Books·Fall Book Preview

24 works of Canadian fiction to watch for this fall

Wondering what new books are coming this fall? We have you covered.

Here are 24 works of Canadian fiction coming out in the second half of 2018 that we can't wait to read.

Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper

Emma Hooper's latest novel is Our Homesick Songs. (Hamish Hamilton)

What it's about: 10-year-old Finn lives in a tiny Newfoundland fishing village. But when the cod industry collapses, the village gets smaller as more people leave to find work elsewhere. Can Finn save the village and keep his family together? Our Homesick Songs is the second novel by Emma Hooper — her first was the charming Etta and Otto and Russell and James.

When you can read it: Aug. 7, 2018

Foe by Iain Reid

Iain Reid's new novel Foe will be released in Canada on Aug. 7, 2018. (Simon & Schuster Canada/Lucas Tingle)

What it's about: The buzz for Iain Reid's second thriller Foe began building months before it hit bookstores, when the film rights were snapped up by Anonymous Content in April. Foe takes place on a remote farm, home to a married couple named Junior and Henrietta. One day, a stranger arrives on their doorstep with some terrible news. Reid is also the author of the thriller I'm Thinking of Ending Things and the memoirs One Bird's Choice and The Truth About Luck.

When you can read it: Aug. 7, 2018

Starlight by Richard Wagamese

Richard Wagamese died in March 2017 at the age of 61. Starlight is his final novel. (McClelland & Stewart, Jane Dixon)

What it's about: Starlight is the final novel of beloved Indigenous writer Richard Wagamese. The novel was not completed before Wagamese died in 2017, and will include a note from the publisher. Set in 1980 in the B.C. interior, Starlight is about an Indigenous farmer named Frank Starlight whose quiet life is dramatically changed by the frantic arrival of a woman named Emmy and her young child. Emmy and her child have escaped an abusive home and end up forming a bond with Frank.

When you can read it: Aug. 14, 2018

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

Craig Davidson is the author of several books, his most recent being the novel The Saturday Night Ghost Club. (Knopf Canada/Craig Davidson)

What it's about: The Saturday Night Ghost Club is a novel about 12-year-old Jake, a young boy invited to join a "ghost club" with his beloved misfit uncle. Thus begins Jake's unforgettable summer, in which it becomes apparent that demons are buried within his uncle. Davidson has written memoir (Precious Cargo), literary fiction (Cataract City) and horror, under the pseudonym Nick Cutter. 

When you can read it: Aug. 14, 2018

Women Talking by Miriam Toews

Women Talking is Miriam Toews's latest novel. (Carol Loewen, Knopf Canada)

What it's about: Eight Mennonite women come together to talk. Why? They have 48 hours to make a decision that will impact every woman and child in their community. Women Talking is Miriam Toews's most recent novel since All My Puny Sorrows. She's also the author of A Complicated Kindness and The Flying Troutmans.

When you can read it: Aug. 21, 2018

Heartbreaker by Claudia Dey

Claudia Dey's latest novel is Heartbreaker. (Norman Wong, HarperCollins Canada)

What it's about: In Heartbreaker, Claudia Dey's second novel, Billie Jean has disappeared. She's lived in a small town for almost 20 years, and still feels like she doesn't quite belong. Those who love Billie Jean set out to find her, and the search results in a fantastical journey about the mysteries of life. 

When you can read it: Aug. 21, 2018

Such a Lonely, Lovely Road by Kagiso Lesego Molope

Such a Lonely, Lovely Road is a novel by Kagiso Lesego Molope. (Mawenzi House)

What it's about: In Such a Lonely, Lovely Road, Kabelo Mosala is a young man growing up in South Africa. He's an upstanding citizen in every sense and dreams of working at his father's medical practice someday. But Kabelo has a secret: he's in love with his friend, Sediba. They form a strong bond as they grow up, but Kabelo struggles to come out to his community, which is in the grips of an increasingly urgent AIDS crisis. 

When you can read it: Aug. 24, 2018

French Exit by Patrick deWitt

Patrick deWitt's latest novel is French Exit. (Danny Palmerlee, House of Anansi Press)

What it's about: Frances Tart is a wealthy widow living in New York, dealing with scandals, near bankruptcy, her useless adult son and her cat, which she believes is her late husband. Frances decides to leave everything behind and start over in Paris, but nothing goes according to plan. Patrick deWitt is also the author of The Sisters Brothers.

