What Makes Families Tick


The family stories in contemporary CanLit are not all that different from the stories and novels read by my grandmother’s generation. The women in my family did not read obsessively, no, but regularly, yes. What else was there to do in the evenings when your favourite show was in reruns

What Makes Families Tick2019-03-17T17:28:36-05:00

Louise Erdrich’s The Round House (2012)


“Those assholes again? Nah, he said. So I knew his aunt or Elwin had done it.” Violence permeates Joe’s life. It simmers beneath the surface of every single day. But in The Round House it erupts, nearly eclipses every other aspect of life for awhile. Something happens to his

Louise Erdrich’s The Round House (2012)2018-06-20T17:21:57-05:00

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

Tracey Lindberg’s Birdie (2016)2016-11-21T12:05:04-05:00

Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes (2014)


How many times have I fallen for this trick? A Stephen King novel opens with a vividly sketched scene, of ordinary and likeable people going about the business of their everyday lives, when disaster strikes, and someone dies. Gallery Books - S&S, 2016 Mr. Mercedes is no different.

Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes (2014)2016-07-22T11:15:57-05:00

Alison Pick’s Between Gods (2014; 2015)


She tells you straight-up: "The decision when to begin a family story is arbitrary." HarperPerennial, 2015 (US edition) And she lays out the doubts and uncertainties: "Who am I to claim the official version?" And, so, Alison Pick is our seemingly uncertain and unsanctioned guide. But, she also

Alison Pick’s Between Gods (2014; 2015)2017-07-24T15:06:25-05:00
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