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Mistakes to Run With
A devastatingly frank memoir that tears open the past to examine how circumstances - and the choices we make - dictate the people we become.Mistakes to Run With chronicles the turbulent life of Yasuko Thanh, from early childhood in the closest thing Victoria, BC, has to a slum, to teen years as a sex worker and, finally, to her emergence as an award-winning author. As a child, Thanh embraced evangelical religion, only to rebel against it and her equally rigid parents, cutting herself, smoking, and shoplifting. At 15, the honour-roll runaway develops a taste for drugs and alcohol. After a stint in jail at 16, feeling utterly abandoned by her family, school, and society, Thanh meets the man who would become her pimp and falls in love. The next chapter of her life takes Thanh to the streets of Vancouver, where she endures beatings, arrests, crack cocaine, and an unwanted pregnancy. The act of writing ultimately becomes a solace from her suffering. Leaving the sex trade, but refusing to settle on any one thing, Thanh forges a new life for herself, from dealing drugs in four languages to motherhood and a complicated marriage, and emerges as a successful writer. But even as publication and awards bolster her, she remains haunted by her past.
A sharply intelligent and intimate debut novel about a secret society of hungry young women who meet after dark and feast to reclaim their appetites--and their physical spaces--that posits the question: if you feed a starving woman, what will she grow into?Roberta spends her life trying not to take up space. At almost thirty, she is adrift and alienated from life. Stuck in a mindless job and reluctant to pursue her passion for food, she suppresses her appetite and recedes to the corners of rooms. But when she meets Stevie, a spirited and effervescent artist, their intense friendship sparks a change in Roberta, a shift in her desire for more. Together, they invent the Supper Club, a transgressive and joyous collective of women who gather to celebrate, rather than admonish, their hungers. They gather after dark and feast until they are sick; they break into private buildings and leave carnage in their wake; they embrace their changing bodies; they stop apologizing. For these women, each extraordinary yet unfulfilled, the club is a way to explore, discover, and push the boundaries of the space they take up in the world. Yet as the club expands, growing both in size and rebellion, Roberta is forced to reconcile herself to the desire and vulnerabilities of the body--and the past she has worked so hard to repress. Devastatingly perceptive and savagely funny, Supper Club is an essential coming-of-age story for our times.
A Taste of Prince Edward County: A Guide to the People, Places & Food of Ontario's Favourite Getaway
Prince Edward County's reputation as a picturesque region of award-winning wineries, quaint and eclectic hotels, rustic restaurants and fine dining establishments makes it the perfect getaway destination. Within driving distance of Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, the county is an ideal place both for city slickers to escape and unwind, and for locals to relish and preserve the region's history and farmlands.This comprehensive, elegant guide covers hotels, restaurants, wineries, local attractions, and much more, along with itinerary suggestions showcasing the best of what Prince Edward County has to offer. With profiles of key people behind some of the county's most beloved establishments, this book goes beyond typical guidebook territory. A Taste of Prince Edward County also includes a selection of recipes and wine pairings from chefs and restaurateurs based in the area, all inspired by the culinary bounty PEC has to offer. And with his signature warmth and humour, food and travel writer Chris Johns teams up with local county photographer Johnny C. Y. Lam to provide readers with a stunningly beautiful insider's look into one of the top travel destinations in Canada.
How a Woman Becomes a Lake
It's New Year's Day and the residents of a small fishing town are ready to start their lives anew. Leo takes his two young sons out to the lake to write resolutions on paper boats. That same frigid morning, Vera sets out for a walk with her dog along the lake, leaving her husband in bed with a hangover.But she never returns. She places a call to the police saying she's found a boy in the woods, but the call is cut short by a muffled cry. Did one of Leo's sons see Vera? What are they hiding about that day? And why are they so scared of their own father?Told from shifting perspectives, How a Woman Becomes a Lake is a compelling, lyrical novel about family, new beginnings, and costly mistakes, and asks, what do you do when the people who are meant to love you the most, fail?
