Anvil Press

Contemporary Canadian Literature with a Distinctly Urban Twist


newest releases

Books

The Dreamlife of Bridges by Robert Strandquist

The Dreamlife of Bridges

By Robert Strandquist

The Dreamlife of Bridges is the debut novel from Vancouver writer Robert Strandquist. Leo is a middle-aged, divorced handyman capable of mending almost anything outside of himself. The denial of his son’s death, and his inability to deal with his own pain, has rendered his life fractured and untenable. June is a single mom struggling in the bottleneck of poverty, fighting to retain custody of her son. From their precarious vantage points they behold a world of human frailty and tenuous beauty, a place where the damaged victims of a cruel epoch might be made whole again.

ISBN 1895636469
5.5 x 8.5 | 216 pp
18.00 CAN / 13.00 US
Rights available:  World

ANVIL PRESS BOOKSTORE
Payments processed by PayPal

Canadian Customers
CDN 18.00

US Customers
US 13.00

Rest of the World Customers
US 13.00

 

Dry Shave by Rod Filbrandt

Dry Shave

By Rod Filbrandt

If you like your comic strip characters cute and cuddly, you’ll hate Dry Shave. Dry Shave cracks open a hardboiled world of laconic lowlifes, pugnacious palookas, shiftless grifters and demented dames—with a tip of the pork-pie hat to Robert Mitchum. As featured in Vancouver’s The Georgia Straight and Toronto’s eye weekly magazine, Rod Filbrandt’s wacky cast of noir characters is brought together in his first collected edition.

ISBN 1895636213
5.5 x 6.75 | 120 pp
12.95 CAN / 10.95 US
Rights available:  World

ANVIL PRESS BOOKSTORE
Payments processed by PayPal

Canadian Customers
CDN 12.95

US Customers
US 10.95

Rest of the World Customers
US 10.95

 

Cover for Elysium

Elysium

By Pamela Stewart

Pamela Stewart is a self-described “literary proctologist,” and her writing often looks into places that people generally don’t want to look. The stories in Elysium are about the difficulties of life we all encounter as human beings, the fragility of life—the physical, mental, and spiritual challenges we must try to overcome. They are about ordinary people, characters searching for meaning. People are rescued, but not always in the way they hoped for or expected. Stewart’s work is character-driven and empathetic.

Pamela Stewart spent twenty years as a private investigator, which gave her a special insight into human behaviour. “Because I spent so many years alone in a car watching people, my perspective on people is a bit different. I would watch someone for three or so days in a row, and in that time get a capsule version of their life; but it was skewed because I was part of their life, yet not part. They didn’t know I was in it,” she says. “Writing about people is kind of like that too.”

ISBN 1895636914
5.5 x 8 | 208
18.00 CAN / 18.00 US
Rights available:  World

ANVIL PRESS BOOKSTORE
Payments processed by PayPal

Canadian Customers
CDN 18.00

US Customers
US 18.00

Rest of the World Customers
US 18.00

 

cover for Encyclopedia of Lies

The Encyclopedia of Lies

By Christopher Gudgeon


In these sixteen stories, Christopher Gudgeon – bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Song of Kosovo – takes a heartbreaking and hilarious look into the lives, loves, sexual obsessions and delusions that inform a grand cast of off-kilter characters.


Here is a gay couple who persevere with their marriage plans as the world – literally – crumbles around them, a woman who discovers the mysterious collection of letters that reveals a terrifying truth about her deceased finance, a dutiful son, locked in an life-or-death marathon race with his famous father, and a baby who becomes infested with fruit flies – sending his adoptive parents into a spiral of recrimination and self-doubt.


At once bitterly funny, provocative and poignant, this remarkable collection – follow up to Greeting from the Vodka Sea, Gudgeon’s short story debut – The Encyclopedia of Lies builds on his growing literary reputation, offering up the work of a great storyteller at his very best.


PRAISE FOR CHRIS GUDGEON’S PREVIOUS FICTION:


“Gudgeon is . . . a major new talent in Canadian literature.”
— Quill and Quire on Greetings from the Vodka Sea


“a remarkable first novel.”
— Victoria Times-Colonist on Song of Kosovo

ISBN 978-1-77214-075-0
5 x 8.5 | 212 pp
$20 CAN / $20 US
Rights available:  World

ANVIL PRESS BOOKSTORE
Payments processed by PayPal

Canadian Customers
CDN $20

US Customers
US $20

Rest of the World Customers
US $20

 

cover for Escape from

Escape from Wreck City

By John Creary


This debut collection features poems about nature, poems about love and relationships, poems about living in the city, and poems about traveling the globe. And all at once they capture the thrill of being fully engaged with the world, keenly observing each moment and event that constitutes being human. Whether it’s following the “wounded insomniac” through the “desert lushness of sage and creosote” or hot lovers who “flicker bareback beneath the full moon, panting” or drifting, moribund couples on empty streets moving like “dead meat or heavy traffic” under leaves of an “electric yellow” Creary’s language is potent, lush, playful, witty, and demanding of attention.


