The Goddess of Fireflies
Geneviève Pettersen

Winner, 2015 Archambault Prize

The year is 1996, and small-town life for 14-year-old Catherine is made up of punk rock, skaters, shoplifting, drugs, and the ghost of Kurt Cobain. Her parents are too busy divorcing to pay her headful of unspent angst much attention. But after she tries a PCP variant called mesc for the first time, her budding rebellion begins to spiral out of control. Acclaimed as the modern-day coming-of-age story for a generation of Québécois youth growing up in the 1990s, Geneviève Pettersen’s award-winning debut novel both shocked and titillated readers in its original French, who quickly ordained it a contemporary classic and a runaway bestseller.

Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, the hotly tipped Québécois director behind Inch-Allah (2012), is currently adapting the story to film. Now Esplanade Books is honored to present The Goddess of Fireflies to English readers for the first time in a powerful translation from award-winning novelist Neil Smith, author of Boo and Bang Crunch.

Praise:

"In The Goddess of Fireflies Geneviève Pettersen has assembled a narrator who will pull you, willing or not, through her swaggering, fumbling coming of age. A melange of blasé toughness and menacing vulnerability, Catherine and her story will resonate deeply with those of us who grew up in the 90s of Cobain, cocaine, and 18-hole Doc Martens, but it's a universal tale too: the raw scramble of a young woman on the brink. –Anna Leventhal, author of Sweet Affliction

“I really loved The Goddess of Fireflies, where the presence of the Saguenay is made to be as significant as that of Montreal.” –Michel Tremblay
The Keys Of My Prison
Frances Shelley Wees

A disturbing tale of identity and deception set in 1950s Toronto.

That Rafe Jonason’s life didn’t end when he smashed up his car was something of a miracle; on that everyone agreed. However, the devoted husband and pillar of the community emerges from hospital a very different man. Coarse and intolerant, this new Rafe drinks away his days, showing no interest in returning to work. Worst of all, he doesn’t appear to recognize or so much as remember his loving wife Julie. Tension and suspicion within the couple’s Rosedale mansion grow after it is learned that Rafe wasn’t alone in the car that night. Is it that Julie never truly knew her husband? Or might it be that this man isn’t Rafe Jonason at all?

Originally published in 1956 by Doubleday, The Keys of My Prison is one of several suspense novels Wees set in Toronto. This Ricochet Books edition marks its return to print after fifty years.
The Body on Mount Royal
David Montrose

Finally, after 58 years The Body on Mount Royal is back in print, starring hard-drinking private dick, Russell Teed.

From the back cover of the 1953 edition:
Take a brutally beaten body, a lonely spot on Montreal's famous mountain, and a buxum brunette whose embrace brings treachery. Add a large dose of vicious gang warfare and a slice of underworld life. Mix these ingredients well and you have a large helping of spicy, fast-paced adventure.

An excerpt from the book:
I have a hunch you want to hear about the people I know, the ones I work among and get drunk with, and beat up or get beat up by. Sure, I know the rolling greenery of upper Westmount and the high square solemn houses of midtown Montreal's Square Mile, and the wide streets of Outremont with the mansions set way back. But my name is Russell Teed. R. Teed, Private Investigator. I don't always like it, but I get involved in crimes. And I go where the criminals go.
Model Disciple
Michael Prior

One of the most commanding poetic debuts in years.

A mesmerizing and moving first collection, Model Disciple gives us a poetry of two minds. Confounded by Japanese-Canadian legacies too painful to fully embrace, Michael Prior’s split speakers struggle to understand themselves as they submit to their reinvention: “I am all that is wrong with the Old World, / and half of what troubles the New.” Prior emerges as a poet not of identity, but identities. Invented identities, double identities, provisional identities—his art always bearing witness to a sense of self held long enough to shed at a moment’s notice. Model Disciple ‘s Ovidean shape-shifting is driven by formal mastery and mot juste precision. It’s also one of the most commanding poetic debuts in years.

"Model Disciple comes alive in its beautiful precision of detail, defamiliarizing language, resonant music, and deep intimacy. These poems are lyrical accounts of the natural world intersecting with the manmade. They are viscerally present, and felt, written to illuminate and endure."—Hannah Sanghee Park, author of The Same-Different

“With Model Disciple, Michael Prior launches, fully-armed, into the fray, taking on the topics of love, loss, war and cultural identity with a combination of fierceness and delicacy so rare in a first collection. Prior’s book swarms with presences both animal and human, as well as spectral; it bristles with texture and glows with unforgettable images that are laden with both ghastliness and grace.” —Alexandra Oliver, author of Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway and Let the Empire Down
The Informants
Bill Haugland

A Ty Davis Mystery.

A bloody battle between rival motorcycle gangs leads television reporter Ty Davis into yet another dangerous encounter with a big-city’s underworld. His on the scene account of the violence, for CKCF Television’s “Flash News,” draws Davis and his colleagues into a complex web of drug-smuggling and murder. Turf wars pit local criminal bikers against each other, even as the American-based Hells Angels threaten to establish an unprecedented foothold in Canada. Law enforcement agencies in both countries deal with a deadly alliance between two, powerful mafia families. A multi-million dollar Canada-U.S. drug conspiracy hangs in the balance and one cop and his street informants appear to stand in its way. Davis … stands in the middle.
Press

On Late Victorians:


On Installations:
Praise for : This is writing of a very high order. –Canadian Literature

On Blondes Are My Trouble:
Mike Garfin is a boy who seems to like his work, especially if it includes blondes. –Berkeley Gazette

On Ex-Yu:
“Novakovich’s characters, who are generous, flawed, violent, and rooted in an understanding of the earth.” -Montreal Review of Books

News

D.G. Jones
Poet-teacher-literary translator D.G. Jones has died at 87. Twice winner of the Governor General’s Literary Prize, and of other prizes, he was a formidable poet and pioneered the translation of Québec poetry.
In 2009 we were privileged to publish his collected poems, The Stream Exposed with All Its Stones.

Congratulations to Andy Sinclair
His novel Breathing Lessons is a Gay Fiction finalist for the 2016 Lambda Literary Awards. The awards ceremony will take place in New York, June 6.

Paul Bley
1932-2016
We are saddened by the January 3 passing of renowned jazz pianist Paul Bley, at 83. Born in Montreal he played and recorded with Lester Young, Ben Webster, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Paul Motian, Pat Metheny and many others. We were proud to publish his memoir Stopping Time: Paul Bley and the Transformation of Jazz and Paul Bley: The Logic of Chance by Arrigo Cappelletti.

Niko
Dimitri Nasrallah’s novel, Niko, makes the CBC Canada Reads Longlist.Swing in the House
Anita Anand is nominated for the Blue Metropolis/Conseil des arts du Montréal Literary Diversity Prize for a First Publication.
Discover

Mary Dalton celebrates the language and culture of Newfoundland on The Next Chapter.

Shoshanna Wingate interviewed on Irish radio about Radio Weather.

Hear George Tombs discuss Canada's Forgotten Slaves on CBC's C'est la vie

Hear Elaine Kalman Naves talk about Portrait of a Scandal on CBC's Cinq à six



SODEC, Québec  Canada Council for the Arts Canadian Heritage
The Canada Council
Véhicule Press acknowledges the generous support of its publishing program from the Book Publishing Industry Development Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage, The Canada Council for the Arts, and the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles du Québec (SODEC).