Canada Reads 2015

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  • 1
    catalogue cover
    Ru Kim Thuy Canada, Sheila Fischman
    9780307359711 Paperback FICTION / Literary On Sale Date:September 06, 2012
    $18.95 CAD 5.32 x 7.99 x 0.49 in | 0.38 lb | 160 pages Carton Quantity:24 Canadian Rights: Y Vintage Canada
    • Marketing Copy


      Ru. In Vietnamese it means lullaby; in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow--of tears, blood, money. Kim Thúy's Ru is literature at its most crystalline: the flow of a life on the tides of unrest and on to more peaceful waters. In vignettes of exquisite clarity, sharp observation and sly wit, we are carried along on an unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp, and onward to a new life in Quebec. There, the young girl feels the embrace of a new community, and revels in the chance to be part of the American Dream. As an adult, the waters become rough again: now a mother of two sons, she must learn to shape her love around the younger boy's autism. Moving seamlessly from past to present, from history to memory and back again, Ru is a book that celebrates life in all its wonder: its moments of beauty and sensuality, brutality and sorrow, comfort and comedy.

      Born in Saigon in 1968, Kim Thúy left Vietman with the boat people at the age of ten and settled with her family in Quebec. A graduate in translation and law, she has worked as a seamstress, interpreter, lawyer, restaurant owner and food commentator on radio and television. She lives in Montreal and devotes herself to writing.

      Sheila Fischman is the award-winning translator of some 150 contemporary novels from Quebec. In 2008 she was awarded the Molson Prize in the Arts. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and a chevalier de l'Ordre national du Québec. She lives in Montreal.
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    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards in Canada First Novel Award 2012, Nominated
      Canada Reads 2015, Winner
      Governor General's Literary Award - Translation 2012, Short-listed
      International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2014, Long-listed
      Man Asian Literary Prize 2013, Long-listed
      Scotiabank Giller Prize 2012, Short-listed
      WINNER 2015 - Canada Reads
      WINNER 2011 – Grand prix littéraire Archambault
      WINNER 2011 – Mondello Prize for Multiculturalism
      WINNER 2010 – Prix du Grand Public Salon du livre––Essai/Livre pratique
      WINNER 2010 – Governor General’s Award for Fiction (French-language)
      WINNER 2010 – Grand Prix RTL-Lire at the Salon du livre de Paris
      Longlisted 2013 – Man Asian Literary Prize
      Longlisted 2014 – International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
      Nominated 2012 – First Novel Award
      Shortlist 2012 - Scotiabank Giller Prize
      Shortlist 2012 – Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation

      “This is one of the millions of stories of migration in this country, the story of a woman migrating from Vietnam to Canada . . . It is harrowing, beautiful, and has compressed, perfect writing. This is the story of the future of Canada.”
      Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, defending Ru at Canada Reads 2015

      "This is an exemplary autobiographical novel. Never is there the slightest hint of narcissism or self-pity. The major events in the fall of Vietnam are painted in delicate strokes, through the daily existence of a woman who has to reinvent herself elsewhere. A tragic journey described in a keen, sensitive and perfectly understated voice."
      —Governor General's Literary Award jury citation

      “Gloriously, passionately, delicately unique…. A remarkable book; one that has well-earned every note of praise it has received.”
      The Chronicle Journal

      “Powerful and engaging.... In short entries that read lyrically and poetically—but also powerfully, pungently, and yet gently, dispassionately—Ru blends politics and history, celebration and violence within a young girl’s imaginative experience…. [I]ts hybrid and enchanted voice conjur[es] a love song out of chaos and pain, singing and rilling its simplicities.”
      Winnipeg Free Press

      “In a series of vignettes which extend from wartime Vietnam to the hospitable precincts of Quebec, Kim Thúy writes with equal delicacy and candor about a childhood marked by horrifying brutality, and the pleasures of ordinary peace. A brave and moving book, bringing lucid insight both to the costs of violence, and elusive processes of psychic survival.”
      —Eva Hoffman, author of Lost in Translation
  • 2
    catalogue cover
    Intolerable Kamal Al-Solaylee Canada
    9781554688876 Paperback BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs Publication Date:May 14, 2013
    $17.99 CAD 5.31 x 8 in | 6.08 oz | 224 pages Carton Quantity:72 HarperCollins Publishers
    • Marketing Copy


