2013 Titles

1. Lucky–by Kathryn Para

Finalist for the 2014 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize!

WINNER of the 2nd Great BC Novel Contest!
"Lucky is a beautiful, harsh novel, tension-filled, its language startling and fresh.  It's also funny, thanks to the unflinching perceptions of its daring and damaged protagonist, Ani, war photojournalist and surly survivor.  Lucky me.  I got to read this book first."– Caroline Adderson, Final Judge for the 2nd Search for the Great BC Novel Contest. 

"Meet lucky photojournalist, Ani—destination Fallujah. Meet her friends, the Pams—diazepam, clonazepam, lorazepam—and her bottomless bottle of vodka. Watch all distinctions vanish in the fog of war—as the witness becomes the participant, the innocent the guilty. Nothing is neutral at the end of this road—any image can be used by anybody for any purpose—but that ultimately doesn't matter because the righteousness of any cause is erased by the logic of violence. Kathy Para's debut novel raises the ante on the word 'blistering.' Once you start down her harrowing road, you won't be able to get off."–Keith Maillard, author of Gloria and The Difficulty at the Beginning Quartet 

"With Lucky, Kathy Para has written a gorgeous, lyrical and globe-spanning ode to damage and to recovery, a powerful examination of the thornily entangled ethics of photography, war, love and humanity."–Michael Christie, author of The Beggar's Garden

Lucky by Kathy Para, is an unflinching novel set in the Middle East and Canada. It tells the story of Anika Lund, a freelance war photographer with an ambition to photograph an infamous terrorist, and her best friend and translator, Viva, who seeks answers to the mystery of her husband's disappearance in Syria. In the fall of 2004, they gain access to Iraqi resistance fighters, and entrance to the broken city of Fallujah, igniting a series of terrifying events that exact a price that becomes too much to bear. Lucky explores essential questions about war photography, the price paid by journalists and the moral dilemmas of love and war.
Kathryn Para is an award-winning, multi-genre writer with a MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Her fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in Grain, Room of One's Own, Geist, Sunstream, and Vancouver Review. She is the 2013 winner of Mother Tongue Publishing's Search for the Great BC Novel Contest. Her stage play, Honey, debuted in 2004. She has also written, directed and produced short films. She lives in Gibsons, BC. Lucky is her first novel. Visit

Due: October 2013

ISBN 978-1-896949-31-4
5.5 x 7.5, 224 pages
BUY HERE $21.95

3. Force Field-77 Women Poets of British Columbia–Edited by Susan Musgrave

Force Field-77 Women Poets of British Columbia is the first anthology of its kind in thirty-four years. It is a strong celebration of women's poetry, from the emerging, mid-career to established.

Not since Dorothy Livesay’s Women’s Eye: 12 BC Women Poets (AIR Press, 1974) and D’SONOQUA: An Anthology of Women Poets of British Columbia (Intermedia Press, 1979), edited by Ingrid Klassen, has there been an anthology of contemporary BC women poets.
Gathering is an art that women do well, and as Jean Mallinson stated in her introduction to D’SONOQUA, “Anthologies are a sign of vitality.”

In Force Field we gather together seventy-seven women poets who currently live and write in British Columbia so readers can more easily share, study and take pleasure in the range and vitality of women’s poetry today. It is an extensive and flourishing community that owes a debt to many early women poets, such as P.K. Page, Dorothy Livesay, Anne Marriot, Phyllis Webb, Rona Murray, Skyros Bruce, Gwladys V. Downes, Pat Lowther, Helene Rosenthal, Marya Fiamengo, Nellie McClung, Carolyn Zonailo and Elizabeth Gourlay. Women who forged the way for poetry in mid-century BC, between working, mothering, struggling, transforming and creating.
Force Field is not a definitive, it is a wellspring.

Someone is writing a poem. Words are being set down in a force field. It’s as if the words themselves have magnetic charges; they veer together or in polarity, they swerve against each other. Part of the force field, the charge, is the working history of the words themselves, how someone has known them, used them, doubted and relied on them in a life… And in part the field is charged by the way images swim into the brain through written language: swan, kettle, icicle, ashes, scab, tamarack, tractor, veil, slime, teeth, freckle.”— Adrienne Rich, “Someone is Writing a Poem,” What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics (W.W. Norton & Company, 1993).


