Setting Mary Swan’s novella The Deep alongside her recent novel My Ghosts, the blues in their covers are rich and varied.
The cover of one features statuary, a feminine form, opaque but graceful; the cover of the other showcases a butterfly, luminescent and fragile.
They seem to intertwine. And one could pull a pair of [...]
Reading Craig Davidson’s Cataract City took me somewhere else.
You might think, if you have heard something of the novel, that I am about to say Niagara Falls.
But as much as the novel is about two boys’ coming-of-age in this environs, it is a study of how ‘what-came-before’ morphs and alters into ‘now’.
Duncan Diggs [...]
“There’s no backstitching in stories. Nothing can be locked in place.”
So says a character in Studio Saint-Ex, but readers of Ania Szado’s second novel might disagree; she seems to have no trouble locking a good story in place.
She began where all good stories begin, with a fascination.
In her Acknowledgments, she writes:
“To conclude [...]
Twenty-two years ago, I clipped an article from a Toronto newspaper about the restoration of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons near Midland, Ontario.
I had studied the history of the mission and the slaughter of the Jesuit priests when I was in elementary school, culminating in a vague understanding of it all: devotion, discovery, torture.
In her work as a journalist, Sara Wheeler has often inhabited “borderlands of turbulence and uncertainty”, and travelled into dangerous territory.
Readers familiar with Catherine Bush’s earlier novels might recall Arcadia from Rules of Engagement, her fascination with war and violence, and the question that haunts her: “What would you be willing to risk for love?”
When the angels invaded the plotline of “Supernatural”, I stopped watching weekly.
I prefer stone rabbits and hedgehogs in my flowerbeds, over white winged statues.
And when a girlfriend told me that the child she lost at full-term is an angel now, I struggled to keep my face expressionless, silently repeating to myself how comforting it [...]
Readers familiar with Michael Winter’s fiction will immediately recognize the contrast between stark prose and emotional intensity; in the gap between, the reader resides.
For it’s not as though Henry Hayward does not feel, but it’s as though he has raised a hand to protect himself from the heat of the blaze; the reader is [...]
“The Son of A Certain Woman. You don’t have to have read Joyce to ‘get’ it. But it’s a touch more fun if you have.”
And that is because it is Wayne Johnston’s “Joyce book”.
Which one might take to mean that it’s about the Joyce family. (Primarily about Percy and his mother, Penelope, but [...]
Jennifer Quist’s Love Letters of the Angels of Death is a taut novel which pulls the reader into the story with only a few paragraphs.
Not only through plot, though the first paragraph is a bold invitation to read on: ”It was only a matter of time before we found human remains. Maybe that’s true for [...]
The cover image for Anthony De Sa’s Kicking the Sky perfectly encapsulates the novel’s themes, structure, setting and tone.*
A child’s bicycle leans against a garage door, the only sign of habitation. The view of the alleyway leaves the safety of home beyond the edges of the scene.
The shadows are as predominant as the shapes [...]