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Fall preview 2014: novels

In the July/August issue, Q&Q looks ahead at fall’s most anticipated titles.

British author Will Self stirred up controversy with a recent Guardian article declaring the novel dead. For real, this time. Apparently, nobody thought to give Canadian authors that memo. After a busy spring, packed to the rafters with marquee releases alongside intriguing literary debuts, the latter half of the year promises more of the same.

Consumed_sizedOne of the biggest names to appear this fall is Ann-Marie MacDonald, Governor General’s Literary Award–winning playwright and one of only two Canadian novelists to have a book (her first novel, Fall on Your Knees) inducted into Oprah’s Book Club. Eleven years after her sophomore effort, The Way the Crow Flies, MacDonald returns with a novel about a YA author in Toronto struggling with current frustrations, painful memories from childhood, and the threat of domestic violence. Adult Onset ($32 cl.) appears from Knopf Canada in September. • Celebrated auteur David Cronenberg’s long-awaited first novel debuts with Hamish Hamilton Canada in September. In Consumed ($32 cl.), a journalist travels to France and Japan in pursuit of a philosopher who is accused of murdering and partially cannibalizing his wife. Meanwhile, the journalist’s partner heads to Toronto to track down the person responsible for first identifying the sexually transmitted disease he has contracted.

Thomas King is seemingly everywhere these days. His acclaimed non-fiction work The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America won last year’s Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-fiction and the RBC Taylor Prize. This fall, King returns to fiction with The Back of the Turtle (HarperCollins Canada, $33.99 cl., Sept.), about a man who goes back to the reserve where his mother grew up, only to find it reduced to an environmental wasteland. • Also from HarperCollins Canada is a new novel from Scotiabank Giller Prize winner David Bergen. Leaving Tomorrow ($27.99 cl., Sept.) tells the story of a solitary young man uneasy with his life in a small Alberta town, his family, and his religion.