      WINNER of the Toronto Book Award

      FINALIST for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Memoir/Biography, and the OLA Forest of Reading Evergreen Award

      A Globe and Mail and Best Book of the Year and a Canadian Booksellers' Top Pick for LGBT Books of the Year

      In the 1960s, Kamal Al-Solaylee’s father was one of the wealthiest property owners in Aden, in the south of Yemen, but when the country shrugged off its colonial roots, his properties were confiscated, and the family was forced to leave. The family moved first to Beirut, which suddenly became one of the most dangerous places in the world, then Cairo. After a few peaceful years, even the safe haven of Cairo struggled under a new wave of Islamic extremism that culminated with the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981. The family returned to Yemen, a country that was then culturally isolated from the rest of the world.

      As a gay man living in an intolerant country, Al-Solaylee escaped first to England and eventually to Canada, where he became a prominent journalist and academic. While he was enjoying the cultural and personal freedoms of life in the West, his once-liberal family slowly fell into the hard-line interpretations of Islam that were sweeping large parts of the Arab-Muslim world in the 1980s and 1990s. The differences between his life and theirs were brought into sharp relief by the 2011 revolution in Egypt and the civil war in Yemen.

      Intolerable is part memoir of an Arab family caught in the turmoil of Middle Eastern politics over six decades, part personal coming-out narrative and part cultural analysis. This is a story of the modern Middle East that we think we know so much about.


      Kamal Al-Solaylee, an associate professor at the School of Journalism at Ryerson University, was previously a distinguished writer at Canada’s national newspaper The Globe and Mail. Al-Solaylee also worked at Report on Business magazine and has written features and reviews for the Toronto Star, National Post, The Walrus, Toronto Life, Chatelaine, eye weekly, the Literary Review of Canada and Elle Canada. Al Solaylee’s bestselling memoir Intolerable was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, and Canada Reads, and won the Toronto Book Award. Brown is a finalist for the Governor General's Award for Literary Non-fiction. Al-Solaylee holds a PhD from the University of Nottingham and has taught at the University of Waterloo and York University. Al-Solaylee lives in Toronto.

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    • Awards & Reviews

      “This beautiful book about a family’s tortured relationship to history–and a region’s fraught relationship to modernity–is everything a great memoir should be: It’s as moving as it is complex.”
      “Intolerable brings [Al-Solaylee’s] skill as a cultural analyst to the spiritual ailments of the Arab world. . . . Powerful, heartfelt . . . necessary reading for anyone who cares about Canada’s place in the world.”
      “This is [a book] about survival and identity on many levels. The whole story is so singular and unlike any biography I have ever read. I could not put it down.”
      “[A] Forthright and engaging memoir.”
      “A fascinating personal story and a history of a once-liberal family transformed by the politics and turmoil of the Middle East.”
      “An astounding read.”
      “Here is a courageous personal history, all the more powerful for what it asks of every reader: What would you have done?”
      “An important and captivating read.”
      “A bulls-eye of individual truth telling as well as an apt and timely metaphor . . . a moving and wrenching reminder of the urgent need for integrity.”
      “A heartbreaking memoir of a man out of place and time. Tracing the Middle East through the 1980s and ‘90s, this is a personal coming-out narrative with a difference.”
      “Enlightening and heartbreaking.”
      “A brilliant and utterly mesmerizing memoir. . . . The book is informative and emotionally satisfying and a credit to Al-Solaylee’s heart-baring skill. It is enthralling, entertaining and a must-read.”
      “[A] touching account of a gay man’s journey to self-awareness. . . . The story gains in poignancy against the backdrop of a Middle East beset by conflict, economic decline and the rise of political Islam.”
      “I don’t think you’ll find a more painfully honest memoir on the bookshelves.”
      “A beguiling memoir. . . . I’ve read many books on Islam and the Arab world, but none with the intimacy and emotional weight of this one. . . . An immigrant tale, a queer history, a geopolitical lesson, and above all, it’s a love story.”
      “Kamal Al-Solaylee has written a powerful memoir that will lift your spirits and break your heart.”
      “[An] inspiring story. . . . Al-Solaylee captuers the historical moment in a way that’s real and compelling.”
      “Despite its light-hearted tone, this beguiling memoir tells an intensely emotional story of one family’s eroded dreams. . . . Unembellished and heartbreaking.”
      “An emotionally powerful read.”
  • 3
    catalogue cover
    The Inconvenient Indian A Curious Account of Native People in North America Thomas King Canada
    9780385664226 Paperback HISTORY / Canada On Sale Date:August 13, 2013
    $22.00 CAD 5.18 x 7.97 x 0.86 in | 0.68 lb | 336 pages Carton Quantity:24 Canadian Rights: Y Anchor Canada
    • Marketing Copy

