Biblioasis is a literary press based in Windsor, Ontario, committed to publishing the best poetry, fiction and non-fiction in beautifully crafted editions.
The Rumrunners: A Prohibition ScrapbookRegular price $18.83
A 10,000 copy seller in Canada, The Rumrunners offers a photographic history of the regular men and women who smuggled Canadian liquor to the United States during the roaring ’20s. Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Prohibition.
“I can’t imagine a walk through Windsor’s history with anyone else…A colourful time in Windsor’s history, told by one of our best storytellers.”—Sandra Pupatello, M.P.P. Windsor West
“Prohibition certainly was a colourful era, filled with characters and stories the likes of which we may never see again. If not for Marty Gervais’s research into the phenomenon that was Prohibition, many of these stories would have faded with the memories of their leading players.”—Laryssa Landsale, Walkerville Times Magazine
From the Vault Volume II: 1950-1980Regular price $35.25
By the end of World War II, Windsor had established itself as one of the greatest industrial cities in the British Commonwealth. The region seemed on an easy path to prosperity. But history took a different turn. Starting with the closure of Ford Plant One in 1953, the city was hit by several unanticipated challenges. How would its residents respond? How would they react to rapid changes that swept North America?
From the Vault, Volume II: 1950-1980 explores what were perhaps the three most important and exciting decades of our history. Revealing how Windsor-Essex County overcame obstacles to achieve later triumphs, the book touches on the region’s baby boom, building craze, auto industry, labour struggles, arts and culture, immigration, Black history, and more.
With a foreword by The Windsor Star’s former photographer and photo editor Bill Bishop, From the Vault, Volume II illustrates the era by featuring over 1,250 iconic images, from the 1954 Centennial celebrations and Queen Elizabeth II’s visit in 1959, through the Bulldogs’ Allan Cup victory in 1963 and Windsor’s reaction to the 1967 Detroit Riot, to the Curling Club Disaster of 1974 and to the assassination of Charlie Brooks in 1977.
As Windsor-Essex’s paper of record for over 150 years, The Windsor Star remains our region’s greatest source of historical photography and eyewitness testimony. Like its predecessor, the national best-selling From the Vault, winner of the inaugural Kulisek Prize, this book—the most authoritative and beautifully produced of its kind—sets a new standard for Canadian excellence in regional history. Documenting landmark events, timeless memories, and unforgettable characters, it is a “must have” for history lovers.
Postcards of Essex CountyRegular price $27.04
A unique and rare collection of postcards from Essex County, David Newman’s Postcards from Essex County documents the churches, factories, fairgrounds, houses, beaches, trains and cars of old Essex. Over 315 cards have been catalogued into fourteen chapters, including sections on Harrow, Leamington, Kingsville, Maidstone and more. A beautiful gift book in hardcover with full-colour illustrations.
Ford CityRegular price $20.48
Ford City was a town steeped in the history of the auto industry. Companies including Ford, E.M.F., Studebaker, Chalmers and Chrysler all called Ford City their home of Canadian operations. But it was more than just an industrial town. It was a rumrunning hub, a communist hotbed, and a thriving cultural centre for the people of the Border Cities. From the town’s inception, through amalgamation, to the revitalization of the Ford plant in the 1990s, Ford City is the story of the industrial heart of Windsor.
PRAISE FOR HERB COLLING
“Colling rebuts the curious notion that Canadian history, even when told in relation to major U.S. events, is not compelling or important.”—Quill & Quire
Five Days Walking Five TownsRegular price $20.48
The Canadian border city facing Detroit was not always simply “Windsor, Ontario”—it was a patchwork of multiple communities that amalgamated into Windsor throughout the 20th Century. In Five Days Walking Five Towns, fabled local raconteur Marty Gervais puts on his boots and takes the reader on a street-by-street walking tour through Riverside, Ford City, Walkerville, Windsor, and Sandwich—weaving together his own memories with the booms and busts of his eclectic, storied city. Along the way, tales of Indigenous curses, rum-running, union-busting, and murderous ministers abound.
With intimate, conversational prose and an acute eye for lore that time forgot, Marty Gervais has created a work not just for Ontario history buffs but for anybody who cares about the evolution of cities and the strange, beautiful people who inhabit them.
