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

Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017)

2017-09-07T17:04:14+00:00

The dead fuel Jesmyn Ward's novels. She feels the weight of their stories; she shoulders them, shares them. In Sing, Unburied, Sing, their chorus of voices - even in the epigraphs but also in the novel - reverberates between and beyond the covers. Ward's are heart-shattering stories. But they

Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017) 2017-09-07T17:04:14+00:00

The Irish Family: Kate O’Brien, Anakana Schofield, and Lisa McInerney

2017-09-18T10:58:03+00:00

These are the kinds of stories which expose the imperfections which lie beneath a carefully smoothed comforter. Honest characterization is key, Lisa McInerney explains to Marie Gethins,: "There is absolutely no element or aspect of their characters’ lives a writer should shy away from presenting, no matter how unpleasant.

The Irish Family: Kate O’Brien, Anakana Schofield, and Lisa McInerney 2017-09-18T10:58:03+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

August 2017, In My Bookbag

2017-08-11T13:57:35+00:00

In which I discuss the skinny volumes which accompany me on my travels, while the heavier volumes (like John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany and Callum Roberts' The Ocean of Life) remain at home. Juliane Okot Bitek was inspired to engage with the Rwanda Genocide in response to Kenyan-American artist

August 2017, In My Bookbag 2017-08-11T13:57:35+00:00