Coming in November, I’ll be reading for the Toronto launch of Hazel Jane Plante‘s Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian). Also reading will be Trish Salah and, of course, Hazel Jane Plante.
In Australia, the launch for a book usually involves a reading by the author, along with a speech or two, and perhaps a Q&A with the author as well. The focus is very much on the author of the launched book. However, although book launches in Canada still do place the focus on the author of the launched book, it’s not uncommon for book launches to feature one or more guest readers. I do enjoy this way of being brought into proximity with the release of a new book.
With Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian), there is already some prior proximity. I read a proof of the novel a little while ago and I wrote a cover quote for it. Even as I read the novel, I was thinking about the proximities (or affinities) between Hazel’s work and mine. So it was an extra pleasure to be asked to read at the Toronto launch too.
Here are the details for the launch, as they appear in the Facebook event:
Toronto, please join author Hazel Jane Plante for the launch of her debut novel ▼Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian)▲
✦November 4, 6 pm
✦Glad Day Bookshop
✦499 Church St
*with special guests Tom Cho and Trish Salah*
“I’m writing an encyclopedia about a television show for a friend of mine who died,” says the narrator of Little Blue Encyclopedia.
Hazel’s novel does just that, in layered, delightful, and dense prose.
LITTLE BLUE ENCYCLOPEDIA (FOR VIVIAN) sifts through a queer trans woman’s unrequited love for her straight trans friend who died. A queer love letter steeped in desire, grief, and delight, the story is interspersed with encyclopedia entries about a fictional TV show set on an isolated island. The experimental form functions at once as a manual for how pop culture can help soothe and mend us and as an exploration of oft-overlooked sources of pleasure, including karaoke, birding, and butt toys. Ultimately, Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) reveals with glorious detail and emotional nuance the woman the narrator loved, why she loved her, and the depths of what she has lost.
Zoey Leigh Peterson, author of Next Year, For Sure, calls Little Blue Encyclopedia “an exquisite, kaleidoscopic novel bursting with ache and delight.”
HAZEL JANE PLANTE is a queer trans librarian, cat photographer, and writer. In a previous life, she co-founded a micro-press, co-edited a little literary journal, co-hosted a podcast, and released lo-fi albums under the name Sparse. Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) is her first novel.
She currently lives in Vancouver on the unceded ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sə̓lílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
TOM CHO is the author of the collection of fictions Look Who’s Morphing, originally published in his birth country of Australia and later released by Arsenal Pulp Press for North America. Tom’s stories have appeared widely in journals and anthologies, including the Best Australian Stories series, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, and others. This year, he received an Ontario Arts Council grant for his current project, a novel on the meaning of life.
Born in Halifax, TRISH SALAH is the author of Wanting in Arabic and Lyric Sexology Vol. 1 and co-editor of special issues of Canadian Review of American Studies 35.2 (2005) and TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 1.4 (2014). Currently an assistant professor of Gender Studies at Queen’s University, she is a member of the editorial boards of TSQ, Eoagh, and Topia.
Glad Day is an accessible space, located on the main floor, with no step, and there is one accessible gender-neutral washroom on the main floor (more in the basement). The store has a scent reduction policy.
If you are or will be in Toronto, I hope to see you there!