Join us for the fantastic double launch of Suzette Mayr’s Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall and Nicole Markotić’s Rough Patch.
Dr. Edith Vane, scholar of English literature, is contentedly ensconced at the University of Inivea. Her dissertation on pioneer housewife memoirist Beulah Crump-Withers is about to be published, and her job’s finally safe, if she only can fill out her AAO properly. She’s a little anxious, but a new floral blouse and her therapist’s repeated assurance that she is the architect of her own life should fix that. All should be well, really. Except for her broken washing machine, her fickle new girlfriend, her missing friend Coral, her backstabbing fellow professors, a cutthroat new dean – and the fact that the sentient and malevolent Crawley Hall has decided it wants them all out, and the hall and its hellish hares will stop at nothing to get rid of them.
Like an unholy collision of Stoner, The Haunting of Hill House, Charlie Brown, and Alice in Wonderland, this audacious new novel by the Giller Prize–longlisted Suzette Mayr is a satire that takes the hallowed halls of the campus novel in fantastical – and unsettling – directions.
Suzette Mayr is the author of four previous novels: Monoceros, Moon Honey, The Widows, and Venous Hum. The Widows was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book in the Canada-Caribbean region, and has been translated into German. Moon Honey was shortlisted for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s Best First Book and Best Novel Awards. Monoceros was longlisted for the Giller Prize. Suzette Mayr lives and works in Calgary.
In this compelling novel for young adults, Keira is a quirky but shy teen entering her first year of high school; she navigates her growing interest in kissing both girls and boys, while not alienating her BFF, boy-crazy Sita. As the two acclimate to their unfamiliar surroundings, they manage to find new lunchmates and make lists of the cutest boys in school. But Keira is caught “in between”?unable to fully participate in these kind of conversations, yet too scared to come clean. She’s also feeling the pressure of her family’s problems: parents who married too young and now have money issues; an older brother who’s the popular kid at school and takes every opportunity to taunt Keira; and a younger sister who uses a wheelchair and must put up with adults who expect too little or too much from her.
Keira finds solace in training for the regional finals in figure skating, which she loves even though she knows it’s geeky (and very het-girl!). But when she meets a girl named Jayne who seems perfect for her, she isn’t confident she can pull off her charade any longer. Matters come to a head at the high school Halloween dance, where friendships are tested and mended, new relationships are made and broken, and Keira’s own life combusts in one unalterable instant, only to be reconfigured in the most unexpected way.
Rough Patch is a powerful novel about picking yourself up after a spill, and finding your own way in the world.
Nicole Markotić is a novelist, critic, and poet. She has published in literary journals in Canada, the USA, Australia, and Europe, and teaches Creative Writing, Disability Studies, and Children’s Literature at the University of Windsor. Her most recent poetry book is Whelmed (Coach House) and her most recent critical book is Disability in Film and Literature (McFarland & Co). She has edited a collection of essays on Robert Kroetsch (Guernica), as well as writing novels for adults, including Scrapbook of My Life as a Zealot (Arsenal). Rough Patch is her first YA novel.