Last week we did a post highlighting some of the big name fiction releases that are coming this spring. You may have noticed that list lacked Canadian titles, not because we forgot about Canadian fiction, but because today we’ve got the first of two posts devoted to upcoming Canadian fiction to watch for this spring.
First up, the big names: the authors you already know and love. These authors are past award winners and nominees, book club favourites and ones you may have seen on bestseller lists. Mark your datebook for these ones and get your bookmarks ready.
Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul
by David Adams Richards (March)
We’ll start close to home with the latest from the prolific author MacLean’s magazine once called the bard of the Miramichi. His latest follows the ins and outs of justice (or lack thereof) following the murder of a man in small town New Brunswick. The publisher says: “Searing, brilliant, and tension-filled, this is a foreboding tale about truth, lies and justice—quintessential David Adams Richards.”
The Blue Light Project
by Timothy Taylor (March)
My feeling is that Timothy Taylor isn’t quite the household name of some of the other authors on this list, although I’m not sure why. He has all the accolades that well known Canadian authors can have: he’s been shortlisted for the Giller and the Writer’s Trust award, been a Canada Reads selection (all for his first novel Stanley Park) and won a Journey Prize for his short fiction, but he still seems a bit unknown. His new novel centres around a hostage situation with seemingly strange demands, a story the publisher says is about “the clash of art and advertising, the cultish grip of celebrity, and the intense connections that form in times of crisis.”
Toews is an author I feel pretty confident is a household name in Canada. She has several books to her name, but it was her third novel A Complicated Kindness that really took the country by storm, winning the Governor General’s Award for fiction in 2004 (it was shortlisted for the Giller that year, although it lost to Alice Munro’s Runaway) and the Canada Reads competition in 2006. Her followup The Flying Troutman’s was also a success, I can only imagine folks will be lined up to read the latest.
Alone In the Classroom
by Elizabeth Hay (May)
The author of the Giller Prize winning Late Nights on Air and the Governor General’s Award nominated Garbo Laughs returns with her 4th novel. From the publisher: “In 1930, a school principal in Saskatchewan is suspected of abusing a student. Seven years later, on the other side of the country, a girl picking wild cherries meets a violent end. These are only two of the mysteries in the life of the narrator’s charismatic aunt, Connie Flood. As the narrator Anne pieces together her aunt’s lifelong attachment to her former student Michael Graves, and her obsession with Parley Burns, the inscrutable principal implicated in the assault of Michael’s younger sister. Her own story becomes connected with that of the past, and the triangle of principal, teacher, student opens out into other emotional triangles — aunt, niece, lover; mother, daughter, granddaughter — until a sudden, capsizing love changes Anne’s life. Alone in the Classroom is Hay’s most tense, intricate, and seductive novel yet.”
Dogs at the Perimeter
by Madeleine Thien (May)
A promising young Canadian author returns with her second novel (her first, Certainty won the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award). From the publisher: “Dogs at the Perimeter begins one winter, when Janie, a researcher in Montreal, suddenly leaves her husband and young son. She retreats to the home of her friend and mentor, the neurologist Hiroji Matsui, who has mysteriously disappeared …Dogs at the Perimeter is a beautifully realized and deeply affecting novel about the multiple lives we carry within ourselves. Spare and haunting, intimate and profound, it is an unblinking portrait of loss and recovered humanity that confirms Madeleine Thien as one of the most exciting young novelists in Canada.”
Check back to The Reader tomorrow for some exciting first novels to watch for this spring.