September 27, 2016
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.
Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay
by Ben Katchor
This week, Drawn and Quarterly releases a gorgeous new edition of Ben Katchor’s seminal Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay. The book was originally published in 1991 as an unassuming collection of three-years worth of weekly newspaper comic strips, the format of which allowed readers to approach the work as a continuous, novel-length narrative. This style of graphic-storytelling has become the standard in the golden age of graphic novels in which we reside, with Ben Katchor now recognized as a pioneer. Cheap Novelties is a stark testament to what has been sacrificed through all of our so-called “progress”; a melancholy lamentation of gentrification, globalization, and strip malls.
by Alexandra Kleeman
Alexandra Kleeman’s debut novel, You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine, received oodles of praise and garnered the young author comparisons to Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo. Not lacking pressure, Kleeman has returned with a stunning sophomore effort. Intimations is a collection of a dozen stories that take in broadly the three stages of human existence: birth, life, death. The people who populate these stories are thrust into the bizarre triangulations of our brief period of living. An unnamed woman enters a room with no exit and a ready-made life; dance is used to try and tame a feral child; surviving a house-party comes down to knowing the difference between real and fake blood. This is a frighteningly good collection from one of the best young writers in North America.
by Kyung Me
Sardonic inner thoughts caption scenes from a life probably not unlike your own. It’s remarkable in fact just how accurately Me’s drawings depict authentic moments of awkwardness, ego, agony and boredom. Relatable is not even the correct label, it is almost as if Kyung Me has access to a reel of everybody’s most intimate moments. Bad Korean is a funnysad distillation of life in neon-realism, and a favourite of many D+Q staffers.
by Eileen Myles
Clad with the subtitle “A Poet’s Novel”, Inferno is the story of a young female writer, a loosely veiled version of the author herself, as she forays into the thicket of creativity and sexuality in New York City Bohemia, circa 1968. Structured after Dante’s Divine Comedy, Myles’ chronicle catches the self in an awkward pose: transition. The central character wrangles her past—catholic girl from a small town—into submission, and finds a foothold as both a lesbian and a poet. This book demands an earnest read.
by Monica Youn
The poems in Blackacre are utterly gorgeous. Monica Youn’s voice is nimble and vivid, with the poetic sensibility to fit a planet through a needle-eye. The opening sequence takes stock of, in turn, a hanged man and a hanged woman. The act of a hanging brings with it so many questions of the physical and the abstract, both of which are handled with a ruthless candour. The poems in this book contain a restless lyric energy, whilst maintaining cool narrative composure.
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:
also at Largehearted Boy:
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly new comics and graphic novel 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)