning Neapolitan novels.

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    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      The Big Other Book Award for Non Fiction - Finalist 2021, Short-listed
      Reviews

      John Domini's The Archeology of a Good Ragù is a warm and rollicking account of a writer tracing lineages through time, and deep into the heart of Naples, in order to find a path back to himself—and to gain a more robust understanding of his roots. In the layered and complex city of Naples, meditations on art, romance, masculinity, violence, and family secrets collide in this captivating memoir.


      I readily confess to a hot passion for John Domini's memoir, The Archeology of a Good Ragù — his inspired sentences like switchback staircases, his paragraphs sipped like the finest grappa, his chapters a Mediterranean feast. Domini devours Naples, its magic and sensuality and ambiguity, with a gastronome's vitality, and if you told me Mr. Domini and Elena Ferrante are cousins, I'd say, Of course!


      We lovers of Naples are like a secret guild or a society of amateur gourmands. For us, then, John Domini— another prodigal spiritual son of the city— serves up an elaborate Neapolitan dessert which will expand things other than the waistline.


      The Archeology of a Good Ragù offers lively and illuminating insights about both the city of Naples and the process of discovering your roots. John Domini’s exquisite prose braids together past and present, revealing the rich strands of memory that connect world history, urban lore, family narratives, and personal transformation. A stirring, remarkable, and multifaceted memoir.


      Neither archeology nor autobiography, so much as "an attempt to capture the aroma, flavors, and sounds of the city’s cobblestones. Call it an extended meditation on the Neapolitan.

  • 7
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    Walking Leonard And Other Stories Sophie Stocking Canada
    9781771835848 Paperback FICTION / Short Stories Publication Date:May 01, 2021
    $20.00 CAD 5 x 8 x 0.5 in | 1 gr | 170 pages Carton Quantity:72 Canadian Rights: Y Guernica Editions
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      Description

      Walking Leonard and Other Stories, is a short story collection of roughly 30,000 words in the literary fiction genre. The stories depict unspoken pivot points in the lives of ordinary people. Themes include responsibility and violation between parent and child, nature as a protective force, and the shucking off of various selves in the process of a lifetime. The stories spring from the foothills of southern Alberta, specifically Calgary, and some even more specifically from the historic neighborhood of Bowness, once a small town in its own right.

      Bio

      Burdened by the notion that a career should encompass everything, Sophie Stocking changed her major so often, she narrowly escaped a degree in General Studies. Sophie found the courage to pursue fiction at the Alexandra Writer’s Centre and went on to study under Aritha van Herk at the University of Calgary. Her debut novel Corridor Nine was released by Thistledown Press in 2019.

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      Awards
      Reviews

      Stocking weaves a story of heartache and grace. Her stories draw us in and we identify with each character; Shakti, who finds nature offering what her parents do not, Clarice, who discovers another world much warmer than the cold and arrogant one of her parents, and finally Mollie who knows that taking responsibility is the order of the day. There are many things to ponder with each story, and as readers we can discover something new with each reading.


      Sophie Stocking is a writer with a keen eye fixed to her world which she expertly bridges to ours. Her stories are told with language that evokes the intensity of being a small daughter, a junior high student, a young mother— all fighting expectations that those roles and relationships bring. Stocking illuminates these identities and struggles through landscape. The flora of each story’s terrain pairs with a character to scent identity, adding layers of colour to germinate legacies. The characters in each of the stories in have survived decades of Calgary’s seasons thus giving readers something to learn from or identify with. Ultimately, her stories dare us to close our books and walk outside, to find the stories, the colours, and the scents of the plants that grow around us. This collection challenges us to pay attention to our own stories.


      The slow-burn of Sophie Stocking’s debut short story collection is lovely in language, superb in detail, gorgeous in naming all that lies around and within us. Stocking writes the small in order to capture the sometimes-soundless revelations that largely impact the course of her narrators’ lives. Quiet hearts coupled with pondering minds; this story collection is an exquisite read.

  • 8
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    Fuse Hollay Ghadery Canada
    9781771835923 Paperback BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional Publication Date:May 01, 2021
    $20.00 CAD 6 x 9 x 0.8 in | 1 gr | 150 pages Carton Quantity:48 Canadian Rights: Y Guernica Editions
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      Description

      Drawing on her own experiences as a woman of Iranian and British Isle descent, writer Hollay Ghadery dives into conflicts and uncertainty surrounding the bi-racial female body and identity, especially as it butts up against the disparate expectations of each culture. Painfully and at times, reluctantly, Fuse probes and explores the documented prevalence of mental health issues in bi-racial women.

      Bio

      Hollay Ghadery is a writer living in small town Ontario. Her fiction, non-fiction and poetry has been published in various literary journals, including the Malahat Review, Room, Grain and The Fiddlehead. In 2004, she graduated from Queen's University with her BAH in English Literature, and in 2007, she graduated from the University of Guelph with her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She is the recipient of the Constance Rooke Scholarship in Creative Writing, as well as Ontario Arts Council grants for her poetry and non-fiction. Hollay is the force behind River Street Writing—a collective of freelance writers who create exceptional content, and provide creative consultancy services for personal and professional projects. Learn more about them at www.riverstreetwriting.com.

