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TouchWood Editions Fall 2021

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All the Quiet Places
A Novel
By (author): Brian Thomas Isaac

ISBN:

9781990071027

Product Form:

Paperback

Form detail:

Flaps
Paperback , Flaps
English

Audience:

General/trade
Oct 12, 2021
$22.00 CAD
Active

Dimensions:

8.5in x 5.5 in

Page Count:

288 pages
TouchWood Editions
Brindle & Glass
FICTION / Indigenous
Modern and contemporary fiction|Narrative theme: Coming of age|Narrative theme: Identity / belonging|British Columbia|Relating to indigenous peoples
Canada

An Indigo Top 100 Book of 2021
An Indigo Top 10 Best Canadian Fiction Book of 2021

"What a welcome debut. Young Eddie Toma's passage through the truly ugly parts of this world is met, like an antidote, or perhaps a compensation, by his remarkable awareness of its beauty. This is a writer who understands youth, and how to tell a story." —Gil Adamson, winner of the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize for Ridgerunner

Brian Isaac's powerful debut novel All the Quiet Places is the coming-of-age story of Eddie Toma, an Indigenous (Syilx) boy, told through the young narrator's wide-eyed observations of the world around him.

It's 1956, and six-year-old Eddie Toma lives with his mother, Grace, and his little brother, Lewis, near the Salmon River on the far edge of the Okanagan Indian Reserve in the British Columbia Southern Interior. Grace, her friend Isabel, Isabel's husband Ray, and his nephew Gregory cross the border to work as summer farm labourers in Washington state. There Eddie is free to spend long days with Gregory exploring the farm: climbing a hill to watch the sunset and listening to the wind in the grass. The boys learn from Ray's funny and dark stories. But when tragedy strikes, Eddie returns home grief-stricken, confused, and lonely.

Eddie's life is governed by the decisions of the adults around him. Grace is determined to have him learn the ways of the white world by sending him to school in the small community of Falkland. On Eddie"s first day of school, as he crosses the reserve boundary at the Salmon River bridge, he leaves behind his world. Grace challenges the Indian Agent and writes futile letters to Ottawa to protest the sparse resources in their community. His father returns to the family after years away only to bring chaos and instability. Isabel and Ray join them in an overcrowded house. Only in his grandmother's company does he find solace and true companionship.

In his teens, Eddie's future seems more secure—he finds a job, and his long-time crush on his white neighbour Eva is finally reciprocated. But every time things look up, circumstances beyond his control crash down around him. The cumulative effects of guilt, grief, and despair threaten everything Eddie has ever known or loved.

All the Quiet Places is the story of what can happen when every adult in a person's life has been affected by colonialism; it tells of the acute separation from culture that can occur even at home in a loved familiar landscape. Its narrative power relies on the unguarded, unsentimental witness provided by Eddie.

  • This is the coming-of-age story of Eddie Toma, an Indigenous (Say-ilks) boy (part of the Okanagan Indian Reserve), told through the young narrator's wide-eyed observations of the world around him.
  • A narration style reminiscent of Room by Emma Donoghue—because it's told through the eyes of Eddie, who is six when the book starts and in his late teens by the end, the narration is both flat and deep, the writing both sparse in detail but jam-packed with warring emotions.
  • This novel is an incredible example of "show, don't tell." It's the story of what can happen when every adult in a person's life has been affected by colonialism; it tells of the acute separation from culture that can occur even at home in a loved familiar landscape. Its narrative power relies on the unguarded, unsentimental witness provided by Eddie.
  • Brian is in his 70s, this is his first book and he's been working on it since 2003. He lives North of Vernon, which is where the book is set, and he took inspiration from his life, but it is not autobiographical.
  • Reminiscent of The Keeper 'n' Me by Richard Wagamese, but Eddie never finds his "keeper"
  • Brian's is a new voice to the Indigenous scene. This is not a memoir, which is a departure from a lot of debut Indigenous writers in their later years
  • All the Quiet Places will have a soft launch at the George Ryga Festival in Summerland in August, 2021

Brian Thomas Isaac was born in 1950 on the Okanagan Indian Reserve, situated in south central British Columbia. As a teenager he had a short career riding bulls in local rodeos until common sense steered him away, then went on to work in the Northern Alberta oil fields and retired as a bricklayer. Writing is something he has done all of his life. A lover of sports, Brian has coached minor hockey and played slow-pitch, and when he’s not spending time with his three grandchildren you can find him on the golf course. He lives with his wife in the Salmon River Valley near Falkland, BC. All the Quiet Places is Brian’s first book.

