Every Tuesday afternoon, Torontoist rounds up the city’s literary news, including book deals, events, local sales, author happenings, and insider information from the book industry.
Last Wednesday evening Gil Adamson beat out great writers such as David Chariandy and Andrew Wedderburn to be awarded the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award at the Drake Hotel. While her win is little surprise to anyone (her novel The Outlander has been collecting awards across the country and the world), what was controversial was the current status of one of the award’s sponsors. According to the Globe and Mail, “Books in Canada (BiC) has ceased publication. In fact, the magazine, founded in 1971 to review all genres of Canadian publishing, has not produced an issue since its January-February number this year, and now its proprietor is saying he has no intention of reviving it as a print publication.” Of course literary magazines rise and fall all the time, but the interesting detail in this story is that Books in Canada had failed to tell its funders. Of particular note is the Canada Council, who had, according to the Globe and Mail, been operating under the assumption that the mag could provide all the print issues they had received funding for. Publisher Adrian Stein is reported as stating he has no plans to revive BiC in print, and although there’s been some talk of switching to a digital publication, their current web page comes up as “under construction.”
In another surprising piece of news this week, Pages Books and Magazines, beloved indie fixture in the creeping gentrification that is Queen West, may be forced from its home due to rising rents. The Globe and Mail reports that when their ten-year lease is up (on March 1) the store, which has been at its current location since 1979, will see their rent almost double. (The Globe actually incorrectly reports their current rent at $150,000 a month, whereas that figure is actually reflective of a year of payments.) This is not the first time a much-loved indie bookstore has been driven out of a neighbourhood because of financial pressures; after twenty-two years on Church Street This Ain’t the Rosedale Library packed up and moved to Kensington market, citing rising rent and a proximity to Indigo as the culprit. It’s not clear at this point what will happen to Pages. Proprietor Marc Glassman says that he’s known this was coming and has been on the hunt for a new location for a year, but nothing has seemed quite right for the historical indie-lit landmark.
The Giller Prize shortlist was announced this morning and Rawi Hage, Mary Swan, and Joseph Boyden are on it. You can read the full list of shortlisted authors and peruse reviews of all the books here. The winner of the $50,000 prize will be announced at a televised gala event on November 11—just the kind of thing Stephen Harper and “ordinary people” dislike.
And finally, if you’re looking for something to do this week, the obvious pick is Thursday night’s Coach House Books launch at Parkdale’s Stones Place (1255 Queen Street West). Featuring readings by Mike Hoolboom (The Steve Machine), Michael Blouin (Chase & Haven), and Margaret Christakos (What Stirs), the launch is a chance to pick up all of their fresh fall releases and have a wicked good time while you’re at it. Things kick off at 8 p.m.
Photo of Dave Bidini playing in the window of Pages by Miles Storey/Torontoist.