A white elephant was historically bestowed as a burden which had the outward appearance of a gift; a courtier charged with its care and upkeep would have a beautiful creature to display, but the weight of the responsibility undeniable.
Freehand Books, 2016
In Catherine Cooper’s debut novel, the question of gifts and burdens permeates the […]
It’s with a subtle touch, but Nadia Bozak solidly roots the reader in time and place.
House of Anansi, 2016
This is not an easy task, because Shell only grows to the age of seventeen in Thirteen Shells — across thirteen stories, and childhood is inherently rootless.
So the details noted must be those within a child’s […]
Although Middenrammers is set in 1970s England, it is not the England of English literature which Helene Hanff discovered in 84 Charing Cross Road.
Freehand Books, 2016
Nonetheless, the hospital which lies at the heart of the story does have a familiar air to it, for narrator and reader alike.
“Sweport Maternity had the same […]
Christopher Marlowe’s story begins and ends with a brawl, in the hands of Michelle Butler Hallett.
Goose Lane Editions, 2016
This Marlowe focuses on the final months of the playwright’s life, with his death registered as May 30, 1593.
His patron, Thomas Walsingham, openly supported his plays and verses, but they were indeed controversial, in […]
I returned to picture books when a face-to-face bookclub read Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Books without pictures still outnumber the illustrated volumes in my stacks, but I am working to adjust the balance.
The Good Little Book, written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Marion Arbona, will suit booklovers of all ages, and likely […]
Our young separatist narrator is imagining his own future and the future of Quebec, and both man and nation are struggling with matters of expression and independence, in Hubert Aquin’s Next Episode (published in 1965, translated by Sheila Fischman in 2001).
“I am the fragmented symbol of Quebec’s revolution, its fractured reflection and its suicidal […]
Despite its sedate and unassuming cover, Pauline Holdstock’s The Hunter and the Wild Girl begins in a rush.
Goose Lane, 2015
“With a shriek of splintering boards, the girl breaks into daylight and stands blinded, panting, sucking air as if it were a great hot soup, her chest heaving.”
This sentence and the following pages […]
If the idea of experimental or innovative short stories makes you squirm, even though you are simultaneously bored with more traditional structure, Not Anyone’s Anything belongs on your bookshelf.
Ian Williams puts relationships at the core of his work and this fiction collection exhibits this tendency as well.
I also wholly enjoyed his poetry collection […]