06: Best Canadian Stories
Edited by Douglas Glover
|Guess what: Alice Munro is back this year, along with the poet, P.K. Page, Leon Rooke, Dave Margoshes and Mark Anthony Jarman. Almost more exciting is the first appearance of Matt Lennox, who is said to be thinking of joining the Army. (Our advice: think again.) André Narbonne writes a story in the manner of Conrad about being trapped in Arctic ice. Bill Gaston writes of a teenager who escapes from his mother and finds surprising reassurance in a pair of country musicians. Next year, Douglas Glover plans to retire and spend his days sleeping in the grass, where he’ll dream of all the wonderful stories he’s chosen for us in Best Canadian Stories.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 177 pages, cover by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1287 0
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1286 3
ISSN 0703 9476
Contributors: P.K. Page, Alice Munro, Mark Anthony Jarman, André Narbonne, Matt Lennox, Dave Margoshes, Bill Gaston, Leon Rooke, David Helwig, Patrick Lane
“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 06
Edited by Mark Anthony Jarman
|Larry Brown is fond of Hawaiian shirts; he follows the Habs and enjoys the Dave Holland Quintet. His plots grow out of character, and humour always plays a part—wonky humour with a solid core of truth behind it. Roseanne Harvey’s stories come from a work in progress. “The destinies of my characters are driven by uncertainty, but they never lose their sense of wonder about the world they inhabit.” Joel Katelnikoff’s stories harness the power of robots, metal streets, shadow puppets, ferris wheels, video games and bijou butterflies. As a writer, he has this to say: “my goals are to kick ass and to provide masturbation fodder for readers of all sorts.”|
8.5 by 5.5 by 117 pages, cover by Hansi
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1289 4
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1288 7
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.
Dance of the Suitors
|In all his stories, Villaverde tries to answer the same question: what is love? Each character in each of the stories thinks he knows the answer, but events surprise them all. Their words provide superficial comfort at best, and the damage they do can’t be repaired as easily as they hope. Villaverde knows very well that there are always more questions than answers. He’s a clever writer and he leaves the reader feeling uneasy, which is just what he wants to do. Villaverde lives in Montreal, where he works as a financial writer. While at McGill, he studied film and wrote several plays for student theatre.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 135 pages, cover by Phoebe Anna Traquair
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1296 2
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1295 5
J.M. Villaverde lived in six countries in six years as a child, but has spent most of the last 30 years in Montreal, where he works as a marketing and business writer. He studied English, film and communications at McGill, while writing plays for amateur and student productions.
“In Dance of the Suitors readers are transported into territory more outré than E. Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain”—Prairie Fire.
“Villaverde spaces out his characterization, leavening page after page with insight after insight. A Villaverde story is enticing.... The characters reveal themselves; they are not revealed. And the insights seem off-hand, casually brilliant, so that the effect is the appearance of effortlessness”—The Fiddlehead.
|Alfred is a bachelor in his middle fifties. He works as an exterminator—in plain language, as a ratcatcher—at a downtown hotel, which is being renovated as the story opens. Alfred is a simple man who believes that the work he does is as useful as most. He believes that his only duty in life is to help others whenever he can. His moment comes when he has the chance to open the hotel to a number of homeless men and women. He embraces the opportunity and finds his world expanding as a result. This is the story of a man who gives as much as he can, and then gives more, without asking for anything in return. Abraham Boyarsky teaches mathematics at Concordia University. His last book, The Number Hall, won the Toronto Jewish Literary Prize.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 172 pages, cover by Janet Moore
$21.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1294 8
$42.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1292 4
Abraham Boyarsky received his doctorate from McGill University in 1971 and did postdoctoral research at the Mathematics Institute of Hebrew University before joining the Department of Mathematics at Concordia. He has written or co-written 145 research papers in mathematics. He is a co-author of the graduate-level text Laws of Chaos, and the author of a collection of stories, A Pyramid of Time, and three novels, Shreiber, The Number Hall and A Gift of Rags. He lives in Montreal.
“The Ratcatcher opens brilliantly with a fascinating idea…a sensually evoked setting, and striking imagery”—Montreal Review of Books.
