The Anansi Blog

Arachnide: Celebrating Books In Translation October 14 2015

By Kelly Joseph Last week, two Arachnide books were shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation (French to English): Perrine Leblanc’s The Lake, translated by Lazer Lederhendler, “a kind of québécois noir: ominous, compelling, and totally convincing” (Wayne Grady, author of Emancipation Day). And Claudine Dumont’s Captive, translated by David Scott Hamilton, “an exhilarating … Read More

On Jean Vanier being awarded the Templeton Prize March 13 2015

On Wednesday, Jean Vanier was announced as the winner of the 2015 Templeton Prize. This prize honours a living person “who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s breadth of spiritual dimensions, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.” We publish, with great pride, four of Jean’s books: Tears of Silence, his meditative long … Read More

A Goodbye Playlist from Publicity Director extraordinaire, Laura Repas August 05 2014

Today is my last day working at House of Anansi. I got the job here in Fall 2002, and barring two years of leave, I’ve been here since. I don’t know how to say goodbye to my friends here, to the memories, to the place that introduced me to my husband, some of my closest … Read More

#ReadWomen2014 June 05 2014

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_jiFAaaNRw] It’s fair to say that House of Anansi has always published great women writers, so when Joanna Walsh of the Guardian began her #readwomen2014 initiative we decided to do a Vida Count of our own. We were pleased and fascinated by what we discovered. In 1967, our founding year, Anansi published Janis Rapoport’s … Read More

The Spring 2014 Playlist (or, More Music to Read By) February 06 2014

The Spring 2014 list from Anansi and Groundwood looks nothing short of fantastic. Editorial Assistant Suzanne and erstwhile Sales Assistant Eva have teamed up once again to choose a few of the books and put together a playlist full of songs that remind us of these fantastic stories. They can be enjoyed while you read, or can be … Read More

New year, new look for Groundwood Books January 20 2014

I’m a big fan of new beginnings. I still buy all new pens and notebooks at back-to-school time; I look forward for months to the first day of summer; I celebrate all major (or not-so-major) birthdays; and, of course, I believe it’s important to pay attention to the start of a new year. And this … Read More

If we had to choose just one Canadian book… December 19 2013

If you had to choose just one Canadian book, what would it be? This was the question Barbara Howson, our VP Sales, put to the Anansi and Groundwood staff last week. She was compiling a list for a newcomer to Canada who wanted to get acquainted with the literature in her new home. Most of us … Read More

Hold Fast: the story of a Canadian classic December 03 2013

Thirty-five years ago, I got my first real job, as an editorial assistant at a now-defunct publishing company called Clarke Irwin. The salary was $6,000 a year, and I worked in a little cubbyhole where I spent a lot of time wrestling with carbon paper and Wite-Out, typing address labels on an old manual typewriter, … Read More

Music to Read By September 26 2013

Although we make very good books around here at Anansi and Groundwood, we also spend a lot of time thinking and talking about music. Several members of our staff are musicians, and others have headphones plugged at their desks around the clock. Stemming from a conversation on Twitter, Eva O’Brien (Sales Assistant) and Suzanne Sutherland (Editorial Assistant) decided … Read More

Looking at Migrant by Maxine Trottier, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault July 09 2013

In a good world, I will be on vacation when you read this post. We rent a cottage near Point Pelee National Park, which is a gorgeous part of Canada. We are able to buy the most incredible produce there because of all the farms nearby, but not until I saw Migrant, written by Maxine … Read More

Interview with Kalpna Patel: the woman behind the Type Books window displays July 04 2013

I first came across Kalpna Patel’s work at the Queen West Art Crawl Outdoor Art Show in Bellwoods a couple of years ago. I was browsing through the stalls when a simple gold necklace caught my eye. From afar, it appeared to be a demure yet unusual pendant. Upon closer inspection, it proved to be … Read More

Northwest Passage and that new-book smell July 02 2013

When publishing people get together, we always talk about the same thing. Sure, we might start off with an analysis of world events or a friendly argument about what we’re going to order for dinner. But sooner or later, we always get around to that one really important question: what’s your favourite stage in the … Read More

Happy Canada Day from Groundwood Books June 28 2013

I have long wondered what on earth drove my mother’s family to leave Ireland in the 1780s and settle in Conche, Newfoundland. Conche, current population 225, can be found way up on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula—and if you don’t know where the Great Northern Peninsula is, that’s okay, you can find it on a map. … Read More

On YA literature with LGBTQ characters June 24 2013

In September of 2011, my mom was nervous. “I was listening to Q,” she said, “you know, with Jian Ghomeshi?” “Uh huh?” “And he said that no one buys YA with gay characters.” “Oh, really.” “He’s says it’s very hard to get published.” I then proceeded to totally interrupt her story (about co-authors Rachel Manija … Read More

Father’s Day: Sarah MacLachlan picks books for Rachel Bokhout’s weird dad June 13 2013

Last week we asked you to send in your weird dad stories. It was a tight contest, but Sarah MacLachlan chose her favourite dad story, and has selected books she thinks that Rachel’s dad will love. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ujx48PwC2KU] My dad keeps any plastic wrap he comes across, cleans it, and adds it to a large … Read More

On Father’s Day June 12 2013

This Sunday is Father’s Day, an occasion that will be marked in my house. I have two daughters, which makes me a dad, as was my father before me, and his father before him and… well, you get the picture. My father died when I was young and I came late to the Dad role … Read More

The Rights of the Child May 21 2013

I cannot read the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child without tearing up at item 3, which begins “You have the right to a name….” I am simply undone to realize that we live in a world where this right has to be articulated, and to realize also that, like the other statements … Read More

Letter to the Editor: House of Anansi VP Matt Williams responds to the Globe and Mail October 24 2012

John Barber’s “end of the dream” article in today’s Globe doesn’t add anything to a discussion about publishing in Canada. It guides it into a dead end. What is the point of “reporting” like this? We, like everyone in the book business, were desperately sorry to hear the bad news about D&M. It is another … Read More