When you can read it: Aug. 28, 2018

Beirut Hellfire Society by Rawi Hage

Rawi Hage is the author of Beirut Hellfire Society. (Babak Salari/Knopf Canada)

What it's about: From the author of De Niro's Game and Cockroach comes the story of a secret society that gives proper burials to those who were denied them for reasons such as being an atheist or being gay. Pavlov, a 20-year-old undertaker, joins the society after his father's death and what unfolds is an examination of what it's like to live through war, and what it's like to face death.

When you can read it: Aug. 28, 2018

Something for Everyone by Lisa Moore

Something for Everyone is a short story collection by Lisa Moore. (Heather Barrett, House of Anansi Press)

What it's about: Lisa Moore is one of Canada's most accomplished fiction writers. Her novels include February — which won Canada Reads 2013 — Caught and Alligator. Something for Everyone is her third short story collection, which showcases an eclectic array of stories.

When you can read it: Sept. 4, 2018

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black is a novel by Esi Edugyan. (Patrick Crean Editions, Tamara Poppitt)

What it's about: Washington Black tells the story of 11-year-old Washington Black, a slave on a Barbados sugar plantation. His master is Englishman Christopher Wilde, who is obsessed with developing a machine that can fly. The two develop a bond, but when a man is killed, Wilde must choose between his family and saving Washington's life — and the choice results in an unforgettable adventure around the world. The novel is already longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize.

When you can read it: Sept. 4, 2018

Machine Without Horses by Helen Humphreys

Machine Without Horses is a novel by Helen Humphreys. (HarperSollins Canada)

What it's about: Helen Humphreys' latest novel is inspired by the true story of Megan Boyd, a British salmon-fly dresser who received the British Empire Medal in 1971. Boyd was famously very private and Humphreys imagines her personal life, which was spent in a tiny cottage in a remote Scottish village. 

When you can read it: Sept. 4, 2018

Dear Evelyn by Kathy Page

Kathy Page's latest book is the novel Dear Evelyn. (Biblioasis, Billie Woods)

What it's about: Dear Evelyn is the story of a marriage. Evelyn and Harry have been married for 70 years, but despite decades, they still don't seem to make sense as a couple. Or do they? This novel covers the course of their relationship, from marrying just as the Second World War begins, through to their last years together.

When you can read it: Sept. 4, 2018

The Death and Life of Strother Purcell by Ian Weir

Ian Weir is the author of The Life and Death of Strother Purcell. (Goose Lane)

What it's about: Famed lawman Strother Purcell disappeared in 1876 when he pursued his outlaw half-brother into a vicious storm on the B.C. mountains. Purcell turns up 16 years later, much worse for the wear, in a San Francisco jail. He's visited by Barrington Weaver, a failed journalist, who wants to write Purcell's story.

When you can read it: Sept. 4, 2018

Theory by Dionne Brand

Dionne Brand is a poet and novelist. Her most recent novel is Theory. (Jason Chow, Knopf Canada)

What it's about: The unnamed narrator of Theory is constructing all-encompassing thesis on the past, present and future of art, culture, race, gender, class and politics. Their dissertation is inevitably impacted by three passionate love affairs, one following the other, which each re-shape and reorient the narrator's life and work.

When you can read it: Sept. 18, 2018

Original Prin by Randy Boyagoda

Randy Boyagoda is the author of Original Prin. (Biblioasis/Chris Donovan)

What it's about: Prin, a 40-year-old Toronto academic, is hit with two life-changing events in quick succession. First, he's diagnosed with cancer, which prompts him to change his ways and focus on being a devoted husband, father, son and Catholic. Second, Prin hears the voice of God after running into his attractive former lover, and the two end up on a quest in the Middle East to save his soul.

When you can read it: Sept. 25, 2018

Trickster Drift by Eden Robinson

Trickster Drift is the second book in Eden Robinson's Trickster trilogy. (Laughing Red Works, Knopf Canada)

What it's about: The second book in Eden Robinson's Trickster trilogy returns to Jared at age 17, living in Vancouver with his formerly estranged Aunt Mave. Jared has been sober for a year in attempts to keep magic out of his life — but as the son of a Trickster and a witch, this proves nearly impossible. Things take a turn for the harrowing when David, his mom's violent ex-boyfriend, starts stalking him around the city.

