03: Best Canadian Stories
Edited by Douglas Glover
|At the heart of this year’s collection is a gorgeous story by David Helwig. Look again and you’ll encounter the mastery and flair of Leon Rooke, the comic irony of Elisabeth Harvor, the melodrama of Mike Barnes and the sweet, compelling prose of Lisa Moore. Then there’s “Truth,” a surprising story by Elyse Friedman, and “Fun Girls” by Russell Smith about a night of clubbing that goes sour. There’s a story by Hugh Graham about a boy lost in a newly-mysterious universe and another by Dave Margoshes about a life that comes to nothing. Taken together, these stories are the best of a great year.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 161 pages, cover by John Armstrong
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1230 6
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1229 0
ISSN 0703 9476
Contributors: Leon Rooke, Lisa Moore, Mike Barnes, Russell Smith, Elyse Friedman, Dave Margoshes, Hugh Graham, David Helwig, Elisabeth Harvor
“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 03
Edited by Mark Anthony Jarman
|These three writers are all relative newcomers. Jessica Grant, for instance, is a musician who comes from Newfoundland and now lives in Calgary, where she’s studying for her doctorate. Her stories, all written in a spare, sensuous prose style, are wry and fast, full of humour and pathos. Liam Durcan was born in Winnipeg and now lives in Montreal. His stories, whether they’re about Stalin’s dentist or smuggling toilets, reveal an anarchist at heart. Andrea Rudy grew up in Oshawa, then moved to Halifax, where she studied marine biology at Dalhousie. She now lives in Vancouver, where she’s writing generous, tough-minded stories about mental illness.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 128 pages, cover by Doris Zinkeisen
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1232 0
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1233 7
New writers featured in previous editions include Rohinton Mistry, Diane Schoemperlen, Lisa Moore, Timothy Taylor, Bonnie Burnard, Dennis Bock, Sharon Butala, Frances Itani, 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
|The cuckoo is a bird that lays its eggs in other birds’ nests. So with Israel, where most of these stories take place and where for generations the occupants of the land have been disputing who is the rightful owner and who is the cuckoo. The stories all take place in a world where God plays cruel tricks on His people. But where in the last collection the tone was intense and hard-hitting, this time out Mandelman is more relaxed and, at least on the surface, more easygoing. Whatever the tone, Mandelman has just two objectives. The first: once you start reading you shouldn’t be able to stop. The second: once you’ve finished reading you shouldn’t be able to forget.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 136 pages, cover by Barbara Carter
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1239 9
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1238 2
Avner Mandelman was born in Israel in 1947. From 1965 to 1968, including the Six Day War, he served in the Israeli air force. In 1973 he emigrated to Canada and worked on Bay Street for fourteen years. He now combines a career as a freelance stock analyst with writing fiction. Mandelman’s stories have been widely published throughout Israel and North America, appearing in both Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize anthology. His previous collection, Talking to the Enemy, won the Jewish Book Award for fiction.
Riding the Comet
|Linda remembers the fifties, when Crystal Beach was a magical place. The smell of french fries, caramel corn, male sweat and her own musky perfume spoke to her in a secret language. She listened to the music of the Crystal Ballroom and the screaming of the Comet, the resort’s roller-coaster. She remembers Crystal Beach as the place where she first began to live. But Linda grew up, a woman haunted by her failure as a wife and mother. This is a story of failure and the search for new beginnings. Kristin Andrychuk has a clear-eyed view of life in a small town, which, as she knows only too well, is full of stories exactly like her own.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 168 pages, cover by Egon Schiele
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1221 4
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1220 7
Kristin Andrychuk was born in Kirkland Lake in 1938, grew up in the Niagara peninsula and graduated from Queen’s University in philosophy. After teaching for a few years in northern Ontario, she and her husband moved in 1966 to Kingston, where they raised their children and continue to live. Her first novel, The Swing Tree, was published in 1996.
The Sandblasting Hall of Fame
|The way Larry Mathews tells it, “most of my guys are clowns—or pilgrims. Clowns in the sense that they see the Fall of Man whenever they slip on a banana peel. Then they take you backstage and you can see that, without makeup and costume and props, they’re not much different from you and me. They’re pilgrims too. Always looking for something they usually think they’ve found. Like the guy in the basement, who thinks he’s in possession of a truth denied to the woman upstairs. But wherever they’re headed they’ve always got a long ways to go.”|
8.5 by 5.5 by 152 pages, cover by Egon Schiele
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1235 1
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1234 4
Lawrence Mathews teaches in the English Department at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and lives in St. John’s. He has published stories in numerous anthologies and journals and is a founding member of The Burning Rock, a group of Newfoundland writers that includes Michael Winter, Ramona Dearing and Lisa Moore.
When I Was a Child
Edited by Eric Henderson, Madeline Sonik
|Are children and grownups really as different as we assume them to be? In Patrick Roscoe’s “China,” for instance, Rosario is determined to remake his sister’s doll as a better person, but finds that the doll has a will of her own that causes Rosario a lot of trouble. In “The Bermuda Triangle,” by Tim Wynne-Jones, a boy who hasn’t spoken since his father went missing looks for tall trees to climb, since it’s only when leaping from one tree to another that he can find his voice again. When the narrator in W.D. Valgardson’s “Puker” goes on an unwelcome vacation he finds himself dealing with challenges he had never anticipated. How different are children and grownups? Each story answers the question in its own way.|
10 by 7.5 by 128 pages, cover by Heather Lamorie
$21.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1237 5
$42.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1236 8
Contributors include six award-winning Canadian children’s authors—Tim Wynne-Jones, Sarah Ellis, Alison Acheson, Barbara Nickel, W.D. Valgardson and Welwyn Wilton Katz—together with five well-known “adult” Canadian writers, many of whom are here writing children’s fiction for the first time: Thomas Wharton, George McWhirter, Patrick Roscoe, Tammy Armstrong and Leon Rooke.