Maleea Acker, Joanne Arnott, Elizabeth Bachinsky, Jacqueline Baldwin, Michelle Barker, Rhonda Batchelor, Yvonne Blomer, Leanne Boschman, Fran Bourassa, Marilyn Bowering, Kate Braid, Connie Braun, Margo Button, Anne Cameron, Marlene Cookshaw, Judith Copithorne, Susan Cormier, Lorna Crozier, Jen Currin, Daniela Elza, Cathy Ford, Carla Funk, Maxine Gadd, Rhonda Ganz, Heidi Garnett, Lakshmi Gill, Kim Goldberg, Alisa Gordaneer, Heidi Greco, Heather Haley, Diana Hartog, Diana Hayes, Joelene Heathcote, Karen Hofmann, Leah Horlick, Aislinn Hunter, Gillian Jerome, Elena E. Johnson, Eve Joseph, Donna Kane, Elee Kraljii Gardiner, Sonnet L'Abbé, Larissa Lai, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Zoë Landale, Evelyn Lau, Julia Leggett, Angela Long, Christine Lowther, Sandra Lynn Lynxleg, Rhona McAdam, Susan McCaslin, Hannah Main–van der Kamp, Daphne Marlatt, Jessica Michalofsky, Jane Munro, Catherine Owen, Shauna Paull, Miranda Pearson, Meredith Quartermain, Rebekah Rempel, Linda Rogers, Rachel Rose, Laisha Rosnau, Renée Sarojini Saklikar, Sandy Shreve, Melanie Siebert, Susan Stenson, Cathy Stonehouse, Sharon Thesen, Ursula Vaira, Betsy Warland, Gillian Wigmore, Rita Wong, Onjana Yawnghwe, Patricia Young, Jan Zwicky.

Susan Musgrave’s most recent collection of poetry is Origami Dove (McClelland & Stewart, 2011), shortlisted for the 2011 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. A new novel, Given (McClelland & Stewart) was released in 2012. Recent prizes include the BC Civil Liberties Association Liberty Award for Art and the Spirit Bear Award, a tribute recognizing the significance of a vital and enduring contribution to the poetry of the Pacific Northwest. She lives on Haida Gwaii where she owns and manages Copper Beech Guest House. Susan teaches in the University of British Columbia’s optional-residency MFA program in Creative Writing.
Cover photo by Birgit Freybe Bateman
Book design by Mark Hand

Published: April 2013
400 pages
ISBN 978-1-896949-25-3
BUY HERE $32.95 

Recording of the VPL launch by Paul Nelson of Seattle


2. A Recipe for Disaster & Other Unlikely Tales of Love–by Eufemia Fantetti

RUNNER-UP for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award!

Recipe for Disaster is a delicious treat. With her fresh, intelligent voice and lush prose, Eufemia Fantetti serves up stories that are at once achingly familiar and laugh-out-loud funny.”– Ayelet Tsabari, The Best Place on Earth

"A delicious blend of dark humour and edgy insight, Fantetti's stories zero in on the emotional precipices of intimate relationships--mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, couples coming together or falling part.  Fantetti has an unflinching eye and irreverent wit that exposes the surreal in the real, as well as a gift for finely honed dialogue that slices right through to the core of family dysfunction. Food becomes an expression not only of love, but of longing, resentment, despair and, ultimately, truth. A memorable debut collection."Fiona Tinwei Lam, Intimate Distances, Enter the Chrysanthemum.

"In Eufemia Fantetti’s A Recipe for Disaster and Other Unlikely Tales of Love, the humour always arrives by way of characters and relationships that evince a dark and essentially human agony — and, vice versa, the moments of anguish nevertheless have something funny at their edges. Like the sour you crave with the sweet of the sauce, and the pain you love in the heat of the spice, Fantetti’s truths will nourish you with their magnificent mix of contradictions. Whether or not you say grace first, read this book and give thanks for the arrival of this brilliant new literary voice." –Wayde Compton, After Canaan: Essays on Race, Writing, and Region.

Funny, tender and poignant, A Recipe for Disaster is populated by quirky characters who blend desire, imperfect love and comfort food into the sweet and salty mix of daily life while they yearn for the sustenance of human connection. A bemused child witnesses her mother flirt with a police officer responding to a domestic dispute call. A young woman mourns the end of a relationship, recalling the potently toxic recipe that created the disastrous union. A son struggles to accept his father’s emotional frailties and reject his passive approach to loss. A couple finally commits–to breaking up. A recently divorced woman meditates on the source of her ravenous cravings. A woman decides to end the prolonged vow of silence she took with her devout, hyper-critical mother. Six skillful and witty stories that will engage your heart.

Eufemia Fantetti is a graduate of The Writer's Studio at SFU and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. She is a winner of Event Magazine’s Creative Non-Fiction Contest and the 7th annual Accenti Writing Contest. Her essay, “Alphabet Autobiografica,” was listed under notable essays in the 2009 Best American Essay Series. Her work is included in the anthologies Contours, Beyond Crazy, Emails from India and the 2012 Fish Anthology. A two-time finalist for Theatre BC's National Playwriting Competition, Eufemia has had plays produced across Canada, including The Waiting Room, An Italian Tale, It’s All the Rage and My Own Private Etobicoke. She has performed stand-up comedy in Toronto, Vancouver and the Catskills. She co-hosted the SFU’s Studio Reading Series and co-founded the series, Speakeasy, in Ontario. A resident of BC for many years she now lives in Toronto, where she’s at work on a memoir. A Recipe for Disaster & Other Unlikely Tales of Love is her debut book. Visit eufemiafantetti.com. 

