09: Best Canadian Stories
Edited by John Metcalf
|The annual Best American Stories first appeared in 1915 under the editorial supervision of Edward J. O’Brien. The next year O’Brien wrote that he was driven to the conclusion that the book was developing a new literary form, organically different from everything that had gone before. Over the years, the work of writers like Sherwood Anderson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ring Lardner, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner was published. Oberon’s Best Canadian Stories has followed a broadly similar pattern of development, with the difference that we in Canada started more than 50 years later. To this day the series continues to sustain and encourage the little-known writer who is turning out the best stories the country has to offer.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 168 pages, cover by John White, c. 1590
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1336 5
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1335 8
ISSN 0703 9476
Contributors: Douglas Glover, Grant Buday, Joel Katelnikoff, Rebecca Rosenblum, Amy Jones, Sharon English, David Helwig, K.D. Miller, Terry Griggs, Alex Leslie
“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 09
Edited by Mark Anthony Jarman
|Nicholas Ruddock has worked in both Newfoundland and the Yukon, but has now settled in Guelph. His fiction concerns itself with sexual liaisons, conception, abortion and childbirth. Alex Leslie is quite different. Her stories are set in the remote interior of BC, where family tensions play themselves out against a background of natural disaster. She has been widely published in the little magazines. Jeff Park’s stories speak with many different voices heard in many different situations, from a marijuana grow-op to a skewed romance involving Mystic Pizza. He teaches at the University of Saskatchewan and likes to listen to Howlin’ Wolf.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 128 pages, cover from Art Goût Beauté, 1922
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1338 9
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1337 2
New writers who first appeared in Coming Attractions include Rohinton Mistry, Frances Itani, Peter Behrens, Lisa Moore, Dennis Bock, Neil Smith, Diane Schoemperlen, Timothy Taylor, Bonnie Burnard, Sharon Butala, Steven Heighton, Mary Swan, Caroline Adderson, Rebecca Rosenblum, 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.
|Gerard Beirne was born in Ireland. Coming to Canada, he settled in Winnipeg, then moved to Fredericton, where he’s currently writer in residence at the University of New Brunswick. His first novel, The Eskimo in the Net, was chosen Book of the Year by London’s Daily Express. His story, “Sightings of Bono,” has been made into a film that features the U2 singer acting himself. Turtle is his second novel. It’s a sprawling, surreal allegory about a small town where the identical cycle of events recurs generation after generation, until a stranger slides into town and threatens to change everything. Beirne is an exciting addition to the Canadian literary scene.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 168 pages, cover by James Ensor
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1349 5
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1348 8
Gerard Beirne was born in 1962, completed an MFA in Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University in 1992, and is currently writer in residence at UNB. He is the author of a novel, The Eskimo in the Net, a collection of poems, Digging My Own Grave, several stories, a CD and a play for chamber orchestra. He has won a number of awards, including Hennessey’s New Writer of the Year.
“A wonderful novel”—Fredericton Daily Gleaner.
Men of Salt, Men of Earth
|The title story of this collection appeared in Best Canadian Stories in 2006 and was Matt Lennox’s first published work. Lennox has been serving in Afghanistan and perhaps for that reason he’s concerned with other worlds, different worlds—some real, some not. We may not like what we find there, but Lennox isn’t interested in comfortable words. His view of man and his world is clear and dispassionate, and his prose is fresh and invigorating. Both force the reader to look away from the things he has come to regard as real and reassuring.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 200 pages, cover by Charles Haslewood Shannon
$21.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1345 7
$42.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1344 0
Matt Lennox graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree to find work as a housebuilder, bartender, security guard, and truck driver for a junk-removal firm. Later, as a reservist with the Canadian Forces, he served for ten months in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where some of these stories were written. Today he lives and works in Toronto.
|We first published Larry Brown in Coming Attractions in 2006. There his stories were tough and jittery and written in measured, terse prose that must have reminded readers of Hubert Selby and Ray Carver. Nowadays, humour always plays a part in his presentation of character—wonky humour with a grain of truth hidden inside it. And his people are always likeable, perhaps because he himself always treats them with genuine affection. Over the years Larry Brown has appeared in nearly every literary quarterly in Canada.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 128 pages, cover from a bestiary, c. 1500
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1342 6
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1341 9
Larry Brown lives in Brantford, Ontario. He has attended the University of Iowa’s fiction workshops and his stories have appeared in a number of magazines, including The Antigonish Review, The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead and The New Quarterly. He likes Hawaiian shirts, the Habs and The Dave Holland Quintet.
What We’re Made Of
|Ryan Turner is a young Maritime writer whose work has appeared in a number of the literary magazines. What We’re Made Of is a collection of stories that explore the life of twenty-something Benjamin Wallace in the Halifax of today. Like all of Turner’s characters, Wallace is less likely to know what a screwdriver is for than to have travelled the world, looking for meaning. Not that Turner ever attempts to give the whole meaning of anything. Each story is intended to be a snapshot of a moment in time. Turner’s spare and minimalist prose forces the reader to look between the lines, where many questions are asked, but few are answered.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 128 pages, cover by James Ensor
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1347 1
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1346 4
Ryan Turner has always balanced conflicting desires. He followed a BSc in mathematics with an MA in English, and quit playing university hockey to join a band. His stories have most recently appeared in Prairie Fire, filling Station, Qwerty and The New Quarterly. He lives in Halifax. See www.ryannicholasturner.com.
Death in the Barren Ground:
The Diary of Edgar Christian
Edited by George Whalley
|The diary of Edgar Christian is a Canadian classic, reissued here in a completely new edition almost 30 years after its first Oberon publication. Edgar Christian was one of a party of three—the others were John Hornby and Harold Adlard—who spent the winter of 1926-27 in a cabin on the Thelon River, living off the land. All three died of starvation. Hornby died first, then Adlard, leaving Christian, a boy of eighteen, alone in the wilderness. When RCMP constables reached the site more than two years later, they found three bodies and a message reading LOOK IN STOVE. There they found a notebook containing the diary of Edgar Christian. The diary was later published in England, but never available in Canada. The present version has been transcribed from the original and presented exactly as it was written, with an introduction by George Whalley, author of a biography of John Hornby. It makes an unforgettable story. Edgar Christian begins as an English schoolboy, looking for adventure and a chance to prove his courage. In the end he has become a man, alone, like the rest of us, in the presence of death.|
8.5 by 5.5, cover by Robert Sinclair
$24.95 (paper) 192 pages ISBN 978 0 7780 1350 1
Time and Seasons
|The poems in this important new collection by Elizabeth Brewster are sharper than ever before. Her eyesight may be dimmer than it used to be, but the images supplied by her imagination have all the clarity and colour of which only a major poet is capable. It is true that there are many goodbyes in this book, but the writer is never merely sad. Instead, there is contentment and gratitude for the moments of happiness she has known. These poems will speak to many of Elizabeth Brewster’s readers, new and old.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 64 pages, cover by Walter Sickert
$18.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1340 2
$38.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1339 6
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 more than 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, received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and become a member of the Order of Canada.
Copyright © Oberon Press, 2013