Geeks, Misfits and Outlaws: Short Fiction, edited by Zoe Whittall, McGilligan, 327 pages, $19.95
A who's who of edgy young CanLit; 44 contributors, to be exact. Among them are such flourishing talents as Camilla Gibb, writing about an agoraphobic housewife; Lynn Crosbie, collaborating with R. M. Vaughan in an odd dialogue about love, and Marnie Woodrow on being a waitress. There are contributions from Sky Gilbert, Michael V. Smith, Derek McCormack, Emily Schultz, editor Zoe Whittal and a raft of writers of whom you've probably never heard, but likely will. A celebration of the eccentric.
Desilicious: Sexy. Subversive. South Asian, edited by the Masala Trois Collective, Arsenal Pulp, 207 pages, $21.95
Another collection from the edge, this compilation takes us well beyond the romantic stereotypes of Bollywood or the souped-up sex of the Kama Sutra to explore the erotic lives of South Asians in fiction, verse and essays, by men and women, both straights and gays. The title is a pun on the Punjabi term "desi," meaning "of one's own people." Definitely not for the prudish.
Inspiring Women: A Celebration of Herstory, by Mona Holmlund and Gail Youngberg, Coteau Books, 275 pages, $29.95
Herstory: The Canadian Women's Calendar, has been a feminist fixture since 1972. This oversize, glossy compilation from its pages celebrates the lives of 319 women -- political and social activists, doctors and nurses, natives, organizers, religious figures, artists and others -- well worth meeting. The text is peppered with 89 evocative black-and-white photos and there's a brief foreword by Margaret Atwood.
Reporting the Resistance: Alexander Begg and Joseph Hargrave on the Red River Resistance, edited by J. M. Bumsted, University of Manitoba Press, 288 pages, $24.95
In a work being described as a look at "the CNN of the 1870s," noted Canadian historian J. M. Bumsted has collected and edited the reporting of two young reporters from Red River who filed almost daily first-hand stories over the six months of the Riel Rebellion in the winter of 1869-70. Bumsted's commentary provides context throughout.
The New Crusades: Constructing the Muslim Enemy, edited by Emran Qureshi and Michael A. Sells, Columbia University Press, 416 pages, $37.50
The editors bring together 12 of the world's leading thinkers on Middle Eastern and religious studies -- including Edward Said and Fatema Mernissi -- to confront the received wisdom in the West about Islam, especially the idea that worldwide conflict between the two is inevitable.