      “Fascinating, often hilarious, always devastatingly truthful, The Inconvenient Indian is destined to become a classic of historical narrative. For those who wish to better understand Native peoples, it is a must-read. For those who don’t wish to understand, it is even more so.”—Joseph Boyden

      Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, The Inconvenient Indian distills the insights gleaned from Thomas King’s critical and personal meditation on what it means to be “Indian” in North America, weaving the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Natives and Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other. In the process, King refashions old stories about historical events and figures, takes a sideways look at film and pop culture, relates his own complex experiences with activism, and articulates a deep and revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands.

      This is a book both timeless and timely, burnished with anger but tempered by wit, and ultimately a hard-won offering of hope—a sometimes inconvenient but nonetheless indispensable account for all of us, Indian and non-Indian alike, seeking to understand how we might tell a new story for the future.
      THOMAS KING is one of Canada’s premier Native public intellectuals. For the past five decades, he has worked as an activist for Native causes and an administrator of Native programs, and has taught Native literature and history at universities in the United States and Canada. He is the bestselling author of five novels, including Medicine River, described as “precise and elegant” by The New York Times; Green Grass, Running Water, which Newsweek called “a first class work of art”; and Truth and Bright Water, a CBC Canada Reads 2004 Selection. He is also the author of two frequently anthologized collections of short stories, several books for children, and the 2003 Massey Lectures, The Truth About Stories. He has been nominated for or won numerous awards and honours, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Trillium Award, the Commonwealth Prize, and the Order of Canada. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.

      Author Residence: Guelph, Ontario
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        Reading Group Guide

        Publicity: Festivals

    • Awards & Reviews

      National Bestseller
      Winner of the 2015 CBC Bookie Awards - Non-Fiction
      Winner of the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize
      Winner of the 2014 British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

      Winner of the 2013 Canadian Booksellers Association Non-Fiction Book of the Year
      Finalist for Canada Reads 2015

      Finalist for 2014 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction
      Finalist for 2013 Trillium Award

      "[The Inconvenient Indian is] essential reading for everyone who cares about Canada and who seeks to understand native people, their issues and their dreams. . . . Thomas King is beyond being a great writer and storyteller, a lauded academic and educator. He is a towering intellectual. For native people in Canada, he is our Twain; wise, hilarious, incorrigible, with a keen eye for the inconsistencies that make us and our society flawed, enigmatic, but ultimately powerful symbols of freedom. The Inconvenient Indian is less an indictment than a reassurance that we can create equality and harmony. A powerful, important book." —Richard Wagamese, The Globe and Mail

      "King is a Canadian icon. . . . The Inconvenient Indian is labelled a history book but it is about Canada today. I suggest teachers include a copy in every school classroom. It made me a better Canadian and more compassionate person." —Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children, defending The Inconvenient Indian at Canada Reads 2015

      "Every Canadian should read Thomas King’s new book, The Inconvenient Indian. . . . It's funny, it’s readable, and it makes you think. If you have any kind of a social conscience, The Inconvenient Indian will also make you angry." —Toronto Star

