Contemporary Canadian Literature with a Distinctly Urban Twist

Anvil Press

Accelerated Paces: Travels Across Borders and Other Imaginary Boundaries

By Jim Oaten

Set somewhere between here and the heat-death of the universe, Jim Oaten’s debut collection serves up random samples of literal and literary truth scooped up at top speed. Whether peeking out from the backseat of Mom and Dad’s car or surveying the grimy wings of mental wards, Accelerated Paces hurdles that uneasy terrain between creative fact and honest fiction. These short stories and pieces ignore borders as they jaunt thorough external trips and internal voyages.

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The Acid Room: The Psychedelic Trials and Tribulations of Hollywood Hospital

By Erika Dyck & Jesse Donaldson

For the better part of a decade, Hollywood Hospital was the site of more than 6000 supervised LSD trips. Under the care of psychiatrist J. Ross MacLean and researcher/ex-spy Al “Captain Trips” Hubbard, it was the only medical facility in BC (and one of a handful across the country) venturing into the brave new world of psychedelic psychiatry — from a specialized inner sanctum known as the Acid Room.

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Afflictions & Departures

By Madeline Sonik

Afflictions & Departures is a collection of first-person experiential essays. However, this is not the realm of traditional memoir—in addition to incidents and feelings recaptured from memory, Sonik seeks out connections between the microcosm of the daily events of her childhood and adolescence, and the social, historical, and scientific trends of the time.

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Against Death: 35 Essays On Living

By Elee Kraljii Gardiner (Editor)

Against Death: 35 Essay On Living articulates the personal experiences of each author’s “near-deathness,” utilizing fresh and inventive language to represent what “magical thinking” proposes.

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Body Breakdowns: Tales of Illness & Recovery

By Janis Harper, Editor

Body Breakdowns is a collection of true tales about brushes with mortality and the medical establishment. Some are serious, some are funny; all are about illnesses, both minor and major.

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Burqa of Skin

By Nelly Arcan (translated by Melissa Bull)

Burqa of Skin is a dense collection of writings from Nelly Arcan, channelling harrowing disenchantment and indignation. From her very first novel, Putain (Seuil, 2001), Arcan shook the literary landscape with her flamboyant lyricism and her preoccupations with such recurring themes as our culture’s vertiginous obsession with youth, and its reverse: the draw of death.

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Cafe Conversations: Democracy and Dialogue in Public Spaces

By Michael Picard

This volume brings the international voices of numerous facilitators of engaged philosophical inquiry, including some of the most prominent, together with observers in allied fields, to explore practical, organizational issues, but also to bring critical and theoretical perspectives to bear on the Café Philosophy.

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Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer

By Stuart Ross

Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer is equal parts literary memoir, advice for the emerging writer, and reckless tirade. Ross has been active in the Canadian literary underground for a quarter of a century: he’s sold thousands of his books in the streets, published and edited magazines, trained insurgents in his Poetry Boot Camps, and started Canada’s first Small Press Book Fair.

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The Door Is Open

By Bart Campbell

Finalist BC Book Prize (Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize)

Finalist City of Vancouver Book Prize

The Door Is Open is a compassionate, reflective, and informative memoir about three-and-a-half years

spent volunteering at a skid row drop-in centre in Vancouver’s downtown eastside.

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Everything Rustles

By Jane Silcott

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.

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