News

News

Richard King, book lover, mystery novelist and wonderful storyteller: May he rest in peace

Baraka Books was very sad to learn that Richard King passed away on Jan. 4, 2022. His was a life devoted to books, as bookseller, book reviewer, bookseller and more. He was the author of great mystery novels and biographies. A renowned bookseller, he co-founded Paragraphe Bookstore in Montreal and held the position of President of the Canadian Booksellers Association. His regular books column at CBC was appreciated by authors, publishers and listeners because his comments and suggestions were always sharp, enlightening, witty and inspiring.

As publisher of Baraka Books, I had the pleasure of meeting him in 2019 when he proposed that we publish his series that came to be called, The Nurse Annie Linton, Detective Gilles Bellechasse Mystery Novels. We had never published a mystery novel before.

In addition to being a tribute to nurses and health-care workers, this series showcases the great city of Montreal that Richard loved very much. Fortunately, Richard had finished the third instalment Serving Life which will be published on April 1, 2022. From our communications in early December, it was clear the Richard had many projects yet to be completed.

On behalf of Baraka Books, who has had the privilege of working with Richard for the past three years, I would like to extend my most sincere condolences to his family and to his many close friends.

For more information about Richard King, please see his obituary.

Robin Philpot, Publisher

Mick Lowe, Writer, Reporter, Muckraker and All-round Great Guy Passes Away

Baraka Books was very sad to learn that Mick Lowe, author of the Nickel Range Trilogy passed away on Saturday, April 17 at the age of 73.

Mick loved his adopted home town of Sudbury. He devoted much of his great story-telling talent as a reporter and author to the hard-rock miners and their many struggles for justice and dignity.

The Raids, Vol. 1 of the Trilogy, is a fictional account of true-life battle that took place in the early 60s vicious beatings, riots, and covert operations. It is built around 19-year old Jake McCool who undergoes a rite of passage—his first shift underground in a hard rock mine.

Dave Patterson, a hard rock miner and former president of Sudbury Steelworkers’ Local 6500, describes The Raids as “… a compelling story of political power, love and hatred all rolled into a gritty, hard-hitting novel of the Nickel Range.The Raids has also appeared in German.

In The Insatiable Maw Jake McCool, who was injured in the mine, starts working at the Copper Cliff Smelter complex in the early 70s. He finds himself embroiled in a vicious fight over health and safety, and particularly the poisoned air in the smelter and around. Through his cast of characters, Mick Lowe chronicles an entire community’s eco-defiance that led to the greening of Sudbury.

Wintersong. It is September 1978, 11,700 hard rock miners and smelter and refinery workers at Inco’s Sudbury operations face a stark choice. Should they remain on the job? Or take seemingly suicidal strike action against a huge multinational that has stocked up enough nickel to last a year? They choose the latter and win.

The Nickel Range Trilogy is working class literature at its best, echoing the great tradition of writers like Upton Sinclair, Theodore Dreiser, Steinbeck and Dos Passos.  Few novels in Canada focus on workers and work and even fewer deal with work in industry, particularly in a unionized setting. Mick bucked that trend and did it well.

Although Mick has left us, he has left his adopted home town and country—Mick was born and raised in Nebraska and came to Canada as a draft dodger—and workers everywhere a wonderful legacy. He will be sorely missed.

Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Robin Philpot, Publisher

COVID-19 UPDATE: Free Shipping in North America for all Baraka & QC Fiction Books

7 April 2020 – All books published by Baraka Books and our imprint QC Fiction are being shipped freely anywhere in North America when purchased on Barakbooks.com and QC Fiction.com. Free shipping will last as long as the pandemic lasts. The main reasons are:

  • Most bookstores in North America have closed and Amazon has “deprioritized” books so that Mr. Bezos can make more money on people’s necessities.
  • Four books are due out on April 1. It was too late to hold off the pub date as the books were already in bookstores. The authors of these will simply not get the advantage of visibility among new releases. Please see the four books below.
  • We have a great backlist of books of all genres available.

