This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

November-December 2017

Toronto’s BookThug brings together music and literature in new imprint

Chaos & Star Records launched this fall

Jessica Rose


Photo courtesy of BookThug.

Since it began in 2004, Toronto-based literary press BookThug has been best known for publishing innovative and groundbreaking works of contemporary literary fiction and non-fiction, poetry, and drama. Now, it’s delving into new territory. With the recent launch of Chaos & Star Records, the press has begun a new label that brings together readings by BookThug authors with Canadian musicians on limited-edition seven-inch vinyl.

Chaos & Star Records was created in collaboration with musician and longtime poetry lover Andrew Whiteman of Broken Social Scene and Apostle of Hustle fame. The goal of the label is to “provide a space where two different modes of creativity and listening can converge.”

The label’s first three eclectic releases each boast a vibrant cover that reimagines the design of the authors’ books. On Rich & Poor: The Single, Whiteman teams up with Jacob Wren, whose timely novel is written from the perspective of both a poor dishwasher and the billionaire he’s plotting to kill. Two other releases pair Liz Worth with members of Toronto indie band Zeus and Jennifer LoveGrove with songwriters Christine Fellows and John K. Samson. Each recording is an example of music heightening and intensifying the already-dynamic literary readings.

These titles, which are just the first for Chaos & Star Records, are available online and at selected booksellers and record stores, including Type Books and Soundscapes in Toronto, Drawn & Quarterly in Montreal, and the Paper Hound Bookshop in Vancouver.

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