The biography of “Canada’s band”In the summer of 2016, more than a third of Canadians tuned in to watch what was likely the Tragically Hip’s final performance, broadcast from their hometown of Kingston, Ontario. Why? Because these five men were always more than just a band. They sold millions of records and defined a generation of Canadian rock music. But they were also a tabula rasa onto which fans could project their own ideas: of performance, of poetry, of history, of Canada itself.In the first print biography of the Tragically Hip, Michael Barclay talks to dozens of the band’s peers and friends about not just the Hip’s music but about the opening bands, the American albatross, the band’s role in Canadian culture, and Gord Downie’s role in reconciliation with Indigenous people. When Downie announced he had terminal cancer and decided to take the Hip on the road one more time, the tour became another Terry Fox moment; this time, Canadians got to witness an embattled hero reach the finish line.This is a book not just for fans of the band: it’s for anyone interested in how culture can spark national conversations.
For readers of Kristine Barnett's The Spark, Andrew Solomon's Far From the Tree and Ian Brown's The Boy in the Moon, here is a heartfelt, funny and surprising memoir about one year spent driving a bus full of children with special needs.With his last novel, Cataract City, Craig Davidson established himself as one of our most talented novelists. But before writing that novel and before his previous work, Rust and Bone, was made into a Golden Globe-nominated film, Davidson experienced a period of poverty, apparent failure and despair. In this new work of riveting and timely non-fiction, Davidson tells the unvarnished story of one transformative year in his life and of his unlikely relationships with a handful of unique and vibrant children who were, to his initial astonishment and bewilderment, and eventual delight, placed in his care for a couple of hours each day--the kids on school bus 3077.One morning in 2008, desperate and impoverished while trying unsuccessfully to write, Davidson plucked a flyer out of his mailbox that read, "Bus Drivers Wanted." That was the first step towards an unlikely new career: driving a school bus full of special-needs kids for a year. Armed only with a sense of humour akin to that of his charges, a creative approach to the challenge of driving a large, awkward vehicle while corralling a rowdy gang of kids, and unexpected reserves of empathy, Davidson takes us along for the ride. He shows us how his evolving relationship with the kids on that bus, each of them struggling physically as well as emotionally and socially, slowly but surely changed his life along with the lives of the "precious cargo" in his care. This is the extraordinary story of that year and those relationships. It is also a moving, important and universal story about how we see and treat people with special needs in our society.
The #1 New York Times bestseller“A powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life...a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it.” —The New Yorker“Vigorous, insightful.” —The Washington Post“A masterpiece.” —San Francisco Chronicle“Luminous.” —The Daily BeastHe was history’s most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us?The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography.Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history’s most creative genius.His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from having wide-ranging passions. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history’s most memorable smile. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo’s lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions.Leonardo’s delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it—to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different.
“Brilliant…[Smith’s] new book is lively, intelligent and frequently hilarious, and proves that she’s one of the brightest minds in English literature today…She considers Brexit and Key & Peele, J.G. Ballard and Jay-Z, Billie Holiday and Justin Bieber. Refreshingly, she does it all without the kind of knowing wink that some cultural observers can’t resist; if she believes there’s a clear-cut dichotomy between so-called ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture, she doesn’t let on…Reading Feel Free is a lot like hanging out with a friend who’s just as at home in a museum as she is binge-watching a sitcom. She engages artists on their own terms; she’s opinionated, but not judgmental. And she manages to breathe new life into well-worn topics…There’s not an essay in Feel Free that’s less than engrossing. Sure, Smith is extremely intelligent, but smart authors are a dime a dozen: More importantly, she’s an elegant writer, original, big-hearted and enthusiastic.” —NPR.orgA timely, powerful collection of essays from one of our sharpest minds and most sparkling stylists.How much joy can a person tolerate? How many kinds of boredom make up a life? Who owns the story of black America? Should Justin Bieber be more like Socrates? And why is there a dead art collector floating in the swimming pool?Dazzlingly insightful, explosively funny and ever-timely, Zadie Smith is back with a second unmissable collection of essays. From German Old Masters to the new masters of East Coast rap, from social networks opening lines of communication to national referenda closing doors, Feel Free reaches out in all directions and draws back a rich feast of ideas. Here pop culture, high culture, social change and political debate all get the Zadie Smith treatment: dissected with razor-sharp intellect, set brilliantly against the context of the utterly contemporary, and considered with a deep humanity and compassion.With the easy intimacy of a local and the piercing clarity of an outsider, Feel Free casts a sharp critical eye over the creative luminaries that have shaped our world: from J. G. Ballard to Karl Ove Knausgaard, Orson Welles to Charlie Kaufman, Joni Mitchell to Beyonce, and far beyond. And it considers the points of contact where the author herself meets this world, where the political meets the personal and critique meets memoir. This electrifying new collection showcases Zadie Smith as a true literary powerhouse, demonstrating once again her credentials as an essential voice of her generation.