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      Awards
      Reviews

      I cannot find enough superlatives to describe the savage clarity, the gorgeous language, and the remarkable depth of insight contained in this courageous book. It took my breath away.


      Fuse is a gripping testimony about the toll of split allegiances, gendered double binds, and conflicting cultural expectations.


      I loved Fuse. Ghadery’s writing is raw and beautiful; the tiny details she includes in each story bring you closer to her, and she bravely allows you in. She offers a unique and much-needed perspective on multiraciality and her experience of a bi-cultural life, as well as mental health and addiction, motherhood, and personal growth. I highly recommend it.


      A searing account of the impact of toxic masculinity on a vulnerable young girl's psyche. Hollay, born to an Iranian father and a White mother, explodes onto the page with her coming of age story. Told with wit and verve, Hollay zig zags through the minefield of familial and cultural expectations set for girl children in the 1980's and 90’s, all the while battling an inherited vulnerability to mental illness. Hollay's heroic story to find her authentic self is, at turns, zany, heart-breaking, and profound. A must read.


      Valuable lessons emerge from Ghadery’s complex identity struggles. Exercise, medication, natural remedies, therapy, love for and from her own family, and the support of other women help Ghadery heal and grow. While her first three children have her husband’s last name, Ghadery gives her fourth child, a son, her last name. The act of naming is empowering, unlike accepting or rejecting labels from others.


      So, far from being a dispassionate investigation, the narrative became a series of windows into Ghadery’s own personal struggles with these conditions. The effect is informative and often moving. The lack of linearity in the narrative has the effect of immersing the reader more into what she is going through, without the sense that there will be inevitable improvement or change. One feels just the immediacy of the moment. This sometimes leads to a lack of chronological clarity, but in the main it intensifies the reader’s experience.

  • 9
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    9781771835886 Paperback FICTION / Literary Publication Date:May 01, 2021
    $25.00 CAD 5 x 8 x 0.8 in | 1 gr | 300 pages Carton Quantity:28 Canadian Rights: Y Guernica Editions
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      Description

      Ten years after her picture on a magazine cover made her nationally famous as The Darling of Kandahar, Irina moves up North hoping that new experiences would allow old wounds to finally heal. Yet, in the land of darkness and polar bears, she learns that there really is no place to hide from herself. When she meets Constable Liam O’Connor, her past comes out to challenge her once again.

      Bio

      Felicia Mihali is a journalist, novelist and publisher who lives in Montréal. In 2012, she published her first book in English, The Darling of Kandahar, inspired by a news item reported in Maclean’s magazine. Today, she writes in French and in English. She is the founder and president of Éditions Hashtag 2018 from Montréal.

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      Awards
      Reviews

      A wry beguiling portrait of a Montreal schoolteacher who exchanges one solitude for another, leaving her home to teach for a year in a Francophone school in Iqaluit only to find herself drawn into a fractious relationship with the constable uncle of one of her students. Mihali’s depiction of the northern city and the forbidding landscape surrounding it is frank and unsentimental, as is her portrayal of lonely people at the edge of the continent striving to understand each other, and themselves, with six months of icy darkness unfolding around them.


      Felicia Mihali’s prose is at once lean and economical, but also razor-sharp in its depiction of the life of an outsider.

  • 10
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    9781771835916 Paperback POETRY / Canadian Publication Date:May 01, 2021
    $20.00 CAD 5 x 8 x 0.25 in | 1 gr | 80 pages Carton Quantity:93 Canadian Rights: Y Guernica Editions
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      Description

      Marrying the precise yet nuanced language of his earlier work with new, invented vocabularies and usages, Nicola Vulpe draws deep into the origins of language to confront what it means to write poetry or attempt any artistic endeavour, or, indeed, continue in a world where so many of us struggle, literally, not to drown. Written to be read aloud, to be heard like a poem in the most ancient oral traditions, Through the Waspmouth is a synesthetic work that arouses our senses and our intellect. We come to this poem as to a new language, a language whose details and mechanics are opaque, but which, like a child turning to innate linguistic resources, we nonetheless somehow understand, and into which we are drawn and held in thrall.

      Bio

      Nicola Vulpe considers poetry an unfortunate habit, but has nonetheless published three collections of poetry, When the Mongols Return, Insult to the Brain and Blue Tile, a novella, The Extraordinary Event of Pia H., an anthology of Canadian poetry about the Spanish Civil War, and essays on subjects as diverse as the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the afterlife of Norman Bethune.

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    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Fred Cogswell Award 2022, Long-listed
      Reviews

      For an example of truly fine poetry, Nicola Vulpe’s Through the Waspmouth does not disappoint: fine in formation and texture, fine in craft and effect. Abstract, enigmatic and searching, always at the edge of the possibility of description or evocation, this fascinating polyphonic sequence repays continual rereading.


      This collection of sparkling poems by Nicola Vulpe is both the Flood and the Ark, the great wash of language and a way to sail through those waves, finally depositing us on the shore of inevitable silence. But what a journey it’s been, with parrots declaiming and pairs of words finding other words to hugclose. A fabulous, fantastic voyage through the high seas of language.


      Nicola Vulpe has done it again, taking an unexpected and rewarding route with this inventive poetic sequence. In Through The Waspmouth we enter the hidden orbit of words, chart the other side of the moon of inspiration, then share poems that rise and leap into the light of playful and fretted speech.

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