Books·Spring Book Preview

28 works of Canadian fiction to watch for in spring 2019

A new year means new books! Here are the Canadian novels and short story collections we can't wait to read.

A new year means new books! Here are 28 works of Canadian fiction we can't wait to read in 2019.

Reproduction by Ian Williams

Ian Williams is the author of Reproduction. (Doubleday Canada, Paul Joseph)

When Felicia and her teenage son Army move into a basement apartment, they bond with the house's owner and his two children. But strange gifts from Army's wealthy, absent father begin to arrive at their doorstep, inviting new tensions into the makeshift family's lives. Reproduction is Ian Williams's debut novel, following his Griffin Poetry Prize-nominated poetry collection Personals and award-winning short fiction collection Not Anyone's Anything.

When you can read it: Jan. 22, 2019

A Matter of Malice by Thomas King

A Matter of Malice is a mystery novel by Thomas King. (Trina Koster, HarperCollins Canada)

Trudy Samuels's death was ruled accidental, but Nina Maslow, the producer of a true-crime television show, is determined to prove otherwise. After ex-cop Thumps DreadfulWater declines her request for help, Maslow ends up dead in the exact same way as Samuels. The coincidence prompts Thumps to take on the case. A Matter of Malice is the fourth book in Thomas King's popular DreadfulWater mystery series. King is also the author of the novels The Back of the Turtle and Green Grass, Running Water as well as the memoir The Inconvenient Indian.

When you can read it: Jan. 29, 2019

Divided Loyalties by Nilofar Shidmehr

Divided Loyalties is a short story collection by Nilofar Shidmehr. (House of Anansi Press)

Divided Loyalties is a collection of stories about the diverse lives of Iranian women through the past several decades and across Iran and Canada. Shidmehr's stories follow young girls and women as they look beyond their designated roles as mothers, daughters, sisters and wives in times of war, refuge and reflection. Divided Loyalties is poet and essayist Nilofar Shidmehr's debut collection of short fiction.

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When you can read it: Feb. 5, 2019

The Matchmaker's List by Sonya Lalli

The Matchmaker's List is a novel by Sonya Lalli. (Penguin Random House Canada, Ning Joanis)

Caving to family pressure, Raina Anand has reluctantly consented to let her grandmother play matchmaker. Anand endures a series of terrible blind dates with "suitable" bachelors, all the while hatching a plan to thwart her tight-knit family's plans. A romantic comedy, The Matchmaker's List is Sonya Lalli's first book.

When you can read it: Feb. 5, 2019

A Deadly Divide by Ausma Zehanat Khan

A Deadly Divide is a novel by Ausma Zehanat Khan. (Alan Klehr, Raincoast Books)

Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty are sent to Quebec where a community is reeling in the aftermath of a mass shooting at a mosque. Fuelling tensions is the arrest of a young Muslim man who was reported to be assisting the wounded, while a priest found holding a weapon was let go. A Deadly Divide is the fifth book in Ausma Zehanat Khan's Getty and Khattak mystery series.

When you can read it: Feb. 12, 2019

Days by Moonlight by André Alexis

Days by Moonlight is a novel by André Alexis. (Coach House Books)

Nearly a year after his parents' death, botanist Alfred Homer agrees to go on a research road trip with Professor Morgan Bruno, an old family friend. As the sun sets, the two depart in search of an obscure, possibly dead poet named John Skennen and encounter a host of oddities in the gothic underworld of southern Ontario. Days by Moonlight is the fourth book in André Alexis's acclaimed quincunx, which includes the Scotiabank Giller Prize and Canada Reads winner Fifteen Dogs.

When you can read it: Feb. 19, 2019

The Homecoming by Andrew Pyper

The Homecoming is a novel by Andrew Pyper. (Simon & Schuster Canada, Heidi Pyper)

When the Quinlan family gathers at a vast rainforest property for the reading of their patriarch's will, they discover that in order to receive their inheritance, they must isolate themselves at the estate for 30 days. In the month that follows, chilling family secrets emerge about their father's true intentions. Andrew Pyper is a bestselling horror writer, whose books include The Only Child, The Demonologist and The Killing Circle.

When you can read it: Feb. 26, 2019

The Walking Boy by Lydia Kwa

The Walking Boy is a novel by Lydia Kwa. (, Arsenal Pulp Press)

In 8th-century China, a dying hermit named Harelip sends his disciple Baoshi on a quest to find his former lover Ardhanari. Burdened with a secret only his Master knows about, Baoshi sets off on a long pilgrimage and encounters a series of characters that help ease pains of the past. Lydia Kwa's previous books include the novel Oracle Bone and poetry collection sinuous.

When you can read it: March 1, 2019

Immigrant City by David Bezmozgis

Immigrant City is a short story collection by David Bezmozgis. (HarperCollins Canada)

In the stories of Immigrant City, a wannabe boxer finds work as a security guard in the Toronto suburbs, a father and daughter end up in a strange rendition of his immigrant childhood and a young man unwittingly makes contact with the underworld. A past Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist, David Bezmozgis's previous books, Natasha and Other Stories and The Betrayers, were hits with critics and readers.

