Epigraph: Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work. —Gustave Flaubert
The Search for Heinrich Schlögel
a novel by Martha Baillie
ISBN 1-897141-63-7, 9781897141632
15 September 2014
The story of a young man who escapes the claustrophobia of small-town Germany by travelling to Canada, where he sets out on a long solo hike into the interior of Baffin Island. Soon time begins to play tricks on him. Yanked from the twentieth century and deposited in the twenty-first, Heinrich lands in a disorienting, digital Present where a computer-nimble Pangnirtung teenager befriends him. She lives with her grandmother who rents Heinrich a room.
“Capacious, capricious, mischievous, The Search for Heinrich Schlögel moves like a quantum experiment, defying boundaries of time, place, chronology. Fluid as light itself, animated by startling imagery, vivid and peculiar characters, The Search for Heinrich Schlögel is a hymn to brooding memory, the enduring need to inhabit story, and a haunting insistence upon endless possibilities within possibility. That is to say, hope.” —Gina Ochsner, author of The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight
The Search for Heinrich Schlögel will be published simultaneously in the U.S. by Tin House
Martha Baillie is the author of four novels. Her most recent, The Incident Report (Pedlar Press, 2009), was nominated for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize and was included in the Globe and Mail’s list of Best Books for 2009. She has crossed the Arctic Circle on foot, hiking in Auyuittuq on Baffin Island, spent time in Pangnirtung and kayaked in East Greenland. She has written about contemporary visual art for the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Koffler Gallery and Brick magazine. Her poetry has appeared in Canadian journals. Martha Baillie lives in Toronto.
The Bricoleur & His Sentences
non-fiction by Stan Dragland
ISBN 1-897141-64-5, 9781897141649
15 August 2014
Guest editor: Don McKay
The Bricoleur and His Sentences is about reading, and about writing and thinking conducted with an ardent scepticism, a muscular dance between yes and but. On its way to a lively discussion of literary rhetoric and a gathering of sentences illustrating same, this book formulates a bricoleur’s poetics founded in Stan Dragland’s personal experience, both literary and otherwise, and does so in the beloved company of other bricoleurs/bricoleuses—writers like Walter Benjamin, Margaret Avison, Michael Ondaatje, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Colleen Thibaudeau and Phil Hall. One section details Dragland’s respectful retrospective disengagement from the literary and social theory of non-bricoleur Northrop Frye. The eclectic and heterogeneous ensemble might be summed up in the words with which Cynthia Ozick describes Robert Louis Stevenson’s essay, “Virginibus Puerisque”: “an essay not short, wholly odd, no other like it, custom-made, soliciting the brightness of full attention . . . .” All this is prologue to a fascinating array of sentences drawn from novels, stories, poems, essays, songs and speeches, all grouped in rhetorical categories with the fancy Greek names but each pulling its own literary weight. This is a bricoleur’s assemblage, an assortment of bits gathered from here and there and stored up against the time when they might happen to come in handy for making something new. | | Dragland’s work is both an essay on bricolage and an exercise in it. Engaging, exciting in a quiet way, the reader is invited into the process, as opposed to being, as in much postmodern writing, the butt of the process. This is metaessay, but the feel is different: not Donald Barthelme, but rather an old-timer showing the reader how he puts together his tables or murals or what have you. Dragland’s essay engages practical and philosophical issues fearlessly, without ever losing his plain, vernacular-based, Mark Twain-like idiom.
Stan Dragland is a talented, prolific, critically acclaimed and widely respected author who recently wrote a book full of penis jokes, a feminist text that rises above stereotype and traditional roles, and the either/or choices they so often involve, offering a funny and biting look at male strut and competition. Literary critic, editor, novelist, poet, born and raised in Alberta, Dragland studied at the University of Alberta, where he received a BA and MA, and earned a PhD from Queen’s University. He retired from teaching in 1999 and now lives in St. John’s NL.
How You Were Born
short fiction by Kate Cayley
ISBN 1-897141-65-3, 9781897141656
30 September 2014 release
How You Were Born is a collection of stories that investigate the bizarre, the tragi-comic and the unbelievable elements that run through human lives. An aging academic becomes convinced that he is haunted by his double. Two children believe their neighbours are war criminals in hiding. A dwarf in a circus dreams of a perfect wedding. An eleven-year-old girl becomes obsessed with the acrobat who visits her small town. Two women fall in love over a painting of the apocalypse. A group of siblings put their senile Holocaust survivor father into institutional care, while failing to notice that he is reliving the past. Each story examines, from a different angle, the difficult business of love, loyalty and memory. With elegance and restraint, in spare language, these narratives run the gamut from realistic to uncanny, from ordinary epiphanies to extremities of experience. Settings range from present-day Toronto, to small town Ontario in 1914, to West Virginia in 1967, characters ranging from the very young to the very old, the manifestly unhinged to the ostensibly sane. These are dark stories in which light finds a foothold, and in which connections, frequently missed or mislaid, offer redemption.
Kate Cayley’s poetry and short stories have appeared in literary magazines across the country. Her play, After Akhmatova, was produced by Tarragon Theatre, where she is a playwright-in-residence, and a young adult novel, The Hangman in the Mirror, was published by Annick Press in 2011. Last year Brick Books published her first poetry collection, When This World Comes to an End. How You Were Born is Cayley’s first collection of short fiction.
poems by Emily McGiffin
ISBN 1-897141-66-1, 9781897141663
15 October 2014
Subduction Zone is a book of meditations on empire — the desires and agendas of empire, and empire’s detritus. From a sweeping panorama of imperial landscapes both classical and modern, it carries us into the troubled natural beauty of the Philippines. Its third and final sequence brings Canadians home, to the manifestations of global technocracy in northwest BC. | | Whether contemplating rain forests in the Visayan Islands or Edward Burtynsky’s photographs, these poems gaze unflinchingly at the exploitation and upheaval that define several millennia of global politics. Their questions are both urgent and intricate. Who are we individually, collectively, in this era of looming ecological collapse? How do we acknowledge the blood on our hands yet bear witness to the beauty that remains? Pteropod is a collection of great integrity and ambition: trenchant, political, shot through with ravishing eroticism and tenderness. Emily McGiffin is poised to become one of the major voices in Canadian poetry.
During the five years that Emily McGiffin lived in northwest BC, she became proficient in the fine art of firewood splitting. She holds an MSc from the University of London and has worked and studied in Italy, Sierra Leone and the Philippines. Her poetry, essays, reviews and journalistic articles, widely published in magazines across Canada, have most recently appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine and Contemporary Verse 2. Between Dusk and Night, her first poetry collection, was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and the Canadian Authors’ Association Poetry Prize. She currently lives in Toronto where she is a PhD student at York University.