Praise for Five Days Walking Five Towns
“Windsor like we’ve never seen it”—Nino Ricci, author of Where She Has Gone
“Gervais does not tire, and never fails to amuse.”—Patrick Brode, author of Border Cities Powerhouse
Border Cities Powerhouse The Rise of Windsor: 1900-1945Regular price $27.04
Border Cities Powerhouse chronicles one of the most dramatic urban transformations in Canadian history, documenting the shift from modest industry to manufacturing dynamo. The coming of the automobile in 1904 put the Border Cities on the map, sparking a period of explosive growth.
From the bright lights of hydro-electric power and the construction of the Ambassador Bridge to the Battle of Ford City, communist agitation, and the Border Cities’ forced amalgamation during the Great Depression, this was a period of unprecedented progress and open conflict.
Tracing the region’s development through Prohibition, the Dirty Thirties, and the military expansion of the First and Second World Wars, the era reaches its climax during the infamous 1945 Ford Factory Strike, when autoworkers faced off against corporate management in a struggle that would change the face of Canadian labour.
Following the success of The River & the Land: A History of Windsor to 1900, this second book in Patrick Brode’s comprehensive, three-volume history of Windsor captures an age of dramatic change and political struggle.
PRAISE FOR PATRICK BRODE
“Fascinating.”—The Windsor Star
“As with all of Brode’s books, it is thoroughly researched and superbly written.”—Biz X Magazine
Best Canadian Stories 2020Regular price $18.83
“Like meeting a stranger, much of the pleasure of a story is its unknown power,” writes Best Canadian Stories 2020 guest editor Paige Cooper. “The right story, at the right time, if you happen to be open to it … can perhaps move you so far outside of yourself that you will not consider going back.” From Festival du Voyageur to the shores of Lake Erie, Tbilisi to Toronto, the Amisk River to a hotel-turned-hospital in the midst of a mysterious pandemic, this wide-ranging anthology brings together the real and the speculative, small towns and big cities, grief and humour, introducing readers to stories that startle us into new understanding—of ourselves and each other, the worlds we inhabit and the ones they help us to imagine.
Featuring work by:
Maxime Raymond Bock • Lynn Coady • Kristyn Dunnion • Omar El Akkad • Camilla Grudova • Conor Kerr • Alex Leslie • Thea Lim • Madeleine Maillet • Cassidy McFadzean • Michael Melgaard • Jeff Noh • Casey Plett • Eden Robinson • Naben Ruthnum • Pablo Strauss • Souvankham Thammavongsa
Watching the Devil Dance | Will ToffanRegular price $18.83
The unbelievable true story of Canada’s first known spree killer, told by a veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
In June 1966, Matthew Charles Lamb took his uncle’s shotgun and wandered down Ford Blvd in Windsor, Ontario. At the end of the bloody night, two teenagers lay dead, with multiple others injured after an unprovoked shooting spree. In his investigation into Lamb’s story, Will Toffan pieces together the troubled childhood and history of violence that culminated in the young man’s dubious distinction as Canada’s first known spree killer—at which point the story becomes, the author writes “too strange for fiction.” Travelling from the border city streets, to the courtroom, to the Oak Ridge rehabilitation centre, and finally Rhodesia, Watching the Devil Dance is both a thrilling narrative about a shocking true crime and its bizarre aftermath and an insightful analysis of the 1960s criminal justice system.
Dying For a Drink: How a Prohibition Preacher Got Away with MurderRegular price $16.37
AS SEEN ON TV ONTARIO’S THE AGENDA WITH STEVE PAIKIN
FINALIST FOR THE 2019 ARTHUR ELLIS AWARD FOR BEST NON-FICTION CRIME BOOK
Known to history as “The Fighting Parson,” Reverend J.O.L. Spracklin broke into a notorious Windsor roadhouse one chilly November night in 1920 and shot and killed barkeep Beverly “Babe” Trumble. Easily acquitted by reason of self-defense, he never served a day of time. A provincial liquor license inspector already known for his brash tactics, Spracklin’s audacious tactics solidified across North America the Detroit-Windsor borderlands’ reputation as the new Wild West—an uncivilized outpost where whisky flowed freely, warrants were forged on the spot, and ministers toted guns to keep the peace.
