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A People’s History of Quebec

By Robin Philpot

Revealing a little-known part of North American history, this lively guide tells the fascinating tale of the settlement of the St. Lawrence Valley. It also tells of the Montreal and Quebec-based explorers and traders who traveled, mapped, and inhabited a very large part of North America, and “embrothered the peoples” they met, as Jack Kerouac wrote.

Connecting everyday life + Read More..
Revealing a little-known part of North American history, this lively guide tells the fascinating tale of the settlement of the St. Lawrence Valley. It also tells of the Montreal and Quebec-based explorers and traders who traveled, mapped, and inhabited a very large part of North America, and “embrothered the peoples” they met, as Jack Kerouac wrote.

Connecting everyday life to the events that emerged as historical turning points in the life of a people, this book sheds new light on Quebec’s 450-year history––and on the historical forces that lie behind its two recent efforts to gain independence.

"A concise history of Quebec, from the earliest days of colonization to the aftermath of the most recent sovereignty referendum, rendered in an easily read 200 pages. As fascinating as the march of great figures and the mapping of landmark events are the details of how they affected the ordinary life of their times." Montreal Gazette
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Aurora Montrealis

By Monique Proulx

A unique and powerful portrait of referendum and post-referendum Montreal. Published in Quebec in 1996, Aurora Montrealis shot to the top of the best-seller lists and confirmed Monique Proulx’s position as one of the top Quebec fiction writers of her generation.

In all of these stories—about disintegrating relationships, yearning housewives, survivors of political and literary wars, people at the + Read More..
A unique and powerful portrait of referendum and post-referendum Montreal. Published in Quebec in 1996, Aurora Montrealis shot to the top of the best-seller lists and confirmed Monique Proulx’s position as one of the top Quebec fiction writers of her generation.

In all of these stories—about disintegrating relationships, yearning housewives, survivors of political and literary wars, people at the very centre of the Quebec dream and those excluded by it—the true hero is the city of Montreal itself, a rapidly changing, indefinable city, which not only provides the backdrop of its inhabitant’s lives, but is the essential force with which they must deal.

“A wonderfully sophisticated tour through the streets and psychic arteries of a city built by poets.” Globe and Mail
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Barney’s Version

By Mordecai Richler

Barney Panofsky—Canadian expat, wily lover of women, writer, television producer, raconteur—is finally putting pen to paper so he can rebut the charges about him made in his rival’s autobiography.

Whether it’s ranting about his bohemian misadventures during the 1950’s in Paris, his tumultuous three marriages, or his successful trashy TV company, Totally Unnecessary Productions, he quickly proves + Read More..
Barney Panofsky—Canadian expat, wily lover of women, writer, television producer, raconteur—is finally putting pen to paper so he can rebut the charges about him made in his rival’s autobiography.

Whether it’s ranting about his bohemian misadventures during the 1950’s in Paris, his tumultuous three marriages, or his successful trashy TV company, Totally Unnecessary Productions, he quickly proves that his memory may be slipping, but his bile isn’t. But when he’s charged with the murder of his own best friend—caught in bed with the second Mrs. Panofsky—Barney’s version of things might not be enough to keep him out of trouble.
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Beautiful Losers

By Leonard Cohen

One of the best-known experimental novels of the 1960s, Beautiful Losers is Leonard Cohen’ s most defiant and uninhibited work. As imagined by Cohen, hell is an apartment in Montreal, where a bereaved and lust-tormented narrator reconstructs his relations with the dead. In that hell two men and a woman twine impossibly and betray one another again and + Read More..
One of the best-known experimental novels of the 1960s, Beautiful Losers is Leonard Cohen’ s most defiant and uninhibited work. As imagined by Cohen, hell is an apartment in Montreal, where a bereaved and lust-tormented narrator reconstructs his relations with the dead. In that hell two men and a woman twine impossibly and betray one another again and again. Memory blurs into blasphemous sexual fantasy--and redemption takes the form of an Iroquois saint and virgin who has been dead for 300 years but still has the power to save even the most degraded of her suitors.

First published in 1966, Beautiful Losers demonstrates that its author is not only a superb songwriter but also a novelist of visionary power. Funny, harrowing, and fiercely moving, it is a classic erotic tragedy, incandescent in its prose and exhilarating for its risky union of sexuality and faith.

