New Star Blogs

Spring ’17: George Bowering, Andrew Struthers, Jean Barman, Judith Plant, David Bromige


new star books spring 2017 catalogueWe’re super excited to announce our Spring 2017 list (catalogue cover illustrations by Andrew Struthers [big head] and Greg Curnoe [little head], which features five exceptional talents writing on an eclectic array of topics, and represents a 25% increase over 2016’s entire output (in a strictly quantitative sense) here at New Star World HQ, where we are intimidated by the forthcoming workload but mostly buoyed by the wit and beauty and insight of the words whose authors have lent us the privilege of publishing their work. In ascending order of wait times:

A Short Sad Book by George Bowering (introduction by Erín Moure

Forty years ago, George Bowering saw a country still struggling to find itself in its books, and decided to write A Short Sad Book about it. Did he know he was writing if not The Great Canadian Novel something like it? Poet/translator Erín Moure provides an introduction for this new edition, peeling back just enough layers of Bowering’s short but incredibly rich novel to show even more layers underneath. Bowering’s own Afterword provides additional context. A teachable moment in Canadian literature if ever there was one.

The Sacred Herb / The Devil’s Weed by Andrew Struthers (previously announced)

This hilarious and insightful double-sided paperback by “Canada’s Hunter S. Thompson” was originally scheduled for last April, when there were ~25 times as many pot as book stores in Vancouver, but then something happened, or didn’t happen, and now it’s set for April 20, 2017, when there will be only 5x as many pot stores. (Time for someone to retire the “Mayor Moonbeam” sobriquet.)

Maria Mahoi of the Islands by Jean Barman (revised 2nd edition)

Since its original publication in 2004, Maria Mahoi of the Islands has become a classic in its field, and an important document on the history of Indigenous Hawaiians known as Kanakas, who had an early presence across the Pacific Northwest and are now part of the broader Hawaiian diaspora across North America. Drawing on information that has come to light since the book’s first publication—and sometimes as a result of it—Governor General’s Award-winner Jean Barman has updated and expanded her account, and written a new Foreword talking about the life that the book has taken on.

Culture Gap and Beyond: Real Life in a New World by Judith Plant

In the early 1980s Judith Plant and her new partner, Chris, were ready for a change. Inspired by the charismatic Fred Brown, their communications professor at Simon Fraser University, they joined a commune in a remote valley near the Yalakom River, deep in BC’s Coast Mountains. An absorbing account of a lifestyle emblematic of a time, Culture Gap and Beyond also shows, from her own older perspective, a young mother’s struggles to reconcile her social ideals of personal and environmental responsibility, and loving and caring for those closest to her.

If wants to be the same as is: Essential Poems of David Bromige, by David Bromige; Jack Krick, Bob Perelman, Ron Silliman, eds. (introduction by George Bowering)

Drawn from 22 books of poetry published by David Bromige in his lifetime, if wants to be the same as is chronicles the career of one of contemporary poetry’s most distinctive writers, whose  life’s work is, In the words of Bob Perelman, “beautiful, deeply amusing, continually surprising.”