In the tradition of Cheryl Strayed's Wild, the gritty, funny, achingly honest story of a young climber's struggle to become whole by testing herself on mountains and life.As a young teenager Jan Redford runs away from a cottage where her father has just put her down for the zillionth time and throws herself against a 100-foot cliff face. Somewhere in that shaky, outraged kid is a bedrock belief in her right to exist, which carries her to the top. In that brief flash of victory, she sets her sights on becoming a climber.Falling in love with climbing eventually leads to falling in love with the climbers in her tight-knit western Canadian climbing community. It also means that the people she loves regularly vanish in an instant, caught in an avalanche or by a split second of inattention. It almost crushes Jan when her boyfriend, the gifted climber Dan Guthrie, is killed. Instead of marrying Dan, she marries one of his best friends, a driven climber who was there for her when she was grieving and becomes the father of her two children. Not what either of them planned.End of the Rope is raw and real. Mountains challenge Jan, marriage almost annihilates her, and motherhood could have been the last straw...but it isn't. How she climbs out of the hole she digs for herself is as thrilling and inspiring as any of her climbs--and just as much an act of bravery.
"What Smith has achieved in her cycle so far is exactly what we need artists to do in disorienting times: make sense of events, console us, show us how we got here, help us believe that we will find our way through. Often, that's what we lean on the classics for, finding answers in metaphor. But in "Winter," as in "Autumn," Smith gives us a potent, necessary source of sustenance that speaks directly to our age." - The Boston Globe“There are few writers on the world stage who are producing fiction this offbeat and alluring.” – The New York TimesThe dazzling second novel in Ali Smith's essential Seasonal Quartet--from the Baileys Prize-winning, Man Booker-shortlisted author of Autumn and How to be bothWinter. Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. And now Art's mother is seeing things.Come to think of it, Art's seeing things himself.When four people, strangers and family, converge on a 15 bedroom house in Cornwall for Christmas, will there be enough room for everyone?Winter. It makes things visible. In Ali Smith's Winter, life-force matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to her sensational Autumn, Smith's shapeshifting novel casts a warm, wise, merry and uncompromising eye over a post-truth era in a story rooted in history and memory and with a taproot deep in the evergreens, art and love.
From the internationally acclaimed and Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea and the Benjamin Black mysteries--a vividly evocative memoir that unfolds around the author's recollections, experience, and imaginings of Dublin.As much about the life of the city as it is about a life lived, sometimes, in the city, John Banville's "quasi-memoir" is as layered, emotionally rich, witty, and unexpected as any of his novels. Born and bred in a small town a train ride away from Dublin, Banville saw the city as a place of enchantment when he was a child, a birthday treat, the place where his beloved, eccentric aunt lived. And though, when he came of age and took up residence there, and the city became a frequent backdrop for his dissatisfactions (not playing an identifiable role in his work until the Quirke mystery series, penned as Benjamin Black), it remained in some part of his memory as fascinating as it had been to his seven-year-old self. And as he guides us around the city, delighting in its cultural, architectural, political, and social history, he interweaves the memories that are attached to particular places and moments. The result is both a wonderfully idiosyncratic tour of Dublin, and a tender yet powerful ode to a formative time and place for the artist as a young man.
From the internationally acclaimed winner of the Man Booker Prize, a sweeping new novel that explores richly complex relationships between fathers and sons as it spans seven transformative decades in England, from the 1940s through the present.David Sparsholt is a man who commands attention. As a student at Oxford during the early days of World War II, he's handsome, powerful and alluring to all who meet him--both women and men. His two closest friends, Evert and Freddie, are aspiring artists who are quickly drawn into Sparsholt's magnetic field even as the mores of the day complicate their ambitions--aesthetic, romantic and otherwise.Twenty years later, all three men find themselves in unexpected positions--sometimes rewarded, but sometimes thwarted--vis-à-vis love and career; money and stature. David Sparsholt is now married with a wife and son, having claimed fame as a fighter pilot in the war, but also infamy after a scandalous affair rocked his entire family--especially his teenage son, Johnny. It's the 1960s, and upheavals of all sorts are rampant in England and around the world, including as we follow Johnny's struggles to untangle his own private web of identity, art and sexuality. Together, these men's trials and triumphs present a complicated portrait of masculinity and artistic worth in England's upper echelons, where one's name carries the legacy, but also the telling scars, of the generations before him.Engaging, atmospheric, told in lush and gorgeous prose, The Sparsholt Affair is a brilliant novel about sensuality and scruples set against a backdrop of radical social change, from a writer whose work is as provocative as it is precisely rendered.