"Gorgeously written. . . . One comes out of it having seen terrible and beautiful visions." The New York Times
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Black Bird

By Michel Basilieres

With comic brilliance and a delight in the macabre, Michel Basilières holds a fun-house mirror up to a defining moment in Canadian history and reveals, among other things, a family having a very bad year.

Holed up in a shambling house at the base of Mount Royal is the family Desouche: three generations of English- and French-Canadians caught + Read More..
With comic brilliance and a delight in the macabre, Michel Basilières holds a fun-house mirror up to a defining moment in Canadian history and reveals, among other things, a family having a very bad year.

Holed up in a shambling house at the base of Mount Royal is the family Desouche: three generations of English- and French-Canadians caught in the gears of a national emergency. Their world is dark and hard, but alive with hope and expectation. When one of the eldest, an Anglo Montrealer, dies at the hand of one of the youngest, a militant separatist, so begins a year of turmoil and change that culminates in the October Crisis.

Grave-robbing Grandfather consorts with prostitutes and mad scientists, loses an eye and gains a new vision. His disenchanted wife bonds with his canny pet crow. Mother sleeps her grief away through the seasons, while Father ineffectively schemes to get rich quick. Meanwhile, their twin children, Marie and Jean-Baptiste, find their personal ambitions clashing with their public actions as they derail each other at every turn.

In this wholly original novel alive with misfortune and magic, Michel Basilières uncovers a Montreal not seen in any other English-Canadian novel: a forgotten blue-collar neighbourhood in between the two solitudes. Gothic, outrageous, yet tender and wise, Black Bird is as liberating as the dreams of its wayward characters, and as gripping as the insurgencies that split its heart.
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Bottle Rocket Hearts

By Zoe Whittall

Winner of the 2008 Dayne Ogilvie Grant

Welcome to Montreal in the months before the 1995 referendum. Riot Grrl gets bought out and mass marketed as the Spice Girls, and gays are gaining some legitimacy, but the queers are rioting against assimilation, cocktail AIDS drugs are starting to work, and the city walls on either side of the + Read More..
Winner of the 2008 Dayne Ogilvie Grant

Welcome to Montreal in the months before the 1995 referendum. Riot Grrl gets bought out and mass marketed as the Spice Girls, and gays are gaining some legitimacy, but the queers are rioting against assimilation, cocktail AIDS drugs are starting to work, and the city walls on either side of the Main are spray-painted with the words YES or NO. It's been five years since the OKA crisis and the sex garage riots; revolution seems possible, when you're 18, like Eve.

Eve is pining to get out of her parent's house in Dorval and find a girl who wants to kiss her back. She meets Della - mysterious, defiantly non-monogamous, an avid separatist and ten years older. Initially taken in by a mutual other-worldly sense of rapture, they hole up in Della's apartment trying to navigate spaces of jealousy when a biker bomb goes off down the street. Their explosive beginning makes way for an even more volatile relationship that spans the following two years. Answering an ad for a roommate at the gay bookstore, Eve meets a new family of friends: Seven, homo-core sweetheart who defies all clichés, and Rachael, type-A activist and motivated poet. On the night of the 1995 referendum politics and romance come to a head and Eve's naiveté begins to fade. From naïve teenager to hot shot tough girl, Eve decides her own fate.
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Cockroach: A Novel

By Rawi Hage

"Funny and sharp . . . playful and erotic."―New York Times Book Review

In Montreal's restless immigrant community, our unnamed narrator is living in despair. Forced to visit a therapist after a suicide attempt, he brings us back to his childhood in a war-torn country, forward into his current life in the smoky émigré cafés where everyone has a + Read More..
"Funny and sharp . . . playful and erotic."―New York Times Book Review

In Montreal's restless immigrant community, our unnamed narrator is living in despair. Forced to visit a therapist after a suicide attempt, he brings us back to his childhood in a war-torn country, forward into his current life in the smoky émigré cafés where everyone has a tale, and out into the frozen nighttime streets of Montreal, where he imagines himself to be a cockroach invading the lives of the privileged, but willfully blind, citizens who surround him.

Cockroach is a carnivalesque, philosophical novel that weaves dark humor with an accusatory, satirical voice, spawning from the subsurface to challenge humanity and its downfall.

