In the weekly Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week, the Montreal bookstore recommends several new works of fiction, art books, periodicals, and comics.
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly is one of Montreal’s premiere independent bookstores.
King of King Court by Travis Dandro
King of King Court is a detailed and moving graphic memoir. The book tells the story of Travis Dandro’s life as it intersected with his biological father, Dad Dave, in early childhood and then again as a young teen. Dandro’s art is both bold and tender. The book teems with innovative paneling and intricate textures. The text frequently gives way to expansive images that flicker and intensify just like old memories. The many wordless scenes allow the narrative to wander seamlessly amongst dreams, flashbacks, and traumatic incidents.
While the subject matter of the book is quite heavy, with several scenes portraying suicide, addiction, and familial violence, Dandro traverses these subjects with compassion and complexity. It’s particularly impressive how Dandro is able to balance honouring the intensity of teenage emotions with regard for the struggles of the adults in his life who inflicted harm despite their best intentions. An insightful memoir bound to linger with readers.
How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
National Book Award winner Ibram X. Kendi is back with How To Be An Antiracist, a book that identifies, describes, and looks to dismantle racism. Kendi explores basic concepts and large ideas and looks at the history and persuasive nature of all forms of racism. Kendi includes his personal story as well as historic events and legal, scientific concepts in this comprehensive exploration of how to combat racism.
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, trans. Antonia Lloyd-Jones
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is the most recent book from Olga Tokarczuk, winner of the Man Booker International prize in 2018 for Flights, and one of Poland’s most important contemporary writers. This book follows the chronically ill Janina Duszejko during a winter in Poland in which a number of people have been murdered. This philosophical book explores questions of free will, hierarchy, and social rules. It is also a dark comedy, a noir mystery, and tribute of sorts to William Blake. Fitting that this book—translated from the Polish— is published during Women in Translation Month.
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa trans. Stephen Snyder
The protagonist of The Memory Police lives on an island where items keep disappearing while the population does not seem to notice. Thought Police run the society, and as items such as birds and roses are destroyed, all associations with these items die also. As a writer, the main character learns her editor faces the threat of disappearance and attempts to save both her editor and her writing. A dystopian, orwellian thriller from this celebrated author, the recipient of every major Japanese literary prize. This book would be a(nother) great pick as a Women in Translation Month book!
The Remainder by Alia Trabbucco Zerán, trans. Sophie Hughes
Both a road trip and a countdown, Zerán’s first novel in English tells the story of three friends who find themselves travelling together in search of a missing body. The novel, set in the wake of Pinochet’s dictatorship, is fast-paced and gripping. One of the standout features of this book is Zerán’s use of the parenthetical, with both chapters and interludes appearing within parentheses. Shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize, and an excellent Women In Translation Month read.
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:
also at Largehearted Boy:
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly new comics and graphic novel highlights)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
guest book reviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)