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The Chat with Zoey Leigh Peterson

Peterson, Zoey Leigh -- credit Vivienne McMaster


It’s a pleasure to be in conversation this week with Vancouver writer Zoey Leigh Peterson. Her sublime first novel, Next Year, For Sure, is out this month with Doubleday Canada.

Kirkus Reviews calls the book “a crisp, exciting exploration of love, friendship, and everything in between” and says “Peterson’s one to watch”.

Zoey Leigh Peterson was born in England, grew up all over the United States, and now lives in Canada. Her fiction has appeared in The Walrus, EVENT, Grain, and PRISM international and has been anthologized in The Journey Prize Stories and Best Canadian Stories. She is the recipient of the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction (The Malahat Review) and the Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award (The New Quarterly). Next Year, For Sure is her first novel.



Trevor Corkum: Your novel Next …

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The Recommend: December 2016

Research shows that most of the books we read are the result of one thing: someone we know, trust, and/or admire tells us it's great. That's why we run this series, The Recommend, where readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This month, we're pleased to present the picks of authors Yaskuko Thanh (Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains), Mark-Leiren Young (The Killer Whale That Changed the World), Danila Botha (For All the Men and Some of the Women I Have Known), Melanie Martin (A Splendid Boy), and Mia Herrera (Shade). 


Yasuko Thanh recommends Anosh Irani's The Parcel

Sometimes you read a book that understands you. Where you find yourself dog-earring pages that were written so truthfully or that speak to you like you’re the only one in the room that you can’t let them go. Anosh Irani’s The Parcel recounts the story of Madhu, a retired transgender sex worker living in Bombay’s red light district. The tragedy of Madhu’s life is felt in every line. Every third sentence or so I had to check my heart because the story kept stopping it.

But the power of this work goes beyond its subject matter. There is an urgency behind each word driving the narrative that makes this book m …

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Shelf Talkers: From Outer Space to Wrestling Rings to Vietnam

I’ve said this before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. It’s not just the turkey dinner (though I’m always thrilled when turkey-dinner season comes around, that glorious stretch of monthly feasts incorporating Thanksgiving, my birthday, and Christmas. Gobble, gobble, indeed.), but it’s what comes before, and what characterizes the day: a moment to take stock of our lives and offer our gratitude for what we have, for what we love, and for what, in some cases, we have lost.

And here’s the part, oh faithful readers of this column, where you expect me to express how thankful I am for Canada’s independent booksellers. And while this sentiment is certainly true, this year I’m feeling a bit more introspective, a bit more... melancholy, perhaps. I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps it’s the autumn, the sound of the rain in the night, the smell of leaves and smoke. Perhaps it’s a recognition of the passing years, the grey in my beard.


Ah, but what does it really matter how I got to this point? What matters is this: looking back, I can barely express how grateful I am for the years I spent as a bookseller, at an independent bookstore in Canada. Two decades of my life, spent behind the counter or working the floor, connecting books with readers, introducing authors (often literally) to the people who would come to love them. It’s not just that being a bookseller made me a better reader (which it did: more discerning, and …

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