Girls Fall Down named as 2012 One Book Toronto title!

As announced on CBC's Metro Morning on February 21, the 2012 selection for the Toronto Public Library's city-wide book club this April (One Book Toronto) is Girls Fall Down by Maggie Helwig. The novel, published in 2008 by Coach House Books and shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award, foregrounds two ex-lovers' unexpected reunion against a backdrop of a city-wide panic.

The Toronto Public Library runs the One Book Toronto program as part of April's Keep Toronto Reading festivities, selecting a title they encourage all Torontonians to read and discuss. Past titles selected for One Book Toronto include Midnight at the Dragon Cafe (Judy Fong Bates), More (Austin Clarke) and Consolation (Michael Redhill).

Girls Fall Down opens with a girl fainting in the Toronto subway. Her friends are taken to the hospital with unexplained rashes. Swarms of police arrive, and then the hazmat team. Panic ripples through the city, and words like poisoning and terrorism become airborne. Alex, a medical photographer who is hoping to chronicle the Toronto he knows on film before his sight fails completely, is a witness to this first episode. During the hysteria, he encounters an old girlfriend – the one who shattered his heart in the eighties, while she was fighting for social justice and he was battling his body’s chemical demons. But now Susie-Paul is in the midst of her own crisis: her schizophrenic brother is missing, and the streets of Toronto are more hostile than ever.

Throughout April, the Toronto Public Library will host dozens of events concerning Girls Fall Down and its themes:

  • April 2 - kickoff launch at the Toronto Reference Library
  • April 4 - a tour of the PATH system with Spacing editor and Stroll author Shawn Micallef
  • April 15 - a graffiti tour of the city with Steve and Lisa Ferrara of Well and Good Arts & Culture
  • April 18 - a panel on anxiety in the post-911 world moderated by the Toronto Star's Catherine Porter
  • until April 25 - an ongoing 'Hidden Toronto' contest
  • and many others!

Coach House Books is also pleased to announce the TTC One Book Club. This new initiative is specially designed for the subway commuter, and takes place from April 23 to 30. The TTC One Book Club, co-produced with Pattison Onestop and Art for Commuters, invites all Torontonians to chat about the Keep Toronto Reading One Book selection, Girls Fall Down, using Twitter.  The easily identified 30-second spot, with daily topics and response tweets, will cycle every 10 minutes throughout the day on the Pattison Onestop network of TTC platform screens in over 60 stations across Toronto. Tweets responding to our topics will get posted throughout the day, keeping the conversation active. You can join the Twitter chat by using #TTCOneBook.

To encourage people to read and talk about Maggie Helwig's Girls Fall Down, we've discounted the book. You can now buy Girls Fall Down at 25% off cover price when you order through our online store. And, as always, you'll receive the epub edition for free when you order the print book.

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