“There is something exhilarating about [Cockroach's] relentlessness. . . . The narrator is ambiguous, untrustworthy, sly, and filled with a despair both nasty and noisy; but he is also deeply wounded, oddly lovable, his voice both moving and manipulative.” New York Review of Books
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Deja Dead: A Novel

By Kathy Reichs

The first Temperance Brennan novel in the “cleverly plotted and expertly maintained series” (The New York Times Book Review) from the #1 internationally bestselling thriller writer Kathy Reichs.

Her life is devoted to justice—even for those she never knew.

In the year since Temperance Brennan left behind a shaky marriage in North Carolina, work has often preempted her weekend plans + Read More..
The first Temperance Brennan novel in the “cleverly plotted and expertly maintained series” (The New York Times Book Review) from the #1 internationally bestselling thriller writer Kathy Reichs.

Her life is devoted to justice—even for those she never knew.

In the year since Temperance Brennan left behind a shaky marriage in North Carolina, work has often preempted her weekend plans to explore Quebec. When a female corpse is discovered meticulously dismembered and stashed in trash bags, Temperance detects an alarming pattern—and she plunges into a harrowing search for a killer. But her investigation is about to place those closest to her—her best friend and her own daughter—in mortal danger…

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Earth and High Heaven

By Gwethalyn Graham

During the summer of 1942, at a time when the world was already embroiled in the Second World War, twenty-eight-year-old Erica Drake meets Marc Reiser at a garden party. Though the two develop an interest in one another from the start, a seemingly insurmountable rift exists between them—Erica is a Gentile, while Marc is Jewish. However, as their + Read More..
During the summer of 1942, at a time when the world was already embroiled in the Second World War, twenty-eight-year-old Erica Drake meets Marc Reiser at a garden party. Though the two develop an interest in one another from the start, a seemingly insurmountable rift exists between them—Erica is a Gentile, while Marc is Jewish. However, as their attachment to one another deepens, they soon choose to face the disapproving arguments of their parents as well as their own prejudices.

Earth and High Heaven was one of the most highly acclaimed and popular books of its time. Published at the end of the Second World War, it won the Governor General’s Award and was the first Canadian novel to reach number one on The New York Times Bestseller list.

"In a country that barely remembers its prime ministers, it's hardly surprising that one of CanLit's brightest early stars is almost forgotten. But Cormorant Books' reprint of the 1944 novel Earth and High Heaven should bring back to prominence the extraordinary Gwethalyn Graham, who published two novels in her short life (1913 to 1965) and won the Governor General's award for both. Set against the opening years of the Second World War, Earth and High Heaven is a blistering attack on bigotry. It turns on the intense psychological conflict that erupts between father and daughter after the Westmount WASP woman falls in love with a Jew from an Ontario mining town. (The plot was drawn directly from Graham's own unhappy life: after two failed marriages, her love affair with a Jewish man was derailed when Graham's father refused to meet him.) The novel was in international success, translated into 18 languages and topping American bestseller lists." Macleans
$10.00
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HA! A Self-Murder Mystery

By Gordon Sheppard

On 15 March 1977, with his wife's consent, celebrated writer and former terrorist Hubert Aquin blew his brains out on the grounds of a Montreal convent school. Shocked by this self-murder, a filmmaker friend feels compelled to understand why Aquin killed himself - and discovers, at the heart of the tragedy, an unforgettable love story.

A "documentary fiction" - + Read More..
On 15 March 1977, with his wife's consent, celebrated writer and former terrorist Hubert Aquin blew his brains out on the grounds of a Montreal convent school. Shocked by this self-murder, a filmmaker friend feels compelled to understand why Aquin killed himself - and discovers, at the heart of the tragedy, an unforgettable love story.

A "documentary fiction" - a category which includes In Cold Blood and The Executioner's Song - HA! is a seminal work that reinvents the audio-visual revolution of the last century. Interweaving photographs, documents, and images with testimony from Aquin's friends and contemporaries, Aquin himself, and the writers and artists who influenced him, this intriguing novel takes the reader on a Joycean tour of a metropolis in the midst of political and cultural turmoil.
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How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired

By Dany LaFerrière

Brilliant and tense, Dany Laferrière's first novel, How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired, is as fresh and relevant today as when it was first published in Canada in 1985. With ribald humor and a working-class intellectualism on par with Charles Bukowski's or Henry Miller's, Laferrière's narrator wanders the streets and slums of Montreal, has + Read More..
Brilliant and tense, Dany Laferrière's first novel, How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired, is as fresh and relevant today as when it was first published in Canada in 1985. With ribald humor and a working-class intellectualism on par with Charles Bukowski's or Henry Miller's, Laferrière's narrator wanders the streets and slums of Montreal, has sex with white women, and writes a book to save his life.

