Front cover: Better Next Year, edited by JJ Lee

An Anthology of Christmas Epiphanies

Editor: JJ Lee

Christmas is trumpeted as a time of peace, joy, bounty and goodwill. Believers and non-believers alike covet the spirit of the holidays even when circumstances are screwed up. 

Recollections from acclaimed Canadian authors combine with emerging voices from across the country in an anthology that debunks the popular depiction of Christmas while delivering its messages of hope and renewal. 

Writers of colour, immigrants, Indigenous authors, members of the queer and transgendered community and those marginalized by personal circumstance share memories of surviving bleak Christmases past: holidays spent in shelters, prisons or on the streets; families marred by alcohol and violence; personal struggles with addiction, poverty or grief; isolation and loneliness. Despite these and other obstacles, contributors strive to salvage the spirit of the season. 

Among the contributors are:

SONJA LARSEN, whose memoir Red Star Tattoo My Life As A Girl Revolutionary (Random House Canada)  won the 2017 Edna Staebler Non Fiction award and was shortlisted for the 2016 Hilary Weston Writers Trust Non Fiction Award. Her stories and essays have appeared in a various publications including Globe and Mail, Subterrain, Little Fiction/ Big Truths and Room magazine.

TOLU OLORUNTOBA’s  poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, while his debut chapbook, Manubrium, was a bpNichol Chapbook Award finalist. The Junta of Happenstance, his first full-length collection of poetry, won the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2022.

JOSEPH KAKWINOKANASUM, of Cree and Austrian descent, grew up in the Peace region of northern BC, one of seven children raised by a single mother. A graduate of SFU’s Writers Studio, his short story “Ray Says” was a finalist for CBC’s 2020 Nonfiction Prize.  In 2022, he was selected by Darrel J. McLeod as one of the Writers Trust of Canada’s Rising Stars. He now lives and writes in BC’s Lower Mainland. Loosely based on his own childhood, My Indian Summer (Tidewater Press) was his first novel. 

JJ LEE  is the author of The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son and a Suit (2011), a finalist for the Governor General’s, Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust and Charles Taylor prizes for non-fiction. Previously a contributor, reporter, producer and host on CBC Radio, he continues to present an annual Christmas ghost story for listeners across British Columbia. JJ Lee currently mentors a non-fiction workshop at Simon Fraser University’s The Writer’s Studio.

  • Fiction, 256pp TBC
  • ISBN 978-1-990160-27-1 (paperback)
  • ISBN 978-1-990160-28-8 (e-book)
  • 5.5″ x 8.5″
  • To be published November 2023
  • Paperback: CA $24.95 / US $21.95
  • Ebook: CA $15.95 / US $13.95
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