Just Let Me Look at You: On Fatherhood
From Giller-nominated, award-winning Bill Gaston, a tender, wry, and unforgettable memoir about alcohol, fishing, and all the things fathers and sons won't say to each otherSons clash with fathers, sons find reasons to rebel. And, fairly or unfairly, sons judge fathers when they take to drinking.But Bill Gaston and his father could always fish together. When they were shoulder-to-shoulder, joined in rapt fascination with the world under their hull, they had what all fathers and sons wish for. Even if it was temporary, even if much of it would be forgotten along with the empties.Returning to the past in his old fishing boat, revisiting the remote marina where they lived on board and learned to mooch for salmon, Bill unravels his father's relationship with his father, it too a story marked by heavy drinking, though one that took a much darker turn. Learning family secrets his father took to the grave, Gaston comes to understand his own story anew, realizing that the man his younger self had been so eager to judge was in fact someone both nobler and more vulnerable than he had guessed. Warm, insightful, and often funny, Just Let Me Look at You captures every father's inexpressible tenderness, and the ways in which the words for love often come too late for all of us.
Calla knows how the lottery works. Everyone does. On the day of your first bleed, you report to the station to learn what kind of woman you will be. A white ticket grants you marriage and children. A blue ticket grants you a career and freedom. You are relieved of the terrible burden of choice. And once you've taken your ticket, there is no going back. But what if the life you're given is the wrong one?When Calla, a blue ticket woman, begins to question her fate, she must go on the run. But her survival will be dependent on the very qualities the lottery has taught her to question in herself and on the other women the system has pitted against her. Pregnant and desperate, Calla must contend with whether or not the lottery knows her better than she knows herself and what that might mean for her child.An urgent inquiry into free will, social expectation, and the fraught space of motherhood, Blue Ticket is electrifying in its raw evocation and desire and riveting in its undeniable familiarity.
A singularly smart, engaging, and moving novel about a young immigrant in search of himself, and love, in the wider world.Carrying a single suitcase, Kailash arrives in post-Reagan America from India to attend graduate school. His new friends in New York City teasingly call him Kalashnikov, then AK-47, then AK. He takes it all in his stride: he wants to fit in--and more than that, to shine. As he begins to settle into American existence, AK comes under the indelible influence of a charismatic professor--also an immigrant, his personal history as dramatic as AK's life--and his perception of himself--are the very different natures of the women with whom he recklessly falls in and out of love.Looking back on the formative period of his youth, AK is studiously observant and meditative and, in the moment, the boisterous embodiment of idealism, confusion, and chaotic desire. His wry, vivid perception of the world he is in, but never quite of, unfurls in a brilliant melding of anecdote and annotation, picture and text, that digs deep inside the varieties and vagaries of the immigrant experience. Building a case for himself, both as a good man in spite of his flaws and as an American in defiance of his place of birth, AK weaves a story that is at its core an incandescent investigation of love--despite, beyond, and across dividing lines.
Things I Don't Want to Know
A luminescent treatise on writing, love, and loss, a witty response to George Orwell's influential essay "Why I Write"
We, the Survivors
A murderer's confession--devastating, unblinking, poignant, unforgettable--which reveals a story of class, education, and the inescapable workings of destiny.Ah Hock is an ordinary, uneducated man born in a Malaysian fishing village and now trying to make his way in a country that promises riches and security to everyone, but delivers them only to a chosen few. With Asian society changing around him, like many he remains trapped in a world of poorly paid jobs that just about allow him to keep his head above water but ultimately lead him to murder a migrant worker from Bangladesh.The question of why leads a young, privileged journalist to Ah Hock's door. While the victim has been mourned and the killer has served time for the crime, Ah Hock's motive remains unclear, even to himself. His vivid confession unfurls over extensive interviews with the journalist, herself a local whose life has taken a very different course. The process forces both the speaker and his listener to reckon with systems of power, race, and class in a place where success is promised to all yet delivered only to its lucky heirs.An uncompromising portrait of an outsider navigating a society in transition, Tash Aw's anti-nostalgic tale, We, The Survivors, holds its tension to the very end. In the wake of loss and destruction, hope is among the survivors.
