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2023 Fall Preview: Nonfiction

Not Here: Why American Democracy Is Eroding and How Canada Can Protect Itself
Rob Goodman
Simon & Schuster, August

A former U.S. congressional staffer now living in Canada, Rob Goodman warns against the destructive political forces active south of the border that are making their way here, and outlines the four distinctly Canadian political, cultural, and historical resources that must be reinforced to maintain our country’s democracy. –Attila Berki

The Compassionate Imagination: How the Arts Are Central to a Functioning Democracy
Max Wyman
Cormorant Books, August

Writer and arts policy consultant Max Wyman asks a simple question in The Compassionate Imagination – his seventh book on the arts in Canada – what kind of country could we build if we put arts and culture at the heart of decision-making, instead of diminishing its role in society in favour of science and technology? –Cassandra Drudi

It’s All about the Land: Collected Talks and Interviews on Indigenous Resurgence
Taiaiake Alfred
Aevo/University of Toronto Press, September

This collection of speeches and interviews by the Kahnawà:ke Mohawk activist and scholar explains how the Canadian government’s reconciliation agenda is another form of colonization and presents a radical vision for achieving justice for Indigenous Peoples that is rooted in the teachings and laws of the ancestors. –AB

Blood on the Coal: The True Story of the Great Springhill Mine Disaster
Ken Cuthbertson
HarperCollins, September

The Governor General’s shortlisted author and journalist revisits the horrific 1958 mine disaster that shattered many lives and the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia. Interviews with the last surviving miners, their families, and the doctor who cared for them shapes this story of one of Canada’s worst underground disasters. –AB

Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons: The Lives of Jennie Jerome Churchill and Sara Delano Roosevelt
Charlotte Gray
Simon & Schuster Canada, September

Award-winning historian and author Charlotte Gray tells the dual stories of two women, both born in upper-class America in 1854, Sara Delano and Jennie Jerome, who would go on to become the mothers of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, respectively. Gray argues that Delano and Jerome, often presented in the background of history, were remarkable women who were key in shaping their sons, both of whom would become powerful leaders. –CD

All the World’s a Mall
Rinny Gremaud and Luise von Flotow, trans.
University of Alberta Press, September

Ottawa-based translator Luise von Flotow brings Rinny Gremaud’s tour of five mega-malls around the world to English readers. First published in French in 2018 as Un monde en toc, All the World’s a Mall offers readers Gremaud’s look at malls in Edmonton, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, and Casablanca. Gremaud casts a sometimes ironic eye on these buildings that are almost cities within cities, sketching portraits of the people she meets within them, and exploring the global commitment to brands and consumption that has created them. –CD

The Lost Supper: Searching for the Future of Food in the Flavors of the Past
Taras Grescoe
Greystone Books, September

From Aztec delicacies to wild, super-resilient species of olives, The Lost Supper takes us on a global tour of historical, and often forgotten, foodways. As industrial food systems threaten our planet and our health, and climate change begins to force some changes in the way we eat, award-winning travel and food writer Taras Grescoe argues that the future of food lies deep in our collective past. –Andrew Woodrow-Butcher

The Alchemy Lecture: Borders, Human Itineraries, and All Our Relation
Dele Adeyemo, Natalie Diaz, Nadia Yala Kisukidi, Rinaldo Walcott; Christina Sharpe, intro.
Knopf Canada/Penguin Random House Canada, October

The inaugural Alchemy Lecture, that is also linked to a live event, brings together four essays by thinkers in different disciplines on the topic of borders and humanity in the contemporary world, addressing such issues as anti-colonial struggles, the world’s environmental challenges, and the nature of Black and Indigenous experiences. –AB

Curious Sounds: A Dialogue in Three Movements
Roger Mooking and francesca ekwuyasi
Arsenal Pulp Press, October

Chef, recording artist, and visual artist Roger Mooking has teamed up with celebrated writer francesca ekwuyasi for this book of art, stories, and conversations. Published in conjunction with a new album from Mooking, Curious Sounds tracks the arc of a life in three parts – learning, living, and leaving – and offers moments that explore how to find beauty in chaos, particularly from a Black perspective. –CD

Are You Willing to Die for the Cause?
Chris Oliveros
Drawn & Quarterly, October

From the founder and founding publisher of D&Q comes this much-anticipated graphic history of the Front de libération du Québec. Are You Willing to Die for the Cause? traces the diffuse origins of the militant separatist group, from local agitations to the point of national crisis. Assembled from oral histories and forgotten sources, Oliveros’s latest will be essential reading for history buffs and graphic novel aficionados alike. –AWB

