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Words and music

Fantasy, poetry, satire and other new works by Concordians

By Ian Harrison, BComm 01
Book cover of 'WE MEANT WELL - A NOVEL' by ERUM SHAZIA HASAN. The cover features stylized, abstract art with geometric shapes forming what appears to be a flower, set against a soft teal background. The title and author's name are displayed in uppercase serif font.

We Meant Well (ECW Press, 2023, $24.95) by Erum Shazia Hasan, MA 06, a sustainable-development consultant, tells the story of an aid worker at a charitable orphanage faced with a terrible predicament when her former protegé, the daughter of a village chief, accuses a male colleague at the orphanage of assault. The novel was longlisted for the 2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

The cover of the book 'BUSTER: A Life in Pictures' by Ryan Barnett and Matthew Tavares. It features a comic-style illustration of a melancholic man in a blue suit sitting on train tracks with a vintage steam locomotive approaching in the background. The title is in bold yellow letters at the top, with 'KNOCKABOUT MEDIA' at the bottom.

Buster: A Life in Pictures (Knockabout Media, 2023, $25.99), a graphic novel by Ryan Barnett, MA 13, and Matthew Tavares, chronicles the adventures — and misadventures — of Buster Keaton’s life and career and how the legendary filmmaker and silent-film star influenced everyone from Dalí to Disney.

Book cover of 'TRAVELING THE OLD SKI TRACKS OF NEW ENGLAND' by E. JOHN B. ALLEN. The cover features a vintage-style illustration with a map of New England in the background and a skier in a red outfit racing downhill in the foreground. There are ski tracks winding down a snow-covered landscape with ski lifts and a snow cannon, set against a deep blue backdrop with the title in bold yellow and red letters.

In Traveling the Old Ski Tracks of New England (University of Massachusetts Press, 2022, $24.95), E. John Allen, BA 65, tells of popular and lesser-known destinations that have contributed to the region’s landscape and ski culture.

Book cover for 'The Last Unsuitable Man' by Louise Carson, featuring a pencil sketch of a male figure's torso in an upside-down position with a detailed rendering of the muscles. The background is a textured blue, with the book's title and author's name in serif font at the bottom.

Psychological thriller The Last Unsuitable Man (Signature Editions, 2022, $17.95), by Louise Carson, BFA 79, follows a mystery writer whose vacation on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast takes a strange turn when objects begin to disappear and a woman is found murdered.

Book cover for 'Skipper's Stories', written and illustrated by Shirley Shoub. The cover displays a charming colored pencil illustration of a black and white puppy lying down with colorful toy rings, set against a soft yellow background. The title is written in bold blue letters at the top, and the author's name is at the bottom.

Shirley Shoub, BA 82, wrote and illustrated Skipper’s Stories and Skipper’s Stories: Almost Twins (Oxygen Publishing, 2022 and 2023, $16.50 each), which chronicle the adventures of a beagle who yearns for love and acceptance among his adoptive family.

Recollections of My Soul' by Chiara Laricchiuta, featuring an impressionistic painting of coastal Mediterranean architecture with buildings perched on rugged cliffs overlooking a turquoise sea. The title is written in elegant white cursive script at the top, with the author's name in white capital letters at the bottom.

Chiara Laricchiuta, MA 09, wrote Recollections of My Soul (AOS Publishing, 2023, $14.95), an intimate collection of poetry largely focused on how personal hardships can impact and shape who we become over time.

Book cover for 'OVERSEAS ADVENTURES - FROM AFGHANISTAN TO ZAMBIA AND POINTS IN-BETWEEN' by Arthur E. Shears. The cover features an aerial photograph of a shoreline where the deep green sea meets a sandy beach, with waves crashing onto the shore. The title is displayed in large white letters at the top, and the author's name is at the bottom.

Overseas Adventures, a self-published memoir by Arthur Shears, MA 78, formerly of UNESCO and the International Labour Organization, chronicles the author’s experiences in 16 countries as an international-development worker.

Full of anecdotes, humour and photographs, the book spans five decades, from Shears’s first assignment as a Canadian University Service Overseas volunteer in 1971 to a role as a consultant in Malawi in 2021.

