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Not That Kind of Place by Michael Melgaard with Guests Curtis LeBlanc & Scott Howard

August 26, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

On Saturday, August 26th at 6pm, join Massy Arts, Massy Books, and House of Anansi Press, ECW Press, and Atria Press for the launch of Not That Kind of Place by Michael Melgaard with guests Curtis LeBlanc and Scott Howard.

Provocative and haunting, Not That Kind of Place is a literary anti-mystery, a compelling exploration of our obsession with true-crime stories and the devastating effects of systemic violence on our most vulnerable populations.

This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada. Ce projet a été rendu possible grâce au gouvernement du Canada.

Venue & Accessibility

The event will be hosted at the Massy Arts Gallery, at 23 East Pender Street in Chinatown, Vancouver.

Registration is free and required for entrance. Register here: Not That Kind of Place by Michael Melgaard with Guests Tickets, Sat, 26 Aug 2023 at 6:00 PM | Eventbrite

The gallery is wheelchair accessible and a gender-neutral washroom is on-site. Please refrain from wearing scents or heavy perfumes.

For more on accessibility including parking, seating, venue measurements and floor plan, and how to request ASL interpretation please visit: massyarts.com/accessibility

Covid Protocols: Masks keep our community safe and are mandatory (N95 masks are recommended as they offer the best protection). We ask if you are showing symptoms, that you stay home. Thank you kindly.

About the books

Not That Kind of Place (House of Anansi Press, 2023)

In May 1997, eighteen-year-old Laura McPherson left her house for a run and didn’t return. Twenty years later, a reporter arrives in the small town of Griffiths to write an article about the unsolved murder of Laura McPherson. He is the most recent in a long line of journalists, podcasters, and amateur sleuths seeking new insights into what really happened to Laura.

Laura’s younger brother, David, a repressed and stuck thirty-something, is dealing with the recent death of his mother when the reporter comes knocking. The last surviving family member, David has lived a sheltered life, protected from the prying eyes of the media by his mother. But David cannot escape the past forever, and soon finds himself confronting the lasting impact of his sister’s death. As David learns more about his sister and the history of Griffiths, his eyes are opened to the casual violence, misogyny, and racism that lurk just below the surface of his seemingly placid community.

Provocative and haunting, Not That Kind of Place is a literary anti-mystery, a compelling exploration of our obsession with true-crime stories and the devastating effects of systemic violence on our most vulnerable populations.

Sunsetter (ECW Press, 2023)

When two teens, Dallan and Hannah, attend the opening night of the infamous Sunsetter rodeo, they find themselves entangled in the suspicious deaths of their two closest loved ones. Driven by loss, rage, and their gut instincts for justice, they channel their grief and confusion into uncovering the criminal truth about their small town of Perron, a prairie community that has been long deserted by industry, leaving a ghostly emptiness of abandoned gravel pits, golf courses, and storefronts. They soon discover that Perron — with its population of bored and discontented youth, as well as police officers who are only looking out for themselves — is the ideal place for a mysterious and omnipresent drug trade to flourish. Soon enough, Dallan and Hannah are being tailed by Deputy Arnason, who has been tasked with protecting the reputation of the local police, even as his conscience screams in protest with every move he makes.

Equal parts crime novel and literary fiction, Sunsetter is an unflinching story about the opioid crisis, teen isolation, police brutality, and the fickleness of late-stage capitalism.

The Other Valley (Simon & Schuster, 2024)

Sixteen-year-old Odile vies for a coveted seat on the Conseil. If she earns the position, she’ll decide who may cross her town’s heavily guarded borders. On either side, it’s the same valley, the same town. To the east, the town is twenty years ahead in time. To the west, it’s twenty years behind. The towns repeat in an endless sequence across the wilderness.

When Odile recognizes two visitors she wasn’t supposed to see, she realizes that the grieving parents of her friend Edme have been escorted across the border, on a mourning tour, to view their son while he’s still alive in Odile’s present.

Edme––who is brilliant, funny, and the only person to truly know Odile––is about to die. Sworn to secrecy, Odile now becomes the Conseil’s top candidate. Yet she finds herself drawing closer to the doomed boy, imperiling her entire future.

About the authors:

Michael Melgaard is the author of the short story collection, Pallbearing, and the novel Not That Kind of Place. His writing has appeared in Best Canadian Stories, LitHub and Joyland. He is a former book critic for the National Post and lives in Toronto.

Curtis LeBlanc (he/him) is the author of two poetry collections, Little Wild and Birding in the Glass Age of Isolation (Nightwood Editions). His debut novel, Sunsetter, was published in Spring 2023 with ECW Press. He is the co-founder of Rahila’s Ghost Press.

Scott Alexander Howard lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, where his work focused on the relationship between memory, emotion, and literature. The Other Valley is his first novel.


23 East Pender Street
Vancouver, BC Canada
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