Baraka Books

  • Prague

    Maude Veilleux

    Winter blankets Montreal, while a bookseller and her lover dream of Prague. As the narrator's open marriage becomes the subject of a novel, reality blurs with fiction, and she tries to reconcile the need to create with the desire for love and sex. Written in stark, spare prose, Prague is an introspective and intimate account of the making of a novel from life.

    REVIEWS

    "a maelstrom of situations and emotions ... heartbreaking." (James Fisher, The Miramichi Reader)

    EXERPT
    "Our story was falling flat. All of this waiting for a few moments of euphoria, it was exhausting. The moments came, but not often enough. I didn't want to hold back. I wanted to throw myself into it. Set everything on fire. Be with him, be crazy. I felt like we were going to run out of time. He was afraid of getting close, becoming attached, being a couple. He was solitary, had a full inner life. Once a week was the deal. No more. He didn't want to lose control. I knew he'd let me into his life because I wasn't a threat. A married woman, the ideal arrangement. He was holding me at a distance, but other times felt so close. Closer than anyone had been. Closer than I'd imagined possible."

  • Diagnosed with incurable cancer in 2009 with a maximum six-year life expectancy, the author chronicles her journey through traditional and alternative treatments to complete remission. Without rejecting traditional treatment (i.e., chemo or radio therapies), she refused to be an object to be treated by others. Though initially terrified, she was able to move on, insisting on knowing what was going on and why. This required research, adventure (trips to other countries), sadness, humour, serenity, and some very surprising "alternatives." These include self-hypnosis, determining the emotional causes of my lymphoma, working with a medium, and the essential need for laughter and hope. Her roadmap could be described as interactive, since newly-diagnosed cancer patients overwhelmed by their situation can adapt her approach to their lives.

    Praise

    "A woman like so many others who learns she has cancer but who refuses to let gloomy predictions cripple her. She wants to believe she'll be healed. She wants to broaden her horizons. She's ready to challenge herself. Hers is the journey of a heroine. A heroine who overcomes her fears, doubts and suffering, but who ends up winning. A book of hope for those who think they're doomed." Claudia Rainville, founder of the Meta Health Approach and author of 9 books in French, Italian and German.

  • A series of murders in Montreal park near the Gursky Memorial Hospital have Nurse Annie Linton and Detective Gilles Bellechasse hopping. Suspects include a vigilante group fighting drug dealers, a jealous husband, competing drug dealers, and a mysterious woman of whom nude drawings turn up in a murder victim's bedroom. Annie Linton, a nurse turned sleuth, reveals excellent diagnostic skills critical in solving the crime.

    Former bookseller Richard King has created two memorable characters in A Stab at Life. No other mystery writer has made a nurse (a woman) the lead character and situated the action in a hospital milieu. King's mysteries are reminiscent of the originators of the mystery genre, writers such as Agatha Christie and Rex Stout and modern writers such as Robert Goldsborough and Louise Penny. A Stab at Life will delight murder mystery fans and have them waiting impatiently for the next in the series.

    "...he has talent, wit and Montreal." Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail

    "A Stab at Life is a top-notch Montreal crime tale. When it comes to masterful storytelling, Richard is King." Andreas Kessaris, bookseller and author of The Butcher of Park Ex & Other Semi-Truthfull Tales

  • Who has never encountered a bully? Who has never told-or been told-a story of a bully? With an uncanny insight into what bullies are all about, Nick Fonda brings sensitivity and even humour to an otherwise sinister topic.
    Everybody knows that bullying is not limited to physical violence or intimidation and that bullies don´t necessarily look or dress like thugs. Through the voices of boys and girls, men and women, Nick Fonda recounts events and puts words to feelings and emotions that mark people´s lives. His characters include the biased principal who wreaks havoc as he protects his own pets, wicked adoptive parents, and the neighborhood tough who, with his parents´ approval, terrorizes anybody smaller than him.

    These eleven intriguing stories, ably illustrated by Denis Palmer, will charm, surprise, and stir readers. A thought-provoking delight for educators, parents, and students, in fact, anybody who has been confronted by abuse of power, be it subtle or flagrant.