“Memorable images…surprising insights”—Montreal Gazette.
|Goody Bledsoe is the story of a young girl who is sent as an orphan to live with her aunt and uncle on a farm in rural New Brunswick. Heather Doherty says of it: “This is a story of survival, of choosing to survive in spite of the darkness, in order to find the light that lies beyond.” In another mood she says: “Goody Bledsoe is a novel of daring, daring to see what lies within, even when that knowledge hurts like hell.” This is what David Adams Richards has to say about the book: “Heather Doherty has written an exceptionally moving and brilliant first novel, a startlingly permanent novel that must be read.”|
8.5 by 5.5 by 158 pages, cover by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1298 6
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1297 9
Heather Doherty grew up in the village of Fredericton Junction, New Brunswick. She began writing seriously while working on an English degree at Athabasca University, and later enrolled in the Humber School for Creative Writers. After spending time in both Toronto and Ottawa, she now lives in Fredericton with her husband and two sons, where she is working on her next novel.
“An impressive first novel … engaging and moving”—Fredericton Daily Gleaner.
“Doherty’s settings are impeccable. And of course, god is in the details; details make the fiction ring true. She is compelling even when she writes about the weather”—The Fiddlehead.
“Orphans’ tales have a special knack for breaching the defences of the heart. Heather Doherty’s story of a young girl torn from her dying mother begins with a smug and grasping aunt—a woman it’s instantly a pleasure to dislike—and a trio of affectionate and very dirty pigs. The characters grow in complexity. Each wound or (rare) joy of the heart increases the fascination. Sadness brims, but is held in check by Doherty’s ironies. I was hooked”—Globe & Mail.
Worried into Being:
An Unfinished Alphabet
|How is a poet to deal with his past? The alphabet is Joseph Sherman’s choice, a witty choice because the several letters each prompt a short essay (lyric, sly, poignant) on childhood, love, family, the familiar oddity of things. Worried into Being catches it all in carefully modulated sentences, both astute and touching, that dodge from the mystery of his father’s second initial to an epic catalogue of shirts. An expanse of living caught in small, perfect pieces of prose.|
9 by 6 by 75 pages, cover by Violet Amy Gillett
$18.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1285 6
Joseph Sherman lived for much of his life in Charlottetown, where he was editor of ArtsAtlantic Magazine. He was the author of six collections of poetry: Birthday, Chaim the Slaughterer, Lords of Shouting, Shaping the Flame: Imagining Wallenberg, the award-winning American Standard and Other Poems and Beautiful Veins. Joseph Sherman was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2003, and died in 2006.
“This vital collection of miniature essays...blazes with colour. Every word and every recorded thought counts, is used lovingly and meticulously. Is Worried into Being a masterful collection of essays, or is it a unique collection of poetic prose? In either case, it is an eclectic book of self-discovery, a bold collection of meditations on things that mattered to Joe Sherman; the stuff of his life worried into being. We will miss him.”—The Fiddlehead
Adagios: Electra’s Benison
|Electra’s Benison is the third part of a four-part epic series. The four sections of the Adagios encompass the several facets of the myth of Agamemnon, treating it as a commentary on contemporary political and personal realities. In the wonderful poem before us, Judith Fitzgerald portrays the grief and the passion of loss—not only the grief of one woman but also the loss to be endured by civilization itself, speaking of a truth as real today as it was for ancient Greece two thousand years ago.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 63 pages, cover by Raphael
$18.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1291 7
$38.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1290 0
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, Laurentian University, Algoma University College and the University of Windsor, and the author of two biographies and twenty collections of poetry. Rapturous Chronicles was nominated for the Governor General’s Award, River was shortlisted for the Trillium Award, and Given Names: New and Selected Poems received a Writers’ Choice Award and was short-listed for the Pat Lowther Award. She was recently awarded a Chalmers Arts Foundation poetry fellowship, and is currently working on Oh, Clytaemnestra, Book Four of her Adagios quartet.
“A complex and endlessly generous work. O, Clytaemnestra!, the fourth and final book of the quartet, should be released some time this year. I, for one, am eagerly awaiting its arrival”—Globe & Mail.
Copyright © Oberon Press, 2021