When you can read it: March 12, 2019

The Forbidden Purple City by Philip Huynh

The Forbidden Purple City is a short story collection by Philip Huynh. (Goose Lane)

Philip Huynh's short fiction collection dives into the Vietnamese diaspora, following the burgeoning bond of private school outcasts, the discovery of a father's terrible secret and the isolation of a young bride on a distant island, among other stories. The Forbidden Purple City is B.C. lawyer Philip Huynh's debut collection.

When you can read it: Mar. 12, 2019

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow

Radicalized is a book by Cory Doctorow. (Raincoast, Jonathan Worth)

Radicalized is a collection of four novellas that explore the quandaries — social, economic and technological — of contemporary America. Doctorow's characters deal with issues around immigration, as well as corrupt police forces, dark web uprisings and more. Doctorow is a bestselling sci-fi novelist whose past books include Little Brother and Walkaway.

When you can read it: Mar. 19, 2019

Guestbook by Leanne Shapton

Guest Book is a book by Leanne Shapton. (Robbie Lawrence/Penguin Random House Canada)

Guestbook collects over two dozen short stories, vignettes and images from visual artist Leanne Shapton, who explores the uncanny experience of being haunted. Her characters include a tennis player who attributes his successes to an invisible entity, ghosts who visit their old beds and a woman who leaves Alcatraz with a peculiar feeling. Shapton's previous books include the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award winner Swimming Studies.

When you can read it: March 26, 2019

Crow by Amy Spurway

The Crow is a novel by Amy Spurway. (Alex Pearson/Goose Lane)

When Stacey "Crow" Fortune is handed a death sentence in the form of three inoperable brain tumours, she moves out of Toronto and into her mother's Cape Breton trailer. Back home, Crow decides to write a no-holds-barred tell-all of her notorious family and the supposed curse they are rumoured to be afflicted with. Crow marks Dartmouth, N.S., writer Amy Spurway's debut.

When you can read it: March 26, 2019

Shut Up, You're Pretty by Téa Mutonji

Shut Up You're Pretty is a book by Téa Mutonji. (Arsenal Pulp Press, Sandro Pehar)

Shut Up, You're Pretty is a short fiction collection that tells stories of young women coming of age in the 21st century. Téa Mutonji's characters include a young woman who shaves her head in an abortion clinic waiting room, a mother and daughter who bond over fish and a teenager seeking happiness with her pack of cigarettes. Shut Up, You're Pretty is Mutonji's first short story collection.

When you can read it: April 1, 2019

Fatboy Fall Down by Rabindranath Maharaj

Fatboy Fall Down is a novel by Rabindranath Maharaj. (ECW Press)

Over the course of his life, Orbit seems only to be a source of disappointment to those he loves. Though haunted by past traumas, Orbit seeks his place in a world that has shown him cruelty. Rabindranath Maharaj is an award-winning novelist from Ajax, Ont. whose books include The Amazing Absorbing Boy and Adjacentland.

When you can read it: April 9, 2019

Moccasin Square Gardens by Richard Van Camp

Richard Van Camp is fiction writer and a member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation from Fort Smith, N.W.T., Canada. (Laughing Dog Photography)

Moccasin Square Gardens is a collection of humorous short fiction set in Denendeh, the land of the people north of the 60th parallel. Richard Van Camp's stories involve extraterrestrials, illegal wrestling moves and the legendary Wheetago, human-eating monsters who have come to punish the greed of humanity. Van Camp is a prolific novelist, comic writer and children's book writer whose work includes The Lesser Blessed, A Blanket of Butterflies and Little You.

When you can read it: April 27, 2019

The Waiting Hours by Shandi Mitchell

The Waiting Hours is a novel by Shandi Mitchell. (Becky Parsons/Penguin Random House Canada)

Kate, a trauma nurse, Mike, a police officer, and Tamara, a 911 dispatcher, spend their days saving the lives of strangers, but the trauma of what they witness can be a burden. When a hurricane brews and threatens their city, each has a crucial decision to make. Shandi Mitchell is a Nova Scotian filmmaker and writer whose previous work includes the novel This Unbroken Sky.

When you can read it: April 30, 2019

Children of the Moon by Anthony De Sa

Anthony De Sa is the author of Children of the Moon. (Laura Bombier, Doubleday Canada)

Pó, born with albinism, is considered a curse among her community in Tanzania. Ezequiel, an adoptee of Portuguese missionaries, is an outcast among both his father's people and his mother's Makonde tribe. As civil war erupts, Pó and Ezequiel find each other. Anthony De Sa is a past Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist whose previous books include Kicking the Sky and Barnacle Love.

