Hot New Reads by Toronto Authors 

Hot New Reads by Toronto Authors 

5:32pm

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

July is here and that means time to make serious progress on your summer reading list. While there are still three months until our fall Festival, there’s still plenty of TIFA programming to keep you busy this season, including Toronto Lit Up, a partnered initiative with the Toronto Arts Council to promote local authors. So, grab your picnic blanket and sunscreen and head to your favourite outdoor hotspot — maybe give us a wave at Harbourfront Centre — and settle in for some reading in the sun. Consider these new books, launched recently through Toronto Lit Up, and join us to celebrate more new titles at launch parties taking place across the city all summer long! 


Celebrate Pride with Lockheed Martin by Jake Byrne (Wolsak & Wynn, April 2023) 

Celebrate Pride with Lockheed Martin by Jake Byrne is a poetry collection that bounces from poems of love and desire to critiquing capitalism and war, and the co-opting of queer culture that exists between them both. The poetry in this collection is full of vibrant imagery and an array of different forms and tones, reflecting the complexity of what it means to be queer. Byrne’s poem “Parallel Volumes” won CV2’s Foster Poetry Prize for 2019. 

Suite as Sugar by Camille Hernández-Ramdwar (Dundurn Press) 

Suite as Sugar by Camille Hernández-Ramdwar is a collection of short stories that will take you around the world through different seasons, histories and perspectives — perfect for a trip around the world while staying in your own backyard! The five stories are intertwined through themes of trauma and resilience. Hernández-Ramdwar is an Associate Professor and Academic Coordinator of the Caribbean Studies Certificate at Toronto Metropolitan University. 

Burr by Brooke Lockyer (Nightwood Editions, May 2023) 

Escape the city with this 90s-era Southern Ontario Gothic story, Burr, by Brooke Lockyer. Burr is a fantastical ghost story about a 13-year-old girl who misses her recently deceased father and disappears. The book is full of spooky small-town vibes and a lot of heart as members of the community navigate their grief and loss. This is Lockyer’s debut novel. 

The Negroes Are Congregating by Natasha Adiyana Morris (Playwrights Canada Press, January 2023) 

Diversify your genres and read a play! The Negroes Are Congregating by Natasha Adiyana Morris is an unapologetic and sharp-witted play about the Black experience in Canada and around the world. The play is told through a series of vignettes in a variety of settings, from church to Black Twitter, to various moments in history. Morris is a soft-spoken, dramatic storyteller. Her debut production The Negroes Are Congregating (PIECE OF MINE Arts, Theatre Passe Muraille) was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play in 2020.

Blinded by the Brass Ring by Patricia Scarlett (Baraka Books) 

Blinded by the Brass Ring by Patricia Scarlett, a debut novel and the first in a series, follows Jewelle Joseph and her rise through the television production world as a Black woman and the roadblocks she faces on her journey to the top. The story reflects contemporary Black life in Canada and explores the intersections of race, class and culture through a Caribbean-Canadian lens.  

Selvage by Kate Siklosi (Invisible Publishing, April 2023) 

Selvage by Kate Siklosi is the perfect book for the poet who wants to spend the day under a tree thinking and annotating. The poetry book is both deeply personal and universal in its exploration of the human experience. Siklosi is also Sessional Faculty at McMaster University, curator of the Small Press Map of Canada, and co-founding editor of the feminist experimental small press Gap Riot Press. 

Denison Avenue by Christina Wong and Daniel Innes (ECW Press) 

Take a weekend walk through Kensington Market by digging into the pages of Denison Avenue by Christina Wong and Daniel Innes. Its story is told through neighbourhood sketches and prose, discussing gentrification, aging in place, grief and vulnerable Chinese Canadian elders. Both Wong and Innes have lived in Chinatown for most of their lives and have struggled to come to terms with how the neighbourhood has changed. Be sure to check out their Instagram account inspired by the book.

For the Kids:

Happy Birthday To Me by Thao Lam (Groundwood Books) 

Happy Birthday To Me by Thao Lam is a perfect picture book for any time of year, regardless of your birth date! Full of beautiful images created with cut paper collage, the story follows a child on their favourite day of the year (their birthday) and asks “how does it feel to be a year older?” 