What Red Was
When Kate Quaile meets Max Rippon in the first week of university, so begins a life-changing friendship.Over the next four years, the two become inseparable. For him, she breaks her solitude; for her, he leaves his busy circles behind. But knowing Max means knowing his family: the wealthy Rippons, all generosity, social ease, and quiet repression. Theirs is a very different world from Kate’s own upbringing, and yet she finds herself quickly drawn into their gilded lives, and the secrets that lie beneath. Until one evening, at the Rippons home, just after graduation, her life is shattered apart in a bedroom while a party goes on downstairs.What Red Was is an incisive and mesmerizing novel about power, privilege, and consent—one that fearlessly explores the effects of trauma on the mind and body of a young woman, the tyrannies of memory, the sacrifices involved in staying silent, and the courage in speaking out. And when Kate does, it raises this urgent question: Whose story is it now?
Patrick deWitt meets Catch 22, when a guileless young boy gets mixed up in Stalin's inner circle.There are certain things that Yuri Zipit knows:1. That being official food-taster for the Great Leader of the Soviet Union requires him to drink too much vodka for a twelve-year-old.2. That you do not have to be an Elephantologist to see that the Great Leader is dying.3. Yuri's father is somewhere here in the Dacha.4. It's a crime to love your family more than you love Socialism, the Party or the Republic.5. That, because of his damaged mind, everyone thinks Yuri is a fool.But Yuri isn't. He sits quietly through excessive state dinners and witnesses it all--betrayals, body doubles, buffoonery. He's starting to get the hang of this politics thing, but there's so much to learn. Who knew that a man could be in five places at once? That someone could break your nose as a sign of friendship? That people could be disinvented?The Zoo is a cutting satire, told through the refreshing voice of one gutsy boy who will not give up on hope.
Set in a Newark neighborhood during a terrifying polio outbreak, Nemesis is a wrenching examination of the forces of circumstance on our lives. Bucky Cantor is a vigorous, dutiful twenty-three-year-old playground director during the summer of 1944. A javelin thrower and weightlifter, he is disappointed with himself because his weak eyes have excluded him from serving in the war alongside his contemporaries. As the devastating disease begins to ravage Bucky's playground, Roth leads us through every inch of emotion such a pestilence can breed: fear, panic, anger, bewilderment, suffering, and pain. Moving between the streets of Newark and a pristine summer camp high in the Poconos, Nemesis tenderly and startlingly depicts Cantor's passage into personal disaster, the condition of childhood, and the painful effect that the wartime polio epidemic has on a closely-knit, family-oriented Newark community and its children.
The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times
In July 1988, Canadian-born historian Barbara Taylor was admitted to Friern Hospital, a once-notorious asylum for the insane. Her journey there began when, overwhelmed by anxiety as she completed her doctoral studies in London, England, she found relief by dosing herself with alcohol and tranquillizers. She then embarked on what would turn out to be a decades-long psychoanalysis. The analysis dredged up acutely painful memories of an unhappy and confusing childhood back in Saskatoon. As Taylor struggled to cope with these, she would twice be re-admitted to Friern. She took refuge in day-care institutions and a psychiatric hostel, all the while continuing her therapy, which eventually put her on the road to recovery.This searingly honest, beautifully written memoir is the narrative of the author’s madness years, set inside the wider story of our treatment of psychiatric illness: from the great age of asylums to the current era of community care, "Big Pharma", and quick fixes. It is a meditation on her own experience as well as that of millions of others – both in Europe and in North America – who have suffered, are suffering, and will suffer from mental illness.
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