August 14, 2014
In the weekly Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week, the Montreal bookstore recommends several new works of fiction, art books, periodicals, and comics.
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly is one of Montreal's premiere independent bookstores.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
by Haruki Murakami
The English translation of Murakami’s latest novel has been fervently anticipated since its Japanese release last year (which sold 1 million copies within the first month, incidentally!) While maintaining Murakami’s distinctive voice and themes, the narrative follows “Colorless” Tsukuru Tazaki through his youth and adulthood. In his sophomore year of university, Tazaki becomes suicidal after being rejected (for reasons unknown) by his tight-knit group of four best friends from high school, who all have last names that correspond to colours (hence Tazaki's status as “colorless.”) At age 36, his new girlfriend Sara convinces him that he can only reach emotional maturity if he confronts this traumatic incident in his past, so they track down Aka (Red), White (Shiro), Blue (Ao), and Black (Kuro) to get to the bottom of the mystery. Beautifully written and intertextually rich with musical reference, this suspenseful read will appeal to Murakami’s seasoned fans as well as newcomers.
Your Face in Mine
by Jess Row
The central conceit of Your Face in Mine is “racial reassignment surgery,” which is a combination of medical procedures and therapies which enable people to alter their appearance so far as to “pass” as a member of another ethnic group than the one into which they were born. When the narrator moves back to his childhood hometown as an adult, he discovers that one of his dearest high school friends, whom he remembers from boyhood as being white and Jewish, has since transitioned and now identifies as an African American man, integrated in the black community. This premise provides ample fodder for Rowe to explore themes of race, culture, identity, belonging and the commodification of self-reinvention in the 21st century in this modern, somewhat dystopian take on the passing narrative.
Something You Were, Might Have Been, or Have Come to Represent
by Jay Winston Ritchie
Montreal author Jay Winston Ritchie’s book of poems How to Appear Perfectly Indifferent While Crying on the Inside (published by Metatron Press) has been very well received since its launch earlier this year, so we’re extra excited about his debut collection of short stories out now from Insomniac Press. The nine stories therein focus on the lives of young, striving musicians as they navigate the challenges of contemporary life in the city. Guaranteed to resonate with creatives everywhere, and to hit especially close to home for musically inclined Montreal anglos in particular! If you’re in Montreal on September 10th at 7:00 pm, be sure to join us for Ritchie’s launch here at Librairie D&Q, hosted by store friend and renowned local author, Jon Paul Fiorentino.
Amulet Book Six: Escape from Lucien
by Kazu Kibuishi
The sixth volume of Kibuishi’s epic fantasy adventure series of graphic novels is sure to delight younger readers. The story which began with protagonists Emily and Navin discovering a portal in their great-grandfather’s house which opened up an alternate realm inhabited by magical creatures has come a long way in six volumes. In Escape from Lucien, Em and Navin’s ongoing battle against the Elf King’s dark forces takes Navin to the war-torn city of Lucien to find a special beacon, while Em returns to The Void with the Elf King’s loyal follower, Max, in search of secrets to aid them in their quest. This series just keeps getting more exciting. Bring on volume seven!
edited by Zio Baritaux
From Folch Studio the Barcelona design studio behind the always-on-point arts and interiors magazine Apartamento, comes the breathtakingly beautiful new book, Strange Plants. Celebrating plants in contemporary art, Strange Plants features the work of eight artists in various mediums (photography, painting, collage, tattooing, etc.) The artists who were selected come from different stylistic backgrounds; the first group consists of those who often explore the natural world in their work, whereas the second group generally does not and therefore were asked to create new work representative of their own aesthetic. Alongside the artists creations are accompanying interviews where they discuss their work, as well as the role that plants play in their personal lives. Bonus: the cover is blank, but there are stickers provided inside so that readers can decorate it as they see fit!
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:
also at Largehearted Boy:
52 Books, 52 Weeks
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly new comics and graphic novel highlights)
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
guest book reviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)