      "Sharply intellectual and informative, yet humourous and delightfully human, King unearths the myths and misunderstandings about Aboriginal peoples—and there is certainly a lot to dig up. If it's an act of solidarity and outstanding creative non-fiction you're after, get yourself a copy of The Inconvenient Indian." —Amber Dawn, National Post

      "Thomas King is funny. And ironic, sarcastic, clever and witty. His writing style is direct, offbeat and accessible. . . . [The Inconvenient Indian is] a riveting, sweeping narrative that illuminates, horrifies, stupefies and educates. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand the enormous divide that persists between many aboriginals and non-aboriginals." —Edmonton Journal

      "The Inconvenient Indian may well be unsettling for many non-natives in this country to read. This is exactly why we all should read it. Especially now." —Vancouver Sun

      "The Inconvenient Indian is a book of stories with a lot of history in it. It may well be the best analysis of how Native people have existed, and still exist, in North America. . . . What a gift this book is. What gratitude we owe this wise and gracious and frisky writer. . . . Even if you think you know North American Aboriginal history, you will be richly engaged by the stories [King] tells. And if you don’t know it, this is a fine place to begin." —The Chronicle Journal

      "King uses stories to turn history upside down. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that he presents history with a candour and honesty rarely found in usual accounts of the interaction of aboriginals and non-aboriginals." —The Winnipeg Free Press

      "What makes it all palatable, and at times nearly pleasurable, is King’s gift of irony. He’s a master of the lethal one-liner. . . . King wants to make his readers smile even as they wince. . . . This book includes painful reminders of the huge injustices done to Indians in the past. It also sets out a few reasons why the future may be better." —Calgary Herald

      "Brilliantly insightful. . . . Humour aside, this is an unflinching, occasionally fierce work. Natives are often chided for dwelling too much on the past, yet if this book proves anything, it’s that it behooves all of us to do a lot more of exactly that." —Quill & Quire

      "The Inconvenient Indian [is] a remarkable narrative of native culture, policy, and history in North America. It’s also a powerful reality check." —The Hill Times

      "Subversive, entertaining, well-researched, hilarious [and] enraging. . . . In this thoughtful, irascible account, and in characteristically tricksterish mode, King presents a provocative alternative version of Canada’s heritage narrative." —RBC Taylor Prize Jury

      "The Inconvenient Indian exposes and makes accessible, perhaps for the first time, our perspective of events that have shaped this continent. King is reclaiming our true lived experience in the tradition of our storytellers and artists. He brings humour, razor sharp analysis and insight, compelling every reader to confront the uncomfortable and urgent reality of our peoples today. His voice makes a fundamental contribution to the effort required to engage in understanding and respect for a dignified and just way forward for all who today call this land home." —National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo

      "An extremely informative book, well-researched, well-written. Mr. King will alarm you with his cleverness and originality." —Tomson Highway

      "Fascinating, often hilarious, always devastatingly truthful, The Inconvenient Indian is destined to become a classic of historical narrative. For those who wish to better understand Native peoples, it is a must read. For those who don't wish to understand, it is even more so." —Joseph Boyden

      "Not since Eduardo Galeano's astonishing trilogy, Memory of Fire, have I read an account of European contact and the Amerindian experience as full of wit, compassion, humour, irony and pathos as this wonderful and brilliant new book by Thomas King. At moments I found myself laughing aloud, at others wiping a tear from my eye." —Wade Davis

      "A book of incredible range and genius. From the iconography of the ‘Indian,’ sedimented in everyday objects from butter to missiles, to the ongoing economic war waged against First Nations peoples across North America, Thomas King is magisterial in this devastating and comprehensive dissection of history, contemporary politics and culture. His analysis is incisive, the seam of irony running through his prose, as affable as a filet knife." —Dionne Brand

  • 4
    catalogue cover
    9781551525747 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / LGBT Publication Date:September 30, 2014
    $15.95 CAD 5.5 x 8 x 0.47 in | 0.52 lb | 176 pages Carton Quantity:51 Canadian Rights: Y Arsenal Pulp Press
    • Marketing Copy


      An edgy and extravagant YA novel about a glamorous boy named Jude.