The Remembering Stone by Carey Sookocheff (Groundwood Books) 

The Remembering Stone by Carey Sookocheff is a heartfelt story of the relationship between a girl and her grandfather and the memories they share before he passed. The girl ties her memories to the perfect stone, which he had given to her, but when the stone goes missing, she must deal with her loss all over again. The story is a gentle look at grief and how small, everyday actions can still connect us to those we love. 


Upcoming Events

Toronto Lit Up events take place all summer long! Mark your calendar and join us for these exciting book launch celebrations: 

Sunshine Nails by Mai Nguyen (Simon & Schuster Canada)

July 6 at 7pm 

Head to 3030 Dundas for the launch of Mai Nguyen‘s debut novel, Sunshine Nails (Simon & Schuster Canada). Mai will be in conversation with author Ann Y.K. Choi. Light refreshments and drinks will be available for purchase. Copies of the book will be available for purchase courtesy of Type Books Junction.  

The Woman and Her Bear Cub by Jaypeetee Arnakak (Inhabit Media Inc.)

July 9 at 2pm 

Celebrate Nunavut Day and the launch of The Woman and Her Bear Cub (Inhabit Media Inc.Inhabit Media Inc.) by Jaypeetee Arnakak. Taking place at Another Story Bookshop, Jaypeetee will be reading from his book. Snacks and drinks will be available. 

Where Waters Meet by Zhang Ling (Amazon Crossing)

August 12 at 2pm 

Join author Zhang Ling for the launch of her novel Where Waters Meet (Amazon Crossing). Hosted by the Canada-China Institute for Business & Development, Zhang will be in conversation with Professor Christopher Payne, an East Asian literature expert and literary translator at the University of Toronto.The event will take place at Toronto Metropolitan University’s Ted Rogers School of Management building. 


Toronto Lit Up is a multi-year initiative, started in 2016 by the Toronto International Festival of Authors and the Toronto Arts Council, to spotlight Toronto writers and empower local artists with career-building opportunities. Between April 2016 and March 2023, Toronto Lit Up has presented 165 events featuring over 200 Toronto authors and illustrators. Toronto Lit Up book launches take place throughout the year at venues across the city. They are open to the public and free to attend. Click here for more information.

July is here and that means time to make serious progress on your summer reading list. While there are still three months until our fall Festival, there’s still plenty of TIFA programming to keep you busy this season, including Toronto Lit Up, a partnered initiative with the Toronto Arts Council to promote local authors. So, grab your picnic blanket and sunscreen and head to your favourite outdoor hotspot — maybe give us a wave at Harbourfront Centre — and settle in for some reading in the sun. Consider these new books, launched recently through Toronto Lit Up, and join us to celebrate more new titles at launch parties taking place across the city all summer long! 


Celebrate Pride with Lockheed Martin by Jake Byrne (Wolsak & Wynn, April 2023) 

Celebrate Pride with Lockheed Martin by Jake Byrne is a poetry collection that bounces from poems of love and desire to critiquing capitalism and war, and the co-opting of queer culture that exists between them both. The poetry in this collection is full of vibrant imagery and an array of different forms and tones, reflecting the complexity of what it means to be queer. Byrne’s poem “Parallel Volumes” won CV2’s Foster Poetry Prize for 2019. 

Suite as Sugar by Camille Hernández-Ramdwar (Dundurn Press) 

Suite as Sugar by Camille Hernández-Ramdwar is a collection of short stories that will take you around the world through different seasons, histories and perspectives — perfect for a trip around the world while staying in your own backyard! The five stories are intertwined through themes of trauma and resilience. Hernández-Ramdwar is an Associate Professor and Academic Coordinator of the Caribbean Studies Certificate at Toronto Metropolitan University. 

Burr by Brooke Lockyer (Nightwood Editions, May 2023) 

Escape the city with this 90s-era Southern Ontario Gothic story, Burr, by Brooke Lockyer. Burr is a fantastical ghost story about a 13-year-old girl who misses her recently deceased father and disappears. The book is full of spooky small-town vibes and a lot of heart as members of the community navigate their grief and loss. This is Lockyer’s debut novel. 

