2021 Governor General Literary Award Finalist bundle. Get all three finalists for one low price!
Personal, primordial, and pulsing with syncopated language, Tolu Oloruntoba’s poetic debut, The Junta of Happenstance, is a compendium of dis-ease. This includes disease in the traditional sense, as informed by the poet’s time as a physician, and dis-ease as a primer for family dysfunction, the (im)migrant experience, and urban / corporate anxiety. In the face of struggles against social injustice, Oloruntoba navigates the contemporary moment with empathy and intelligence, finding beauty in chaos, and strength in suffering. The Junta of Happenstance is an important and assured debut.
alfabet / alphabet is the record of Sadiqa de Meijer’s transition from speaking Dutch to English. Exploring questions of identity, landscape, family, and translation, the essays navigate the shifting cultural currents of language by using an eclectic approach to storytelling. As such, fellow linguistic migrants to anglophone Canada will recognize elements of their experience in alfabet / alphabet, while lifelong English speakers will perceive their mother tongue in a new light.
In 1973, fifteen-year old Qʷóqʷésk̓iʔ, or “Squito” Bob, is a mixed-blood Nłeʔkepmx boy trying to find his place in a small, mostly Native town. His closest friends are three nłeʔkepmx boys and a white kid, an obnoxious runt who thinks himself superior to his friends. Accepted as neither Native nor white, Squito often feels like the stray dog of the group and envisions a short, disastrous life for himself. Home Waltz follows the boys over thirty-six hours on what should be one of the best weekends of their lives. With a senior girls volleyball tournament in town, Squito’s favourite band performing, and enough alcohol for ten people, the boys dream of girls, dancing, and possibly romance. A story of love, heartbreak, and tragedy, Home Waltz delves into suicide, alcohol abuse, body image, and systemic racism. A coming of age story like no other, Home Waltz speaks to one Indigenous teenager’s experience of growing up in a world that doesn’t want or trust him.