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Massy Books: Behind the Murphy Door

Interview by Jessica Johns and Claudia Wilde

In addition to providing resources for emerging writers on our website, PRISM is dedicated to featuring spaces and organizations that exist at the intersection of writing and community. Spaces that are essential to bridging the gap between what is uncertain and what is possible. Naturally, our attention turned to Massy Books, a 100% Indigenous-owned and operated bookstore. Currently, the store is located at 2206 Main Street, Vancouver, but will be moving to their new location of 229 E. Georgia St at the end of February. Though the new location will have a different layout, it will preserve its secret bookshelf door (built by carpenter Sam Grzesik, owner of S.G. Contracting and who also worked on the set of Harry Potter!). Other features include 14 ft high pipe shelving with semi-rolling ladders and a 500 sq. ft art gallery space upstairs. 

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Chang photographed by Ayelet Tsabari and Tsabari photographed by Jonathan Bloom

Between Us: The Stories We Keep

Interview by Jasmine Sealy 

Welcome back to Between Us, a conversation series that explores how we define Canadian immigrant literature, and how writers’ journeys to Canada shape their work. Here, writers discuss the tensions and freedoms that come with access to stories of home-place, and the many ways immigrant stories contribute to the Canadian cultural imaginary.

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Get to Know: Jan Zwicky

Interview by Claudia Wilde

Our next Get to Know (with a few bonus added questions!) features Jan Zwicky, a poet, philosopher, essayist, and musician who will be appearing at this year’s Writers Fest in Vancouver. In 1981, Zwicky earned her PhD at the University of Toronto specializing in Philosophy of Logic and Science. Jan Zwicky has published over a dozen books of poetry, and was the recipient of the Dorothy Livesay Prize and the Governor General’s Award for poetry. After teaching for a number of years, she has finally settled on Quadra Island. Last year she came out with a collection of poetry called The Long Walk.

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The Deep Cove

“To Love the Coming End:” An Interview with Leanne Dunic

Interview by Mikaela Asfour.

Leanne Dunic is a writer, multidisciplinary artist, singer/guitarist of The Deep Cove, and winner of the Alice Munro Short Story Prize in 2015.

Her poetic travelogue, To Love the Coming End, was published in 2017, and takes place in Singapore, Japan, and Canada. The narrator, thrown off balance by a personal loss, deftly juxtaposes the impact of grief on the human body and psyche with the patterns and rhythms of historical and natural disasters— all the while haunted by the “curse of 11.”

Leanne is featured in two upcoming events at the Vancouver Writer’s Festival. She will be reading and performing with her band, The Deep Cove, at Dance to the Coming End on Thursday October 19th at 8:30 PM at Performance Works, where the Open Book Art Collective will be showcasing their artworks inspired by To Love the Coming End.

Leanne will also appear on the True Confessions and Tall Tales panel with Hera Lindsay Bird, Dina Del Bucchia, and Zoey Leigh Peterson on Friday October 20th at 8:30 PM at the Revue Stage, where they will discuss the line between fiction and nonfiction.

The Deep Cove’s release show for their first upcoming album, To Love the Coming End of the World—a companion to Leanne’s book— will take place on Saturday November 4th at the Fox Cabaret, with a solo guest performance by José Miguel Contreras (By Divine Right).

Three tracks from The Deep Cove’s upcoming album can be downloaded for free at bookthug.ca/thedeepcove.

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Mark Jordan Manner

Most Perfect Things About People: An Interview with Mark Jordan Manner

Interview by Matthew Walsh.

Mark Jordan Manner’s debut novel, Most Perfect Things About People, was published this year by Tailwinds Press. After a few publications in literary journals for his short fiction, it only seemed inevitable that a novel would be on the way. Told through various narrators, the story is a sprawling account of family secrets and memories, told over years by characters who are separated by geography and connect again through their own recollections of childhood memories. I was so happy to be interviewing Mark, whose stories were some of the weirdest, loveliest pieces of fiction I had read in a while.

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Next Year For Sure

Loneliness, Polyamory, and Possibility in Zoey Leigh Peterson’s Next Year, For Sure

Review by Carly Rosalie Vandergriendt

Next Year, For Sure

Zoey Leigh Peterson

Doubleday Canada

It’s tempting to call Next Year, For Sure, a novel about a millennial couple that happens upon polyamory, a “light” read. Because in many ways, it is a light read. Award-winning short story writer and debut novelist Zoey Leigh Peterson’s prose is deceptively addictive, the kind of writing that can easily keep a reader up until two or three in the morning. (I read it twice; I stayed up late finishing it both times.) Her main characters, nine-years-and-still-going-strong couple Chris and Kathryn, are sensitive and self-aware yuppie Vancouverites who verge on being likeable to a fault. The novel opens with Chris telling Kathryn he has a crush on Emily, a woman he met at the laundromat. Kathryn suggests he take her out on a date, the plot takes off at a brisk pace, alternating between Chris and Kathryn’s point of view as they navigate opening their relationship up to a third person over the course of the year that follows.

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