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.”