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

Reading Trio: Native North

For last year’s Canadian book challenge, I chose to read on a theme: indigenous authors, inspired by some past favourites.

But I neglected the northern natives. This reading trio will serve as a bridge into this year’s Canadian book challenge. And, hey, it’s not too late to join!

The Shanawdithit spread in The Artist Herself was […]

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Adding to My Indigenous Reading List

When I was musing on the possibilities for a reading list of indigenous authors, almost all of my favourites were fiction (just one memoir and some poetry snuck in). It just happened! But halfway through the reading year, I read the Summary Report of the Truth and Reconcilation Committee with my reading for the Tenth Annual Canadian Challenge, […]

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Louis Riel: On the Page, On the Stage

The Canadian Opera Company is now presenting a new 50th-anniversary production of “Louis Riel”, originally written for the celebration of the Canadian centenary in 1967, with an attempt to shift that oh-so-colonial gaze, now including indigenous artists and languages with more nuanced representations of the historical figures.

These are powerfully important figures, and seeing their stories […]

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Indigenous Tales: A Pulitzer

He was the first native American novelist to focus on the plights of the contemporary Native American.

The supporting materials in the back of the paperback edition of N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn (1966) do a fine job of explaining the unique importance of the work culturally, within the broader context of postwar American fiction. […]

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Reading Louise Erdrich: At Last

For years, vaguely since I collected The Bingo Palace with a university course in mind (but there was never enough time to read all the books I planned to read for papers) and intensely since falling in love with The Last Miracle at Little No Horse, I’ve wanted to go back to the beginning of […]

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A Really Good Brown Girl: Marilyn Dumont

First published in 1996, Marilyn Dumont’s debut – A Really Good Brown Girl – was reprinted thirteen times and later republished as part of Brick Books’ classic series in 2013.

In Lee Maracle’s  introduction, she talks about keeping a worn copy next to her bed, taking good care of it.

Like it “was made of ancient […]

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Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future (2015)

The Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is essential reading.

TRC, 2015

As a component of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the TRC’s “mandate is to inform all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools (IRS).”

The report is intended “to document the truth of survivors, families, communities […]

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Quarterly Stories: Winter 2016

This month, I’m wholly enjoying the stories in the Short Story Advent Calendar (edited by Michael Hingston and designed by Natalie Olsen). The variety of the boxed set is fantastic, especially if you’re looking for “new” short story writers to follow, but I generally read collections of works by a single author.

So many of the […]

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Tracey Lindberg’s Birdie (2016)

Even when Bernice is liked, she’s not necessarily liked for the person she is, but for the person someone believes her to be.  This is largely why she leaves herself, why she learns to fly.

“I wonder how fascinated she’d be if she knew that I’d been fucked before I was eleven, Bernice thinks. That I smoked […]

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Quarterly Stories: Autumn 2016

Only ten this year, so far. Without my Alice Munro project to steer me, I am not reading as many short story collections now.

Over the summer, I read Cherie Dimaline’s A Gentle Habit (2015) as part of All Lit Up’s summer bookclub. Dimaline is a member of the Georgian Bay Métis community and her […]

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