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Fall preview 2014: non-fiction, part I

MEMOIR

BetweenGodsAlison Pick’s 2010 novel, Far to Go, was inspired in part by the author’s exploration of her Jewish heritage. She delves deeper in Between Gods (Doubleday Canada, $29.95 cl., Sept.), a memoir that unearths her complex relationship with her faith, beginning with her discovery as a teenager of her family’s escape from the Czech Republic during the Second World War and culminating in her conversion to Judaism. • The Stars Between the Sun and Moon (Douglas & McIntyre, $32.95 cl., Oct.) tells the harrowing story of Lucia Jang, who escaped from North Korea with her son. The memoir, billed as the first book of its kind from a female North Korean defector, is co-written by journalist Susan McClelland, whose YA title, The Bite of the Mango, has become an international bestseller.

Following the success of her 2012 debut novel, Annabel (which was nominated for all three of Canada’s major literary prizes, not to mention the Orange Prize and the Amazon.ca First Novel Award), Kathleen Winter has a pair of books out this fall, including a story collection and the travelogue Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage (Anansi, $29.95 pa., Sept.), which recounts a journey to the Canadian Arctic. • While many Canadians debate the environmental and economic impact of Alberta’s tar sands, little has been committed to print about the men and women who work in the region. Storyteller Rick Ranson offers a lighthearted account of a 24-day shift at an oilsands operation undergoing a shutdown in Bittersweet Sands: Twenty-four Days in Fort McMurray (NeWest Press, $19.95 pa., Oct.), which describes encounters with an engaging crew of roughnecks.

Catherine Gildiner is set to follow up her best-selling memoirs Too Close to the Falls and After the Falls. Coming Ashore (ECW Press, $27.95 cl., Oct.) picks up Gildiner’s story at the age of 21, when she begins to study poetry at Oxford, and continues through to her move to Canada. • Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May will publish her most autobiographical work to date with Who We Are: Reflections on My Life and Canada (Greystone Books, $29.95 cl., Oct.).

DetachmentMaurice Mireau is known in bookish circles as a poet and editor for the Great Plains Publications imprint Enfield & Wizenty. In Detachment: An Adoption Memoir (Freehand Books, $21.95 pa., Sept.), he tells a “moving, darkly funny, and searingly unsentimental” story about adopting his two sons from the Ukraine, and the story of his own father, who escaped Soviet-occupied Ukraine during the Second World War.