  • For Ishmael Reed, Barack Obama, like Michelangelo´s St. Anthony, is a tormented man, haunted by modern reincarnations of the demonic spirits used to break slaves. These were the "Nigger Breakers"-men like Edward Covey, who was handed the job of breaking Frederick Douglass. "Isn´t it ironic," writes Reed: "A media that scolded the Jim Crow South in the 1960s now finds itself hosting the bird." In this collection, which includes several unpublished essays, Ishmael Reed brings to bear his grasp of the four-centuries-long African-American experience as he turns his penetrating gaze on Barack Obama´s election and first year in power-establishing himself as the conscience of a country that was once moved by Martin Luther King´s dream.

  • When President Barack Obama demanded formally in the summer of 2011 that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad step down, it was not the first time Washington had sought regime change in Damascus. The United States had waged a long war against Syria from the very moment the country's fiercely independent Arab nationalist movement came to power in 1963. Assad and his father Hafez al-Assad were committed to that movement. Washington sought to purge Arab nationalist influence from the Syrian state and the Arab world more broadly. It was a threat to Washington's agenda of establishing global primacy and promoting business-friendly investment climates for US banks, investors and corporations throughout the world. Arab nationalists aspired to unify the world's 400 million Arabs into a single super-state capable of challenging United States hegemony in West Asia and North Africa. They aimed to become a major player on the world stage free from the domination of the former colonial powers and the US. Washington had waged long wars on the leaders of the Arab nationalist movement. These included Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, and Syria's Assads. To do so, the US often allied with particularly violent forms of political Islam to undermine its Arab nationalist foes. By 2011, only one pan-Arabist state remained in the region-Syria. In Washington's Long War on Syria Stephen Gowans examines the decades-long struggle for control of Syria. This struggle involved secular Arab nationalism, political Islam, and United States imperialism, the self-proclaimed Den of Arabism, and last secular pan-Arabist state in the region.

  • Jake McCool, the injured hard-rock miner introduced in The Raids (Vol. 1), returns to work for INCO, but now at its nearby Copper Cliff smelter complex. In no time, he finds himself embroiled in a vicious fight over health and safety. Particularly alarming are the extreme levels of sulphur dioxide that poison the air in the smelter but also in the entire surrounding area, thus creating Sudbury's infamous "lunar landscape." The fight takes on new dimensions when free-lance reporter Foley Gilpin, who had worked for the Mine Mill union in The Raids, sparks attention at The Globe & Mail. At the same time local parliamentarian Harry Wardell smells high-level collusion between Inco and the government at Queen's Park in Toronto. Through the lives of Jake and his girlfriend Jo Ann Winters, their roommate Foley Gilpin, and a new cast of characters, Mick Lowe chronicles an entire community's eco-defiance.

  • More than a biography and `bigger than boxing', The Complete Muhammad Ali is a fascinating portrait of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. Ishmael Reed calls it The Complete Muhammad Ali because most of the hundred odd books about the Champion are "either too adoring or make excessively negative assertions." They also omit many voices that deserve to be heard. Ishmael Reed charts Muhammad Ali's evolution from Black Nationalism to universalism, but gives due credit to the Nation's of Islam's and Black Nationalism's important influence on Ali's intellectual development. People who led these organizations are given a chance to speak up. Sam X, who introduced Ali to the Nation of Islam, said that without his mentor Elijah Muhammad, nobody would ever have heard of Ali. That remark cannot be ignored. Reed, an accomplished poet, novelist, essayist and playwright, casts his inquisitive eye on a man who came to represent the aspirations of so many people worldwide and so many causes. He also brings to bear his own experience as an African American public figure, born in the South in the same period, as well as an encyclopaedic grasp of American history. People interviewed include Marvin X, Harry Belafonte, Hugh Masakela, Jack Newfield, Ed Hughes, Emmanuel Steward, Amiri Baraka, Agieb Bilal, Emil Guillermo, Khalilah Ali, Quincy Troupe, Rahaman Ali, Melvin Van Peebles, Ray Robinson, Jr., Ed Hughes, Jesse Jackson, Martin Wyatt, Bennett Johnson, Stanley Crouch, Bobby Seale, and many more. Reed also places the Muhammad Ali phenomenon in the history of boxing and boxers from before the times of Jack Johnson, through Joe Louis and Archie Moore to Floyd Mayweather. He also includes Canadian fights and fighters like Tommy Burns, George Chuvalo and Yvon Durelle. "The Heavyweight Championship of the World," wrote Reed in a 1976 Village Voice headline article shortly after third Ali-Norton fight, "is a sex show, a fashion show, scene of intrigue between different religions, politics, classes; a gathering of stars, ex-stars, their hangers-on, and hangers-on assistants." The author of the much cited Writin' is Fightin' has now produced what will likely be known not only as The Complete Muhammad Ali but also "the definitive Muhammad Ali."

