Stories and Leafblowers: Background to Passion


One August morning, I sat down with Angela Lopes' Bridge Retakes. The neighbourhood was pulsating with summer noise. A house was being constructed six doors down, prettifying work was underway two doors down, a landscaper's leaf-blower was out of sight but roaring, and a neighbour's grandson was cranky about

Stories and Leafblowers: Background to Passion2017-09-08T13:36:43-05:00

Vickie Gendreau’s Testament (2012; 2016)


Originally written after the author had been diagnosed with a brain tumour, Testament is a response to the news that Vickie Gendreau would have little time left to live: about a year. 2012; Book Thug, 2016 The novel's translator, Aimee Wall, writes about the work, a few months

Vickie Gendreau’s Testament (2012; 2016)2017-05-02T09:37:11-05:00

Storytelling or Chicanery: Trust in words


Sometimes, it's clear who the bad guys are. Sometimes they're clearly drawn, not only unsavoury, but also unprincipled. Like the misogynists who people the Signy Shepherd series by Susan Philpott, in which women are rescued from life-threatening situations by other women working a type of Underground Railroad, called The Line. (Blown

Storytelling or Chicanery: Trust in words2020-01-07T11:18:49-05:00

July 2016, In My Bookbag


In which I discuss some of the skinny volumes, which have nestled into my bookbag. (Meanwhile longer works, like Timothy Findley's The Piano Man's Daughter and Greg Iles' Natchez Burning, were left at home.) Stephen Thomas' The Jokes is not funny-haha, but funny-hmmm. It's not meant to be funny-haha either, although many

July 2016, In My Bookbag2020-10-20T09:47:53-05:00

Quarterly Stories: Summer 2016


Jill Sexsmith's Somewhere a Long and Happy Life Probably Awaits You (ARP Books, 2016)   "Tulip stopped at the doorway. She had grown up with the whir of a mitre saw in the background, always cutting her thoughts and sentences and songs in half. Still, the sound of the blade

Quarterly Stories: Summer 20162020-12-18T16:00:14-05:00
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