With this novel, Laferrière began a series of internationally acclaimed social and political novels about the love of the world, and the world of sex, including Heading South and I Am a Japanese Writer. It launched Laferrière as one of the literary world's finest provocateurs and continues to draw strong comparisons to the writings of James Baldwin, Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, and Jack Kerouac. The book was made into a feature film and translated into several languages.

"A heady meditation, a psychic tussle that resonates with the furious stuff in James Baldwin’s essays or Louis Armstrong’s smiling trumpet or Martin Luther King’s oratory… honest, brash, unsappy, new.” The Village Voice
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J’adore Montreal

By Isabelle Lafleche

Catherine Lambert is an endearing, stylish and razor-sharp legal mind. Along with her trusted legal assistant Rikash, a street savvy, wickedly funny, lover of everything chic, they arrive in Montreal for an evening of fun and glamour for the re-opening of the Dior boutique in the city's chicest department store. During the festivities, Catherine catches the eye of + Read More..
Catherine Lambert is an endearing, stylish and razor-sharp legal mind. Along with her trusted legal assistant Rikash, a street savvy, wickedly funny, lover of everything chic, they arrive in Montreal for an evening of fun and glamour for the re-opening of the Dior boutique in the city's chicest department store. During the festivities, Catherine catches the eye of a mysterious local designer who appears to have something up his sleeve. Once again, she will need to use her unparalleled savoir faire to get to the bottom of things while Rikash mingles with the attractive local crowd...

J’ADORE MONTREAL is a fun-filled visit with Catherine Lambert and Rikash through haute couture Montreal.
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Joshua Then and Now

By Mordecai Richler

Joshua Then and Now is about Joshua Shapiro today, and the Joshua he was. His father a boxer turned honest crook, his mother an erotic dancer whose greatest performance was at Joshua’s bar mitzvah, Joshua has overcome his inauspicious beginnings in the Jewish ghetto of Montreal to become a celebrated television writer and a successful journalist.

But Joshua, + Read More..
Joshua Then and Now is about Joshua Shapiro today, and the Joshua he was. His father a boxer turned honest crook, his mother an erotic dancer whose greatest performance was at Joshua’s bar mitzvah, Joshua has overcome his inauspicious beginnings in the Jewish ghetto of Montreal to become a celebrated television writer and a successful journalist.

But Joshua, now middle-aged, is not a happy man. Incapacitated by a freak accident, anguished by the disappearance of his WASP wife, and caught up in a sex scandal, Joshua is besieged by the press and tormented by the ghosts of his youth.

Set in Montreal, the novel chronicles the rocky journey we all make between the countries of the past and the present. Raucous, opinionated, tender, Joshua Then and Now is a memorable excursion into Mordecai Richler's comic universe.

“A richly comic satire in the best uninhibited Richler tradition, full of sharp jabs and ticking bombs...” Globe and Mail
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Last Night in Montreal

By Emily St. John Mandel

When Lilia Albert was a child, her father appeared on the doorstep of her mother's house and took her away. Now, haunted by an inability to remember much about her early childhood, Lilia moves restlessly from city to city, abandoning lovers and eluding the private detective who has dedicated a career to following close behind.

Then comes Eli. + Read More..
When Lilia Albert was a child, her father appeared on the doorstep of her mother's house and took her away. Now, haunted by an inability to remember much about her early childhood, Lilia moves restlessly from city to city, abandoning lovers and eluding the private detective who has dedicated a career to following close behind.

Then comes Eli. When Lilia goes out for a paper and fails to return to their Brooklyn apartment, he follows her to Montreal, not knowing whether he wants to disappear, too, or help her find her way home. But what he discovers is a deeper mystery, one that will set past and present spinning toward collision.
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Lullabies for Little Criminals: A Novel

By Heather O'Neill

A new deluxe edition of the international bestseller by Heather O’Neill, the Giller-shortlisted author of Daydreams of Angels and The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, featuring an original foreword from the author, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the coming-of-age story that People describes as “a vivid portrait of life on skid row.”

