Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Evan Munday on the upcoming Coach House Launch

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Evan Munday on the upcoming Coach House Launch

Coach House Books invites you and your friends to their rock-'em-sock-'em Fall 2010 Launch this Thursday, Oct. 14 at Revival on College St. Join them as they launch three outstanding new poetry books — Jon Paul Fiorentino's Indexical Elegies, Gary Barwin's The Porcupinity of the Stars and Jonathan Ball's Clockfire. Not to be outdone by their poetic brethren, the fall novels — When Fenelon Falls by Dorothy Ellen Palmer and Gail Scott's The Obituary — will be equally feted! See our Events Page for details.

In anticipation of the launch, Open Book caught up with Evan Munday for a preview of Thursday's event.

Open Book:

What five words would you use to describe the Fall 2010 titles coming out with Coach House Books?

Evan Munday:

Beguiling. Imaginative. Ambitious. Fun. Porcupinesque.

OB:

What does Coach House look for when selecting manuscripts for publication?

EM:

As publicist, I have almost nothing to do with selecting manuscripts. I sort the mail and deliver the submissions to the editors who have far greater expertise than I. (That is, for those that still send hard copies of their manuscripts.)

But I know our editors are looking for work that reconsiders and pushes against convention. First, it has to be excellent writing, but we’re also looking for something more. Something innovative. Something that brings a new element or component to the genre (be it fiction, poetry or drama). And it certainly helps if the author is familiar with past Coach House titles. We like to think we have a house style to our titles, and readers who know that style will know if their work would be at home here.

OB:

What has been your favourite part about working on this fall's list?

EM:

It’s going to sound very Pollyana-ish, but I’m really privileged to work with such fantastic people at Coach House. From the staff to the authors (whom attendees can all meet on Thursday) to the media people and other cultural workers I correspond with, it’s invariably pleasant and entertaining working on the Coach House list.

This fall in particular, I’m very lucky to be working with a number of writers at different stages of their careers. We’re publishing an amazing new novel by Gail Scott (The Obituary), already a writing legend, right beside a debut novel (When Fenelon Falls) by Dorothy Ellen Palmer, not to mention the many poets — Jonathan Ball, Gary Barwin, Jon Paul Fiorentino — who are all somewhere in-between. Seeing a first-time author experience the publishing process, while simultaneously working with one of the most influential doyennes of Canadian literature, makes for one dazzling book season.

OB:

If you received an enormous cheque from an anonymous benefactor who wanted to further the cause of Canadian small presses and writers, how would you use it?

EM:

That’s an extremely difficult question. If this money were earmarked for furthering the cause of Canadian small presses and writers within Canada, I’d be tempted to use it to buy a few storefronts for independent booksellers in various cities. We’ve seen a number of very supportive independent retailers disappear recently. I would also consider using that money to purchase some dedicated spaces in large cities for book events. Or pay off Canada Post so indie presses and their authors would never again have to spend a dime on shipping manuscripts, review copies or books.

OB:

What can Open Book readers expect at Thursday's launch party?

EM:

Readers can expect amazing live readings from four of Canada’s best authors (and one of the country’s finest Jonathan Ball impersonators), good conversations with some of the friendliest readers and book fanatics (i.e. the people who usually make up our audience) and at least one instance of "The Humpty Dance" by Digital Underground.

OB:

Are your authors lined up for any more events this season?

EM:

Ha! I sent our editorial director a list of all the upcoming fall events various Coach House authors are participating in, and she replied back with an email that simply read, "Gggggguuuhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" So, yes, we have many events in the works.

On Saturday, October 16, Trillium-shortlisted and Giller-longlisted author Cordelia Strube (Lemon) visits Another Story Books (315 Roncesvalles) as part of Independents’ Day celebrations, and the Monday after the launch (October 18), several of the authors at our launch are teaming up with fall authors from ECW Press and House of Anansi to hold a big indie press night at The Starlight Lounge (47 King Street North) organized by Words Worth Books. But that’s barely the tip of the literary iceberg.

OB:

Great! Thanks, Evan — we're really looking forward to this event.


Evan Munday is the publicist of Toronto-based literary press Coach House Books. In his spare time, he works as an illustrator. Upcoming projects include a young adult novel from ECW Press (The Dead Kid Detective Agency) and a graphic novel, The Laws of Motion, written by Elyse Friedman (from Freehand Books), both to be published in 2011.

For more information about the Fall 2010 titles please visit the Coach House Books website.

Buy these books at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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