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

Mavis Gallant’s “Poor Franzi”

At one table, we have the Wrights, on the crowded hotel terrace, with the Austrian mountains playing picture-postcard for the family, who has journeyed from Baltimore.

They’re a cranky lot, with daughters Coralie and Joan having had a different set of expectations for their travels, which neither their mother nor their brother Charlie shared.


Mavis Gallant’s “The Other Paris” (1956)

There is, about an hour’s drive from Toronto, a small town called Paris, on the Grand River. I’ve visited it a couple of times and I have travelled through it, by train, countless times.

Rarely, on one of those rail journeys, did I miss that broad curve of the tracks, the glorious view of the river […]


Isobel English’s Every Eye (1956)

Isobel English’s Every Eye (1956) Persephone Number 18 Persephone Books, 2000

Cynthia has died.

We learn that in the first sentence of Every Eye. From Hatty. Who is telling her story from the perspective of her middle years.

Hatty is freshly married and Cynthia has freshly died. Both events have given Hatty pause.

She remembers […]


Anticipation and Hesitation

Ethel Wilson’s Love and Salt Water (1956) McClelland & Stewart, NCL 1990.

The advantages of reading an author’s works through are many; I love the sense of truly-getting-acquainted that comes with this reading immersion, the intense satisfaction of recognizing interconnections (and divergences) between stories and longer works, the sense of a community that develops when […]