The Selector of Souls by Shauna Singh Baldwin (Knopf Canada, September 2012; Simon & Schuster UK/India; Epsilon Yayincilik Turkey):
"The Selector of Souls is a bold and vivid dramatization of the charged choices shaping women's lives in 1990s India. Shauna Singh Baldwin has a gift for warm-hearted and incisive storytelling. This is a novel expansive in its vision and defiantly human in its embrace of the contradictions that animate us all."
- Catherine Bush, author of The Rules of Engagement and Claire's Head
"A canvas of rich images, a cast of memorable characters with all of their strengths and flaws, important moral questions, gripping stories intertwined. Shauna Singh Baldwin has the skill to mix these ingredients, add her humanist touch and come up with a superb novel."
- Frances Itani, author of Requiem, Remembering the Bones and Deafening
"From its opening lines, in which a mundane scene of domestic life is slowly transformed into horror, The Selector of Souls catapults the reader into an finely imagined space. Shauna Singh Baldwin writes compellingly of the conventions that curtail and threaten the lives of Indian women. Her polished language and original imagery consistently stir and surprise."
- Erna Paris, author of Long Shadows: Truth, Lies, and History
"In this tender twister of a tale, Shauna Singh Baldwin takes us inside a world where women murder or abort their daughters to help us understand how gender-loathing and its attendant horrors can be transformed by sympathy and love."
- Susan Swan, author of What Casanova Told Me and The Wives of Bath
"A mesmerizing novel, bravely revealing the harsh realities of an entrenched patriarchy bound by the forces of history. Baldwin's lush details are vivid and luminous, drawing us into the multitude of cultures and religions, the richly-textured worlds of India at the end of the last century. Sweeping and evocative, but most of all: illuminating."
- Sandra Gulland, author of The Josephine B. Trilogy and Mistress of the Sun
The Curiosity of School by Zander Sherman (World Rights: Viking Canada, August 2012:
"[P]rovocative in the purest sense of the word-meaning, it makes you think; provokes discussion-while never overstepping the bounds of reason. It should certainly stir up some much-needed debate on the subject."
- Will Ferguson
"This book is excellent in two ways. First, it's an excellent intellectual adventure. Chasing down the concept and structure of schools takes the reader to some surprising places. Secondly, this book is funny! So you can have your HAHA experience simultaneously with your AHA experience, thereby effectuating a substantial savings of time."
-Andre Kukla, author of Mental Traps (a Globe 100 book)
"The Curiosity of School is a sweeping indictment of every aspect of schooling, from primary schools to university, offering cunningly crafted insights and an alternative vision... "
- Montreal Gazette
"[T]he most stimulating Canadian contribution to the Great Education Debate in decades... Sherman's The Curiosity of School is not only a rollicking good read; it's just the kind of "creative disruption" needed to shake the foundations of today's secular temples of edu-babble. He will likely be vilified as a bête noir by the Canadian professorate and education administrators, but - among more critical observers - he will become the "good anarchist" on a far bigger scale than he ever dreamed of in high school."
- Halifax Chronicle Herald
"[The Curiosity of School] successfully gores several sacred cows, including standardized university entrance examinations (which have their origins in the eugenics movement) and the much ballyhooed rankings of Canadian universities in Maclean's. Sherman also remains true to his goal of avoiding prescriptions. The guiding dynamic of true education, after all, is rooted in the stimulative quality of questions, not the definitive finality of answers."
- Quill and Quire
The Blondes by Emily Schultz (Doubleday Canada, September 2012):
"The Blondes is ... being touted as her breakout work, and it's easy to see why. The story weaves together elements of suspense and satire, with an academic overlay of critical cultural theory, but at its essence it is a fast-paced, unpretentious read. Bounced through threats that feel creepily familiar, off-kilter in the way of Atwoodian speculative fiction ...The Blondes is streaked with honest sentiment and a surprisingly feel-good ending: dark enough to have weight, light enough to read at the beach."
