Spring has officially sprung and – surprise, surprise – we’re thinking about books. To celebrate the warmer weather, we’ve curated a collection of new and forthcoming books to fill out your TBR lists this spring. Use the "Shop Local" button to pick up or pre-order these titles at your nearest indie bookstore.
Click here to check out our picks for young readers.
Written by Omer Aziz
Simon & Schuster Canada (April 4)
In a tough neighborhood on the outskirts of Toronto, miles away from wealthy white downtown, Omer Aziz struggles to find his place as a first-generation Pakistani Muslim boy. In this book, Omer eloquently describes the complex process of creating an identity that fuses where he’s from, what people see in him, and who he knows himself to be.
Omer Aziz is a lawyer, writer, and former foreign policy advisor. He was born to working-class parents of Pakistani origin in Toronto and with the help of scholarships, became the first in his family to go to college in the West, later studying in Paris, at Cambridge University, and Yale Law School. He has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, New York magazine, The Washington Post, and many other publications.
Alphonso Davies: A New Hope
Written by Farhan Devji
ECW Press (May 2)
Arguably the most famous Canadian athlete on the planet, Alphonso Davies has been the subject of global attention after bursting onto the scene as a 15-year-old soccer sensation. Built on years of interviews with friends, family, teachers, coaches, and teammates, this is the first biography of Alphonso, the new face of Canadian men’s soccer.
Farhan Devji is a multiplatform storyteller whose writing has appeared in the Edmonton Journal and Ottawa Citizen. As the former club reporter for Vancouver Whitecaps FC, he produced the award-winning documentary Becoming Canadian: The Alphonso Davies Story. A proud second-generation Canadian, Devji lives in Vancouver with his wife, Sarah.
Written by Michelle Good
HarperCollins Canada (May 30)
With authority and insight, Truth Telling examines a wide range of Indigenous issues framed by Michelle Good’s personal experience and knowledge. From racism, broken treaties, and cultural pillaging to the value of Indigenous lives and the importance of Indigenous literature, this collection reveals facts about Indigenous life in Canada that are both devastating and enlightening. It is essential reading for those looking to acknowledge the past and understand the way forward.
Michelle Good is a writer of Cree ancestry and a member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. After three decades of working with Indigenous communities and organizations, she obtained her law degree. She earned her MFA in creative writing at UBC while still practising law. Her novel, Five Little Indians, was nominated for and received numerous awards and was chosen for Canada Reads 2022.
Instructions for the Drowning
Written by Steven Heighton
Biblioasis (April 18)
A man recalls his father's advice on how to save a drowning person but struggles when the time comes to use it. A wife’s good deed leaves a couple vulnerable at the moment when they’re most in need of security. Newly in love, a man preoccupied by accounts of freak accidents is befallen by one himself. In stories about love and fear, idealisms and illusions, failures of muscle and mind and all the ways we try to care for one another, Steven Heighton’s Instructions for the Drowning is an indelible last collection by a writer working at the height of his powers.
Steven Heighton (1961–2022) was a writer and musician. His nineteen previous books include the novels Afterlands, The Shadow Boxer, Reaching Mithymna: Among the Volunteers and Refugees on Lesvos, and The Waking Comes Late.
Unearthing: A Story of Tangled Love and Family Secrets
Written by Kyo Maclear
Penguin Random House Canada (April 18)
Three months after Kyo Maclear’s father dies in December 2018, she gets the results of a DNA test showing that she and the father who raised her are not biologically related. Suddenly Maclear becomes a detective in her own life, unravelling a family mystery piece by piece, and assembling the story of her biological father. Along the way, larger questions arise: what exactly is kinship? And what does it mean to be a family?
Kyo Maclear is an award-winning novelist, essayist, and children’s author. Her books have been translated into eighteen languages and published in over twenty-five countries. She is the author of the hybrid memoir Birds Art Life, winner of the Trillium Book Award. Kyo holds a doctorate in environmental humanities and is on faculty at the University of Guelph Creative Writing MFA.