The four new titles are:

A Stab at Life, A Mystery Novel by Richard King.
In this first “stab” at mystery novels, by coincidence, the heroine of A Stab at Life is … a nurse, and the action takes place in the Gursky Memorial Hospital in Montreal. Couldn’t be more appropriate. As Margaret Cannon wrote in the Globe and Mail : “…he has talent, wit and Montreal.” For bookseller and author Andreas Kessaris, A Stab at Life is a top-notch Montreal crime tale. When it comes to masterful storytelling, Richard is King.”

Things Worth Burying, A Novel by Matt Mayr
Described by one reviewer as “a working-class story of life at the struggling-to-get-by level, of a man who loves his child, his work and his hometown,” Matt Mayr has created characters that have been compared by a reviewer to “Steinbeck’s salt-of-the-earth migrant farmworkers … real, rough and shaped by tough times.” Hailing from Mantouwadge in Northern Ontario, he knows what he’s writing about.

Free of ‘Incurable’ Cancer, Living in Overtime by Susan Paton
Of author Susan Paton, Claudia Rainville writes, “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.”From QC Fiction

From QC Fiction:

The Art of The Fall, a play by Véronique Côté, Danielle Le Saux-Farmer et al.
In the current crisis, this play about love, art and the 2008 financial crisis couldn’t have been more timely. As Jacob Wren remarked, it is “Satire so sharp it cuts you then puts a price tag on the scars.”

In addition to these new titles, we’d like to draw your attention to some other great recent titles and authors.

Fiction:
From Baraka: Exile Blues by Gary Freeman; Fog by Rana Bose; The Daughters’ Story by Murielle Cyr; Yasmeen Haddad Loves Joanasi Maqaittik by Carolyn Marie Souaid

From QC Fiction: Songs for the Cold of Heart by Eric Dupont (trans. Peter McCambridge) (Canada only); Prague by Maude Veilleux (trans. Aleshia Jensen and Aimée Wall); In the End Tthey Told Them All to Get Lost by Laurence Leduc-Primeau (trans. Natalia Hero); The Little Fox of Mayerville by Éric Mathieu (trans. Peter McCambridge), Brothers by David Clerson (trans. Katia Gubisic) and much more.

Nonfiction
By David Vermette: A Distinct Alien Race, The Untold Story of Franco-Americans.
By Stephen Gowans: Israel, A Beachhead in the Middle East; Patriots, Traitors and Empires, The Story of Korea’s Fight for Freedom; Washington’s Long War on Syria.
By Gail Cuthbert Brandt: Through the Mill, Girls and Women in the Quebec Cotton Textile Industry 1889-1951
By Ishmael Reed: Why No Confederate Statues in Mexico and The Complete Muhammad Ali
By Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow: Charging Ahead, Hydro-Québec and the Future of Electricity
By Barry Sheehy: Montreal, City of Secrets, Confederate Operations in Montreal During the American Civil War
By Fred Jerome: The Einstein File, The FBI’s Secret War on the World’s Most Famous Scientist
By Robert Foxcurran, Michel Bouchard & Sébatien Malette: Songs Upon the Rivers, The Buried History of French-speaking Canadiens & Métis
By Claude Lacaille: Rebel Priest in the Time of Tyrants, Haiti, Ecuador and Chile (trans. Casey Roberts)

And on Public Health: Scandinavian Common Sense, Policies to Tackle Social Inequalities in Health  by Marie-France Raynault and Dominique Côté

Very best wishes during confinement.

For further information, communicate with Baraka Books at info@barakabooks.com.

UTP Distribution takes over Canadian distribution for Baraka Books and QC Fiction

NOTE: DISTRIBUTION CHANGE IN CANADA

As of January 1, 2020, UTPDistribution has taken over distribution in Canada. All books published by Baraka Books and under our imprint Qc Fiction are to be ordered through UTP Distribution. The Canadian Manda Group continues to represent Baraka Books and QC Fiction through the Literary Press Group of Canada.

For the Canadian Manda Group: Sales Representatives

DISTRIBUTION IN THE US REMAINS THE SAME

The  Independent Publishers Group (IPG) continues to handle all distribution for Baraka Books and QC Fiction books in the United States and the rest of the world. In Canada.