We are proud to share that THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE: ESSAYS by Allyson McOuat (ECW, April 30), BEHIND YOU by Catherine Hernandez (HarperCollins, May 7), and WILD FAILURE by Zoe Whittall (HarperCollins, May 14) were included in the Toronto Star Spring preview: 21 books to put at the top of your reading list!

About the included titles:


From Allyson McOuat, author of the popular 2020 New York Times Modern Love essay “The Ghost Was the Least of Our Problems,” comes her debut essay collection

In a series of intimate and humorous dispatches, McOuat examines her identity as a queer woman, and as a mother, through the lens of the pop culture moments in the ’80s and ’90s that molded her identity. McOuat stirs the ingredients required to conjure an unsettled spirit: the horrors of pregnancy and motherhood, love and loss, the supernatural, kaleidoscopic sexuality, near-miss experiences, and the unexplained moments in life that leave you haunted.

Through her own life experiences, various tall tales, urban legends, analysis of horror and thriller films, and spine-chilling true crime incidents, McOuat uncovers how cultural gatekeeping has forced her, as a mother and queer femme woman, to persistently question her own reality. Through this charming and humorous exploration of what moments have made her who she is, McOuat demonstrates for readers a way through by forgiving herself and exorcising her stubborn attachment to a phantom, heteronormative, nuclear family structure.

Allyson is represented by Carolyn Forde.

BEHIND YOU by Catherine Hernandez (HarperCollins, May 7)

As terror grips a city, a young girl faces danger closer to home and chilling memories that last a lifetime.

Catherine Hernandez’s most gripping and affecting novel yet, Behind You is inspired by a horrifying chapter in Canadian history and follows fictional characters terrorized by a fictional perpetrator.

Alma is a Filipina woman who works as a film editor for a cheesy True Crime series featuring the most notorious killers of the 20th century called Infamous. On the surface she seems to live a good life with her wife Nira and teenage son, Mateo. But there is so much left unsaid.

It’s not until Infamous’ last episode features the Scarborough Stalker that she remembers coming of age while the serial rapist and killer was attacking women and girls in Scarborough in the late 80s and early 90s.

What unfolds are two storylines: In the past, young Alma watches an entire city become consumed with a manhunt for an elusive, terrifying suspect, while she herself is in jeopardy from closer corners. In the present, adult Alma must come to terms with her own ideas of consent to stop her son’s dangerous behaviour towards his girlfriend.

Weaving back and forth in time, Behind You, is a moving story of one girl’s resilience into adulthood and a chilling portrayal of the insidiousness if rape culture. It daringly turns the Whodunit genre on its head by asking the question “Who hasn’t done it?” As in, who has not been complicit in sexual harm?

WILD FAILURE by Zoe Whittall (HarperCollins, May 14)

In Wild Failure bestselling novelist Zoe Whittall’s debut collection of poetic fiction contends with the meaning of desire for both intimacy and danger in a world that devalues queer femininity.

 In “Oh, El” a dominant woman can’t stop herself from toying with the tender heart of her co-worker. The title story, “Wild Failure” is a doomed love story between an agoraphobic and a wilderness hiker. In “Half Pipe” a teen girl’s heterosexual ambivalence results in chaos at a skate park. A group of idealistic roommates find themselves the subject of a true crime podcast in “Murder at the Elm Street Collective House.” In “The Sex Castle Lunch Buffet” a woman reflects on her brief stint at a 90s strip club after she learns of the death of a former client.

 Whittall’s characters navigate shame, attachment, and disconnection in this collection of outsider stories, which were inspired by the new narrative movement.

Catherine and Zoe are both represented by Samantha Haywood.

See the full list here: https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/spring-preview-21-books-to-put-at-the-top-of-your-reading-list/article_a5a174f8-f29a-11ee-99f9-4fb9505c957d.html