08: Best Canadian Stories
Edited by John Metcalf
|John Metcalf is the most experienced, and probably the best, literary editor in Canada. This year he’s put together a stunning collection that artfully mixes the old and the new, the experimental and the traditional. There are stories from Clark Blaise and Diane Schoemperlen, from Kathleen Winter and Cynthia Flood, from K.D. Miller and Amy Jones, from Patricia Young and Adrian Michael Kelly—and from two writers, Mark Anthony Jarman and Rebecca Rosenblum, both of whom are well known to readers of Coming Attractions.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 168 pages, cover by Oskar Kokoschka
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1320 4
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1319 8
ISSN 0703 9476
Contributors: Kathleen Winter, Adrian Michael Kelly, Rebecca Rosenblum, Amy Jones, Mark Anthony Jarman, Diane Schoemperlen, Patricia Young, Cynthia Flood, K.D. Miller, Clark Blaise
“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 08
Edited by Mark Anthony Jarman
|Rebecca Rosenblum writes offbeat, innovative stories that tend to show up in the Journey Prize anthology. Her characters come from the brittle world of ex-urban strip malls. In one story she features an Edmonton Oilers toque, but there are many other reasons to like her work. Daniel Griffin has also appeared in the Journey Prize anthology. He’s interested in gender roles and writes about fathers and brothers, mothers and sisters. Alice Petersen was a joy to discover. She writes compelling, painterly stories in assured, sophisticated prose. This book is much the richer for her appearance in it.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 120 pages, cover from a bestiary, c. 1500
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1322 8
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1321 1
New writers who first appeared in Coming Attractions include Rohinton Mistry, Frances Itani, Peter Behrens, Lisa Moore, Dennis Bock, Diane Schoemperlen, Timothy Taylor, Bonnie Burnard, 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 Mountain Clinic
|Harold Hoefle has published both fiction and non-fiction in literary journals all over the country. This new novel traces the life of Walter Schwende, a Scarborough boy who seeks out his past in travel. He lives with Czech refugees in a Vancouver rooming-house, then works in a northern mining town, later settling on a Nicaraguan coffee farm. He ends up as a college teacher in Montreal, where he tries to imagine what life in his family’s native home of Austria might have been like. This becomes an obsession that finally takes him back to Europe.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 111 pages, cover by James Ensor
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1327 3
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1325 9
Currently out of stock.
Harold Hoefle teaches at the University of Victoria. His work has been published in a number of journals and anthologies, including The Antigonish Review, Exile, Front&Centre, Grain, Kiss Machine, Matrix, The Windsor Review and Telling Stories (New English Stories from Québec), as well as in Cutting, a four-story chapbook. Hoefle’s non-fiction received an Honourable Mention at the 2006 National Magazine Awards. The Mountain Clinic is his first book.
“Harold Hoefle’s debut novel is a mature and subtle book that avoids pat clichés and challenges the reader’s expectations about loss and identity”—Ottawa Xpress
“An intriguing and memorable novel”—Prairie Fire.
“Excellent writing…spare and elegant prose”—Malahat Review.
“This first novel begs to be re-read immediately”—Montreal Review of Books.
|Tammy Armstrong’s first collection of poetry was short-listed for the Governor General’s Award. This is her second novel. The story takes place on an island off the Pacific coast, where a wildcat strike has been called at the local mill. A caravan of buses, filled with counter-cultural environmentalists and marijuana advocates moves in. Tensions rise and the toll of drink, drugs, injuries and death mounts as the islanders and the newcomers struggle to reach some sort of mutual understanding.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 172 pages, cover by Emily Carr
$21.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1329 7
$42.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1328 0
Tammy Armstrong was born in New Brunswick, completed both a BFA and MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia, and now lives in Fredericton, where she teaches composition at UNB. Her first novel, Translations: Aistreann, won the David Adams Richards Prize of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick in 1999. Her first collection of poetry, Bogman’s Music, won the WFNB Bailey Award in 2002 and was short-listed for the Governor General’s Award. Her second poetry collection, Unravel, was a finalist for the 2004 ReLit Awards, and her latest collection, Take Us Quietly, has been nominated for an Acorn-Plantos People’s Poet Award.