  • Though both parents were alive, Richard and his four brothers lived in an orphanage for five years! It was in 1959, five floors of dormitories at fifty children a floor, with nuns cells on each floor. Richard recalls that, as in all concentration-camp systems, daily life is dull and repetitive. Some get up, make their beds, say their prayers, while others line up for the strap. Its just routine. Sometimes for some people its fun, or at least tolerable. For others, it is unbearable. But this tale does not settle old scores or vent bitterness. It will have you laughing and crying. It is simply the short and moving story of how Richard began the rest of his life.

  • Going Too Far

    Ishmael Reed

    Ishmael Reed goes too far, again! Just as the fugitive slaves went to Canada and challenged the prevailing view that slaves were well off under their masters, Ishmael Reed has gone all the way to Quebecwhere this book is publishedto challenge the widespread opinion that racism is no longer a factor in American life.

    In some ways, says Reed, the United States very much resembles the country of the 1850s. The representations of blacks in popular culture are throwbacks to the days of minstrelsy. Politicians are raising stereotypes about blacks reminiscent of those that the fugitive slaves found it necessary to combat: that they are lazy and dependent and need people to manage them.
    Ishmael Reed establishes his diagnosis of a nervous breakdown in three parts. Part I on a black president of the United States is entitled Chief Executive and Chief Exorcist, Too? Part II on culture and representations of African Americans in our supposed post-race era, Coonery and Buffoonery. In Part III, As Relayed by Themselves, cultural figures have a chance to tell the story in their own words.

  • I Hate Hockey

    François Barcelo

    I hate hockey! is the first and last sentence in this novel that offers a great take on our love-hate relationship with hockey. Narrator Antoine Vachon blames the game for killing his marriage with his beautiful ex-wife (well, that and the power outage that brought her home unexpectedly to find him in bed with her intern). But hockey is a pretext for unlikely adventure in this sardonic roman noir that at times flirts with the outrageous.

    Antoine is a total loser living in a pitiful bachelor apartment after he has lost his wife and his job as a car salesman. When his sons hockey coach is found dead, he is browbeaten into coaching the team for one night only. He makes it through the game (to great comic effect), but things take a turn for the worse when the team bus stops at a motel after the game. Who killed the former coach and why? Was Antoines son involved? Or his ex-wife? The late coach was close to his players, perhaps too close And why is Antoine unable to communicate with his son? François Barcelos humour and brilliant story telling is finally available in English. I Hate Hockey reads quickly, but is meticulously stitched together. Though subtle signposts are present throughout, every development comes as a total surprise.

  • Professor Paul-André Linteau tells the fascinating story of Montreal from prehistoric times to the twenty-first century, from the Iroquoian community of Hochelaga to the bustling economic metropolis that Montreal has become. He delves into the social, economic, political, and cultural forces and trends that have driven Montreals development as well as the difficult periods it has lived through. Outlining the diverse ethnic and cultural origins of the city and its strategic geographical position, he shows how a small missionary colony founded in 1642 developed into a leading economic city and cultural center, the thriving cosmopolitan hub of French-speaking North America.

