Thirteen more titles that made a mark in 2015
Austin Clarke (Dundurn Press)
Now 81, Austin Clarke recalls a life lived fully, including forays into the American civil rights movement and a career as one of Canada’s best – and most vital – fiction writers.
This is Happy
Camilla Gibb (Doubleday Canada)
Novelist Camilla Gibb turned a difficult personal loss into an emotionally honest memoir that offers astute observations on modern family and parenthood.
Patrick deWitt (House of Anansi Press)
Expectations could not have been higher for deWitt’s follow-up to his massively successful 2011 novel, The Sisters Brothers. Not content to repeat himself, the author delivered a revisionist European fable, complete with his own unique brand of quirky humour and violence.
From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia
Sarah Milroy and Ian Dejardins, eds. (Goose Lane Editions)
More than just a stunning coffee-table book that accompanied a major exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Emily Carr’s reverence for indigenous culture and the natural world seems particularly relevant to contemporary concerns.
Rachel Cusk (Harper Perennial)
Cusk’s novel was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and a Governor General’s Literary Award and also won accolades abroad. Not bad for an author who, before September, most people didn’t even know was Canadian.
Children of the Broken Treaty: Canada’s Lost Promise and One Girl’s Dream
Charlie Angus (University of Regina Press)
NDP MP Charlie Angus continues URP’s stellar record of books on aboriginal issues with this timely and urgent call for justice in Canada’s treatment of its First Nations.
Three Times a Day
Marilou and Alexandre Champagne (House of Anansi Press)
Marilou and Alexandre Champagne’s gorgeous cookbook, Trois fois par jour, was a huge success in Quebec, selling more than 200,000 copies. The English-language edition is a refreshing addition to the category.
The Reason You Walk
Wab Kinew (Penguin Canada)
Journalist Wab Kinew examines issues of reconciliation – both personal and political – in this memoir covering the year he spent reconnecting with his dying father. Kinew delivers a message about forgiveness and hope for the future of Canada’s aboriginal community.
The Golden Son
Shilpi Somaya Gowda (HarperCollins Canada)
The story of how Shilpi Somaya Gowda’s debut novel, Secret Daughter, became a blockbuster phenomenon – thanks to an astute book buyer at Costco – is now a Canadian publishing legend. Expect her sophomore novel to become a bestseller and a book-club staple.
All the Rage
Courtney Summers (St. Martin’s Press/Raincoast)
Courtney Summers’s third YA novel dealt with rape culture head-on, and was rewarded when Tumblr tapped All the Rage for its Reblog book club. Summers followed that social-media coup with another, when her #ToTheGirls hashtag – encouraging people to tell girls and women “they are seen, heard and loved” – trended on Twitter.
André Alexis (Coach House Books)
The second in André Alexis’s projected five-volume series reclaiming forgotten literary forms struck gold: it won both the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.
Daydreams of Angels
Heather O’Neill (HarperCollins Canada)
While her beloved muse – the gritty streets and outcast inhabitants of Montreal – is still present, O’Neill expands her canvas with this collection, which scored the author back-to-back nominations for the Giller Prize.
Melvis and Elvis
Dennis Lee; Jeremy Tankard, illus. (HarperCollins Canada)
“Canada’s Father Goose” released his first collection of original poems for children – full of trademark silliness and bouncing rhythms – in more than a decade. This is classic Dennis Lee.