Media + Publicity:

  • Print features, excerpts and review coverage in Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Quill and Quire, Literary Review of Canada, This Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Shelf Awareness Readers, Booklist, Forward Reviews, Library Journal, CBC Books, Georgia Straight, Winnipeg Free Press, Capilano Review, Geist, Event Magazine, Hamilton Review of Books, Brick Magazine, The Walrus, Zoomer Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Broken Pencil, Malahat Review, subTerrain, IndigiNews, The Tyee
  • Broadcast interviews and coverage on APTN, CTV Your Morning (national), Global The Morning Show (national), CBC The Next Chapter, CBC BC, CBC Vancouver, CBC Syndication
  • Social Media Strategy for all channels (IG, FB, Twitter):
    • Pre-pub: Cover reveal on TWE, one month announcement, one week announcement, audiobook sampler
    • Upon publication: On-sale announcement cross-promo with indie bookshops, giveaway
  • Confirmed festival appearances: Whistler Writers Festival, Summerland Ryga Arts Festival
  • Festivals considering appearances Vancouver Writers Festival, Winnipeg Thin Air Festival, Toronto International Festival of Authors, Word on the Street Toronto, Sunshine Coast Festival of Authors, The Festival of Literary Diversity, Eden Mills Writers Fest, Kingston Writers Festival
  • Blurbers agreed to read: Claire Cameron, Waubgeshig Rice, Richard Van Camp, Drew Hayden Taylor

Marketing + Promo:

  • National, regional, and subject-specific print features, excerpts and review coverage
  • Social media campaigns, blogger outreach, digital collateral for online use
  • Outreach to subject-specific organizations, markets and festivals
  • Festival appearances
  • Excerpts available
  • Electronic ARCs

Marketing + Promo Deliverables:

  • Electronic Galley
  • Press release
  • Poster
  • Social media images / banners

BISAC Codes:

  • FIC059000 | FICTION / Indigenous
  • FIC043000 | FICTION / Coming of Age
  • FIC082000 | FICTION / Own Voices

BISAC Regional Themes:

  • 4.0.2.0.0.0.0 Canada
  • 4.0.2.0.2.0.0 British Columbia

BISAC Merchandising Themes:

  • ET150 | CULTURAL HERITAGE / Native American

For more information contact
curtis@touchwoodeditions.com

An Indigo Top 100 Book of 2021
An Indigo Top 10 Best Canadian Fiction Book of 2021

"What a welcome debut. Young Eddie Toma's passage through the truly ugly parts of this world is met, like an antidote, or perhaps a compensation, by his remarkable awareness of its beauty. This is a writer who understands youth, and how to tell a story." —Gil Adamson is the winner of the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize for Ridgerunner

"All the Quiet Places is a deftly crafted, evocative story about the trials of growing up Indigenous. Brian Thomas Isaac's characters are complex, relatable, and overall, beautifully human." —Waubgeshig Rice is the bestselling author of Moon of the Crusted Snow

"All the Quiet Places is the kind of novel that works its way into your soul. Essentially, it's a tale of childhood, all the wonders and tragedies, that befall a young boy on an Okanagan Reserve in the middle of the last century. Familiar, yet unique, Eddie's story will captivate the reader. The best compliment I could bestow on this book is. . . I wish it was one or two chapters longer. I wanted more." —Drew Hayden Taylor is from the Curve Lake First Nation and is the author of many books including Chasing Painted Horses

"On par with the brilliance of James Welch's Winter in The Blood and Ruby Slipperjack's Little Voice, Brian Thomas Isaac has given us a startling read that'll live wire your soul and haunt you for a good long while. Pure brilliance. Wow." —Richard Van Camp is the author of The Lesser Blessed and Moccasin Square Gardens

“A debut like no other . . . beautifully written . . . [Isaac has] a tremendous attention to detail.” —Carol Off, CBC’s As it Happens

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