EMWF’s Long Weekend Lit
Need a brief respite from the sun? Make room on your summer reading list and make your way to an air-conditioned bookstore to pick up some of the most exciting books coming out this month! Here are five new books from authors you’ll see at the 2019 Eden Mills Writers’ Festival that are sure to take your mind off the heat over Labour Day weekend.
A detailed schedule of readings, interviews, and panel discussions – featuring these authors and many more – can be found here. We look forward to seeing you on September 8, 2019 for Festival Sunday!
Night of Power by Anar Ali – August 20, 2019
Published by Viking
Ali’s debut novel is a heart-wrenching story of a family in crisis. After moving to Canada 25 years ago as a refugee with a wife and child, Mansoor Visram tried his best to recreate the life they once had. He’s worked as a used car salesman, as a gas station attendant, and now he runs a small dry cleaner in suburban Calgary. Even still, he has big plans for his family – plans that will bring back the wealth and status they enjoyed in Uganda. But Mansoor’s son doesn’t share these dreams and his wife is drifting away after having spent a decade trying to keep their family together. On the Night of Power, a night during Ramadan when fates are decided for the next year, a terrible accident occurs that the Visram family may not survive. Gripping and unforgettable, Night of Power vividly illuminates the injustices of displacement, the nuances of identity, and the journey of losing a home and coming home again.
“Night of Power is a deeply moving story of the complications of love, loss, obligation, and inheritance that can both bind a family and tear it apart. Written with great compassion for all of its characters, Anar Ali offers us a book that is tender and wise.” —Camilla Gibb, author of Sweetness in the Belly and This is Happy
Albatross by Terry Fallis – August 13, 2019
Published by McClelland & Stewart
Adam Coryell is an average high school student. Or, he was average, until he discovered that he is good – very good, in fact – at golf. Even though he’s never picked up a golf club before. Adam’s life is changed in an instant when he skyrockets to a prodigy-level stardom that includes tournament titles, sponsorship deals, throngs of fans following his every move, and tabloid fodder. But here’s the catch: Adam doesn’t really like golf. With each success and new level of fame, Adam loses something else he loves, and begins to wonder if it will ever be enough for him. As he did in 2016 with No Relation, two-time Leacock Medal winner Terry Fallis offers readers a funny, heartwarming, and entertaining look at what it means to forge your own path.
“In his inimitable style, Fallis has crafted a tender, funny, and compulsively readable novel about what it means to stay true to your dreams, and to yourself. Do yourself a favour and pick up this book—you won’t put it down again until the final page has been turned.” —Amy Jones, author of We’re All In this Together and Every Little Piece of Me
The Wake by Linden MacIntyre – August 27, 2019
Published by HarperCollins
From Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author Linden MacIntyre comes an incredible true story of destruction and survival. On November 18, 1929, a tsunami struck Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula. Giant waves, up to three storeys high, hit the coast at a hundred kilometres per hour, flooding dozens of communities and washing entire houses out to sea. The disaster killed twenty-eight people and left hundreds more homeless or destitute. In this compelling new book, McIntyre takes readers on a journey from the immediate aftermath through the decades that followed, offering an elegant account of the hundreds – if not thousands – of lives that were lost as a result of this heartbreaking disaster. Written in MacIntyre’s trademark style, The Wake is a major new work by one of this Canada’s best-known writers.
“Great, soulful storytelling. All of MacIntyre’s singular capacities—as novelist, reporter, social critic, and intimate chronicler of Atlantic Canada—are in full force-of-nature in The Wake.” — Charles Foran, author of Mordecai: The Life and Times and Planet Lolita
Girl at the Edge of Sky by Lilian Nattel – August 27, 2019
Published by Random House Canada
Lily Litvyak, a tiny, dimpled teenager with golden curls who lied about her age in order to fly, is no one’s idea of a fighter pilot. But in the crucible of the air war against the German invaders, she becomes that rare thing – a flying ace, glorified at home and around the world as the White Lily of Stalingrad. The real Lily disappeared in combat in August 1943, but the slim facts of her life – as well as the nagging question of “what if Lily survived?” – inspired Nattel’s indelible portrait of a courageous young woman driven by family secrets to become an unlikely war hero. Girl at the Edge of Sky is a masterwork of the imagination, subtle and bold all at once, bringing us deep into the precarious life of a remarkable woman who lies to fight for the country that would disown her, and then lies to survive the enemy that would annihilate her.
“Lily Litvyak is the kind of character readers hunger for. A dark and dazzling novel, Girl At the Edge of Sky swept me up from the opening line and kept me spellbound. Nattel writes as well—and as wildly—as her unforgettable heroine flies.”
—Alissa York, author of The Naturalist
From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle – August 6, 2019
Published by Simon and Schuster
From the Ashes is a remarkable memoir about hope and resilience, and a revelatory look into the life of a Métis-Cree man who refused to give up.
Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, Jesse Thistle briefly found himself in the foster-care system with his two brothers, cut off from all they had known. Eventually the children landed in the home of their paternal grandparents, whose tough-love attitudes quickly resulted in conflicts. Throughout it all, the ghost of Jesse’s drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling with all that had happened, Jesse succumbed to a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and petty crime, spending more than a decade on and off the streets, often homeless. Finally, he realized he would die unless he turned his life around.
In this heart-warming and heart-wrenching memoir, Jesse Thistle writes honestly and fearlessly about his painful past, the abuse he endured, and how he uncovered the truth about his parents. Through sheer perseverance and education—and newfound love—he found his way back into the circle of his Indigenous culture and family.
“A memoir of resilience, spirit and dignity from a gifted storyteller. It is, at heart, also about the many shapes that love can inhabit. When you plan to read this book, clear your schedule. It will hold you in its grasp and won’t let you go, like a great novel. It’s all the more remarkable that this is not fiction. This book will stand out in my reading experience for a long time to come.” — Shelagh Rogers, OC, host and a producer of CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter, Honorary Witness, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada