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 “Its Image in the Mirror”

At nearly one hundred pages long, it’s unsurprising that this is the most complex of Mavis Gallant’s stories I’ve read this year. It’s neither the length nor the breadth of the story which complicates it, but the intricate arrangement of details, as readers are gradually immersed in the narration of Jean Price.

She is not […]

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Oh, the Saga-ness of it all

Rereading the Saga comics is definitely worthwhile. On first-reading, I was a little off-kilter, so engrossed in some panels that I missed others completely, only occasionally remembering to retrace my steps. Discovering wings or horns on characters who appeared humanoid at first glance was delightfully but consistently distracting.

Readers are aware almost immediately that the story […]

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In My Stacks, May 2016

How much of your reading is non-fiction? Does it fluctuate, or are you committed to reading (or not reading) it?

When others were participating in non-fiction November last year, and actually reading a lot of the books that I’d been kinda-half-sorta thinking about reading, I realised that tending towards fiction had shifted into reading almost […]

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All Those Who Are Missing: New 2016 Novels

Many writers suggest that a motivation for telling stories is to set things in order, to make sense of what seems senseless. Little wonder that so many novels are preoccupied with loss and absence, abandonment and grief.

In Melanie Mah’s The Sweetest One, Chris (Chrysler) Wong thinks maybe she’s cursed. Readers don’t understand, at first, […]

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The Fold’s 2016 Reading List (Part Five, Final)

The FOLD (The Festival of Literary Diversity) is an annual event, in Brampton (Ontario, Canada) dedicated to telling more stories, to having audiences connect with a wider variety of storytellers. You can check out their lineup of terrific writers and storytellers who were a part of the debut festival in May 2016, here.

Earlier in 2016, […]

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Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am (2016)

In interview with Mark Medley in September, Jonathan Safran Foer discusses his new book, Here I Am, in such a way that it’s clear it feels distinct from his other writing for him.

Hamish Hamilton – PRH, 2016

Many of the attendees are carrying copies of his earlier books, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely […]

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Deni Ellis Béchard’s Into the Sun (2016)

Have you ever missed your stop on public transit because of a book?

House of Anansi, 2016

Into the Sun is so gripping, from the start, that I travelled four stops past my own stop, before I even realized that I had missed it. (Then, I was so surprised, even disbelieving that I’d travelled so far […]

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Adwoa Badoe’s Aluta (2016)

“I was never sure exactly what I wanted. I guess I wanted to be popular, and beautiful, and smart, and in love,” Charlotte observes.

Groundwood Books, 2016

She comes from Kibi, Eastern Region, Ghana, where some believe the women to be beautiful but cantankerous. Now Charlotte is eighteen years old, at school, and encountering a wider, […]

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Tricia Dower’s Becoming Lin (2016)

Reading Becoming Lin reminded me of discovering Marilyn French’s The Women’s Room and Marge Piercy’s Small Changes. Two unapologetically feminist novels which I felt had poured out of my own heart into some other writer’s story. I inhaled these books, and I felt the same sense of intense recognition and kindred-spirit-ness in Tricia Dower’s newest […]

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Charlotte Rogan’s Now and Again (2016)

In an interview about her bestselling debut, The Lifeboat, Charlotte Rogan states: “The best writing opens a person’s mind rather than closing it.”

Little, Brown and Co, 2016

Readers of Now and Again should pay attention, because her second novel is over 400 pages long and it is written to satisfy open-minded readers who […]

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