Adagios: Iphigenia’s Song
|Iphigenia was the daughter of Agamemnon and she was offered as a sacrifice to appease Artemis, who had becalmed Agamemnon’s fleet as he was setting out for Troy. Judith Fitzgerald uses this classic myth as a metaphor for her own life, of the abuses she suffered as a child, of the pain that all children must endure. “Pain,” she says, “is the truth at the centre of everything. It’s a story that needs to be told.” She has made this story uniquely her own, and told it with grace and passion.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 64 pages, cover by Andrea del Verocchio
$18.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1225 2
$38.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1224 5
Judith Fitzgerald has been a literary journalist—at the Globe and Mail (where she won the Fiona Mee Award), Ottawa Citizen, Windsor Star, Kingston Whig-Standard and Toronto Star—a music critic, writer-in-residence at the Hamilton Public Library and the University of Windsor, and the author of sixteen collections of poetry. Rapturous Chronicles was nominated for the Governor-General’s Award, River was shortlisted for the Trillium Award, and her Selected Poems received a Writers’ Choice Award and was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award. She is currently working on The Art and Craft of the Words and Music of Leonard Cohen, Master of Song.
“Fitzgerald’s response is tough, versatile, mythically allusive, and hopefully recreative. It is almost all you can ask of a bad business”—University of Toronto Quarterly.
Twenty-Three New Poems
|Here are 23 of Raymond Souster’s best new poems. Now past 80 and almost blind, Souster works from a memory crowded with memories. There’s the story of the pilot who had his head taken off when he walked into a propeller. The one about a buddy who found out his girlfriend was going with someone else while he was overseas. The one about the airman who took leave to get married, but found he couldn’t go through with it—and what her friends did to him. The one about the girl with the bass drum bigger than her and a smile on her face that made you forget six years of war. “If I don’t write this down,” Souster likes to say, “the stories will be lost forever.”|
8.5 by 5.5 by 96 pages, cover by Piet Mondriaan
$18.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1218 4
$38.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1217 7
Raymond Souster is one of Canada’s best-known poets. He began his career before the end of the war and later, through Contact, got to know people like Olson, Creeley and Cid Corman. With Ron Everson, Ralph Gustafson and Louis Dudek, he founded the League of Canadian Poets. The Governor General’s Award came in 1964, for The Colour of the Times. Since then he has published more than twenty volumes of poetry, as well as nine volumes of Collected Poems.
Collected Poems Volume Nine: 1993-95
|This is the ninth volume of Raymond Souster’s Collected Poems. It contains the text of Old Bank Notes, which was first published in 1993, and No Sad Songs Wanted Here, which appeared in 1995. Souster’s reputation continued to grow during the years when these books were coming out, and by the late nineties he was appearing in crossword puzzles as the well known Toronto poet. Meanwhile he was working his way up in Demand Loans at the old Imperial Bank at King and Bay. Souster has always worked for a living.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 184 pages
$24.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1241 2
$45.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1240 5
“This series should find a place on the shelves of every Canadian library”—Quill & Quire
“Souster’s importance to Canadian poetry cannot be overestimated”—Malahat Review
“A huge and impressive body of work”—Books in Canada
Driving to Our Edge
|A book of poems from Robert Gibbs is an important event. The best of them are elegies for a life. For the poet, A.G. Bailey: “It’s still your voice that quiets my disquiet.” For Ralph Gustafson: “I can hear him still, rueful tongue on tiptoe to come fresh upon trilliums in Maytime.” For his grandmother, “who quelled the bears in our house. She used to laugh with us at them before she went up home for the last time.” Above all for Alden Nowlan: “I like to think of us both waiting to be held in arms bigger than our own.”|
8.5 by 5.5 by 102 pages, cover by Jennifer Garrett
$18.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1227 6
$38.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1226 9
Robert Gibbs was educated at Cambridge University and the University of New Brunswick, where he remained for many years a member of the department of English. Long associated with The Fiddlehead and the Maritime Writers’ Workshop, he has published seven previous books of poetry, as well as a collection of stories and a novel. As the literary executor of the Alden Nowlan estate, he has also edited two collections of Nowlan’s essays.
Collected Poems 1
|Elizabeth Brewster is one of Canada’s liveliest and most durable of poets. She has published nineteen books, the latest of them, Jacob’s Dream, only last year. Most of these have long been out of print, like the Selected Poems, which appeared in the eighties. Now is the time for a complete collection of her poetry. This is the first of several volumes, and it contains all of her earliest work. “This,” Northrop Frye has said, “is as good as any writing produced in Canada.”|
8.5 by 5.5 by 288 pages, cover by Pablo Picasso
$27.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1223 8
$49.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1222 1
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 nineteen 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 two years she has turned eighty years of age, converted to Judaism and become a member of the Order of Canada.
Copyright © Oberon Press, 2021