When you can read it: May 7, 2019

26 Knots by Bindu Suresh

26 Knots is a novel by Bindu Suresh. (Invisible Publishing)

26 Knots weaves a complicated love story: Araceli falls for a fellow journalist named Adrien, who is already in love with Pénélope, who can't decide between him and Gabriel, who is too traumatized by his father's abandonment to be a good partner. The book is Montreal pediatrician Bindu Suresh's debut novel.

When you can read it: May 11, 2019

A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay

A Brightness Long Ago is a novel by Guy Gavriel Kay. (CBC)

As the son of a humble tailor, Danio Cerra rose through the ranks of society with his incredible intelligence. He's unhappily employed at the court of a count whose nickname is 'the Beast,' but fate throws him a bone in the form of Adria Ripoli, an assassin who traded her family's wealth for freedom. Guy Gavriel Kay is a bestselling sci-fi and fantasy novelist, whose work includes Tigana and Children of Earth and Sky.

When you can read it: May 14, 2019

I Become a Delight to My Enemies by Sara Peters

I Become a Delight to My Enemies is a work of experimental fiction by Sara Peters. (Strange Light/Anna Malla)

I Become a Delight to My Enemies is a work of experimental fiction, combining poetry and prose vignettes to depict the tortured lives of women and girls who live in a place called The Town. Sara Peters's cast of female narrators take turns telling stories of cruelty, shame, resistance and transcendence. Peters, who is based in Toronto, has contributed to publications like Slate and The Threepenny Review and previously published the poetry collection 1996.

When you can read it: May 14, 2019

Bina: A Novel in Warnings by Anakana Schofield

Bina is a novel by Anakana Schofield. (Arabella Campbell, Knopf Canada)

Bina, a woman at her wit's end, records her story on the backs of old envelopes. Her main subject is that of a tumultuous lifelong friendship, one filled with drama, trauma, love and joy. Anakana Schofield is the author of the Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Martin John and First Novel Award winner Malarky.

When you can read it: May 14, 2019

Every Little Piece of Me by Amy Jones

Every Little Piece of Me is a novel by Amy Jones. (Ali Eisner, McClelland & Stewart)

Every Little Piece of Me revolves around the friendship of two women, Ava and Mags, whose every humiliation is tabloid fodder. Ava grew up on a hit reality television show where her big city family runs a small town B&B. Mags, on the other hand, is the lead singer of a troubled Halifax rock group. Every Little Piece of Me is Amy Jones's sophomore novel, following the national bestseller We're All in This Together. Jones won the CBC Short Story Prize in 2006.

When you can read it: June 4, 2019

Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta

Frying Plantain is a short story collection by Zalika Reid-Benta. (House of Anansi Press)

Frying Plantain follows Kara Davis through elementary school to her high school graduation, as she comes of age while being perennially caught between her Canadian nationality and Jamaican heritage. Over a series of 12 stories, Davis visits her great aunt in Jamaica, endures a cruel prank by close friends and deals with her stubborn grandparents. Frying Plantain is Zalika Reid-Benta's first book.

When you can read it: June 4, 2019

Proof I Was Here by Becky Blake

Proof I Was Here is a novel by Becky Blake. (Wolsak & Wynn)

After being charged with assault, Niki flees Toronto for Barcelona where she begins to reinvent her life. Niki, a thief who dreams of becoming an artist, is inspired by the passion of Catalan separatist and decides to try to clear her name back home. Becky Blake has twice won a CBC Literary Prize and Proof I Was Here is her debut novel.

When you can read it: June 4, 2019

Dual Citizens by Alix Ohlin

Dual Citizens is a novel by Alix Ohlin. (House of Anansi Press)

Lark Brossard is a supporting character in the lives of her artistically talented loved ones: her sister Robin is a wild and brilliant pianist, while her sometime lover Lawrence is a famous filmmaker. When Lawrence tells her he doesn't want children, Lark re-examines her life and takes control of her story. Alix Ohlin is a Vancouver-based writer whose novel Inside was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

When you can read it: June 4, 2019

Bunny by Mona Awad

Bunny is a novel by Mona Awad. (Hamish Hamilton, Brigitte Lacombe)

Scholarship student Samantha Heather Mackey feels like an outsider at her elite university, especially when it comes to her fiction writing class. That's where she first encounters the Bunnies, a comically tight-knit group of annoying rich girls who invite Samantha to their exclusive "Smut Salon." Against her better judgement, Samantha is drawn into the Bunnies' orbit. Bunny is Mona Awad's sophomore book, following the Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl.

When you can read it: June 11, 2019

Aria by Nazanine Hozar

Aria is a novel by Nazanine Hozar. (Tenille Campbell, Penguin Random House Canada)

Aria is the story of a young orphan girl, growing up in the midst of the mounting dissent that preceded the Iranian revolution. Discovered on the side of the road by a soldier, Aria is shaped by three very different women as she grows up, falls in love and becomes a mother. Aria is B.C. writer Nazanine Hozar's debut novel.

When you can read it: June 25, 2019