      School is like a film set. There’s The Crew who make things happen, The Extras who fill empty spaces in rows of desks, and The Movie Stars, who everyone wants tagged in their Facebook photos. But flamboyant high school student Jude Rothesay, who lives for Louboutins and celebrity magazines, doesn’t fit into any category: he isn’t a part of The Crew because he isn’t about to do anything unless it’s court-appointed; he’s not an Extra because nothing about him is anonymous; and he’s not a Movie Star because, even though everyone knows his name, he’s not invited to the cool parties. Jude is the self-professed flamer who lights the set on fire, but before everything turns to ashes from the resulting inferno, he is determined to get Luke Morris to be his date to the Valentine’s Day dance.

      Inspired by a true story, When Everything Feels like the Movies is an edgy, extravagant novel for young people and others, full of gender-bending teen glamour, dark mischief, and enough melodrama to incite the paparazzi. A boy who smells like Chanel Mademoiselle, calls Blair Waldorf his biggest childhood influence, and reads Old Hollywood star biographies like gospel doesn’t have the easiest path to travel in life, but somehow, Jude paves his road with yellow bricks and makes us all wish we could join him over the rainbow.


      Raziel Reid is twenty-four, an anti-social columnist, and an anti-fur fag. He writes a blog entitled "Blitz & Shitz" for A graduate of the New York Film Academy in New York City, he currently lives in Vancouver. Check out his blog Blitz & Shitz on

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    • Awards & Reviews

      Governor General's Literary Award 2014, Winner
      Lambda Literary Award 2015, Short-listed
      Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction 2015, Short-listed
  • 5
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    And the Birds Rained Down Jocelyne Saucier Canada, Rhonda Mullins Canada
    9781552452684 Paperback FICTION / Literary On Sale Date:October 15, 2012
    $18.95 CAD 5.15 x 7.79 x 0.52 in | 0.51 lb | 160 pages Carton Quantity:39 Canadian Rights: Y Coach House Books
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      A CBC Canada Reads 2015 Selection
      Finalist for the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award for French-to-English Translation

      Tom and Charlie have decided to live out the remainder of their lives on their own terms, hidden away in a remote forest, their only connection to the outside world a couple of pot growers who deliver whatever they can’t eke out for themselves.

      But one summer two women arrive. One is a young photographer documenting a a series of catastrophic forest fires that swept Northern Ontario early in the century; she’s on the trail of the recently deceased Ted Boychuck, a survivor of the blaze. And then the elderly aunt of the one of the pot growers appears, fleeing one of the psychiatric institutions that have been her home since she was sixteen. She joins the men in the woods and begins a new life as Marie-Desneige. With the photographer’s help, they find Ted’s series of paintings about the fire, and begin to decipher the dead man’s history.

      A haunting meditation on aging and self-determination, And the Birds Rained Down, originally published in French as Il pleuvait des oiseaux, was the winner of the Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie, the first Canadian title to win this honour. It was winner of the Prix des lecteurs Radio-Canada, the Prix des collégiens du Québec, the Prix Ringuet 2012 and a finalist for the Grand Prix de la ville de Montréal.

      ’Nostalgic and beautifully grotesque, this novel is delightfully baroque and, although short, so striking it will simply never leave you.’
      The Coast

      Jocelyne Saucier is the author of several novels and the recipient of the Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie and the Prix Ringuet de l'Academie des lettres du Quebec. She was born in New Brunswick and now resides in Abitibi, Quebec. Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator living in Montreal. And the Birds Rained Down , her translation of Saucier's Il pleuvait des oiseaux , was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award, as was her translation of Elise Turcotte's Guyana.
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    • Awards & Reviews

      Governor General's Literary Award for French-to-English Translation 2013, Short-listed
      CBC Canada Reads 2015, Short-listed

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