To the rest of Ontario, a dry province, Spracklin was the saviour they’d been waiting for, the answer to the lawlessness of the Border Cities—that is, until he shot a man at point blank range. In this exploration of the period, decorated Ontario historian Patrick Brode unpacks this infamous piece of Prohibition lore and asks: Why did Babe Trumble die? What led to a hotheaded reverend taking the law into his own hands, killing a man, and getting away with it? Full of fire-and-brimstone preachers, crooked politicians, wily rum runners, grandstanding lawyers, and innocents caught in the crossfire, Dying for a Drink is a fascinating read that will captivate anyone interested in the real stories behind this fabled time.
PRAISE FOR DYING FOR A DRINK
“A brisk read that aptly describes Canada’s temperance movement and the move towards prohibition…quite enjoyable.”
“Nicely researched…Fast-paced…This slim, lively volume illuminates Ontario’s pre–Jazz Age cultural and legal history and that of prohibition in an informative fashion.”
“Brode brings to his account a wealth of local knowledge about Windsor and its Prohibition-era past…well researched and peppered with fascinating characters.”
—Literary Review of Canada
“A fascinating book, thoroughly researched and tightly written.”
Light LiftingRegular price $16.37
Best Canadian Poetry 2020Regular price $18.83
“What is a best poem?” asks Best Canadian Poetry 2020 guest editor Marilyn Dumont, the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of four poetry collections. “A best poem fulfills the promise set out in its first syllable, word, syntax, line break, and soundscape to its reader/listener. The work required to complete a poem takes risk, skill, and practice, and the poems selected for this anthology all exhibit such attributes.” In precise language that exposes the attitudes inherent in English, innovative forms that illuminate their content, and mastery of music akin to a composer’s score, the fifty poems collected here fulfill their promises and, in doing so, demonstrate the country’s rich diversity and talent for invention—and the promises it might fulfill as well.
Featuring introductions by series editor Anita Lahey and advisory editor Amanda Jernigan, and poems by:
Kazim Ali • Amber Dawn • Billy-Ray Belcourt • Brandi Bird • Selina Boan • Margret Bollerup • Rita Bouvier • Tim Bowling • Frances Boyle • Di Brandt • Rob Budde • Mugabi Byenkya • Dell Catherall • Margaret Christakos Ivan Coyote • Barry Dempster • Kyle Flemmer • Susan Haldane • Louise Bernice Halfe–Sky Dancer • Jane Eaton Hamilton • Maureen Scott Harris • Dallas Hunt • Ashley Hynd • Babo Kamel • Conor Kerr • Don Kerr • Fiona Tinwei Lam • Natalie Lim • Tanis MacDonald • Nyla Matuk • Sadie McCarney • Tara McGowan-Ross • Erín Moure • Roger Nash • Samantha Nock • Erin Noteboom • Abby Paige • Geoff Pevlin • Alycia Pirmohamed • Jana Prikryl • Jason Purcell • Armand Garnet Ruffo • Rebecca Salazar • Robyn Sarah • Erin Soros • Kevin Spenst • John Elizabeth Stintzi • Andrea Thompson • Sanna Wani • Adele Wiseman
Paradise and ElsewhereRegular price $15.55
Nominated for the 2014 Giller Prize
The rubble of an ancient civilization. A village in a valley from which no one comes or goes. A forest of mother-trees, whispering to each other through their roots; a lakeside lighthouse where a girl slips into human skin as lightly as an otter into water; a desert settlement where there was no conflict, before she came; or the town of Wantwick, ruled by a soothsayer, where tourists lose everything they have. These are the places where things begin.
New from the author of The Story of My Face and Alphabet, Paradise & Elsewhere is a collection of dark fables at once familiar and entirely strange: join the Orange Prize-nominated Kathy Page as she notches a new path through the wild, lush, half-fantastic and half-real terrain of fairy tale and myth.
