Mavis Gallant’s “Potter” (1977)


At first it is surprising. To come across the word ‘defenestration’ in a Mavis Gallant story. Often these are inward-looking stories, detailed and expansive glimpses into the interior lives of quiet – and often solitary – characters. Someone drives too quickly or protests the contents of a sermon, someone

Mavis Gallant’s “Potter” (1977)2018-12-12T14:53:51-05:00

Autumn 2018: In My Reading Log


Elisabeth Sanxay Holding’s The Blank Wall (1947) “It was a mystery story she had got out of the lending library for her father, and she was not fond of mystery stories. Nobody in them ever seems to feel sorry about murders, she had said.” How unfortunate that Lucia is

Autumn 2018: In My Reading Log2018-12-06T10:42:54-05:00

Thoughts on Reading as a Shadow Giller Jury Member


Let’s start with the obvious: it’s not perfect. This whole question of a literary prizelist. A prizelist is going to reflect many different things, from the jurors’ preferences to the prize founders’ or administrators’ networks, from the cultural zeitgeist to the political climate. It is unlikely to reflect any

Thoughts on Reading as a Shadow Giller Jury Member2018-12-05T16:05:29-05:00

Participants’ Links for #MARM November 2018


Thanks to everyone who participated in Margaret Atwood Reading Month and contributed their enthusiasm, interest and experience to making the event a success. And to Naomi: a stellar co-host and co-reader and co-everythinger.  We’ve collaborated on this link collection, so we’re cross-posting. Please let us know if we’ve missed

Participants’ Links for #MARM November 20182018-11-30T19:54:53-05:00

Toronto International Festival of Authors 2018: Photos and Quotations


This year, the Toronto International Festival of Authors ran from October 18th through the 28th. I’ve covered this event through the years in a variety of ways, some official (in 2013 I contributed reviews to the festival site professionally – like this one – and in 2016 I

Toronto International Festival of Authors 2018: Photos and Quotations2018-11-29T12:37:22-05:00