BookThug is pleased to announce the launch of a new non-fiction series, Essais. Drawing on the Old and Middle French definitions of essai, meaning first “trial” and then “attempt,” and from which the English word “essay” emerges, the works in the Essais series challenge traditional forms and styles of cultural enquiry. Essais is committed to publishing works concerned with justice, equity, and diversity. It supports texts that draw on seemingly intractable questions to ask them anew, to elaborate these questions with new grammars and perceptual styles that demand the reinvention of conventional responses. The books in Essais are forms of vital generosity; looking for vocabularies, syntaxes, and forms that ward off closure, they invite attention to a necessary reconsiderations of politics, culture(s), and experience.
The inaugural publication for the Essais series is the just released Her Paraphernalia: On Motherlines, Sex/Blood/Loss and Selfies by Margaret Christakos (Spring 2016). Widely acclaimed for her poetry, Christakos’ book is formed of ten intimate études that move from considerations of mothering, sex and photography, to settler bloodlines, erasure and divorce. It is also a love song to her mother and daughter.
Confirmed forthcoming publications in the series include Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life by Erin Wunker, Chair of CWILA (Fall 2016); the tentatively titled Interview with an Empire by M. NourbeSe Philip (Spring 2017); and Conversations with Canada by Lee Maracle (Fall 2017).
The Essais series editor will be poet and academic Julie Joosten. Originally from Georgia but now living in Toronto, Joosten holds an MFA from the prestigious Iowa Writers Program and a PhD from Cornell University. Her debut book, Light Light (BookThug, 2013) was a finalist for the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, the 2014 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the 2014 Goldie Awards: Poetry Category.
Publisher Jay MillAr states “I am very excited by what the Essais series will have to offer toward a more diverse dialogue about what Canadian literature and culture can be.”