T h e s e  S o n g s  I  K n o w  B y  H e a r t


“A thoughtful, searching novel about connection and love in all its many forms, from fleeting encounters with strangers to bonds with chosen kin. There is a deep generosity in these reflections on art and friendship, uncertainty and loss, and a beautiful openness to the world. This book left me feeling less alone.” —Aimee Wall, author of We, Jane

Married and divorced in her 20s, looking for friendship in her 30s, and contemplating pregnancy at 40, our narrator wonders if she’s done life out of order. But Alice, The Turtle, The Kid, and other beloveds remind her that motherhood is more than giving birth, art is never finished, and love is not linear.

Through a three-day canoe trip, chance encounters, fierce female friendship, step-parenting, IVF, pandemic isolation, and quiet moments between humans, These Songs I Know By Heart weaves vignettes of everyday mythology into an absorbing and honest meditation on the connections in our lives. With razor-sharp reflection, humour, and most of all love, we are reminded that there’s no formula to life and that instead, we must celebrate what makes the small moments of our lives extraordinary.

“These Songs I Know By Heart is like time spent with a good friend—candid, comforting, and inspiring. Erin Brubacher’s spare prose elides the distance between feelings and words, and her sensitive songs are tuned to an artist’s pitch.” —Martha Schabas, author of My Face in the Light

“Erin Brubacher’s gorgeous new book is a collection of stylish, original and artfully observed sketches of 21st century romance and modern friendship, and her optimism about the tiny beautiful connections we make in life is happy-making. These Songs I Know By Heart is an odd, winsome, and winning piece of writing.” —Hannah Moscovitch, Governor General’s Literary Award–winning author of Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes

“One of the quietly radical things about These Songs I Know By Heart is the essential goodness of its characters. No forced conflict, no traditional antagonist, no plumbing the fundamental ugliness of its protagonist. What emerges is something more rare and profound. A deeply humane and compassionate compendium of encounter and observation meditating on friendship, motherhood, art making, and home.” —Jordan Tannahill, Scotiabank Giller Prize–shortlisted author of The Listeners

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Press Coverage:

“Two Songs” : Read an excerpt from These Songs I Know By Heart by Erin Brubacher —Hazlitt

“These Songs I Know By Heart is tender, gripping and relentlessly honest... Brubacher’s novel shows off the same flair for dramatic intimacy that makes her such a sought-after collaborator in the theatre world.” —Aisling Murphy, Toronto Star

Most Anticipated: Our 2024 Spring Fiction Preview —49th Shelf

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