  • For the first time in a book, defence counsel, investigators, journalists, and academics pool their knowledge and experience to answer the burning questions. What has happened to the fundamental principles of the sovereign equality of nations and the right of self-determination? Why do international criminal tribunals target Africa? How has international criminal justice affected the lives of citizens throughout the world? What about universal jurisdiction? Does foreign policy trump justice?
    The seventeen essays in this broadly scoped collection are grouped in four parts: 1) International Criminal Justice in the Eyes of Africans and African Americans; 2) The ad hoc International Criminal Tribunals; 3) Universal Jurisdiction ... in a Single Country; 4) Justice for All?
    Contributors include Chief Charles A. Taku, Michel Chossudovsky, Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report, Théogène Rudasingwa, Jordi Palou-Loverdos, Philippe Larochelle, Beth S. Lyons, André Sirois, David Jacobs, Fannie Lafontaine, Phil Taylor and more.
    Justice Belied marks a turning point in understanding how tainted international criminal justice undermines political solutions and imposes superpower dictat.

  • Alex McKenzie is back, a promising young hockey player who hopes to make the juniors in Quebec City. Though he still prefers fishing and roaming bush roads on his quad, he trains hard under his demanding coach Larry in his hometown on the Lower North Shore of the St. Lawrence.

    His buddy Tommy is vying to make the juniors too. Once in Quebec City, things change. Tommy gets sullen and obnoxious as he hangs out with some dubious types. He and Alex grow apart and then tragedy strikes. In this sequel to Break Away, Jessie on my Mind, young people deal with powerful peer pressure, budding love, and catastrophe.

  • NATOs war in Libya was proclaimed as a humanitarian interventionbombing in the name of saving lives. Attempts at diplomacy were stifled. Peace talks were subverted. Libya was barred from representing itself at the UN, where shadowy NGOs and human rights groups held full sway in propagating exaggerations, outright falsehoods, and racial fear mongering that served to sanction atrocities and ethnic cleansing in the name of democracy. The rush to war was far speedier than Bushs invasion of Iraq.

    Max Forte has scrutinized the documentary history from before, during, and after the war. He argues that the war on Libya was not about human rights, nor entirely about oil, but about a larger process of militarizing U.S. relations with Africa. The development of the Pentagons Africa Command, or AFRICOM, was in fierce competition with Pan-Africanist initiatives such as those spearheaded by Muammar Gaddafi.

    Far from the success NATO boasts about or the high watermark proclaimed by proponents of the Responsibility to Protect, this war has left the once prosperous, independent and defiant Libya in ruin, dependency and prolonged civil strife.

  • Spring 1651: a young man from Paris lands in Trois-Rivières on the St. Lawrence River. Within weeks, the course of his life changes drastically when Iroquois braves capture him. Pierre-Esprit Radisson, then 15 years old, begins a new life. Canoeing rivers and lakes and portaging over mountains, Radissons captors take him to distant lands where first they torture him and adopt him as their brother. Radisson then becomes the Iroquois Orinha, goes to war with his new brothers, and learns the life and the ways of his new family.

  • Anglais Roads to Richmond

    Nick Fonda

    Roads to Richmond is an unusual, almost quirky road book. Divided into four thematic parts and forty-eight short chapters, it works like a mosaic: the big picture is a moving portrait of a little known corner of Canada-Quebec´s Eastern Townships. The inlaid stones that make up the mosaic are small gems in their own right: brief histories, candid snapshots, curious anecdotes, insightful observations, sobering reflections, stories to make you smile. Part contemporary history, part lyric narrative, it´s a book that puts you behind the wheel and lets you meander along country roads to meet some of the people who make the Townships a unique place where Canada´s two solitudes have grown entwined. A book for the Townships and beyond.

  • Anglais You Could Lose an Eye

    David Reich

    "You Could Lose an Eye" is the expression David Reich´s mother often used for those she loved. It is the story of a family´s transition from the wretched oppression they left behind when they arrived in Quebec. They had only to learn new languages and adapt to a new political, economic and not always welcoming social culture. It recounts the laughter and the tears, the triumphs and the failures as Ma established her dynasty, as Pa built his business and as their firstborn carved an architectural career. All was possible for those who took root in a free world. They were the fortunate ones who were allowed to aspire and succeed, and to keep alive the memories of those who were denied entry and paid the ultimate price for being Jews.

