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 “Bernadette”

Alice Munro’s hired girls like to read too.In “Sunday Afternoon”, Alva asks Mr. Gannett if she could borrow “King Lear” and, also, Stendhal’s The Red and the Black.

Mr. Gannett agrees to share his books with Alva, just as Mr. Montjoy gifts the young Alice with his copy of Seven Gothic Tales at the end of the summer in “Hired Girl”, […]

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Janet Ellis’ The Butcher’s Hook (2016)

It’s clear from the beginning: one might long for escape from this narrative, might opt for a bloody end rather than endure more misery.

House of Anansi, 2016

“No one but a fool could look so happy in a miserable house, could they? The mice here probably throw themselves on the traps for a […]

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Lissa M. Cowan’s Milk Fever (2013)

You might not guess from the cover of this debut novel that the epigraph would be drawn from Olympe de Gouges’ “Declaration of the Rights of Women”.

Demeter Press, 2013

But one can be dressed in satin and lace and be a revolutionary, of course.

As was Olympe de Gouges, although her portrait was […]

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