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BIRDIE, PAX, AND THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT

our reading list for March 2016


FINE, FINE, FINE, FINE, FINE by Diane Williams
Williams is a one-of-a-kind writer. Like Lydia Davis on LSD, she's a minimalist with shocking syntax and a sense of silliness that makes Looney Tunes seem sane. 

KUNTALINI by Tamara Faith Berger
From one of Toronto's best and most subversive artists comes this novel of hot yoga and hot sex. It's the latest instalment in Badlands Unlimited's super-hip series of short erotic fiction. 

ON FIRE by Jonathan Griffin
In On Fire, Griffin asks ten contemporary artists how they recovered after their studios went up in flames. The answers offer a peek into the part that perseverance plays in creativity. 

FORTY ROOMS by Olga Grushin
At the centre of Forty Rooms is a clever conceit: it proposes that a woman will inhabit forty rooms in her lifetime. These rooms form a part of her biography, from childhood to death; they haunt her and she haunts them.  

BLACKASS by A. Igoni Barrett
A young Nigerian awakes the morning before a job interview to find that his skin is white – save, that is, for the skin on his posterior. It's the start of a fierce comic satire about race, and a love letter to Lagos, where this tumultuous tale of metamorphosis plays out. 

SOME RAIN MUST FALL by Karl Ove Knausgaard
At long last it's here – the fifth book of My Struggle, Knausgaard's autobiographical opus. It features Knausgaard doing what he does best: writing beautifully about himself.

THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT by Alexander Chee
The historical saga of the season, The Queen of the Night is set in the grand world of opera in the nineteenth century. It follows a singer from Minnesota to the Paris Opera as she moves ever closer to performing a mysterious role that could make her reputation, or destroy her.

BIRDIE by Tracey Lindberg
A comic and cutting first novel about a Cree-Métis woman who moves from Alberta to B.C. in search of a character from the CBC series The Beachcombers, a show she adored as a girl. In truth she has come to reckon with the dreams – and the darkness – of her childhood.  

THE CHILD POET by Homero Aridjis & translated by Chloe Aridjis 
The Child Poet is a magical paean to a magical place. Aridjis captures the pueblo of Coatepec – the landscape, the campesinos, the churches, the legacy of the Mexican Revolution – through the eyes of a sensitive child. 

PAX by Sara Pennypacker
At his grandfather's house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows where he should be —with Pax, a fox that was once his friend and is now in the wild and alone. Spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, he sets out to find the fox, and to find out what growing up means.

ANNA AND THE SWALLOW MAN by Gavriel Savit
Anna is the daughter of a professor of linguistics in Kraków, Poland in 1939. When he vanishes one day, she must make her own way in the world. How can a small girl survive when the very world is being torn up around her?