Baby, all of thirteen years old, + Read More..
A new deluxe edition of the international bestseller by Heather O’Neill, the Giller-shortlisted author of Daydreams of Angels and The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, featuring an original foreword from the author, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the coming-of-age story that People describes as “a vivid portrait of life on skid row.”

Baby, all of thirteen years old, is lost in the gangly, coltish moment between childhood and the strange pulls and temptations of the adult world. Her mother is dead; her father, Jules, is scarcely more than a child himself and is always on the lookout for his next score. Baby knows that “chocolate milk” is Jules’ slang for heroin and sees a lot more of that in her house than the real article. But she takes vivid delight in the scrappy bits of happiness and beauty that find their way to her, and moves through the threat of the streets as if she’s been choreographed in a dance.

Soon, though, a hazard emerges that is bigger than even her hard-won survival skills can handle. Alphonse, the local pimp, has his eye on her for his new girl; he wants her body and soul—and what the johns don’t take he covets for himself. At the same time, a tender and naively passionate friendship unfolds with a boy from her class at school, who has no notion of the dark claims on her—which even her father, lost on the nod, cannot totally ignore. Jules consigns her to a stint in juvie hall, and for the moment this perceived betrayal preserves Baby from terrible harm—but after that, her salvation has to be her own invention.

Channeling the artlessly affecting voice of her thirteen-year-old heroine with extraordinary accuracy and power, Heather O’Neill’s heartbreaking and wholly original debut novel blew readers away when it was first published ten years ago. Now in a new deluxe package it is sure to capture its next decade of readers as Baby picks her pathway along the edge of the abyss to arrive at a place of redemption, and of love.
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Nikolski: A Novel

By Nicolas Dickner

Spring 1989. Three young people leave their far-flung birthplaces to follow their own songs of migration. Each ends up in Montreal, each on a voyage of self-discovery, dealing with the mishaps of heartbreak and the twisted branches of their shared family tree.

Filled with humor, charm, and good storytelling, this novel shows the surprising links between cartography, garbage-obsessed archeologists, + Read More..
Spring 1989. Three young people leave their far-flung birthplaces to follow their own songs of migration. Each ends up in Montreal, each on a voyage of self-discovery, dealing with the mishaps of heartbreak and the twisted branches of their shared family tree.

Filled with humor, charm, and good storytelling, this novel shows the surprising links between cartography, garbage-obsessed archeologists, pirates past and present, a mysterious book with no cover, and a broken compass whose needle obstinately points to the Aleutian village of Nikolski (a minuscule village inhabited by thirty-six people, five thousand sheep, and an indeterminate number of dogs).
$10.00
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Ru: A Novel

By Kim Thúy

A runaway bestseller in Quebec, with foreign rights sold to 15 countries around the world, Kim Thúy's Governor General's Literary Award-winning Ru is a lullaby for Vietnam and a love letter to a new homeland.

Ru. In Vietnamese it means lullaby; in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow - of tears, blood, money. Kim + Read More..
A runaway bestseller in Quebec, with foreign rights sold to 15 countries around the world, Kim Thúy's Governor General's Literary Award-winning Ru is a lullaby for Vietnam and a love letter to a new homeland.

Ru. In Vietnamese it means lullaby; in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow - of tears, blood, money. Kim Thúy's Ru is literature at its most crystalline: the flow of a life on the tides of unrest and on to more peaceful waters. In vignettes of exquisite clarity, sharp observation and sly wit, we are carried along on an unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp, and onward to a new life in Quebec. There, the young girl feels the embrace of a new community, and revels in the chance to be part of the American Dream. As an adult, the waters become rough again: now a mother of two sons, she must learn to shape her love around the younger boy's autism.

Moving seamlessly from past to present, from history to memory and back again, Ru is a book that celebrates life in all its wonder: its moments of beauty and sensuality, brutality and sorrow, comfort and comedy.
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St. Urbain’s Horseman

By Mordecai Richler

St. Urbain’s Horseman is a complex, moving, and wonderfully comic evocation of a generation consumed with guilt – guilt at not joining every battle, at not healing every wound. Thirty-seven-year-old Jake Hersh is a film director of modest success, a faithful husband, and a man in disgrace.

