Mavis Gallant’s “One Aspect of a Rainy Day” (1962)

2018-01-02T13:12:25+00:00

What aspect of any single day makes for a good story? A rainy day or otherwise?  "Foreign papers exaggerate; Stefan’s mother sent him such anxious letters from Berlin! He would write tonight and tell her not to worry. Nothing was as serious as it seemed from the outside. Moreover, his

Mavis Gallant’s “One Aspect of a Rainy Day” (1962) 2018-01-02T13:12:25+00:00

Mavis Gallant’s “Willi” (1963)

2017-12-26T20:30:16+00:00

Recalling the distanced and pseudo-analytical view of a man's life in the very short story "Siegfried's Memoirs", readers can contrast that with "Willi", an emotionally driven and heartful short piece. "Willi was a prisoner of war in France until the end of 1948. He dreamed of home, but when he got

Mavis Gallant’s “Willi” (1963) 2017-12-26T20:30:16+00:00

Alison Watt’s Dazzle Patterns (2017)

2017-10-25T13:21:19+00:00

The thing with an explosion is that it comes out of nowhere. And that's exactly what happens in Alison Watt's debut novel. Even though I knew that the 1917 event was at the heart of this Halifax story, I was completely absorbed in Clare and Fred's ordinary workday at

Alison Watt’s Dazzle Patterns (2017) 2017-10-25T13:21:19+00:00

Reading South Sudan: Witnessing

2017-10-06T11:16:41+00:00

First, the matter of getting situated. In this, the largest country in Africa, geographically, nearly twice the size of Alaska: Sudan. Its peoples speak 134 different languages, more than 400 if one counts distinct dialects. It officially declared independence on January 1, 1956. North of Sudan is the Sahara

Reading South Sudan: Witnessing 2017-10-06T11:16:41+00:00

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

2017-10-03T12:59:10+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 2017-10-03T12:59:10+00:00