March Newsletter + New & Latest Arrivals (03/03/2014)



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Argo Bookshop Newsletter – March 2014

As winter persists, you may very well resemble the above illustration by NOWNESS, an arts and culture website, which features a copy of Thomas Bernhard’s The Loser, listed as March’s Book of the Month. The rest of those illustrations are definitely worth checking out. That being said, you could probably use a good book to keep you company until the equinox arrives on March 20th and the thaw begins. Take a look at the new arrivals we have to start the month with, and keep in mind that it’s not too late to pick up a copy of this month’s NYRB Book Club selection. This month also has promising upcoming events, with readings by Carolyn ForchéFrancine Prose, and our Featured Reading this month features Daniel Canty and Oana Avasilichioaei. Read on to find out more!


Book of the Month: 20% off

Thomas Bernhard’s

The Loser

We’ve been meaning to place The Loser as Book of the Month for some time now. A tried and true favourite of everyone here at the shop, the story follows an unnamed narrator’s recollections of his friendship with Canadian “piano artist” Glenn Gould and their friend Wertheimer during their music studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.

A tale of self-loathing and suicidal tendencies, Wertheimer and the narrator continually struggle with their own aspirations in the face of Gould’s prodigal talent. So great is the presence of Gould that it triggers an undying sense of failure in the narrator and his friend, resulting in a damning meditation: What is the point of trying something if you know there’s someone out there who has already mastered it?

Born Nicolaas Thomas Bernhard in 1931, Bernhard was an Austrian novelist, poet and playwright of more than 60 books, 29 of which are currently available in English. Considered to be one of the most important literary figures since World War II, his general work typically features long, sweeping monologues replete with recurring themes of abandonment and illness while displaying an irrepressible loathing for the airs of society, ego and patriotism.


New & Latest Arrivals

Click the title of a book to view information on or a review of that title, or just search for them in our catalogue (recommended for price checks).


  • The Penguin Book Of Scottish Short Stories (edited by JF Hendry)







  • Halifax Hal: An Odd Little Book by Nick Thran & Gabe Foreman


Book Club Update

Our next read is…

The Letter Killers Club by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky.

The Letter Killers Club is a secret society of self-described “conceivers” who, to preserve the purity of their conceptions, will commit nothing to paper. (What, after all, is your run-of-the-mill scribbler of stories if not an accomplished corruptor of conceptions?) The logic of the club is strict and uncompromising. Every Saturday, members meet in a firelit room filled with empty black bookshelves where they strive to top one another by developing ever unlikelier, ever more perfect conceptions… (S)et in an ominous Soviet Moscow of the 1920s, the members of the club are strangely mistrustful of one another, while all are under the spell of its despotic President, and there is no telling, in the end, just how lethal the purely conceptual—or, for that matter, letters—may be.  – NYRB

“It is now clear that Krzhizhanovsky is one of the greatest Russian writers of the last century.”

–          Raymond Chandler, The Financial Times

We meet bi-monthly, but we’ll be skipping the month of December to recalibrate. So: On March 27th, we’ll get together to discuss the book over some drinks. Everyone’s welcome, and anyone partaking receives a 15% discount off the book.


March’s Events


Concordia University Presents:

Writers Read with Carolyn Forché

Friday, March 14th @ 7PM

1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. Ouest

7th Floor, Room H-767


The excellent writer Carolyn Forché will be the first of two readings as part Concordia University’s Writers Read series this month. Join us to listen to this spectacularly accomplished poet read!

Renowned as a “poet of witness,” Forché is the author of four books of poetry. Her first collection Gathering the Tribes (Yale University Press 1976) won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. In 1977, she traveled to Spain to translate the Salvadorean-exiled poet Claribel Alegaria, and upon her return, received a Guggenheim Fellowship which enabled her to travel to El Salvador where she worked as a human rights advocate. Her second book The Country Between Us (Harper and Row 1982) received the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, her third book The Angel of History (HarperCollins 1994) was chosen for The Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her fourth and latest book of poems is Blue Hour (HarperCollins 2003).



Argo Featured Reading #24:

Daniel Canty & Oana Avasilichioaei

@ Argo Bookshop

Thursday, March 20th



Daniel Canty has produced many innovative works in literature, film, design, theatre, as well as the visual and media arts, and he is well known for his collaborations with other creators from these fields. In addition to his recent literary work (Wigrum, 2011; Le Livre de chevet, 2009), he has produced site-specific installations in libraries and former train stations (Bruire, 2013; Le Tableau des départs, 2010), and produced award-winning films, librettos, and myriad other projects. A solo exhibition, Bucky ball, incorporating a transtemporal auto-science-fiction novellaruns until May at Artexte. His next book, Les États-Unis du vent, a memoir of an American journey following the wind, will be published by La Peuplade this Spring. This July, Daniel will undertake a 6-month residency at the Québec Studio in London, England, through the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

Poet, translator and editor, Oana Avasilichioaei’s books include We, Beasts (Wolsak & Wynn, 2012, winner of the QWF’s A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry) and feria: a poempark (Wolsak & Wynn, 2008). Her most recent translation is Wigrum, a novel by Daniel Canty (Talonbooks, 2013) and she was the editor of the Quebec poetry feature in Aufgabe 12 (New York, 2013). Her current work-in-progress is Limbinal and she can be found at



Argo Open Mic #25

Wednesday, March 26th @ 7PM

@ Argo Bookshop


Montrealers! Come read some of your work for 5 to 10 minutes at our Open Mic!

Every month, the Argo Bookshop hosts this open venue for people to share their writing, music, articles and comedy. Bring your friends and enjoy the evening! Make sure to come early to sign up and save yourself a spot!



Concordia University Presents:

Writers Read with Francine Prose

Friday, March 28th

1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. Ouest

7th Floor, Room H-767


Francine Prose is the author of seventeen works of fiction. Her novel A Changed Man won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel was a finalist for the National Book Award. her most recent nonfiction books include the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: The Book, her Life, the Afterlife, and the New York Times best seller Reading Like a Writer. The recipient of numerous grants and honours, including a Guggenheim and a Fullbright, a Director’s Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, Francine Prose is a former president of PEN American Center, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in New York City.



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