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6 Alberta Books For the Literary and Works in Translation Reader

Looking for a book for your globe-trotting aunt or the cool teenager that “isn’t like the other kids”? Below are 6 Alberta-published literary books and works in translation that are perfect for the person on your shopping list that has unique taste.

By Astrid Blodgett

This Is How you Start to Disappear by Astrid Blodgett explores the consequences of grief and denial and single moments that change perceptions, lives, and attachments forever. Crisp prose and unexpected plot twists move relatable characters through vivid outdoor settings and interior depths. This collection of tension-filled short stories show all the heartbreaking ways we evolve when coping with change or trauma.

This Is How You Start to Disappear

Astrid Blodgett (CA)

Published: Aug 11, 2023 by University of Alberta Press
ISBN: 9781772127133

Accessible icon: a stick person inside a circle. Available as an accessible eBook

By Danial Neil

Set in 1963, The Sum of One Man’s Pleasure follows Finn Kennym, who has fled life in Ottawa after being implicated in an RCMP purge of suspected Communist sympathisers and homosexuals. He ends up on Vancouver Island working as a groundskeeper. Theodore Spencer, owner of Spencerwood Industries, is Finn’s saviour, having offered him a job and a home at Finn’s lowest moment. When Spencer dies unexpectedly, Finn’s life is turned upside down once again as Lady Katherine, Spencer’s widow, ascends to power.

The Sum of One Man’s Pleasure

Danial Neil (CA)

Published: Sep 15, 2023 by NeWest Press
ISBN: 9781774390788

Accessible icon: a stick person inside a circle. Available as an accessible eBook

By Sean Dixon

The Abduction of Seven Forgers is a brilliant and immensely entertaining novel with a colourful and unforgettable cast of characters. A group of artists are brought together under mysterious circumstances to a leafy London suburb. Once there, they are taken hostage by Mr. Lin, an angry art collector who demands that they create original works that will replace the forgeries he has obtained from each of them in the past.

The Abduction of Seven Forgers

Sean Dixon (CA)

Published: Sep 01, 2023 by Freehand Books
ISBN: 9781990601491

Accessible icon: a stick person inside a circle. Available as an accessible eBook

By S. Portico Bowman

Was it the death of her dog, Bloom, or was she just tired of her routine as a dentist? Or perhaps her depression was the result of her (mostly) unrequited love for her former piano teacher, Bruno? As Robin contemplates a sabbatical to see puffins in Newfoundland, a fateful Google search puts everything on hold. When she *accidentally* finds Bruno’s grown son–or a younger double–living in France with a woman Bruno knew briefly many many years ago, Robin has a choice: stay in Canada and monitor her distant father’s suspected dementia, or accept Bruno’s demand that she go with him to France, and help him face fatherhood a few decades too late.

Cashmere Comes from Goats

S. Portico Bowman

Published: May 01, 2022 by Stonehouse Publishing
ISBN: 9781988754376

By Margarita Saona

Margarita Saona’s sparse, clinically precise yet mysterious prose casts a spell upon her readers. Nothing says post-anthropocentric like Saona’s stories. Her characters, resisting gender and other labels inhabit cities that while existing in the real world, refuse to be pinned down on a map. In Saona’s stories, animals behave like humans, humans, like animals, or the elements, in a relentless phantasmagoria reminiscent of ancient mythology. This disembodiment is present in Saona’s narrative style, having herself hovered between life and death shortly before receiving a life-saving new heart. The English translation, The Ghost of You, originally titled in Spanish La ciudad donde no estás, gives these ghosts an English-speaking home, in the hopes they can remain in the memory of their readers the same way someone’s presence stills haunts a place.

The Ghost of You

Margarita Saona

Published: Mar 31, 2023 by Laberinto Press
ISBN: 9781777085926

By Ouanessa Younsi, translated by Rebecca L. Thompson

Born to a French-Canadian mother and Algerian father, Ouanessa Younsi is a bold and unique voice in modern Francophone poetry. In this intensely personal recitation on identity and ethnicity, Younsi takes the reader on a surreal odyssey through a liminal world of belonging and unbelonging, absence and presence, mind and body. Her visionary work, first published in French and translated here by Rebecca Thompson, is unsettling, riveting and guaranteed to leave readers contemplating the existential mysteries of “self.”

Book Cover: Little Wet-Paint Girl, by Ouanessa Younsi, translated by Rebecca L. ThompsonLittle Wet-Paint Girl

Ouanessa Younsi (CA)

Published: Oct 31, 2022 by Athabasca University Press
ISBN: 9781778290060

Accessible icon: a stick person inside a circle. Available as an accessible eBook