Book cover for 'Taches d'huile' with authors Jonathan Bécotte and Enzo. It depicts an illustration of a young boy with a backpack looking up at a bearded man, suggesting a moment of connection or learning. The background features abstract, green and pink oil-paint-like splotches, and the publisher's name 'Québec Amérique' is displayed in the corner.

Taches d’huile (Québec Amérique, 2023, $12.99) is the latest storybook from Jonathan Bécotte, BA 20, a multi-award-nominated writer who previously won Quebec’s Prix Cécile-Gagnon for his first children’s book, Souffler dans la cassette. Illustrated by Enzo LordMariano, Taches d’huile narrates a sensitive and artistic boy’s attempts to relate to his father, a car mechanic.

Book cover for 'Distant Stage: Quebec, Brazil, and the Making of Canada's Cultural Diplomacy' by Eric Fillion. The cover features a black and white historical photograph of a palm tree-lined street, possibly in Brazil, with classic architecture on the side. The title text overlays the image in bold, large, white font with the author's name at the bottom.

Distant Stage: Quebec, Brazil, and the Making of Canada’s Cultural Diplomacy (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022, $39.95), by Eric Fillion, MA 12, PhD 19, examines the neglected history of relations between Canada and Brazil, as well as the role played by francophone artists, intellectuals and diplomats in Canada’s pursuit of an international identity.

Book cover for 'PIECES OF MY SELF: Fragments of an Autobiography' by Keith Garebian. The cover features a close-up portrait of the author, a man with graying hair and a gentle expression. The title is in large teal letters over the image, with the author's name in bold white text below.

In Pieces of My Self: Fragments for an Autobiography (Guernica Editions, 2023, $25), Keith Garebian, MA 71, surveys his conflicted, multicultural journey from India to Canada and his reinvention as a critic, poet and editor who has come to accept life’s joys and sorrows.

Book cover for 'FIVE STALKS OF GRAIN' by Adrian Lysenko, illustrated by Ivanka Theodosia Galadza. The black and white illustration depicts two figures, an adult and a child, holding hands and walking through a birch forest. Above them, the title is written in large white letters set against the black background of the treetops, with an image of a grain stalk beside the text

Five Stalks of Grain (University of Calgary Press, 2022, $28.99), by Ivanka Theodosia Galadza, BFA 15, is a powerful graphic novel about the Holodomor, the man-made famine that killed millions of people in Soviet Ukraine in 1932-33.

Book cover for 'GÉANTS AUX PIEDS D'ARGILE' by Alain Chevalier and Mark McGuire. The cover is a watercolor painting depicting a park scene with a large shadowy figure of a man, a child playing on the ground, and another person in the background. The scene is surrounded by green trees with a bright and peaceful atmosphere. The title is in bold pink letters in the sky area of the painting, and the publisher's name, Moelle Graphik, is at the bottom.

Mark McGuire, PhD 13, cowrote a graphic novel with Alain Chevarier, Géants aux pieds d’argile (Moelle Graphik, 2022, $45), that explores the implications of new research on intergenerational trauma, as well as attitudes about masculinity and fatherhood. The book, McGuire’s first, was a finalist for Frenchlanguage comic book of the year by the Festival Québec BD and selected for “Shoot the Book!” by a jury of film producers at the 2023 Angoulême International Comic Arts Festival in France.

Book cover for 'L'INTELLIGENCE DE L'ART' by Danielle Boutet. The background is a textured aqua blue that resembles a watercolor painting, with the title in large black letters at the top and the author's name below. On the bottom left, there's a red square with 'COLLECTION ESTHÉTIQUE' written on it, and the publisher 'Presses de l'Université du Québec' is indicated at the bottom right with its logo.

A new book by Danielle Boutet, MFA 00, L’intelligence de l’art: Regard sur les principes organisateurs de l’expérience artistique (Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2023, $36), examines the creative psyche of the artist, as well as the participatory psyche of the observer. As a result, Boutet also profoundly underscores the vital human need for significance and to feel a sense of connection with others and the world at large.

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