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

Margaret Millar’s How Like an Angel (1962)

Exploring in the back country of Santa Barbara County California, Margaret Millar discovered a group of abandoned buildings on top of a ridge of the Santa Ynez mountains. The view was incredible: the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Ynez valley, Lake Cachuma, and the San Rafael mountains, along with a main lodge, out-buildings, and a tower.

[…]

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Louise Erdrich’s Four Souls (2004)

As with Tracks, the primary voices in Four Souls are Fleur’s and Nanapush’s.

So, although it was published more than ten years later, I opted to read Four Souls next, to keep these characters fresher in mind and heart, hoping for a deeper understanding.

Two other women play significant roles in this story as well […]

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Mavis Gallant’s “The Deceptions of Marie-Blanche”

If the story were titled “Les Deceptions de Marie-Blanche”, it might be translated as “The Disappointments of Marie-Blanche”: an apt choice.

San Francisco Earthquake, 1907 – Click for source details

And, yet, as it stands, there is the added implication that Marie-Blanche has not only been disappointed by her love affairs, but that the […]

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Margaret Millar’s A Beast in View (1955; 2016)

She won the Edgar for it in 1956: Best Novel. (If you are looking for new reading lists, the Edgar Award’s site is filled with temptations.)

And it was the first of three, later awards being given for The Fiend in 1965 and Beyond This Point Are Monsters in 1971. (She would receive The Grand Master Award […]

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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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Soraya Peerbaye’s Tell (2015)

Poems for a Girlhood, it’s subtitled. But it’s actually for girlhoods. For the author’s. And Reena Virk’s.

At least, for what of Reena Virk’s girlhood is known and what can be imagined. She was murdered on November 14, 1997 when she was fourteen years old.

At least eight teenagers participated in her death (two were charged and sentenced), […]

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Auđur Ava Ólafsdóttir’s Butterflies in November (2003; 2014)

Almost ten years after its original publication, Butterflies in November was translated into English from the Icelandic by Brian FitzGibbon. (This was in 2013, by Pushkin Press, though the edition which appears below was published in 2014 by Grove/Atlantic.)

2003; Translated Brian FitzGibbon, 2013

It gained substantial attention with its listing for the Independent […]

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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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The Fold’s 2016 Reading List (Part Three)

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 this year, here.

Earlier in […]

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Katherena Vermette’s The Break (2016)

“My Stella, girls get attacked everywhere.” Stella’s Kookom — her grandmother — states her truth blnntly. She has lived it, is living it, has survived it and is surviving it. Although, as Lou says: “We have all been broken in one way or another.”

House of Anansi, 2016

The Break is more than one woman’s story. But […]

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