When you can read it: Oct. 2, 2018

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

A composite photo of a book cover, featuring a snowed in car in a field, and the book's author, a 40something man with two long braids.
Moon of the Crusted Snow is a book by Waubgeshig Rice. (ECW Press)

What it's about: A northern Anishinaabe community loses power just as winter arrives, burying roads and creating panic as the food supply slowly runs out. Newcomers begin to arrive on the reserve, escaping a nearby crisis, and tension builds as disease begins taking lives. As chaos takes hold, a small group turns to the land and Anishinaabe tradition to start rebuilding and restoring harmony. Moon of the Crusted Snow is Waubgeshig Rice's second novel. Rice is also the host of the CBC Radio show Up North.

When you can read it: Oct. 2, 2018

Smells Like Stars by D. Nandi Odhiambo

D. Nandi Odhiambo is the author of Smells Like Stars. (Book*Hug/Carmen Nolte-Odhiambo)

What it's about: Journalist Kerstin Ostheim and photographer P.J. Banner met on a dating website and, after a whirlwind romance of six months, decide to get married. But while investigating a series of horse murders in Ogweyo's Cove, a tourist town and their home, the two begin to question their relationship. Simultaneously, Kerstin's daughter Schuld, a transgender artist, is recovering from a physical assault and working through issues with her boyfriend Woloff, an Olympic medallist dealing with a career-ending injury.

When you can read it: Oct. 8, 2018

Tilly and the Crazy Eights by Monique Gray Smith

Tilly and the Crazy Eights is a novel by Monique Gray Smith. (Centric Photography, Second Story Press)

What it's about: Tilly impulsively agrees to drive eight elders on a life-changing road trip to Albuquerque for the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow. The eight elders, who call themselves the Crazy Eights, each choose a stop on the way to check something off on their bucket list. Each new place unearths old stories and offers healing to ancient scars.

When you can read it: Oct. 9 , 2018

Half Spent Was the Night by Ami McKay

Half Spent Was the Night is the latest novel by Ami McKay. (Ian McKay/Knopf Canada)

What it's about: Three witches of New York gather in the nights between Christmas and New Year's to roast chestnuts and read their fates. One night, invitations to a New Year's Eve masquerade from a woman they've never met arrive on their doorstep. The three witches attend the ball under a cloud of suspicion, uncertain whether the invitation is welcome or sinister.

When you can read it: Oct. 16, 2018

The Grimoire of Kensington Market by Lauren B. Davis

Lauren B. Davis is the author The Grimoire of Kensington Market. (Wolsak & Wynn/Helen Tansey at Sundari Photography)

What it's about: Toronto is in the grips of a drug called Elysium, which sends its users past the edges of the world. Recovering addict Maggie is the proprietor of a magical bookstore called The Grimoire and one day begins to receive notes that say simply "follow me." Maggie comes to realize that the notes are from her brother Kyle, whose Elysium addiction has taken him deep into the Silver World.

When you can read it: Oct. 16, 2018

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

Louise Penny's latest mystery is Kingdom of the Blind. (Raincoast Books, Jean-Francois Berube)

What it's about: Armand Gamache, former head of the Sûreté du Québec, has a new mystery on his hands. An elderly woman he's never met before has named him one of the executors of her will and the contents are extremely strange, eventually leading to the shocking discovery of a dead body. Meanwhile, an internal investigation into the events that led to Armand's suspension is underway and deadly opioids threaten to hit the streets of Montreal.

When you can read it: Nov. 27, 2018

Agency by William Gibson

William Gibson is the author of several sci-fi novels, the most recent being Agency. (AP Photo, G.P.Putnam's Sons, Michael O'Shea/Berkley)

What it's about: Bestselling sci-fi writer William Gibson tells the story of a talented "app whisperer" in his latest novel. Hired to beta test a secretive new product, the app whisperer discovers her new digital assistant is more sinister than meets the eye.

When you can read it: Dec. 25, 2018