Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fall for Canadian Fiction 2013. Part 1: The Big Names

Well, we've all but passed through the days of summer vacation, and as thoughts turn away from beach reads, the first place you may want to look is at the major titles coming out for autumn. Major book publishers focus some of their biggest names in the autumn season, in the hoping to gain attention for their authors in the lead up to Christmas sales and year end best lists.

Canadian publishers are no different. This is the first of several posts that will focus on Canadian books that are being released this fall. This first post focuses on established authors, from big names to those with growing followings. Avid readers won't find anyone new in here, but might be glad to see that there are new titles coming from some of their favourites.

Although it's already been released, it would seem remiss to not start with the latest from Margaret Atwood. Maddaddam (M) (August 27) is the third part of Atwood's speculative fiction trilogy that began with Oryx and Crake and also includes The Year of the Flood. Publisher's Weekly said this book "roils with spectacular and furious satire" and Kirkus called it " a gripping read for any reader".

Fall is also book award season, and announcements for the Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Awards and the Writer's Trust Awards will soon be coming. Not surprising to see a few books that seem like logical awards contenders showing up with September release dates. Look for these books from authors who have received previous nods from one of the aforementioned prizes:

The Orenda (M) by Joseph Boyden (September 10th). Boyden's previous novels Three Day Road and Through Black Spruce received nominations from one or other of the Canadian Big 3 awards. Three Day Road won the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and Through Black Spruce won the Giller Prize.

My Ghosts (M) by Mary Swan (September 10th). Swan's The Boys in the Trees was shortlisted for the Giller in 2008.

Son of a Certain Woman (M) by Wayne Johnston (September 17). Watch the Reader for information about an upcoming reading by Johnston, October 5th at the Alderney Gate Library.

Figures of Beauty (M) by David MacFarlane (September 24th): MacFarlane's Summer Gone was a Giller nominee in 1999.

Beyond September, there is lots more to keep Canadian fiction fans excited including:

A (M) by Andre Alexis (October 1): Alexis, known for his books Childhood and Asylum, moves to a relatively small Canadian publisher BookThug for his latest slim volume.

Worst.Person.Ever (M) by Douglas Coupland (October 8): Coupland seems to need little introduction: fans of his era defining novel Generation X will be looking forward to his first novel in a number of years.

Fallsy Downsies (M) by Stephanie Domet (October 15): While Domet may not be as big a name on the national scene as some of the others on this list, locally, she radiates star power. The well known CBC radio host won the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award for her previous novel Homing.

They Never Told Me: and other stories (M) by Austin Clarke (November 1): A new collection of short stories from the author of The Polished Hoe and other celebrated books.

Road Ends (M) by Mary Lawson (November 12): Lawson became a book club favourite with her novels Crow Lake and The Other Side of the Bridge, there is no reason to believe this latest will be an exception.

Blood on a Saint (M) by Anne Emery (November 1): Another local favourite, Emery returns with the latest instalment in her award winning and very popular Collins-Burke Mystery series.

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