A literary love story of Millennial discontent that explores how far two people can go inventing their own parallel reality—with raccoons.
by Suzannah Showler
McClelland & Stewart/PRH Canada, May 2023
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)
Ferociously in love and in their own universe, Lydie and Nico’s first year together was so beautiful that they’ve been recreating it, day by day, ever since. The anniversaries, sometimes elaborate, sometimes small, become the couples’ own internal logic, tethering them to a reality they’ve built together.
But the real world is starting to creep in. As the people around them start to get married, get pregnant, get serious, Lydie wonders what it is they’re really doing—and why it leaves her so little time to focus on what she moved to the city for: creating art. Meanwhile, Nico experiences a divine event that convinces him the anniversaries matter more than ever, and in the city around them, the urban wildlife is rising up on a mission of their own.
A vivid time capsule of recession-era Toronto, Quality Time is a universal story of self-discovery and invention, capturing that rare, innocent time when we feel like masters of our own fate, and what happens when the real world starts to press in from the edges.
Suzannah Showler is the author of Most Dramatic Ever, a book of cultural criticism about The Bachelor (ECW 2018), and the poetry collections Thing is (McClelland & Stewart 2017) and Failure to Thrive (ECW 2014). You can read her work in the New York Times Magazine, Slate, the Walrus, Hazlitt, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other places. She is the poetry editor for Maisonneuve. She also does contingent labour teaching creative writing. She currently lives on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded land of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations with her partner, Andrew Battershill.