Story-wise, this is the fourteenth volume in the Jalna series, and the house is about a hundred years old. There is time to reflect here, so that when a new character, like Humphrey Bell, is introduced, readers are reminded of all the other characters who have lived in his
As I was saying, my Shadow Giller reviews will appear in a slightly different format: first, In Short, a 300-word and spoiler-free summary, intended to have a broad appeal, and, next, In Detail, which will expound upon one aspect of the book which I found remarkable (but which might
These are some summer reads which left an impression; now my stack and library card are humming and wriggling, with all the CanLit prizelist reading – including my new Shadow Jury reading responsibilities towards the 2018 Giller Prize – but these books insist on a sliver of the spotlight.
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
Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2008) I thought the footnotes would make it fun (like in a Steven Haywood short story); I was more focussed on the ‘wondrous’ than the warning of brevity. In fact, Oscar’s life emerges from dictatorship and constricted choices, and you