Pitfall: The Race to Mine the World’s Most Vulnerable Places
Christopher Pollon
Greystone Books, October

The Vancouver investigative reporter looks at the history of international mining and considers what the future holds. With diminishing metal stores needed as much as ever – even to transition to clean energy – can mining, especially in the global south, go forward without repeating the human rights and environmental abuses of the past? This challenging book is published in association with the David Suzuki Institute. AB

Manipulating the Message: How Powerful Forces Shape the News
Cecil Rosner
Dundurn Press, October

Ever-shrinking newsrooms but vast numbers of public relations specialists, and a barrage of misinformation and disinformation often lead to inaccurate or press-release journalism. The Winnipeg investigative journalist examines media’s challenges and provides guidance for both news professionals and everyday readers on how to differentiate between spin, lies, and the truth. AB

Girls, Interrupted: How Pop Culture is Failing Women
Lisa Whittington-Hill
Véhicule Press, October

Now that long-held misogynistic practices in pop culture are not only spoken of out in the open, but identified by hashtags, the representation of women in the media must have changed for the better, right? Toronto-based writer and This Magazine publisher Lisa Whittington-Hill argues otherwise, taking a searing look at everything from the gender bias in the coverage of celebrity memoirs to the pressure female pop stars are under to reinvent themselves in this collection of essays. –CD 

Take Your Baby And Run: How nurses blew the whistle on Canada’s biggest cardiac disaster
Carol Youngson
Great Plains Publications, October

Carol Youngson was the nurse in charge of the cardiac unit at Winnipeg’s largest hospital in 1994, when 12 children, most of them infants, died after heart surgery. The deaths led to Canada’s longest-running inquiry. Youngson’s first-hand account details the ineptitude, misogyny, and dysfunctional hierarchy that allowed these unnecessary deaths to occur. –CD

Concrete Women: Gender, Urbanism, and Protest in South Asia
Tara Atluri
Inanna Publications, November

How are queer, trans, and feminist movements shaping the present and future in the cities of India and Pakistan? Concrete Women collects first-hand stories of artists and activists on the front lines of social change across South Asia. Artist, academic, and writer Atluri examines the protests and the art shaping conversations in a period of rapid urbanization and dynamic shifts in culture. –AWB

Eve: The Disobedient Future of Birth
Claire Horn
House of Anansi Press, November

In Eve, writer and academic Claire Horn casts ahead to explore what the development of ex-vivo uterine environment therapy (EVE) means for the future of womanhood, motherhood, and parenthood. Horn reflects on her own pregnancy as she examines how artificial wombs could allow for the redistribution of the work of gestating, and who would be able to have access to such technology. –CD

Beryl: The Making of a Disability Activist
Dustin Galer
Between the Lines, November

Historian Dustin Galer paints this portrait of Beryl Potter, a reserved working-class mother of three whose life was irrevocably altered by a fall. Potter was in intense pain for years, and lost her eyesight and her limbs, one by one, as well as her financial security, home, and husband. From the 1970s to 1990s, she dedicated herself to bettering the lives of others with disabilities and ultimately contributed significantly to disability awareness. –CD

On Community
Casey Plett
Biblioasis, November

A new entry in the Field Notes series from Biblioasis, this personal essay looks at the values, meanings, and even the dangers of this thing we call “community.” Two-time Lambda Literary Award–winner Plett reflects on her Mennonite roots, trans literature, nationalism, Silicon Valley, and the idea of family, in this consideration of how and why we manage to live together at all. –AWB

Crisis and Contagion: Conversations on Capitalism and COVID-19
Ian McKay, ed.
Between the Lines, October

Crisis and Contagion is a collection of 14 interviews academic Ian McKay conducted with a series of other scholars, all of which explore the COVID-19 pandemic in great detail, from its roots in capitalism’s organic crisis to the experiences of ordinary people and the likely long-term effects and legacy of the pandemic. –CD


For the Love of Cocktails
Evelyn Chick
Figure 1 Publishing, October

Spirit expert and sommelier Chick offers a comprehensive and beautiful guide for the modern home bar. Alongside traditional and modern recipes, For the Love of Cocktails includes low- and no-alcohol drinks, as well as cannabis concoctions, with something for everyone on your guestlist. Chick supplements the recipes with guides to stocking your bar, bar accessories, and even fancy-but-easy garnishes to please the eye and the palate. –AWB

