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Fall preview 2013: pop culture, sports, food & drink, and more

In the July/August issue, Q&Q looks ahead at fall’s most anticipated Canadian non-fiction.

Art, Music & Pop Culture

Diagnosed with leukemia in 1969 while still in his thirties, artist Jack Chambers‘ final decade was marked by frenzied work in an effort to provide for his young family. Faced with his own mortality, Chambers also embarked upon a research project into the nature of immortality, which took the form of a complex, colour-coded collage of quotations and ideas. Former McMichael Gallery executive director Tom Smart spent more than a decade decrypting the obscure work. In Jack Chambers’ Red and Green (TPQ, $22.95 pa., July), he delivers insight into the mind of one of Canada’s most gifted painters and filmmakers. ¢ Smart is attached to another art book forthcoming this fall. Despite being one of Canada’s best-known landscape painters, Christopher Pratt is long overdue for the retrospective treatment in book form. Christopher Pratt: Six Decades (Firefly Books, $60 cl., Oct.), edited by Smart, is timed to coincide with a retrospective of Pratt’s work at the Art Gallery of Sudbury.*

From Leanne Shapton comes another book of characteristic whimsy and watercolours. A collection of 78 paintings of movie stills, Sunday Night Movies (Drawn & Quarterly, $19.95, pa., Oct.) expands on her series of the same name for The New York Times.

In 1993, Beverly Delich discovered 18-year-old Michael Bublé in a Vancouver talent contest. With co-writer Shelley Fralic, Delich pens a memoir, Come Fly with Me (D&M, $32.95 cl., Oct.), about working as Bublé’s manager during his rise to fame. ¢ In the fourth instalment of Invisible Publishing’s Bibliophonic series, Cult MTL editor, musician, and filmmaker Malcolm Fraser traces the path of 1990s Canadian indie band The Wooden Stars and its influence on a generation of musicians. The Wooden Stars: Innocent Gears ($12.95 pa.) appears in October.

Ted Grant has spent more than six decades as a photojournalist, a good portion of them during the glory days of Canadian print journalism. Ted Grant: Sixty Years of Legendary Photojournalism (Heritage House Publishing, $29.95 pa., Oct.), written by Thelma Fayle with forewords from Maureen McTeer and the Right Honerable Joe Clark, includes 135 of Grant’s photos, including images of Pierre Trudeau sliding down a banister and Ben Johnson’s brief moment of Olympic glory.

Essays & Criticism

Anansi will release the latest in its annual Massey Lectures series with Lawrence Hill‘s Blood: The Stuff of Life ($19.95 pa., Sept.). Hill traces the biological, cultural, and social connotations of blood that run through race and identity, culture and belonging, and family and privilege.

The correspondence between two of Canada’s most highly regarded poets, Earle Birney and Al Purdy, is collected in a new book by University of Victoria English professor Nicholas Bradley. We Go Far Back in Time: The Letters of Earle Birney and Al Purdy, 1947“1984 (Harbour Publishing, $39.95 cl., Oct.) chronicles a long, evolving friendship as the two poets became CanLit legends.

The subtitle of Zachariah Wells‘ Canadian literature blog, Career Limiting Moves, is saying shit I shouldn’t since 1977. In his forthcoming book of interviews, rejoinders, essays, and reviews, also titled Career Limiting Moves (Biblioasis, $22.95 pa., Nov.), we suspect he’ll continue in this vein. ¢ Toronto poet Jason Guriel offers a collection of reviews, essays, and gonzo-reportage from the poetry community in The Pigheaded Soul (TPQ, $22.95 pa., Nov.).


With Orr: My Story (Viking Canada, $32 cl., Oct.), Bobby Orr has written a memoir about his rise from small-town kid to sports celebrity, his agent’s financially ruinous betrayal, and what he thinks of the game today. ¢ CBC Radio host Grant Lawrence, who was nominated for the 2011 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for his memoir Adventures in Solitude, writes about his relationship with Canada’s favourite sport in The Lonely End of the Rink: Confessions of Reluctant Goalie (D&M, $26.95 pa., Oct.). ¢ Don’t Call Me Goon: Hockey’s Greatest Enforcers, Gunslingers, and Bad Boys, by Greg Oliver and Richard Kamchen, is about the contributions of some of the game’s toughest players, and explores the issues that plague so-called enforcers, from suspensions to concussions to personal controversies (ECW Press, $19.95 pa., Sept.).

Food & Drink

Burgoo: Food for Comfort ($29.95 cl., Sept.), by Justin Joyce and Stephan McIntyre, is one of the first titles from the recently founded Vancouver press Figure 1 Publishing. The book offers 75 recipes for home-style comfort food from the popular eponymous West Coast bistro. ¢ Toronto celebrity chef Lynn Crawford offers 200 recipes for home-cooked meals in At Home with Lynn Crawford (Penguin Canada, $32 pa., Sept.). ¢ Long-time Toronto Star wine columnist and Order of Canada recipient Tom Aspler has authored his 17th book, Canadian Wineries (Firefly, $29.95 pa., Oct.), which contains photographs from Jean-François Bergeron.

In The Politics of the Pantry, Michael Mikulak explores the importance of understanding food sources in contemporary culture (MQUP, $29.95 cl., Oct.). ¢ Michael Wex, who has been called a Yiddish national treasure, explores the relationship between Jewish food, social history, and cultural identity in Born to Nosh (Scribner/Simon & Schuster, $29.99 cl., Nov.). ¢ In Eat Your Heart Out with Morro and Jasp (Tightrope Books, $16.95 pa., Oct.), an idiosyncratic book that involves recipes, poems, illustrations, pie charts, and essays, clown sisters Morro and Jasp provide a guide to playing with your food again.

Health & Self-Help

As an orphaned child, The Global Forest author Diana Beresford-Kroger was tutored by her caretakers in the Druidic tradition. These simple rituals, coupled with her later education in biochemistry, inspired The Sweetness of a Simple Life: A Guide for Living Simply (Random House Canada, $28 cl., Oct.), which mixes art and science to offer advice for achieving health and peace of mind. ¢ From poets Jessica Hiemstra and Lisa Martin-DeMoor, How to Expect What You’re Not Expecting (Touchwood Editions, $19.95 pa., Sept.) goes further than most books on pregnancy and parenthood. The literary anthology “ composed of essays by Carrie Snyder, Sadiqa de Meijer, Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Susan Olding, Maureen Scott Harris, Cathy Stonehouse, and others “ focuses on true and tragic stories of miscarriage, stillbirth, infertility, and loss.

*Correction, Sept. 17: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Christopher Pratt book was timed to coincide with an exhibition of work by Mary Pratt.