His alter ego is his cousin Joey, a legend in their childhood + Read More..
St. Urbain’s Horseman is a complex, moving, and wonderfully comic evocation of a generation consumed with guilt – guilt at not joining every battle, at not healing every wound. Thirty-seven-year-old Jake Hersh is a film director of modest success, a faithful husband, and a man in disgrace.

His alter ego is his cousin Joey, a legend in their childhood neighbourhood in Montreal. Nazi-hunter, adventurer, and hero of the Spanish Civil War, Joey is the avenging horseman of Jake’s impotent dreams. When Jake becomes embroiled in a scandalous trial in London, England, he puts his own unadventurous life on trial as well, finding it desperately wanting as he steadfastly longs for the Horseman’s glorious return.

Irreverent, deeply felt, as scathing in its critique of social mores as it is uproariously funny, St. Urbain’s Horseman confirms Mordecai Richler’s reputation as a pre-eminent observer of the hypocrisies and absurdities of modern life.
$10.00
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The Alley Cat

By Yves Beauchemin

First published in Quebec in 1981, Beauchemin’s highly acclaimed comic masterpiece of storytelling follows in the tradition of the great novels of the 19th century.

When Florent Boissonneault comes to the aid of an accident victim, his life changes forever. One onlooker, the powerful and sinister Egon Ratablavasky, comes to haunt his ambitions and dreams, lurking behind his every + Read More..
First published in Quebec in 1981, Beauchemin’s highly acclaimed comic masterpiece of storytelling follows in the tradition of the great novels of the 19th century.

When Florent Boissonneault comes to the aid of an accident victim, his life changes forever. One onlooker, the powerful and sinister Egon Ratablavasky, comes to haunt his ambitions and dreams, lurking behind his every opportunity, success, and failure. Finally, obsessed by a need to free himself, Florent discovers how to fight back.
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The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

By Mordecai Richler

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is the novel that established Mordecai Richler as one of the world’s best comic writers. Growing up in the heart of Montreal’s Jewish ghetto, Duddy Kravitz is obsessed with his grandfather’s saying, “A man without land is nothing.”

In his relentless pursuit of property and his drive to become a somebody, he will + Read More..
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is the novel that established Mordecai Richler as one of the world’s best comic writers. Growing up in the heart of Montreal’s Jewish ghetto, Duddy Kravitz is obsessed with his grandfather’s saying, “A man without land is nothing.”

In his relentless pursuit of property and his drive to become a somebody, he will wheel and deal, he will swindle and forge, he will even try making movies. And in spite of the setbacks he suffers, the sacrifices he must make along the way, Duddy never loses faith that his dream is worth the price he must pay.

This blistering satire traces the eventful coming-of-age of a cynical dreamer. Amoral, inventive, ruthless, and scheming, Duddy Kravitz is one of the most magnetic anti-heroes in literature, a man who learns the hard way that dreams are never exactly what they seem, even when they do come true.
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The Book of Eve

By Constance Beresford-Howe

First published in 1973, The Book of Eve has become a classic. When Eva Carroll walks out on her husband of 40 years, it is an unplanned, completely spontaneous gesture. Yet Eva feels neither guilt nor remorse. Instead, she feels rejuvenated and blissfully free. As she builds a new life for herself in a boarding house on the + Read More..
First published in 1973, The Book of Eve has become a classic. When Eva Carroll walks out on her husband of 40 years, it is an unplanned, completely spontaneous gesture. Yet Eva feels neither guilt nor remorse. Instead, she feels rejuvenated and blissfully free. As she builds a new life for herself in a boarding house on the “wrong” side of Montreal, she finds happiness and independence – and, when she least expects it, love.
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The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant

By Michel Tremblay

It is the glorious second day of May, 1942. The sun is drawing the damp from earth still heavy with the end of a long Quebec winter, the budding branches of the trees along rue Fabre and in Parc Lafontaine of the Plateau Mont Royal ache to release their leaves into the warm, clear air heralding the approach + Read More..
It is the glorious second day of May, 1942. The sun is drawing the damp from earth still heavy with the end of a long Quebec winter, the budding branches of the trees along rue Fabre and in Parc Lafontaine of the Plateau Mont Royal ache to release their leaves into the warm, clear air heralding the approach of summer.