“Pye-Dogs has the grit and haunting aftertaste of a bestseller. In slashing British Columbia’s underbelly open, Armstrong makes us bleed for characters reminiscent of people we know and love. Her ear for dialogue is unerring, her characters fascinating and unforgettable, her artistic sensibility profound”—Fredericton Daily Gleaner.
Love Minus Zero
|Lori Hahnel is a native of Alberta whose work has been broadcast by the CBC and published in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies. Love Minus Zero is a novel set in Calgary’s 1979 punk scene. It deals with a teenager’s obsession with music, a singer and her own band, ending with her growing disillusionment with the underground scene to which she belongs. Lori Hahnel was herself a founding member of the Virgins, Calgary’s first all-female rock band, so the story is told with all the freshness and immediacy of first-hand experience.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 160 pages, cover by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
$21.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1331 0
$42.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1330 3
Lori Hahnel played with the Virgins in Calgary from 1979 to 1983. Her short fiction has been broadcast on CBC Radio and published in The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire and Room Magazine. A collection of short fiction, Nothing Sacred, is forthcoming in 2009, and she is currently at work on a second novel. See www.lorihahnel.ca.
“The narrative is deft, the ambience bristling with authenticity...the writing surefooted and the supporting characters vividly evoked”—Globe & Mail.
“Seeing the action from the stage view is fascinating, as Kate reveals the inner workings of a bar band, its conflicts and triumphs. Hahnel’s material is gripping”—Alberta Views.
“Hahnel’s unflinching portrait of a young woman awkwardly negotiating a path through a world that shows her little mercy is truly riveting”—The Fiddlehead.
|“There’s nothing,” as they say, “half so much fun as simply messing about in boats.” When Catherine and her husband, John Dook, set out in a 44-foot ketch to cross the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, they ran into a three-day gale that carried away two of their sails, smashed stoves and lanterns and flooded the boat below decks. When they turned back for Canada, she found that the experience had changed her view of life and living. Catherine Dook has made her home aboard the Inuksuk on Vancouver Island for more than ten years now. The daughter of a bush pilot and the author of two books, one nominated for the Leacock Award, she is, as she puts it, “ecstatically happy.” She’s also very funny.|
8.5 by 5.5 by 124 pages, cover by Claude Monet
$19.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1333 4
$39.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1332 7
Catherine Dook was born in Yellowknife, where her father worked as a bush pilot. She went to school in Churchill, Manitoba before attending the University of Alberta, and then returned north to teach. Ten years ago she came south with her husband to Cowichan Bay, BC, where she has lived ever since onboard their sailing vessel Inuksuk. She has written widely for boating magazines, and her last book, Damn the Torpedoes, was nominated for the Leacock Award.
“The difference between adversity and adventure is attitude, and Catherine Dook captures not only the joy of sailing when everything is going right, but also the humor in the inevitable challenges sailors face when things aren't going quite so smoothly. After all, some of the worst times make the best stories. Truly a delightful book”—48° North.
“Offshore is vintage Catherine Dook: charming, funny and heartwarming”—Boatjournal.
The Sway of Otherwise
|In this book the sonnets cascade joyfully over their complex rhyme-scheme, evoking the vivid realities of summer and winter, love and death. As he grows older, David Helwig’s lyric power grows. His title is taken from a poem about walking sandbars on a brilliant summer day, and the whole book is at once luminous and muscular. In 2008, Helwig won a Matt Cohen Award for a lifetime of achievement in poetry and prose. He had already won both the Atlantic Poetry Award and the CBC Poetry Award, and been named poet laureate of Prince Edward Island, where he lives. For additional information, see DavidHelwig.com|
8.5 by 5.5 by 68 pages, cover after John White, c. 1580
$18.95 (paper) ISBN 978 0 7780 1324 2
$38.95 (cloth) ISBN 978 0 7780 1323 5
David Helwig is the author of more than twenty books of fiction and poetry. Born in Toronto, he taught for many years at Queen’s University and now lives in Prince Edward Island. He was a co-founder and for many years the editor of Best Canadian Stories.
“There are wonderful poems here”—Atlantic Books Today.
“Helwig uses form to its best advantage.... He knows, also, to break form when required, when the sensory details need to squirm away in sudden, unexpected or energetic ways. This is when The Sway of Otherwise is at its most masterful”—Malahat Review.
“The Sway of Otherwise is a wonderful collection. These are beautiful poems: spare, elegant and intelligent”—Dalhousie Review.
Copyright © Oberon Press, 2023