Best of 2022 - Benjamin

December 18, 2022

Best of 2022 - Benjamin
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Plans for Sentences

Renee Gladman

A tour de force of dizzying brilliance, Gladman’s book blurs the distinctions between text and image, recognizing that drawing can be a form of...

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A further engagement with Gladman’s ‘drawings of writing,’ or ‘written drawings.’ In this brilliant book, sentences (made of shape and colour) rub shoulders with drawings (made of syntax), inviting us to re-angle our approaches to sites of meaning.
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Rehearsals for Living

Robyn Maynard, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

A revolutionary collaboration about the world we're living in now, between two of our most important contemporary thinkers, writers and activists.When the world entered...

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I remember, back in 2018, attending a conversation between Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson at La Sala Rossa. That afternoon felt like a special encounter between two of the foremost thinkers in so-called Canada, and it seemed a shame to relegate it to a couple of hours. I’m glad that their conversation continued beyond that afternoon, and I am so grateful to have it available to us all. 

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Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

Newly restored, this version of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s masterpiece honors the author's original intentions and vision for the book. Originally published in 1982,...

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A reprint of an elliptical, multilingual, polyphonic masterpiece. We have so little left to us by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha—a too-short life—and yet we have so much.

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When We Lost Our Heads

Heather O'Neill

From the bestselling author of The Lonely Hearts Hotel, a spellbinding story about two young women whose friendship is so intense it not only...

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O’Neill’s latest novel conjoins a mythic Montréal with a scrape-knee, headlong, at-times-too-actual Montréal. This is a city animated by its self-contradictions — in When We Lost Our Heads, the city is presenced by two characters whose efforts to disentangle from one another only serve to narrow the knot.

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Birds of Maine

Michael DeForge

Take flight to this post-apocalyptic utopia filled with birds. Take flight to this post-apocalyptic utopia filled with birds.Long after the demise of humankind, birds...

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At this point, I know to trust DeForge. He does not miss! Through DeForge we can despair and delight at the strange shapes of our imagined futures.

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the half-drowned

Trynne Delaney

the half-drowned is a vision of a future at the end of the world where what survives is the shapeshifting love of family both...

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A mesmeric work of speculative, Afrofuturist fiction which enfolds ancestral knowledge and lyric apperception not merely as narrative techniques, but as mappings for ways forward. Delaney was awarded the Concordia First Book Prize for this novella – well deserved recognition for a thoroughly impressive new talent. I’m looking forward to whatever’s next.

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Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems

Dionne Brand

An immense achievement, comprising a decades-long career—new and collected poetry from one of Canada’s most honoured and significant poets.Spanning almost four decades, Dionne Brand’s...

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Brand is arguably the most accomplished poet at work in so-called Canada, and this collection—spanning nearly four decades—not only collects a towering body of work, but demonstrates a thinker and maker who refuses to stay put.

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A Minor Chorus

Billy-Ray Belcourt

An urgent first novel about breaching the prisons we live inside from one of Canada’s most daring literary talents.An unnamed narrator abandons his unfinished...

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It took me some time to acclimatize to Belcourt’s project, but once I was in I was in. In my opinion, the highest achievement of A Minor Chorus is its quality of attention: to histories vast and narrow, to one’s selves, to the languages which occur within and between bodies.

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Scenes of Subjection

Saidiya Hartman

The groundbreaking debut by the award-winning author of Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, revised and updated. Saidiya Hartman has been praised as “one of our...

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To mark its 25th anniversary, W.W. Norton has issued a new edition of Saidiya Hartman’s work of acute and dislodging scholarship. An indispensable book; a welcome reissue.

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Est-ce qu'un artiste peut être heureux ?

Arizona O'neill

La quête du bonheur est-elle une exigence dictée par la psychologie ou une illusion créée par la société de consommation, la culture populaire, les...

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Is it an unanswerable question? I admire O’Neill’s method: each of the interviewees’ particular sensibility is given care and close attention such that each of these twelve interviews become a singular ecosystem of thought-in-image.

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The Orphic Voice

Elizabeth Sewell

A wondrously written book of literary criticism and philosophy that maps the relationship between poetry and natural history, connecting verse from poets such as...

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A book which takes very seriously the relationship between language and mind and the world(s) in which those substances busy themselves. A book about the biology of melody and the examination of insight.

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Sue Goyette

In Monoculture, Sue Goyette imagines that Nova Scotia’s last surviving stand of intact forest has been preserved for the enjoyment of the public–a premise...

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Sina Queyras

From LAMBDA Literary Award winner Sina Queyras, Rooms offers a peek into the defining spaces a young queer writer moved through as they found...

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The Philosophy of Modern Song

Bob Dylan

The Philosophy of Modern Song is Bob Dylan’s first book of new writing since 2004’s Chronicles: Volume One—and since winning the Nobel Prize for...

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Genevieve Castree

GeneviEve CastrEe

An immersive curation of Geneviève Castrée's stunning life's work and expansive artistic legacy It's not easy to label an artist like Geneviève Castrée—cartoonist, illustrator,...

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Lisa Robertson

From the author of The Baudelaire Fractal, a poetry classic, with new work In 2004, boldly original poet Lisa Robertson published a chapbook, Rousseau’s...

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Corps vivante

Delporte, Julie

En 1990, Julie Delporte n’a encore jamais vu de butch, mais sa tante préférée chasse et fume le cigare. Presque vingt ans plus tard,...

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Breathturn into Timestead

Paul Celan

2015 National Translation Award Winner in PoetryPaul Celan, one of the greatest German-language poets of the twentieth century, created an oeuvre that stands as...

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Memory Rose into Threshold Speech

Paul Celan

Memory Rose into Threshold Speech gathers the poet Paul Celan's first four books, written between 1952 and 1963, which established his reputation as a...

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Neil Smith

From the award-winning author of Bang Crunch and Boo, Jones is the harrowing, funny, utterly unforgettable story of a pair of siblings attempting to...

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Who Is Queen? 4: Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Susan Howe

Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Susan Howe

Poets and writers Susan Howe and Alexis Pauline Gumbs read each other’s work and discuss reading and being read as an act of intimacyPublished...

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Too Much of Life

Clarice Lispector

The things I’ve learned from taxi drivers would be enough to fill a book. They know a lot: they really do get around. I...

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