Park Cruising: What Happens When We Wander Off the Path
Written by Marcus McCann
House of Anansi Press (May 2)
Park Cruising takes a long look at the men who cruise for sex in urban parks. Human rights lawyer Marcus McCann uses park cruising as a point of departure for discussions of consent, empathy, public health, municipal planning, and our relationship to strangers. Prompted by his work opposing a police sting in a suburban park, McCann’s ruminations go beyond targeted enforcement and police indifference to violence to examine cruising as a type of world-building.
Marcus McCann (he/him) is a lawyer who has been involved in a number of high-profile legal projects in the areas of sexuality and LGBTQ rights. He is a former managing editor of Xtra in Toronto and Ottawa. The author of three previous books, his writing has been shortlisted for and won multiple awards.
Written by Marie Hélène Poitras, translated by Rhonda Mullins
Coach House Books (February 14)
When the curtain rises on Malmaison, it reveals a once-enchanting estate falling into ruin. At the heart of it, a father, one of a long line of fathers who have flourished at the expense of those around them. The silence seems peaceful, but lurking under it is a deep malevolence. Ever greedy, the father brings in Aliénor, a woman who promises to make the lands give even more of themselves. But Aliénor will bring a new script, one in which the hunters are hunted and a new reign will begin, in this a Gothic tale of secrets and revenge.
Marie Hélène Poitras was born in Ottawa and lives in Montréal. She received the Prix Anne-Hébert for her first novel, Soudain le Minotaure. Her short story collection La mort de Mignonne et autres histoires was a finalist for the Prix des libraires du Québec.
Rhonda Mullins is a Montreal-based translator who has translated many books from French into English, including Dominique Fortier’s Paper Houses and Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette’s Suzanne. She is a seven-time finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation, winning the award in 2015 for her translation of Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals.
Written by Lucie Pagé
Cormorant Books (April 1)
A university English sessional teacher searches for his missing blind pit bull, not entirely aware that his relationship is coming unravelled. Katherine, his girlfriend, pays far more attention to her walk-on role in an alternative theatre production. Karl fails to control his embarrassing and shameful bad habit at his dead-end telemarketing job. In this darkly funny debut from Lucie Pagé, characters collide in unexpected ways as they search to create meaning in their lives.
Lucie Pagé is a French-Canadian writer and screenwriter whose fiction has been published in Carte Blanche and This Magazine. She’s received several awards for her original screenplays, won the Great Canadian Literary Hunt for fiction, and the O’Neill-Karsh award for her first full-length play. Lucie divides her time between Toronto and Vancouver Island.
Making a Home: Assisted Living in the Community for Young Disabled People
Written by Jen Powley
Fernwood Publishing (May 4)
In some provinces, people with severe physical disabilities are simply warehoused in nursing homes where many people are in the final stages of their lives. It is difficult for a young person to live in a home geared for death; their physical assistance needs are met, but their social, psychological, and emotional needs are not. Jen Powley tells the story of how she got young disabled people like herself out of nursing homes by developing a shared attendant services system for adults with severe physical disabilities and makes a case for living in the community and against dehumanizing institutionalization.
Jen Powley was born in Alberta, moved to Halifax for university and stayed. An author by circumstance, she wrote Just Jen: Thriving Through Multiple Sclerosis, which won the 2018 Margaret and John Savage First Time Author Nonfiction Book Award. Powley has completed a BA and an after degree in journalism, as well as an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction at the University of King’s College.
Written by Kate Siklosi
Invisible Publishing (April 25)
Selvage is a work of salvaging and selving. Fragments from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the language of trees talking to one another through mycelial networks, familial stories, and ruminations on the cusp of motherhood are torn apart, spun, and sewn together to create a collage of what it means to be human. Mashing up the traditional lyric with innovative form and visual poetry, this experimental work is deeply personal, but it also attempts to gesture towards the human experience.
Kate Siklosi is a poet, scholar, publisher, and teacher who lives in Dish With One Spoon Territory /Toronto. Her work includes leavings and six chapbooks of poetry. Her critical and creative work has been featured across North America, Europe, and the UK. She is also Sessional Faculty at McMaster University, curator of the Small Press Map of Canada, and co-founding editor of the feminist experimental small press Gap Riot Press.