Sharp with insights that cut to the core of the matter, the poems in Escape from Wreck City – like the people who inhabit them – are ecstatically alive.


PRAISE FOR
ESCAPE FROM WRECK CITY


“John Creary doesn’t seem to have a slower gear or a dimmer switch. If he’s driving it is full speed and right off the end of the cliff if necessary, with the lights on high beam, of course. … But man oh man oh man this Creary cat is one silver-tongued flim-flam trapeze high-flying crazy Wallenda carnie-barker. There’s as much entertainment in almost any poem you choose from Escape from Wreck City to keep the lights burning in a modestly sized town.”
— Today’s Book of Poetry, blog


“John Creary’s poems growl, roar, whisper, chortle, purr and shout. He’s a writer stoned on words, constantly surprised by what they can and can’t do. Language’s energy—clean, dirty, pulsing, spiking, minimalist—vibrates through Escape from Wreck City.”
TOM WAYMAN, author of The Order in Which We Do Things

ISBN 978-1-77214-096-5
5.5 x 8.25 | 96 pp.
$18 CAN / $18 US
Rights available:  World

ANVIL PRESS BOOKSTORE
Payments processed by PayPal

Canadian Customers
CDN $18

US Customers
US $18

Rest of the World Customers
US $18

 

Cover for Everything Rustles

Everything Rustles

By Jane Silcott


FINALIST, HUBERT EVANS NON-FICTION PRIZE (BC BOOK PRIZES)


In this debut collection of personal essays, Silcott looks at the tangle of midlife, the long look back, the shorter look forward, and the moments right now that shimmer and rustle around her. Here is love, grief, uncertainty, longing, joy, desire, fury, and fear. Also wandering bears, marauding llamas, light and laundry rooms.


“Jane Silcott writes crisp and compelling narratives; as their import emerges, small epiphanies wink into consciousness, and we are taken up into everyday life. Reading this collection of her work we glimpse layers of the real that seem so often to conceal the world from us. A wonderful book, a book of wonders.”
— Stephen Osborne, Publisher, Geist Magazine


“Reading ‘Fish,’ I was so deeply brought back to my own subdued memories of losing my mother, that I felt in Jane the presence of a found sister. For me, these essays are about what we once were, about ageing itself, about the solidity of those we love and the porousness of who we are. They are searching, self-deprecating, celebratory and sorrowful, and they rustle with wondrous detail and brave observation.”
— Madeleine Thien, author of Dogs at the Perimeter


“Jane Silcott is the kind of writer we discover and then immediately wonder where she has been all our lives. Her work is fearless, honest, and every sentence is edged like a gem. Her insight and intelligence locate human grace in the midst of even the most difficult of subjects. She is a writer to put your faith in.”
— Curtis Gillespie, Editor, Eighteen Bridges


“Read these wonderful essays slowly; savour their lively intelligence, their thoughtfulness, their cheek. Silcott takes the personal essay right back to its most productive origins and purpose: to explore (essayer) our world’s mysteries with amazement and humility.”
— Andreas Schroeder, author of Renovating Heaven

ISBN 978-1-927380-41-3
5.5 x 8 | 192 pp
$18 CAN / $18 US
Rights available:  World

ANVIL PRESS BOOKSTORE
Payments processed by PayPal

Canadian Customers
CDN $18

US Customers
US $18

Rest of the World Customers
US $18

 

Exact Fare Only: Good, Bad and Ugly Rides on Public Transit edited by Grant Buday

Exact Fare Only : Good, Bad and Ugly Rides on Public Transit

By Grant Buday

We’ve all had good, bad, and sometimes ugly experiences on public transit. Exact Fare Only is an anthology of real life stories about heading out, heading back, and everything that happened in between, whether the trip was across the country or just across town.

ISBN 1895636299
5 x 8 | 176 pp
15.95 CAN / 15.95 US
Rights available:  World

ANVIL PRESS BOOKSTORE
Payments processed by PayPal

Canadian Customers
CDN 15.95

US Customers
US 15.95

Rest of the World Customers
US 15.95

 

Cover for Exact Fare 2

Exact Fare Only II: Good, Bad and Ugly Trips on Public Transit

By Ian Cockfield

Back with more, Exact Fare Only 2 is the follow-up collection of the weird, the wild and the wonderful of commuter literature. Whether by land, sea or air, public transit around the world says more about the human condition than many want to admit. These real-life tales, reflections, poems, and rants are required reading for commuters everywhere. Join Teresa McWhirter as she gets propositioned on a cross-country Greyhound, Matthew Firth accidentally witnessing a midnight exchange of essential services, Scott Gunning encountering compassion on a third-class bus in southern India, Catherine McNeil who misses her ride and discovers the cost of a stranger’s kindness, and follow ten years of Patricia Rutale’s life as a TTC rider negotiating urban legends, prejudice, come-ons and bright-eyed awe.