Seven women in this raucous Francophone working-class Montreal neighbourhood are pregnant—only one of them, “the fat woman,” is bearing a child of true love and affection. Next door to the home that is by times refuge, asylum, circus-arena, confessional and battleground to her extended family, with ancient roots in both rural Quebec and the primordial land of the Saskatchewan Cree, stands an immaculately kept but seemingly empty house where the fates, Rose, Mauve, Violet and their mother Florence, only ever fleetingly and uncertainly glimpsed by those in a state of emotional extremis, are knitting the booties of what will become the children of a whole new nation.

In this first of six novels that became his Chronicles of the Plateau Mont Royal, Tremblay allows his imagination free reign, fictionalizing the lives of his beloved characters, dramatized so brilliantly in his plays and remembered so poignantly in his memoirs.“The fat woman” both is and is not Michel Tremblay’s mother—her extended family and neighbours more than a symbol of a colonized people: abandoned and mocked by France; conquered and exploited by England; abused and terrorized by the Church; and forced into a war by Canada supporting the very powers that have crushed their spirit and twisted their souls since time immemorial. This is a “divine comedy” of the extraordinary triumphs and tragedies of ordinary people caught up by circumstances that span the range of the ridiculous to the sublime.
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The Favorite Game

By Leonard Cohen

In this unforgettable novel, Leonard Cohen boldly etches the youth and early manhood of Lawrence Breavman, only son of an old Jewish family in Montreal. Life for Breavman is made up of dazzling colour – a series of motion pictures fed through a high-speed projector: the half-understood death of his father; the adult games of love and war, + Read More..
In this unforgettable novel, Leonard Cohen boldly etches the youth and early manhood of Lawrence Breavman, only son of an old Jewish family in Montreal. Life for Breavman is made up of dazzling colour – a series of motion pictures fed through a high-speed projector: the half-understood death of his father; the adult games of love and war, with their infinite capacity for fantasy and cruelty; his secret experiments with hypnotism; the night-long adventures with Krantz, his beloved comrade and confidant.

Later, achieving literary fame as a college student, Breavman does penance through manual labour, but ultimately flees to New York. And although he has loved the bodies of many women, it is only when he meets Shell, whom he awakens to her own beauty, that he discovers the totality of love and its demands, and comes to terms with the sacrifices he must make.

"He is a writer of terrific energy and color, a Rabelaisian comic and a visualizer of memorable scenes." The Observer
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The Girl Who Was Saturday Night: A Novel

By Heather O'Neill

An enchanting story of twins, fame, and heartache by the much-praised author of Lullabies for Little Criminals.

Heather O'Neill charmed readers in the hundreds of thousands with her sleeper hit, Lullabies for Little Criminals, which documented with a rare and elusive magic the life of a young dreamer on the streets of Montreal. Now, in The Girl Who Was + Read More..
An enchanting story of twins, fame, and heartache by the much-praised author of Lullabies for Little Criminals.

Heather O'Neill charmed readers in the hundreds of thousands with her sleeper hit, Lullabies for Little Criminals, which documented with a rare and elusive magic the life of a young dreamer on the streets of Montreal. Now, in The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, she returns to the grubby, enchanted city with a light and profound tale of the vice of fame and the ties of family.

Nineteen years old, free of prospects, and inescapably famous, the twins Nicholas and Nouschka Tremblay are trying to outrun the notoriety of their father, a French-Canadian Serge Gainsbourg with a genius for the absurd and for winding up in prison. "Back in the day, he could come home from a show with a paper bag filled with women's underwear. Outside of Québec nobody had even heard of him, naturally. Québec needed stars badly."

Since the twins were little, Étienne has made them part of his unashamed seduction of the province, parading them on talk shows and then dumping them with their decrepit grandfather while he disappeared into some festive squalor. Now Étienne is washed up and the twins are making their own almost-grown-up messes, with every misstep landing on the front pages of the tabloid Allo Police. Nouschka not only needs to leave her childhood behind; she also has to leave her brother, whose increasingly erratic decisions might take her down with him.

“The Girl Who Was Saturday Night is Heather O’Neill’s second novel, and it is the book where she emerges as a fully-formed artist.” The Globe and Mail