Due: November 2013
ISBN 978-1-896949-35-2
5.5 x 7.5, 100 pages
BUY HERE $17.95

4. The Life and Art of Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher–by Christina Johnson-Dean–Introduction by Kerry Mason–The Unheralded Artists of BC #6

Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher (1906-1994) was a sophisticated, spirited and classically educated artist, researcher, feminist, and writer, known as Emily Carr’s sketching partner and B.C.’s Special Consultant on the now famous painter but unrecognized for her own creative life. This well-researched book finally reveals Edythe’s story as a B.C. artist and features over 100 rarely seen paintings, prints, and photographs. Schooled in Victoria by the Island Arts and Crafts Society’s traditionalist Margaret Kitto, Edythe embarked on further training at the California School of Arts and Crafts and the California School of Fine Arts in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1928 Edythe and her American friend Marian Allardt moved to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts and at André Lhote’s studio. She also took French lessons and traveled widely with Marian in Europe.

Upon returning to Canada in 1930, Edythe met and became good friends with Emily Carr, later documenting in detail their sketching trips together. Edythe Hembroff and Emily Carr, along with Ina D.D. Uhthoff, were the only women who participated in the controversial Modern Room exhibit in 1932. With her husband, Frederick Brand, a ubc mathematics professor, Edythe energetically promoted an appreciation of Carr’s work through exhibitions and instigated the acquisition of Kispiox Village by the provincial government in 1933.

During World War II, Edythe moved to Ottawa, where she became a translator of POW mail in the Department of National War Services, Censorship Section. After her divorce to Frederick Brand, she married Julius Schleicher, and upon retirement, they returned to Victoria where Edythe resumed painting, researching, and writing. She wrote M.E. A Portrayal of Emily Carr (1969) and Emily Carr: The Untold Story (1978) and, in 1981, organized a recreation of the Island Arts and Crafts Society’s 1932 Modern Room exhibit.

As part of her legacy, Edythe donated her art and archives to the BC Museum and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (aggv). She also created a pre-medicine scholarship for women at the University of Victoria and a trust fund with her husband for the aggv. Her work is held in the permanent collections of the aggv, the University of Victoria Legacy Art Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the BC Archives.

Christina Johnson-Dean graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a BA (History, Art) before earning a Professional Teacher’s Certificate at San Jose State University and teaching in public schools. After travelling around the world, teaching ESL in Thailand and elementary school in New Zealand, she returned to live near her sister and family in Canada. At the University of Victoria, she completed an MA (History in Art), worked as a teaching assistant for the department, and created courses on local art history for Continuing Studies. Her publications include The Life and Art of Ina D.D. Uhthoff, #5 in the Unheralded Artists of BC series (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2012), The Crease Family: A Record of Settlement and Service in British Columbia (B.C. Archives, 1981), and “B.C. Women Artists 1885-1920” in British Columbia Women Artists (aggv, 1985). She teaches in the Greater Victoria School District. She and her husband have two daughters.

Kerry Mason is an art historian, curator, and art consultant. She teaches art history at the University of Victoria and the Victoria College of Art offering courses focusing on Canada and B.C., with a particular emphasis on Emily Carr and indigenous art of the Northwest Coast. An early passion for these subjects led her to complete degrees in art history (BA, MA, UVic). From 1977 through 1988, as the first curator of the Emily Carr Gallery for the Province of BC, she created twenty-seven exhibitions of Carr’s work. Kerry has written several articles as well as the book, Sunlight in the Shadows: The Landscape of Emily Carr (Oxford University Press, 1984). In the past decade, she has curated more than thirty exhibitions for the University of Victoria and other institutions as well as lecturing across Canada and abroad.
"Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher will forever be known for her connection to Emily Carr and this wonderful study illuminates much about that relationship. Hembroff-Schleicher was part of Carr's life but also part of Carr's legacy – the first to write a book-length appreciation of her work. Yet, as Christina Johnson-Dean reveals, Hembroff-Schleicher was a remarkable talent in her own right. With great ingenuity she found a way to forge a career for herself as an artist, translator, and writer. Much more than a footnote in Canadian art history."– Susan Crean, author of The Laughing One - a Journey to Emily Carr (2001) nominated for a Governor General's Award in Literature.

"Until now, Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher has been known in the broader Canadian art world only as the author of two wonderful books on Emily Carr, essential volumes in their field. With this book we discover a Hembroff who was deeply involved in the art scene in British Columbia over a long period of time. During this involvement she struggled through chronic illness, the Depression, World War II, earning a living, a number of relocations, several marriages and changing attitudes to women and the arts. Her work merits the study this book brings. Another significant aspect of Canadian art history revealed once again by Mother Tongue's Unheralded Artists of BC series."–Dennis Reid is Professor, History of Art, University of Toronto, and author of A Concise History of Canadian Painting (3rd edition 2012).  

Released: June 2013
ISBN 978-1-896949-27-7
BUY HERE $36.95 |168 pgs| 110 colour and b & w plates
Trade paperback with French flaps | 9.5” x 8”