Mavis Gallant’s “The Prodigal Parent” (1969)


Like the sand dollar that Rhoda’s father slips into his pocket, this is a gritty story. Her sister Joanne repatriated their father, with an air passage to back the claim, and now he has come to live with Joanne. “Then waja come here for?” “Because Regan sent me on

Mavis Gallant’s “The Prodigal Parent” (1969)2018-08-27T09:11:40-05:00

Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight (2018)


If The Cat’s Table (2011) was a slow and steady unravelling of a young boy’s memories, yarn taut and tidy, Warlight is a mass of moth-eaten fragments, remnants of a finely-crafted woollen garment pulled from a trunk. A thing of beauty, yes, but the devastation is the first thing

Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight (2018)2018-08-02T16:41:25-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “The End of the World” (1967)


It’s a hot and overcast August morning, too early for the neighbourhood to have awakened. On another morning it might seem peaceful; this morning it feels abandoned. The grass in the park next door is patchy and dry, even though the humidity is high and a woman with two

Mavis Gallant’s “The End of the World” (1967)2018-08-08T11:10:25-05:00

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.

All Those Who Are Missing: New 2016 Novels2016-12-13T11:20:39-05:00

November 2016, In My Bookbag


In which I discuss some of the skinny volumes which have kept me company while on the move, while heavier volumes (like Steven Price's By Gaslight and Ami McKay's The Witches of New York) stayed home. The Selected Poetry of Ryszard Kapuściński is the first in the International Translation Series

November 2016, In My Bookbag2017-07-24T14:30:45-05:00
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