Asian Vegetables: Gardening. Cooking. Storytelling.
The Wang Sisters
Ambrosia/House of Anansi Press, October

Asian Vegetables, by Caroline, Stéphanie, and Patricia Ho-Yi Wang, is more than a cookbook. The sisters have organized the book around 15 Asian vegetables presented according to the seasons. Although it includes practical advice about how to grow, prepare, and preserve the vegetables in question, Asian Vegetables also offers stories about the importance of these foods within the Wangs’ own Chinese-Canadian family. –CD


Medicinal Perennials to Know and Grow
Dan Jason and Rupert Adams; Lyn Alice, ill.
Harbour Publishing, September

With the growing interest in gardening and in herbals, two Salt Spring Island plant activists have created a guide to the best-known and easy-to-grow medicinal plants, providing tips on cultivation, medicinal properties and use, as well as the other beneficial aspects of these useful plants. –AB

The Winter Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Year-Round Harvests
Jean-Martin Fortier and Catherine Sylvestre
New Society Publishers, October

This illustrated practical guide to winter vegetable production shows how year-round cultivation of quality local vegetables is possible for both small farmers and enthusiastic amateurs in our northern climate. –AB

Garden Inventories: Reflections on Land, Place and Belonging
Mariam Pirbhai
Wolsak and Wynn, November

Scholar and novelist Mariam Pirbhai takes a closer look at the plants that populate the gardens around her – and us – in this collection of essays. Pirbhai details her own efforts to create a garden and thereby understand her new home in southern Ontario, where she has lived for 17 years. She explores wildflowers and weeds, the obsession with lawns, and the plants available in nurseries in this collection that offers readers a new lens on the landscapes around them. –CD


Early Days: Indigenous Art from the McMichael
Bonnie Devine and Sarah Milroy, eds.
Figure 1 Publishing, September

Early Days offers a beautiful celebration of Indigenous visual arts from across Turtle Island. Anishinaabe artist and scholar Devine showcases dozens of historical and contemporary pieces drawn from the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, offering rich commentary and context along with McMichael chief curator Milroy. Early Days is at once a visual feast and a momentous document of the vibrant and vital work of Indigenous art and artists. –AWB

Ink and Paper: A Printmaker’s Art
George A. Walker
Firefly Books, September

Canada’s foremost woodcut artist is celebrated in this career retrospective featuring 250 prints. Walker is well-known for his book-length, wordless works on influential Canadians such as Leonard Cohen, Pierre Trudeau, and Conrad Black – each rendered completely in hand-press-printed woodblock illustrations. Ink and Paper features these unique projects in depth, alongside dozens of stand-alone pieces collected for the first time. –AWB

The Memoirs of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle: Vol. 1 – A True and Exact Accounting of the History of Turtle Island
Kent Monkman and Gisèle Gordon
McClelland & Stewart, November

Celebrated painter Kent Monkman brings his recurring alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle to the page with this genre-bending work that tells the imagined biography of the often-stilettoed Miss Chief alongside true stories of the history of Turtle Island, all told through a Cree and queer lens. The Memoirs of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle: Vol. 1 covers the period of time from the creation of the universe to the confederation of Canada. –CD


Skating on Thin Ice: Professional Hockey, Rape Culture, and Violence against Women
Walter S. DeKeseredy, Stu Cowan, and Martin D. Schwartz
University of Toronto Press, October

In Skating on Thin Ice, academics Walter S. DeKeseredy and Martin D. Schwartz and Montreal Gazette sports columnist Stu Cowan take a closer look at what it is about the culture of professional hockey that has allowed it to remain a bastion of toxic masculinity and rape culture – and offer collaborative solutions to address these problems. –CD

Sporting Justice: The Chatham Coloured All-Stars and Black Baseball in Southwestern Ontario, 1915–1958
Miriam Wright
Wilfrid Laurier University Press, August

Long before Jackie Robinson made history for breaking Major League Baseball’s colour barrier in 1947, the Chatham Coloured All-Stars were doing the same work in southwestern Ontario. The team grew out of the Black baseball network in southwestern Ontario and Michigan in the 1920s. Wright follows the team’s eight years navigating the world of amateur baseball as well as players’ work to racially integrate local baseball and support new Black teams after the All-Stars disbanded. –CD

By: Attila Berki; Cassandra Drudi; Andrew Woodrow-Butcher

August 2nd, 2023

11:41 am

Category: Industry News, Preview

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