Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Georgia Nicols’ You and Your Future (2011)

When I was twelve,  I got a boxed kit which allowed me to draw my own astrology chart.

House of Anansi, 2011

More than ten years later, I finally wrapped my head around the mathematical charts in the back of the book.

In the meantime, I admired the colourful diagrams, the wet-erase maps of [...]

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Graeme Gibson’s Five Legs (1969)

Five Legs, perhaps surprisingly, is a novel of two — not five — parts.

1969; House of Anansi, 2012

The first is in the voice of Professor Lucan Crackell.

Take “stymied creativity” and a “failed imagination”: an “amiable hypocrite who consoles himself with power in the institution, getting drunk with his students, and small-town [...]

Martha Brooks’ Two Moons in August (1990)

“There were two moons last August — one that was almost full at the beginning when Mom was alive and our lives were normal, and then a big full cheater moon at the end, one that looked down so beautifully on the world when everything was awful and changed and never would be the same [...]

Michael Winter’s One Last Good Look (1999)

Dear Gabriel English,

House of Anansi, 1999

You don’t know me, but I’m usually quite obsessive about reading things in the proper order, so I’m surprised that I read This All Happened a couple of years ago, having somehow missed the fact that you are also at the heart of this collection of short [...]

Nicolas Debon’s Four Pictures by Emily Carr (2003)

There are a number of ways in which one can get to know Emily Carr.

Groundwood Books – House of Anansi, 2003

First, for the bookish, via her own writing.

Klee Wick (1941), The Book of Small (1942), The House of All Sorts (1944), and, published posthumously, Growing Pains (1946), Pause (1953), The Heart of [...]

Derek McCormack’s Christmas Days (2005)

When I was a girl, I had the same kind of advent calendar that Derek McCormack describes receiving every year from his mother, the flat ones made of cardstock, with winter scenes decorating them, little images behind each flap as you discovered them. No toys, no candies.

House of Anansi, 2005 Designed and Decorated [...]

Another kind of storytelling: Born Liars

You haven’t heard from him much lately, I know. But once upon a time (well, this theme is all about storytelling, right?), Mr BIP was a strong presence in these lands. Some of you might remember when he won a cheerleading award for Dewey’s Read-a-Thon, though lately he’s been reading more than cheering.

Nonetheless, he [...]

Sara Maitland’s Gossip from the Forest (2012)

Sometimes, you sense the match between you and a particular book immediately.

Granta Books, 2012 (via House of Anansi)

That’s what happened with me and Sara Maitland’s book.

I still remember the pang of realization in discovering that it had not yet been published: the long wait for The Perfect Book.

It was worth [...]

Kim Echlin’s Inanna (2003)

“I like telling stories of women who act on their passions.”

“I like these strong female characters.”

“When I talk with readers I feel an enormous appetite in women to explore both their strength and their emotional connectedness, which still tend not to be honoured in the dominant culture.”*

Any one of these statements would [...]

Sita’s Ramayana: A Feminist Retelling

As if it wasn’t enough to take The Ramayana and present it in images, this volume retells the ancient epic through the eyes of a woman. This is Sita’s Ramayana.

House of Anansi, 2011 Artwork by Moyna Chitrakar

The original Sanskrit text is attributed to the poet Valmiki, and it is comprised of 24,000 verses which tell [...]