There will be a launch for my new book, The L.M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 1: A Life in Print, on Wednesday evening, 12 February 2014, from 6 to 8 PM at Ben McNally Books in Toronto. Please join us!
UPDATE: There’s also a Facebook event for the launch, for those of you who are so inclined.
Decided to check Amazon.ca just now to see if copies of The L.M. Montgomery Reader 1 were in stock, only to make a startling discovery:
Of course, it’s actually #1 in Canadian History & Criticism, which is something else entirely. Still, it’s currently the top seller in three categories:
These Amazon.ca bestseller ranks are quite unpredictable, though. Just a few weeks ago I discovered that the book was ranked around 4,200 in the list of overall bestsellers, only for it to drop to 16,000th place a few hours later. And, of course, the fact that Amazon.ca received stock just today after taking pre-orders for the book for half a year accounts for this sudden spike. Still, this is a very pleasant surprise.
I was thrilled to receive, last Friday afternoon, a padded envelope containing my first author’s copy of my new book, The L.M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 1: A Life in Print, published by University of Toronto Press. I’m always rather in awe of the transformation from a PDF of proofs to a physical book, and this time was no different. I’m enormously pleased with how it turned out, and I do look forward to hearing the reactions of those who read it.
What is especially gratifying, of course, is that it’s taken six years to reach the point where I could hold the book in my hands as a tangible object. Between August 2007 and July 2009, I held a postdoctoral fellowship (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, otherwise known as SSHRC) at the University of Alberta while living in my current hometown of Waterloo, Ontario (it’s a long story). My project was entitled “Branding a Life: The Case of L.M. Montgomery™” and my plan was to write a book-length study about Montgomery’s body of work, leading up to her final work, The Blythes Are Quoted, which at the time remained unpublished). Although I did a lot of researching and writing during those two years, I also spent a fair bit of time travelling to libraries and archives in order to track down Montgomery’s short stories, serials, poems, essays, and interviews, including a good number that are not listed in Lucy Maud Montgomery: A Preliminary Bibliography (1986). Initially my plan was to introduce all of this little-known material in the book, but then two things happened: first, Penguin Canada accepted The Blythes Are Quoted in March 2008, and second, I realized that I now had so many essays and interviews for a book of their own. Initially my plan was to put together a volume entitled How I Began: L.M. Montgomery’s Essays and Interviews 1910–1939. But then, somewhat inevitably, I kept finding material that I found just as fascinating—early scholarship, entries in reference works, profiles, and book reviews—and started to think of ways to place all this work in the context of Montgomery’s publishing history within her lifetime and in the seven decades since her death. And soon, the book-length study that I had originally planned got shelved, and the three-volume L.M. Montgomery Reader emerged. Like most big projects, this one has been several years in the making and it has evolved considerably as time went on, but I am very happy with the final shape of each of the three volumes.
Speaking of the three volumes, I’m pleased to announce that Volume 2: A Critical Heritage will be published in May 2014! And who knows? Maybe at some point I’ll be able to resume work on the book-length study that I had originally planned!
I’m very pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of my next book, The L.M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 1: A Life in Print, which will be published by University of Toronto Press in October 2013. It will be followed by two additional volumes.