Maybe and What’s Always Been Done: On Andrea MacPherson’s What We Once Believed (2017)

2017-09-15T13:07:49+00:00

I’ve loved the idea of a character named Maybe since I read Katheen Martin’s novel, Penny Maybe, about a sixteen-year-old girl working out all the possibilities ahead of her. Isn’t it just perfect for a coming-of-age story? And, indeed, in Andrea MacPherson’s novel, Maybe Collins is eleven years old

Maybe and What’s Always Been Done: On Andrea MacPherson’s What We Once Believed (2017) 2017-09-15T13:07:49+00:00

The Skinny on Some Skinnies: September 2017, In My Bookbag

2017-09-13T11:12:45+00:00

In which I discuss the skinny volumes which accompany me on my travels, while the heavier volumes (like Stephen King's It and an omnibus of Shirley Jackson's short works) remain at home. On a late August afternoon, I'm taking the Queen Street streetcar, in the stretch between Beach and Parliament,

The Skinny on Some Skinnies: September 2017, In My Bookbag 2017-09-13T11:12:45+00:00

Suzette Mayr’s Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall (2017)

2017-09-13T09:11:50+00:00

It's not quite as bad as Edith's dreams. Not quite. But almost. And that's because Suzette Mayr has a way of writing that pricks beneath the skin. "That night Edith dreams of hares. Hares hanging by their necks, throttled by catgut in a thicket of trees. Someone has executed

Suzette Mayr’s Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall (2017) 2017-09-13T09:11:50+00:00

Stories and Leafblowers: Background to Passion

2017-09-08T13:36:43+00:00

One August morning, I sat down with Angela Lopes' Bridge Retakes. The neighbourhood was pulsating with summer noise. A house was being constructed six doors down, prettifying work was underway two doors down, a landscaper's leaf-blower was out of sight but roaring, and a neighbour's grandson was cranky about

Stories and Leafblowers: Background to Passion 2017-09-08T13:36:43+00:00

Mavis Gallant’s “The Ice Wagon Going Down the Street” (1963)

2017-08-08T13:54:19+00:00

Reading this story might change your reading life forever. That's what happened to Peter Orner, whose essay on Mavis Gallant's stories is mesmerizing: "The Way Vivid, Way Underappreciated Short Stories of Mavis Gallant", published in The Atlantic's "By Heart" series. "The first story I read is called 'The Ice Wagon

Mavis Gallant’s “The Ice Wagon Going Down the Street” (1963) 2017-08-08T13:54:19+00:00