As the summer starts to wind down, the one bit of consolation I can find is that fall publishing season is gearing up. I've already noticed a few blogs and news sources starting with their best bets for fall posts: here's the first of what will likely be a few from the Reader. As we did in the spring, we'll bring you two posts on Canadian fiction to look for, one on big name authors and one on newer authors. We start with 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 and get your bookmarks ready. (all quotes from publisher descriptions)
The Perfect Order of Things
by David Gilmour. (August? September?)
I've seen about 3 different release dates for the latest from Gilmour, so I'm not sure if it's out or forthcoming, but that doesn't mean you don't want to know about it. Winner of the 2005 Governor General's Award for English Novel for A Perfect Night to Go to China, his latest is "a powerful new novel about a man who returns in his imagination to those places in his life where he suffered wounds of experience and innocence." Interesting factoid: if you search David Gilmour in Wikipedia there are 5 people with entries under that name and spelling.
The Cat's Table
by Michael Ondaatje (August 30th).
For most Canadian Literature fans, just knowing there is a new book from Michael Ondaatje is enough: a description isn't even needed. The multi-award winning author of The English Patient, Coming Through Slaughter and others is pretty much CanLit canon. His new book is set in the 1950s aboard an ocean liner sailing for England. It centres on an eleven-year-old boy and "an eccentric and unforgettable group of grownups and two other boys ... and "a shackled prisoner -- his crime and fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever."
A Good Man
by Guy Vanderhaeghe (September 13th).
Wow! It's hard to believe that it's been almost a decade since Guy Vanderhaeghe's epic novel of the west—The Last Crossing—was released. Hailing from Saskatchewan, Vanderhaeghe has some Canadian literary clout: two time winner of the Governor General's Award for Fiction (in 1982 for Man Descending and in 1996 for The Englishman's Boy) and, the aforementioned Last Crossing won the 2004 CBC Canada Reads competition. A Good Man returns to the western historical setting where he "skilfully weaves a rich tapestry of history with the turns of fortune of his most vividly and compellingly drawn cast of characters yet."
by Lynn Coady (September).
East Coast represent! Returning with her first novel since 2006's Mean Boy, the publisher describes Coady's new novel as an "unforgettable, unflinching story of a life gone wrong." Lynn Coady will read from the Antagonist at the Spring Garden Road Library on Saturday, September 24th at 3pm.
Tell it to the Trees
by Anita Rau Badami (September 20):
A mystery and a family story wrapped into one in the latest from the author of several critically acclaimed novels of life in India and Canada. Tell it to the Trees is set in Northern BC, and opens on a freezing winter morning with the discovery of a body in the back yard of the Dharma family's house. "It's the body of their tenant, Anu Krishnan. Why had she, a stranger to the mountains, been foolish enough to go out into the blizzard? From this gripping opening, Anita Rau Badami threads together a story of love and need, and of chilling secrets never told aloud."
by Frances Itani (September 27).
Itani had already pushed several short story collections before her first novel Deafening was released in 2003. I know more than one person who is extremely excited about the latest release from this Ontario based author. "Bin Okuma, a celebrated visual artist, has recently and quite suddenly lost his wife, Lena ... he embarks on an unforgettable journey that encompasses art and music, love and hope." (publisher)
by Marina Endicott (September 27).
Another author with East Coast connections, Endicott spent parts of her childhood in both Halifax and Yarmouth. Endicott has been writing fiction since the 1980s, but it was really in 2008 with her second novel Good To a Fault that she jumped to popular attention. That book was shortlisted for the Giller Prize, won the regional Canada and Caribbean portion of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, and eventually became a Canada Reads selection in 2010. Her newest effort is an historical fiction piece of vaudeville. Three sisters become a singing act in an effort to make money following the death of their father : "Using her gorgeous prose and extraordinary insight, Endicott lures us onto the brightly lit stage and then into the little shadows that lurk behind the curtain, and reveals how the art of vaudeville . . . echoes the art of life itself."