05: Best Canadian Stories
Edited by Douglas Glover
|David Helwig is back this year with a story about love and disappointment. In a sense, all the stories are variations on these themes. Darryl Whetter writes of a love-affair that magically turns out to be happy, Kim Aubrey of looking for a new love while picking up the pieces of a marriage. In Krista Bridge a young girl learns that some experiences are diminished by companionship. In Elise Levine, a grief counsellor forgets that death knows her name too. Elisabeth Harvor tells of a lonely teacher saved by a gentle fireman, Vivette Kady of a guitarist who is not. In Michael Bryson a man finds he is old when he loses his latest love. David Whitton has the last word: life is full of wretched sorrow and beautiful splendour. Is difficult, he says, to wonder.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 183 pages, cover by Simon Battensby
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1270 2
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1269 6
ISSN 0703 9476
Contributors: Elisabeth Harvor, Krista Bridge, Darryl Whetter, David Whitton, Michael Bryson, Vivette J. Kady, Elise Levine, Kim Aubrey, David Helwig
“The arrival, late in the fall each year, of this Oberon collection is always cause for fanfare”—Quill & Quire
“A literary institution”—Ottawa Citizen
Coming Attractions 05
Edited by Mark Anthony Jarman
|J.M. Villaverde has lived all over the world, most recently in Montreal, where he has spent the last 30 years. He likes to polish his words until they shine and his stories are brimful of whimsy and darkness. Barbara Romanik is very different. She has an MA in English from UNB and her stories are playful, chaotic and full of energy. She’s moved by art and music, by architecture and urban landscapes—and by soccer and even graffiti. Jasmina Odor was born and raised in Croatia, though she has now lived in Canada for twelve years and is studying for an MA at the University of Alberta. She writes about social displacement and the power of alienation to shape and define people’s lives.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 137 pages, cover by Paul Signac
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1272 6
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1271 9
New writers who first appeared in Coming Attractions include Rohinton Mistry, Diane Schoemperlen, Lisa Moore, Timothy Taylor, Frances Itani, Bonnie Burnard, Dennis Bock, Sharon Butala, Steven Heighton, Mary Swan, Caroline Adderson, Linda Svendsen, Gayla Reid.
“Reading Coming Attractions is like test-driving the year’s new cars”—London Free Press
“Coming Attractions is a who’s who of our best young writers”—The Fiddlehead.
|The world of Murray Pomerance is complex, frightening and dangerous. It is also beautiful and corrupt. His characters have all in some sense been destroyed. His world, as he himself puts it, is like the memory of a carnival long gone. His prose style is uncomfortable and disturbing, but his imagery is immensely rich. At various times in his career, Pomerance has studied to become a concert pianist, a doctor and a rabbi. Instead, he has become a writer. His stories have been heard on CBC radio and television and on the internet. He’s won the O. Henry Prize and now lives in Toronto with his wife and son.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 180 pages, cover by Winslow Homer
$21.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1277 1
$42.95 (hb) ISBN 978 0 7780 1275 7
Murray Pomerance is the author of Magia d'Amore, An Eye for Hitchcock and Johnny Depp Starts Here, as well as the editor or co-editor of numerous volumes including American Cinema of the 1950s: Themes and Variations and Enfant Terrible!: Jerry Lewis in American Film. His fiction has appeared in, among other places, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, New Directions, and Descant, and he has been anthologized in Prize Stories 1992: The O. Henry Awards and 04: Best Canadian Stories.
The Dirty Milkman
|Most Canadian writing has to do with the concerns of the middle class. Jerrod Edson isn’t like that at all. Charlie White is a milkman. He became a milkman after he failed to make it as a writer. He drinks too much and the world he lives in is harsh and ugly, sad and crude. By chance he meets a hooker named Prin. With her, he re-examines what he was and what he has become. With her there are brief moments of beauty and hope, which suggest that perhaps she’ll prove capable of redeeming him. Perhaps she will and perhaps she won’t—the question is never asked and never answered. Jerrod Edson writes with a raw energy that makes for uncomfortable reading, but the very roughness of his prose gives it clarity and the ring of truth. This is his second novel. Edson was born and raised in Saint John, but he’s lived all over Canada, teaching English in Poland and South Korea. He earns his living by mowing grass.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 152 pages, cover by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1281 8
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1280 1
Jerrod Edson was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, and graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa. His first novel, The Making of Harry Cossaboom, was published in 2000. He has lived and worked in both Europe and Asia, but now lives in Toronto.
“Read Jerrod Edson. He is one of our best young writers”—David Adams Richards.
“Among the best novels of the year”—Elizabeth Cran, The Guardian.
“I loved this book”—Don Ermen, Ottawa Sun.
Kissing the Damned
|Murray Lockhart is a direct-mail writer, working for a foreign-aid agency called Friends of Africa. He’s very good at thinking up touching appeals for money, but in his own life he finds it difficult to open his heart to love. Whether flirting with a fellow-traveller in Tanzania, competing for his girlfriend’s affections or just building an empire in a virtual world, he is never quite sure just who or what he’s supposed to be. As his father’s wartime demons eat away at his shaky sense of identity, Murray finally discovers his own style, his own voice. Mark Foss himself has worked for foreign-aid agencies and contributed short fiction to several literary magazines. He lives in Ottawa.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 130 pages, cover by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1279 5
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1278 8
Mark Foss has worked for two foreign-aid groups, and continues to write professionally about international development. His short fiction has appeared in The New Quarterly, B&A New Fiction and other Canadian literary journals since 1993. CBC broadcast his first radio drama in 2001.
Walking the Sky
|Shari Andrews has always been a poet of community. The Stone Cloak was an imaginative retelling of the story of her family. Her next book, Bones about to Bloom, was about what makes life worth living for her in the mysterious moment of the present. In this collection, she’s concerned once again with the relations between past and present, with the effect of history and tradition on the events of today. But, however intimate the effect of the past on the present, it cannot altogether explain it. The present is always evolving from within. In the end the poet gathers this moment in her arms and sobs. The stone is rolled away from her cave.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 61 pages, cover by Kenneth Peters
$18.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1274 0
$38.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1273 3
Shari Andrews is of Danish descent through her maternal grandmother, whose great-grandparents settled in New Denmark in 1876. Her first book of poems, The Stone Cloak, was an imaginative retelling of their story. It was followed in 2001 by Bones about to Bloom, a broader collection that was awarded a Bailey Prize by the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick, and in 2004 by Crucible, a series of poems based on and inspired by the life of St. Catherine of Siena. Shari Andrews lives with her husband in New Maryland, NB.
|Elizabeth Brewster may be past 80, but she writes as well as ever. She sees the world clearly and she has a discerning eye for detail. Her recent conversion to Judaism makes her think more deeply about the meaning of life and death, but she still has a strong, earthy sense of a life well lived. Elizabeth Brewster is never soft or sentimental. The best thing about her poems is that they’re the work of a realist who knows the truth when she sees it.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 80 pages, cover by James Ensor
$18.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1283 2
$38.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1282 5
Elizabeth Brewster was born in New Brunswick, but since 1972 has lived in Saskatoon, where she is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Saskatchewan. She has published five books of fiction, two volumes of autobiography and twenty collections of poetry. An earlier collection, Footnotes to the Book of Job, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. She has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of New Brunswick, the E.J. Pratt Award and the President’s Medal, as well as the Saskatchewan Lifetime Achievement Award. In the last few years she has converted to Judaism and become a member of the Order of Canada.
Copyright © Oberon Press, 2019