Brian Busby’s The Dusty Bookcase explores the fascinating world of Canada’s lesser-known literary history: works that suffered censorship, critical neglect, or brilliant yet fleeting notoriety. These rare and quirky totems of Canadiana, collected over the last three decades, form a travel diary of sorts—through books instead of maps. Covering over one hundred books, and peppered with observations on the Canadian writing and publishing scenes, Busby’s work explores our cultural past from a unique slant, questioning why certain works, rightfully or otherwise, are celebrated and others ignored.
Illustrated throughout with covers and ephemera, The Dusty Bookcase offers up a casual but nonetheless critical and entertaining exploration of Canada's suppressed, ignored, and forgotten literature, and in the process a curious examination of what we read, when we read it, and why.
Brian Busby's books include Character Parts: Who's Really Who in CanLit, In Flanders Fields, and Other Poems of the First World War, and numerous titles written under cover of noms de plume. His proudest achievement is A Gentleman of Pleasure: One Life of John Glassco, Poet, Memoirist, Translator and Pornographer, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Gabrielle Roy Prize. He and his wife currently live in St. Mary's, Ontario.
PRAISE FOR THE DUSTY BOOKCASE
“Even if you’re not interested in reading the books, The Dusty Bookcase’s tour through an alternate New Canadian Library is well worth reading for Busby’s insight and good humour. But if you’re the sort of person who spends time digging through used bookshop dollar bins looking for forgotten gems, this is an indispensable bibliography to the hits and misses of Canadian literature’s past.”—National Post
“And so began a lifetime of scouring bargain bins, library book sales and obscure online auctions in search of the many forgotten gems of Canada's literary history, a never-ending search Busby first documented in columns and a blog and now in the entertaining book The Dusty Bookcase.”—Toronto Star
PRAISE FOR BRIAN BUSBY
“A thorough and thoroughly entertaining study of Canada’s foremost literary charlatan.”—Geist
“Exquisitely written, and endlessly interesting.”—George Elliott Clarke
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