  • A fascinating, methodical investigation into a little-known tragedy shows that truth can prevail even 180 years after the fact.In this "whodunit," James Jackson is a one-man investigative commission. He meticulously demonstrates how British soldiers shot three innocent bystanders in Old Montreal following a by-election victory of Irish-born Daniel Tracey over Loyalist Stanley Bagg in 1832. He also shows how the political, military, and legal authorities of the time exonerated those responsible for the killings by falsely accusing the supporters of Daniel Tracey, a Patriote Party candidate, of rioting. Jackson shows that the "riot" simply never happened, but also that history has unfortunately retained the official story of events that help explain the Patriote revolt of 1837-1838. Although the names of those shot that day, Francois Languedoc, Pierre Billet, and Casimir Chauvin, have been forgotten, their story deserves to be known. Jackson combines the rigour and moral indignation of Émile Zola with the writing talent and historical perspective of Pierre Berton.

  • This lively guide to Quebec history tells the fascinating story of the settlement of the St. Lawrence River Valley over nearly 500 years. But it also tells of the Montreal and Quebec-based explorers and traders who travelled, mapped, and inhabited most of North America, and embrothered the peoples they met.

    Combining vast research and great story telling, Jacques Lacoursière and Robin Philpot connect everyday life to the events that emerged as historical turning points in the life of a people. They thus shedding new light on Quebec's 450-year history?and the historical forces that lie behind its two recent efforts to gain independence.

  • For the first time, Jacques Parizeau shares his views on Quebec's recent history and its future. As chief economics advisor to Quebec premiers in the 1960s, Jacques Parizeau was instrumental in bringing about Quebe's Quiet Revolution. As René Lévesque's Finance Minister from 1976 through 1984, he showed that sovereigntists could govern Quebec and ensure economic viability. As Premier, he brought Quebec close to sovereignty in the 1995 referendum. In 2010, he still represents an idea shared by millions in Quebec. Drawing on his rich experience in public service and teaching, Jacques Parizeau explains how the idea of an independent Quebec took root and evolved. He examines Quebec's current economic, political, social and cultural situation, and reviews options for future development. No stones are left unturned. Why become independent? What is the role of the State and how should it be administered in a globalized economy. What are the challenges in the 21st century? What about the financial crisis? And the environment? And above all what challenges face Quebec sovereigntists and their English Canadian counterparts?

  • Ever since Maurice Richard dazzled hockey fans, fighting his way to hockey´s summits, the issue of discrimination against Quebec hockey players has simmered on. NHL veteran Bob Sirois now demonstrates that unless Quebec hockey players are superstars they are less likely to be drafted than other players in Canada. They can also expect shorter careers and less pay, while some teams just don´t want them. Using statistics covering nearly 40 years, Sirois shatters those tenacious myths such as "Quebecers are smaller," "they play poor defensive hockey" or "they are the best goalies." His solutions: an NHL team for Quebec City and a Quebec national junior team for international events. Our great sport stands to gain from Bob Sirois´ search for the truth.

  • Anglais Break Away

    Sylvain Hotte

    Alexandre McKenzie lives in a town on the North Shore of the St. Lawrence River. Summer finds him riding through the bush on his quad or fishing in an inland lake. In winter he is a promising midget hockey star who often takes refuge at his camp in the woods. But one fall, his stature and talent take a turn for the worse as he plunges into a relationship with a girl whose future appears plagued by tragedy. Alex has to fight his own demons. Like the moose that haunts him from the moment he meets Jessica-and that sheds its antlers with the first snow only to grow bigger ones the next season-Alex has to learn to hold his head high and become a frontrunner once again. Break Away deals with friendship, family, and love and could take place anywhere in Canada where there is winter, hockey, and young people.

  • Shane Bearskin, a young Cree man from James Bay, and Theresa Wawati, an Algonquin woman from Northern Quebec, are united by a profound love for each other and a visceral attachment to their cultural heritage. As children both experienced the challenges that face so many young people from indigenous communities. They are university students in Montreal. Theresa is determined to become a lawyer to defend her people whose lands and way of life are constantly encroached upon. After passing her law faculty entry exams, Theresa is diagnosed with leukemia with about a year to live. Bucking everything modern society would impose on them, they decide to live out their dream, return to live in the bush, like their ancestors, and have a baby.

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