Praise for Paradise & Elsewhere
"Moody, shape-shifting, provocative and always as compelling as a strong light at the end of a road you hesitate to walk down... but will."-Amy Bloom
"This vibrant, startlingly imaginative collection reminded me-as few collections have done in recent years-of both where stories come from, and why we need to tell them. Kathy Page is a massive talent: wise, smart, very funny and very humane."-Barbara Gowdy
Praise for Kathy Page
"Marvellously well-crafted ... I can't remember the last time I was so compelled, impressed and unsettled."-Sarah Waters
"One of our most daring writers ... If you don't know Page's work yet, she's a find."-Caroline Adderson
"Softly painterly, sharply filmic or as murky as those first television images of the moon landing."- Times Literary Supplement
InheritanceRegular price $15.55
All night in his lifeboat my father sang
to keep the voices of the other men
who cried in the wreckage from reaching him,
he sang what he knew of the requiem,
of the hit parade and the bits of hymns,
he sang until he would never sing again,
scalding his raw throat with sea-water
until his ribs heaved, until the salt
wept from his eyes on dry land,
flecked at his lips in his squalling rages,
streaked the sheets in his night sweats
as night after night the reassembled ship
scattered its parts on the shore of his bed,
and the lifeboat eased him out again
to drown each night among singing men.
Inspired by a shipwreck endured by her father during the Second World War, and by his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and eventual suicide, Inheritance is a powerful poetic debut by the winner of the 2013 Boston ReviewFiction Contest and The Malahat Review Far Horizons Award.
Praise for Inheritance
“Powell’s poems are full of lively vignettes in which realism strikes lyrical sparks off harshness.”—Times Literary Supplement
“[Powell’s] description is beautiful and tender…the land of elegy overlaps the land of dream.”—The Fiddlehead
“Powerful … full of dark nostalgia.”—Nathan Englander
Against Amazon and Other EssaysRegular price $18.83
A history of bookshops, an autobiography of a reader, a travelogue, a love letter—and, most urgently, a manifesto.
Good bookshops are questions without answers. They are places that provoke you intellectually, encode riddles, surprise and offer challenges … A pleasing labyrinth where you can’t get lost: that comes later, at home, when you immerse yourself in the books you have bought; lose yourself in new questions, knowing you will find answers.
Picking up where the widely praised Bookshops: A Reader’s History left off, Against Amazon and Other Essays explores the increasing pressures of Amazon and other new technologies on bookshops and libraries. In essays on these vital social, cultural, and intellectual spaces, Jorge Carrión travels from London to Geneva, from Miami’s Little Havana to Argentina, from his own well-loved childhood library to the rosewood shelves of Jules Verne’s Nautilus and the innovative spaces that characterize South Korea’s bookshop renaissance. Including interviews with writers and librarians—including Alberto Manguel, Iain Sinclair, Luigi Amara, and Han Kang, among others—Against Amazon is equal parts a celebration of books and bookshops, an autobiography of a reader, a travelogue, a love letter—and, most urgently, a manifesto against the corrosive influence of late capitalism.
Praise for Jorge Carrión’s Against Amazon and Other Essays
“This is just the sort of book that bibliophiles—to say nothing of bibliomaniacs—will enjoy … A subtle pleasure for lovers of the printed word, even if they order books from the leviathan.” —Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Jorge Carrión’s Bookshops: A Reader’s History
“The perfect merging of love of travel and literature.”—Buzzfeed
“[Carrión’s] purpose is to celebrate bookstores. And he does so by wandering the globe in search of those that play—or have played—a special role in the intellectual and social lives of their communities. They become Carrión’s personal mappa mundi.”—New York Times
“‘Every bookshop is a condensed version of the world,’ begins Mr. Carrión’s literary and unabashedly sentimental exploration of bookstores around the globe . . . [Carrion] wanders through volume-laden aisles in Athens, Paris, Bratislava, Budapest, Tangier and Sydney, and invokes many other shops, both open and closed, telling stories about writers, readers and literary circles . . . By the end, you may feel poorly read—but well armed with titles and bookshops to visit on your own.”—Wall Street Journal
“Carrión explores the fine lines between pilgrimage destination, touristy gimmick, and decent bookshop. This is the perfect book for those who feel compelled to visit every bookstore they see.”—Publishers Weekly (Starred review)
“Excellent . . . entertaining . . . this quietly intelligent little book speaks volumes.”—Michael Dirda, Washington Post
“Sublimely entrancing . . . brilliant . . . [Carrión’s] Borgesian book—it can be opened at any point and read forward, or backwards for that matter—is not at all sad. To read is to travel in time and space, and to travel from bookshop to bookshop is an ecstatic experience for Carrión, a joy he conveys page after page.”—Maclean’s