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Fiction Black Humor

Quality Time

A Novel

by (author) Suzannah Showler

McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
May 2023
Black Humor, Contemporary Women, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price

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A debut love story of 2000s discontent from author and poet Suzannah Showler—for readers of HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE? by Sheila Heti and NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney.

Ferociously in love from the start, Nico and Lydie spent a first year together so beautiful that they've been recreating it, day by day, ever since. Their anniversaries, sometimes elaborate, sometimes small, have become the couple’s entire universe, tethering them to a reality they've built together, collapsing their sense of time.

But the real world is creeping in. As the people around them start to get married, get pregnant, get serious, Lydie wonders what it is they're really doing, and why it leaves her so little time to focus on the art she moved to the city to create. Meanwhile, Nico experiences a divine event that convinces him the anniversaries matter more than ever, and in the city around them, the urban wildlife is rising up on a mission of their own.

A vivid time capsule from an era of Millennial love, recession discontent, and city garbage strike racoons, Quality Time is about that rare, innocent moment when we feel like masters of our own fate, and what happens when the real world starts to press in from the edges.

About the author

Suzannah Showler holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. Her writing has appeared in The Walrus, Hazlitt, and The Puritan.

Suzannah Showler's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Showler is a skilful, observant writer who’s good at presenting what her characters are thinking and feeling. Her language is specific and nuanced. There’s a dash of flair to her writing.”
—Bill Paul, The British Columbia Review

“Incandescent, inventive, and absurdly good-humored, Quality Time is not only a portrait of a many-edged relationship but is also a valentine to all our youthful delusions, all the retreats and compromises we make during our swervings into adulthood. Suzannah Showler is a novelist of uncommon wisdom and walloping eloquence, a writer who can somehow conjugate every nuance of a moment.”
—Barrett Swanson, author of Lost in Summerland

"Suzannah Showler renders a particular version of post-recession Toronto so faithfully and with such grace. That she's done so through a love (and post-love) story that also demonstrates how much the city is part of the natural world is a doubly impressive feat. Anyone familiar with the city of 2013, and how much of it we've lost since then—its closeness and lingering optimism, even in the face of civics gallows humour—needs to read this book."
—Chantal Braganza, writer and editor
"Quality Time is magnetic. After its characters draw you in, it holds you close by making Lydie's experiences feel like your own. Suzannah's writing is captivating and impossible to resist—somehow, she makes even the most well-worn and familiar settings feel like unchartered gateways to magic and adventure. I didn't (and don't) want to leave her world. All hail the Trashpandas."
Anne T. Donahue, author of Nobody Cares

"Reading this novel, I found myself wishing that more poets wrote prose. Who else but Showler could convey love as such a hermetic vessel: one with its own language, rituals, and even time?"
Rebecca Sacks, author of City of a Thousand Gates

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