- Globe & Mail
"I like a writer with style - the literary, not the fashion, kind. Emily Schultz has it big time. It's not only that her characters aren't exactly the kind you'd want as friends. It's that she has a particular vision, fuelled by implausible premises that never prevent you from going along for the ride. The Blondes could be Schultz's breakout book."
- NOW Magazine
"It's a testament to author Emily Schultz's immense gifts with tone, detail and the crafting of a compelling first-person voice that this novel is never less than engaging. She creates a clever, idea-layered landscape of speculative fiction in which she can deposit a very real, complex, somewhat self-absorbed yet ultimately sympathetic character, one who just by looking, feeling and responding to events both extraordinary and banal, speaks to myriad perceptions of women both real and invented."
- National Post
"Emily Schultz gives new meaning to the term "femme fatale" in her apocalyptic, darkly satirical new novel. A gripping and unsettling story."
- Toronto Star
"Emily Schultz's The Blondes is part hysterical dystopia, part coming-of-age story, and devastatingly moving throughout. Shultz's warped world - which paints all platinum-haired characters as violent and ferocious power-wielders - is so finely realized that you just might rethink summer highlights forever."
- FASHION Magazine
"Schultz flips between past and present, weaving satiric wit and astute observations with elements both real and supernatural."
- Quill & Quire
"With echoes of "Contagion" and "Blindness," The Blondes is garnering strong reviews and being called a "breakout" for Schultz."
- Canadian Press
The Girl Giant/And Me Among Them by Kristen den Hartog (Freehand Books Canada; Simon & Schuster US):
"[A] delicately-drawn portrait . . . Innocent and dreamy, combining fairy tale and true giants in history, den Hartog's simple story offers a sweetly insightful mix of anguish and tenderness."
- Kirkus Review
"Gorgeously written and tremendously moving . . . More than a coming-of-age tale, this is the story of a whole family and the secrets that haunt each member. Every sentence sparkles."
-Karen Thompson Walker, New York Times bestselling author of The Age of Miracles
"Deceptively slim, And Me Among Them presents an uncanny world guided by a uniquely heightened perspective. As she grows up (and up, and up), the girl giant Ruth stretches everyone's consciousness, seeing into, above, and beyond the minds and dreams of her parents. Kristen den Hartog opens so many doors that every meaning is magnified, shifted, and understood anew - a magical, wonderful novel like no other."
- Trillium Book Award Jury Citation
"With exquisite insight and boundless imagination, Kristen den Hartog takes me inside the soul and body of a young giant, letting me experience her bliss, her shame, her wisdom. Heartbreaking and exhilarating."
-Ursula Hegi, author of Children and Fire
"Den Hartog's small-in-scale novel about an enormous girl . . . [r]eads like both an expanded bedtime story and a quiet, coming-of-age novel."
Seen Reading by Julie Wilson (Freehand Books, April 2012; HarperCollins eBook):
"Seen Reading might be one of the most whimsical books I've read in a long time. Wilson has created a book about seeing people read that requires readers, it requires the space between the reader and the text, it requires us to look at it, take it in, judge it, to be voyeurs. Taken as such, the best possible conceptual fate for this book would be to only be allowed to be seen reading Seen Reading on a subway or bus somewhere."
- The Globe and Mail
"At times [Seen Reading] seems less of a book of fiction than a sort of public art project, a voyeur's fantasia that would work just as well - or, probably, in terms of wider comment, even better - arranged on a gallery wall or replacing a bus stop ad or even as a witty game among friends as a printed book. I am quite sure that any time you stop reading, though, you're exceedingly likely to look up and start wondering about the human world around you, and that is a very fine quality for any book to have."
- The National Post
"Seen Reading explores reading in public as an emotional experience. The physical books chart an internal journey while readers venture to and from their destinations. Seen Reading is a whimsical, charming and thought-provoking book best read in public.'
- Telegraph Journal