ISBN 1895636558
5 x 8 | 180 pp
18.00 CAN / 13.00 US
Rights available:  World

ANVIL PRESS BOOKSTORE
Payments processed by PayPal

Canadian Customers
CDN 18.00

US Customers
US 13.00

Rest of the World Customers
US 13.00

 

Cover for Exit

Exit

By Nelly Arcan (translated by David Scott Hamilton)

Governor General’s Award Finalist!
The Globe 100: The very best of 2011

Somewhere in Montreal, in the not too distant future, an obscure company offers custom-designed suicides for its clients with one condition: their desire to die must be pure and absolute. Antoinette Beauchamp is a successful candidate but her suicide is not. Now a bedridden paraplegic, hooked up to machines that monitor all her bodily functions, she tells her story, taking the reader into the Kafkaesque world of the company and its bewildering cast of characters.

Exit is at once a profound examination of what it is that drives someone to want to end their life, as well as how that urge can be turned on its head against all odds. Written with her signature brio and acerbic wit, Nelly Arcan’s last novel is a hymn to life.

Praise for Exit:

“Top 10 Book of 2011”
Shelf Unbound

“a compelling crawl through the claustro confines of depression and sweeping suicidal desire … Dark, beautiful, poignant and clever, Arcan’s Exit is a powerful read.”
—Lisa Foad, The Globe & Mail

“This book plucked the brain from my skull and punted it through the uprights of remembering what writing can be like when a true artist unleashes her talent, passion and fearlessness in a book. No false compromises here. No half-steps. Just a rigorous exercise in ethics and contemporary morals wrapped in humour, helplessness and the absurd. For a book about suicide the writing is tight, energetic, rigorous … This book will be on my best of the year list.”
—Sean Cranbury, Books on the Radio

“…a remarkable and stunning must-read addition to this year’s crop of English CanLit … It is dark, bleak, shocking and ceaselessly gripping.”
—Mike Landry, The Telegraph-Journal

“Arcan liberates us from the accepted norms and conventions with this courageous and profound novel. She does all this while bathing the reader in scatalogical vulgarity, which leaves neither pretense nor pretension to hide behind.”
—Jenny Smith, Room

“[The protagonist’s] voice is thoroughly belligerent, as she mercilessly explains why she is bent on pursuing hopelessness, ugliness, all that is antithetical to life, and what it means to exist without ‘that strength of will to desire, to discover, to love, to believe’ … Ultimately, though, Exit is a strangely hopeful novel …”
— Canadian Literature

“A powerful argument for suicide as a human right, Exit is also strangely life-affirming. Ordinarily, these contradictory positions could suffice as the motor of a plot. Arcan’s protagonist is the irascible, narcissistic Antoinette Beauchamp, who seeks strength and reason to live from within the depths of her own twisted psychology. Knowing that the young woman who wrote this outrageously beautiful, thoroughly original novel did not is, well, heartbreaking. Cruel, even. So Exit and the late Nelly Arcan’s life are a package. In the end, though, I only thought of Nelly Arcan. How could she have had this book inside her, let it out, and still leave us? Great beauty can be found in very dark places.”
—The Rover

“A work of originality pushed to the limit. It’s crazy. Full of imagination. Even funny at times. A story unlike any other.”
—Danielle Laurin, Le Devoir

“Her writing will grab you and pull you into a fabulous world.”
—Benoît Aubin, Le Journal de Québec

ISBN 978-1-897535-66-0
5.25 x 8.25 | 192 pp
$20 CAN / $20 US
Rights available:  World

ANVIL PRESS BOOKSTORE
Payments processed by PayPal

Canadian Customers
CDN $20

US Customers
US $20

Rest of the World Customers
US $20

 

The Fed Anthology: Brand New Fiction & Poetry from the Federation of BC Writers edited by Susan Musgrave

The Fed Anthology: Brand New Fiction and Poetry from the Federation of BC Writers

By Susan Musgrave

With a thousand members throughout the province, the Federation of BC Writers is one of the most active and vigorous writers’ organizations in the country. The Fed Anthology, edited by Susan Musgrave on the occasion of the group’s 25th anniversary, is a colourful bazaar of previously unpublished fiction and poetry by nearly 50 of those members. Like the Fed itself, the book includes both authors whose names are instantly familiar to all readers of Can Lit and others who are emerging only now to take their place as the next generation. The country has learned to turn to British Columbia when taking the pulse of Canadian writing. The Fed Anthology is a lively part of the process. The anthology features work by Tom Wayman, Sandy Shreve, Len Dufour, Steven Mills, Peggy Herring, Loranne Brown, Linda Rogers, Jim Christy, Kate Braid, Lorna Crozier, Caroline Woodward, Ursula Vaira, Patrick Lane, Luanne Armstrong and many others.

ISBN 1895636485
5.25 x 8 | 240 pp
18.00 CAN / 13.00 US
Rights available:  World

ANVIL PRESS BOOKSTORE
Payments processed by PayPal

Canadian Customers
CDN 18.00

US Customers
US 13.00

Rest of the World Customers
US 13.00

 

Next Previous