Our 2022/2023 Season

Junction Reads continues with our accessible online events.

We have fewer authors this season but we are so excited with the books we get to read and talk about. There are short stories, novels and memoir and we hope you’ll join us.

On September 11, Katie Welch helps us kick off the season with her debut novel, MAD HONEY from Wolsak and Wynn.

“When Beck Wise vanished his girlfriend Melissa Makepeace poured herself into caring for the family farm, silently absorbing yet another man disappearing from her life. But when Beck reappears three months later, thin, pale, with no idea what day it is and filled with memories of being bees, a series of layered mysteries begins to unravel. What had happened to Beck? Where did her father go? How can she keep the farm together?

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On October 2, Ivan Baidak joins us with his social novel, (IN)VISIBLE from Vivat Publishing. Translated to English from Ukrainian, the novel was acquired for publication by Guernica Editions this year.

““Invisible” is the social fiction book that addresses the social problems of people with unusual appearance. Four people, having diseases like Tourettes Syndrome, Vitiligo, Alopecia and face hemangioma meet at the social support group and decide to rent apartment together. They live and share their experience fighting bullying and prejudice. They speak on their feelings, attempts to integrate into society, and the way the society treats them.”

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On October 30, we’re going to have a spooky Hallowe’en event with S.M. Freedman and her latest thriller, BLOOD ATONEMENT from Dundurn Press.

“Grace DeRoche escaped the fundamentalist Mormon compound of Brigham and worked to prosecute its leaders. But when loyalists, including her own family, commit mass suicide to avoid jail, Grace retreats into solitude. Racked with guilt and suffering from dissociative identity disorder brought on by childhood abuse, Grace’s life is fragmented and full of blind spots. Dissociative triggers are everywhere, and she never knows when an alter personality will take the reins.” Read More.

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On November 13, Marageret Nowaczyk returns to Junction Reads with her memoir of genetics, mental health and writing, CHASING ZEBRAS from Wolsak and Wynn.

When Margaret immigrated to Canada, she was determined to become a doctor. “From leaving Communist Poland to enduring the demands of medical school, through living with a long undiagnosed mental illness to discovering the fascinating field of genetics, plunging into the pressures of prenatal diagnosis and finally finding the tools of writing and of narrative medicine, Margaret shares a journey that is both inspiring and harrowing. This is a story of constant effort, of growth, of tragedy and of triumph, and most of all, of the importance of openness. In the end, Dr. Nowaczyk invites us all to see that “life is precious and fragile and wondrous and full of mistakes.” And to keep trying.”

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November 29: We are thrilled to welcome back Catherine Graham with her latest novel, THE CUNNING HEART from Palimpsest Press.

“In the early 1990s, Caitlin Maharg, grieving the loss of her parents, leaves everything she knows in Canada for Northern Ireland to pursue her love of poetry while living in a cottage by the Irish Sea. Feeling like a child again in a distant land still affected by the Troubles, she is haunted by the secrets her parents deaths unearthed. In her longing for emotional closeness, she befriends Andy Evans, a well-known poet with a roguish charm. Their attraction soon leads to a love affair. Flouting the paisley headscarf of respectability, she plunges into a relationship that gives her an entry to the literary world, but at a price. Filled with insights into grief, longing and creativity, The Most Cunning Heart is a novel about how a quiet heroine learns to navigate deception, love and loss.”

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On December 4, Paul Sunga will join us with his novel BECAUSE OF NOTHING AT ALL from Goose Lane Editions.

“Near the Kenya-Sudan border, a team of international health program evaluators are abducted and force marched under a desert moon. Their pasts and presents — and those of their abductors — unravel before them. An orphan named Money is one of 66 too hungry to sleep. A rich public health doctor is gradually losing his points of attachment. A driver tastes the river of wealth through the vehicles he’s provided. Some escape; others are recaptured; a few are held at ransom. All are lured into schemes that often lead to unexpected results.”

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December 18, Guernica Prize winning novelist, George Lee brings us DANCING IN THE RIVER. (will update with links)

“Growing up in a small, riverside town, Little Bright is thrusted into the political whirlwinds along with his family during China’s Cultural Revolution. When a reversal of the winds of reform blows through the land, however, he learns the once-forbidden tongue—English—which lends wings to his sense and sensibility. With the deepening of his knowledge of the English language, he begins to place himself under the tutelage of Pavlov, Sherlock Holmes, and Shakespeare. When the story unravels, however, Victor’s un-Chinese passion and tension threaten to topple his moral world and mental universe. Now, he must wade into an uncharted journey to unlock the dilemma and to unearth his destiny.”

January 29, Dan K Woo will read from his collection of short stories, Taobao from Wolsak and Wynn.

In twelve spare, fable-like short stories Dan K. Woo introduces us to a fascinating cast of characters from different regions of China. From rural villages to bustling cities, Woo deftly charts the paths of young people searching for love, meaning and happiness in a country that is often misunderstood in North America. Whether they are participating in a marriage market to appease their mother, working as a delivery boy in Beijing or dealing with trauma in a hospital in Shanghai, we see these young people push against both tradition and the lightning-fast economy to try and make their way in often difficult situations.Read More.

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February 26: We get to sit and chat about historical fiction, specifically war fiction in THE GUNSMITH’S DAUGHTER, with Margaret Sweatman. From Goose Lane Editions.

“1971. Lilac Welsh lives an isolated life with her parents at Rough Rock on the Winnipeg River. Her father, Kal, stern and controlling, has built his wealth by designing powerful guns and ammunition. He’s on the cusp of producing a .50 calibre assault rifle that can shoot down an airplane with a single bullet, when a young stranger named Gavin appears at their door, wanting to meet him before enlisting for the war in Vietnam. Gavin’s arrival sparks an emotional explosion in Lilac’s home and inspires her to begin her own life as a journalist, reporting on the war that’s making her family rich.”

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Please, always consider purchasing your books directly from small presses or at your local independent book store. Check out our list of independent book shops in Toronto. Most deliver and all are happy to do over the phone shopping.

Why not subscribe to our YouTube Channel? You can watch all of the videos from past events.

Are you following us on Social Media? Hope so. You can find the authors there too!