It was another action-packed year for our press. The 16 remarkably varied books we produced represent a continued fulfillment of the vision Quattro has had since its beginnings, over eight years ago. They brought our total output to 109. Keeping true to our motto, “Home of the Novella,” this year’s crop included seven fiction titles, each no longer than 144 pages, all of which demonstrate the wide range of possibilities for this compact and versatile artform.
We began our year with the spirited launch in mid-January of Under the Mulberry Tree, an anthology of poetic tributes to one of Canada’s most important and beloved writers, the late Raymond Souster, edited with an introduction by James Deahl.
Our four single-author poetry books were by two well-known Toronto-based poets, Phlip Arima and Kate Marshall Flaherty, and two distinguished Vancouver-area poets, Christopher Levenson and Russell Thornton. We were thrilled that Levenson’s Night Vision was short-listed for the Governor General’s Award. Flaherty’s book Stone Soup, available since December, will be officially released in March. It has a QR code on page 87, enabling anyone with a smartphone to see and hear a beautiful video of Kate reading: https://vimeo.com/111809855.
On April 24 at Supermarket restaurant, we had a lively, well-attended launch for Night Vision and our three unusual non-fiction titles of the season: the philosophical, imaginative and wise reflections of Sweet Nothing, by Carmela Circelli; the 20th Anniversary edition of George Fetherling’s classic memoir of the Sixties, Travels by Night; and the extraordinary mixed-genre, illustrated tour de force, Cleopatra at the Breakfast Table, by Peter O’Brien (the only book ever to be blurbed by both Gordon Lightfoot and Dr. Ruth).
On May 28 we arranged a beautiful launch for Phlip Arima’s Pin Pricks, and for the gripping and edgy novellas Look at Me by Rob Shoub and Rough Paradise by Alec Butler, at District Oven restaurant in Toronto.
Our Fall launch on November 5 at Supermarket drew the largest crowd ever. It featured Jazz, Elizabeth Copeland’s tale of a transgendered youth coming of age, Cassandra Cronenberg’s dizzying Down the Street, Jesse Gilmour’s daring, gritty The Green Hotel, Lucinda Johnston’s richly textured diptych Costume & Bone, and the hilarious postmodern meta-novella Revenge of the Grand Narrative by Richard Rosenbaum. Plus a reading by translator Jonathan Kaplansky of honoured Quebec author Louis-Philippe Hébert’s bizarrely inventive The Girl Before, the Girl After.
We also had launches in Vancouver in the Spring and Fall for each of our three BC authors: Fetherling, Levenson, and Thornton.
In late September, the Quattro Team spent a great day greeting the many visitors to our booth at Toronto’s Word on the Street.
On the second weekend in November a tremendous highlight for all of us at Quattro was having a booth at the Toronto International Book Fair, handsomely decorated by our staff. Nine of our press’s current and previous authors did book signings, gave readings, and were on panels, and we were delighted to greet scores of friends and new acquaintances at our booth. Luciano Iacobelli presented a very successful course on The Novella, joined by guest writers Rob Shoub and Jesse Gilmour.
Throughout the year we continued to support and promote our authors to the best of our ability, as they read from their work at many events in southern Ontario, and traveled to readings and major festivals across the country, including Moncton, Calgary, and Vancouver, as well as Toronto. We were deeply pleased to see an abundance of favourable reviews, articles, and interviews in newspapers, literary magazines, and online publications, and we enjoyed hearing our authors on CIUT and CBC radio. Their own initiative and resourcefulness is always greatly appreciated – and definitely energizing for us!
We were also fortunate in the terrific staff we’ve had: those working for us part-time, and on contract, and our interns, all of whom have been congenial and admirably industrious team players, helping Quattro Books thrive.