The twin poles of author Kim Echlin’s imagination seem to be travel and music. Her previous novel, The Disappeared (shortlisted for the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize), was set in Cambodia and circled around a love story between two people who shared an affinity for the blues. In Under the Visible Life (Hamish Hamilton Canada), she switches her focus to jazz, to tell the story of two women whose lives are changed by the world around them and their shared passion for music.
Marina Endicott, author of the Scotiabank Giller Prize–shortlisted novel Good to a Fault (2008), traces the lives of two generations of small-town denizens in her newest work of contemporary tragicomedy. In Close to Hugh (Doubleday Canada), Endicott’s teen characters navigate the hopes and fears of adolescence, while their parents are undergoing crises of their own. It is up to the eponymous Hugh Argylle to keep his friends and townsfolk from spiralling into turmoil.
The genre-bending Lynn Crosbie has fused narrative and imagination in recent works of fiction (the novel Life Is About Losing Everything) and verse (the book-length poem Liar). Her latest novel, Where Did You Sleep Last Night? (House of Anansi Press), described as a work of “haute fan fiction,” is a love story of sorts, about a teenager who embarks on a fantastical relationship with Kurt Cobain – two decades after the singer’s death.
Fresh off the visually arresting and conceptually challenging novel Love and the Mess We’re In, culture critic Stephen Marche returns with a dark fable about wealth, oil, and family secrets. The Hunger of the Wolf (HarperCollins Canada) opens with the discovery of Ben Wylie, the world’s eighth-richest man, dead in the snow. The novel traces the way in which the successful capitalist, worth a cool $27 billion, arrived at his bitter end.