Of all the strategies for getting people talking about new titles, publishers’ first and favorite is a simple one: publish great books. Here’s a sampling of books that publishers in Canada are excited about this fall.
Politics & Culture
2015 is an election year in Canada, and HarperCollins Canada is publishing Common Ground, a memoir from the young candidate who hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps, Justin Trudeau. Greystone Books is also publishing a memoir/manifesto, Who We Are, from Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party in Canada.
In This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, Naomi Klein (Penguin Random House Canada/Knopf Canada) lays out the case that our economic model is at war with life on the planet, while also arguing that the climate crisis presents a chance to transform a broken system and build something radically better.
In The Inspection House: An Impertinent Field Guide to Modern Surveillance (Coach House Books), authors Emily Horn and Tim Maly offer a startling tour of surveillance in such places as Guantanamo Bay, the Occupy Oakland camp, and their own mobile devices.
Paul Bramadat and Lorne Dawson have edited a timely collection of essays in Religious Radicalization and Securitization in Canada and Beyond (Univ. of Toronto Press) that offer a “critical look at what is known about religious radicalization, how minorities are affected by radicalization from within and securitization from without, and how the public, media, and government are attempting to cope with the dangers of both radicalization and securitization.”
In Justice Belied: The Unbalanced Scales of International Criminal Justice (Baraka Books), editors Sébastien Chartrand and John Philpot have gathered perspectives from defense attorneys, investigators, journalists, and academics that take a critical look at ways in which international criminal courts fail to provide justice.
Publishing in time for the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, editors Roger Hall and Patrice Dutil have collected in Macdonald at 200 (Dundurn) essays from scholars and experts reflecting on the ways that Macdonald shaped government, promoted women’s rights, managed the fledgling economy, and oversaw relations with aboriginal peoples.
Margaret Atwood returns to short fiction, packing her wit and style into nine tales in The Stone Mattress (McClelland & Stewart).
In Canadian Carrie Snyder’s novel Girl Runner (House of Anansi Press) the central character is Aganetha Smart, a former Olympic athlete, who now, at 104, lives in a nursing home, alone and forgotten until two strangers spirit her away and take her back to the farm where she grew up.
Journalist Daniel Goodwin’s debut novel, Sons and Fathers (Linda Leith Publishing), is about men in the midst of the spin and politics of Ottawa.
Consumed is the debut novel from renowned filmmaker David Cronenberg (Hamish Hamilton)
Doubleday has great expectations for the new novel from Michael Crummey, whose last book, Galore, was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award. Sweetland is set on a remote island off the coast of Newfoundland, where the government is offering everyone in the community a compensation package to resettle elsewhere, but Moses Sweetland refuses to go.
Talonbooks brings French author Maylis de Kerangal’s novel Birth of a Bridge, which won the 2010 Prix Médicis, to the English market with a translation by Jessica Moore.
Kathleen Winter’s latest short story collection, The Freedom in American Songs, renders views of characters who don’t fit in—gay teens, a cross-dresser, an old woman raising a young child, a Zamboni driver turned funeral porter—and looks at loneliness, love and the yearning for freedom.
Skandalon (Arsenal Pulp Press) is the latest book from Julie Maroh, whose bestselling graphic novel, Blue Is the Warmest Color, about lesbian love, was made into a film that won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The new book follows a rock star through the destructive powers of fame.
Culture & Entertainment
ECW offers a musical trio with Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words, Conversations with Malka Marom; the inside story of the Lovin’ Spoonful by Steve Boone in Hotter Than a Match Head; and another literary road trip with Rush drummer Neil Peart in Far and Away.
Meanwhile, HarperCollins Canada has cornered the market on comediennes this fall, publishing Lady Parts by Andrea Martin, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, and distributing Martin Short’s memoir, I Must Say.
Science & Nature
Firefly Books explores The World of Birds in natural history expert John Elphick’s thorough guide to every aspect of bird life, and focuses on Hummingbirds in Ronald Orenstein’s book with beautiful photos by Michael and Patricia Fogden.
Penguin Canada is publishing Gordie Howe’s memoir, Mr. Hockey. “It’s a record of his career over the decades, like the Bobby Orr book that was our biggest nonfiction book of last year, and we’re looking to match that success,” says Penguin president and publisher Nicole Winstanley.