The Negroes Are Congregating by Natasha Adiyana Morris (Playwrights Canada Press, January 2023) 

Diversify your genres and read a play! The Negroes Are Congregating by Natasha Adiyana Morris is an unapologetic and sharp-witted play about the Black experience in Canada and around the world. The play is told through a series of vignettes in a variety of settings, from church to Black Twitter, to various moments in history. Morris is a soft-spoken, dramatic storyteller. Her debut production The Negroes Are Congregating (PIECE OF MINE Arts, Theatre Passe Muraille) was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play in 2020.

Blinded by the Brass Ring by Patricia Scarlett (Baraka Books) 

Blinded by the Brass Ring by Patricia Scarlett, a debut novel and the first in a series, follows Jewelle Joseph and her rise through the television production world as a Black woman and the roadblocks she faces on her journey to the top. The story reflects contemporary Black life in Canada and explores the intersections of race, class and culture through a Caribbean-Canadian lens.  

Selvage by Kate Siklosi (Invisible Publishing, April 2023) 

Selvage by Kate Siklosi is the perfect book for the poet who wants to spend the day under a tree thinking and annotating. The poetry book is both deeply personal and universal in its exploration of the human experience. Siklosi is also Sessional Faculty at McMaster University, curator of the Small Press Map of Canada, and co-founding editor of the feminist experimental small press Gap Riot Press. 

Denison Avenue by Christina Wong and Daniel Innes (ECW Press) 

Take a weekend walk through Kensington Market by digging into the pages of Denison Avenue by Christina Wong and Daniel Innes. Its story is told through neighbourhood sketches and prose, discussing gentrification, aging in place, grief and vulnerable Chinese Canadian elders. Both Wong and Innes have lived in Chinatown for most of their lives and have struggled to come to terms with how the neighbourhood has changed. Be sure to check out their Instagram account inspired by the book.

For the Kids:

Happy Birthday To Me by Thao Lam (Groundwood Books) 

Happy Birthday To Me by Thao Lam is a perfect picture book for any time of year, regardless of your birth date! Full of beautiful images created with cut paper collage, the story follows a child on their favourite day of the year (their birthday) and asks “how does it feel to be a year older?” 

The Remembering Stone by Carey Sookocheff (Groundwood Books) 

The Remembering Stone by Carey Sookocheff is a heartfelt story of the relationship between a girl and her grandfather and the memories they share before he passed. The girl ties her memories to the perfect stone, which he had given to her, but when the stone goes missing, she must deal with her loss all over again. The story is a gentle look at grief and how small, everyday actions can still connect us to those we love. 


Upcoming Events

Toronto Lit Up events take place all summer long! Mark your calendar and join us for these exciting book launch celebrations: 

Sunshine Nails by Mai Nguyen (Simon & Schuster Canada)

July 6 at 7pm 

Head to 3030 Dundas for the launch of Mai Nguyen‘s debut novel, Sunshine Nails (Simon & Schuster Canada). Mai will be in conversation with author Ann Y.K. Choi. Light refreshments and drinks will be available for purchase. Copies of the book will be available for purchase courtesy of Type Books Junction.  

The Woman and Her Bear Cub by Jaypeetee Arnakak (Inhabit Media Inc.)

July 9 at 2pm 

Celebrate Nunavut Day and the launch of The Woman and Her Bear Cub (Inhabit Media Inc.Inhabit Media Inc.) by Jaypeetee Arnakak. Taking place at Another Story Bookshop, Jaypeetee will be reading from his book. Snacks and drinks will be available. 

Where Waters Meet by Zhang Ling (Amazon Crossing)

August 12 at 2pm 

Join author Zhang Ling for the launch of her novel Where Waters Meet (Amazon Crossing). Hosted by the Canada-China Institute for Business & Development, Zhang will be in conversation with Professor Christopher Payne, an East Asian literature expert and literary translator at the University of Toronto.The event will take place at Toronto Metropolitan University’s Ted Rogers School of Management building. 


Toronto Lit Up is a multi-year initiative, started in 2016 by the Toronto International Festival of Authors and the Toronto Arts Council, to spotlight Toronto writers and empower local artists with career-building opportunities. Between April 2016 and March 2023, Toronto Lit Up has presented 165 events featuring over 200 Toronto authors and illustrators. Toronto Lit Up book launches take place throughout the year at venues across the city. They are open to the public and free to attend. Click here for more information.

5:32pm

Tuesday, February 20

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