Imagine...meeting someone with the same name, the same history, the same family, the same identity as you. Now, imagine meeting another person making the same exact claim. What would that do to you?From the Giller Prize–winning novelist of 419 comes the startling, funny, and heartbreaking story of a psychological experiment gone wrong.Ever since his girlfriend ended their relationship, Thomas Rosanoff’s life has been on a downward spiral. A gifted med student, he has spent his entire adulthood struggling to escape the legacy of his father, an esteemed psychiatrist who used him as a test subject when he was a boy. Thomas lived his entire young life as the “Boy in the Box,” watched by researchers behind two-way glass.But now the tables have turned. Thomas is the researcher, and his subjects are three homeless men, all of whom claim to be messiahs—but no three people can be the one and only saviour of the world. Thomas is determined to “cure” the three men of their delusions, and in so doing save his career—and maybe even his love life. But when Thomas’s father intervenes in the experiment, events spin out of control, and Thomas must confront the voices he hears in the labyrinth of his own mind.The Shoe on the Roof is an explosively imaginative tour de force, a novel that questions our definitions of sanity and madness, while exploring the magical reality that lies just beyond the world of scientific fact.
"The significance of being a survivor, in the case of Air France Flight 801, for a long time lay in the simple fact that there should have been no survivors."Catherine Bach did survive, barely suffering a scratch. She hates the word "miracle," yet it feels that way at first. She returns to life as it was before the plane went down. The biotech startup she'd built from an idea to a multi-million dollar valuation continues its meteoric rise. But then things begin to go very wrong. Glitches in tests that are meant to run smoothly, design delays, security breaches, impatient investors. Catherine has a growing sense that her good fortune is spent, that the universe might be betting against her.And then comes the late-night call, from one of the other survivors. He has a story to tell, a warning he says, about his own troubles, a life in ruins, his luck run out. And all at the hands, he insists, of a mysterious other, resembling him perfectly right down to the features of his face.Madness, Catherine thinks. Or she tries to think as a mystery hedge fund launches a takeover attempt, run by a woman nobody seems to know but who is said to bear an uncanny resemblance . . . to Catherine. Catherine has always believed in an ordered, rational world--more Stephen Hawking than Stephen King. But with her life at the brink, she cannot shake the feeling that her "Rule of Stephens" may no longer hold.Writing with stinging precision about the knife-edge balance between what is known and what is believed, Timothy Taylor bridges the divide between literary fiction and page-turning thriller in this psychological tale of guilt, doubt and doppelgangers.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinalist!B&N Editor's Pick - Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2017 From bestselling author Neal Stephenson and critically acclaimed novelist Nicole Galland comes a captivating and complex near-future thriller combining history, science, magic, mystery, intrigue, and adventure that questions the very foundations of the modern world.When Melisande Stokes, an expert in linguistics and languages, accidently meets military intelligence operator Tristan Lyons in a hallway at Harvard University, it is the beginning of a chain of events that will alter their lives and human history itself. The young man from a shadowy government entity approaches Mel, a low-level faculty member, with an incredible offer. The only condition: she must swear herself to secrecy in return for the rather large sum of money.Tristan needs Mel to translate some very old documents, which, if authentic, are earth-shattering. They prove that magic actually existed and was practiced for centuries. But the arrival of the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment weakened its power and endangered its practitioners. Magic stopped working altogether in 1851, at the time of the Great Exhibition at London’s Crystal Palace—the world’s fair celebrating the rise of industrial technology and commerce. Something about the modern world "jams" the "frequencies" used by magic, and it’s up to Tristan to find out why.And so the Department of Diachronic Operations—D.O.D.O.—gets cracking on its real mission: to develop a device that can bring magic back, and send Diachronic Operatives back in time to keep it alive . . . and meddle with a little history at the same time. But while Tristan and his expanding operation master the science and build the technology, they overlook the mercurial—and treacherous—nature of the human heart.Written with the genius, complexity, and innovation that characterize all of Neal Stephenson’s work and steeped with the down-to-earth warmth and humor of Nicole Galland’s storytelling style, this exciting and vividly realized work of science fiction will make you believe in the impossible, and take you to places—and times—beyond imagining.
Bolder, even, than the ambitious books for which Stephen Greenblatt is already renowned, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve explores the enduring story of humanity’s first parents. Comprising only a few ancient verses, the story of Adam and Eve has served as a mirror in which we seem to glimpse the whole, long history of our fears and desires, as both a hymn to human responsibility and a dark fable about human wretchedness.Tracking the tale into the deep past, Greenblatt uncovers the tremendous theological, artistic, and cultural investment over centuries that made these fictional figures so profoundly resonant in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worlds and, finally, so very “real” to millions of people even in the present. With the uncanny brilliance he previously brought to his depictions of William Shakespeare and Poggio Bracciolini (the humanist monk who is the protagonist of The Swerve), Greenblatt explores the intensely personal engagement of Augustine, Dürer, and Milton in this mammoth project of collective creation, while he also limns the diversity of the story’s offspring: rich allegory, vicious misogyny, deep moral insight, and some of the greatest triumphs of art and literature.The biblical origin story, Greenblatt argues, is a model for what the humanities still have to offer: not the scientific nature of things, but rather a deep encounter with problems that have gripped our species for as long as we can recall and that continue to fascinate and trouble us today.