On lonely characters (including Felix in Devin Krukoff’s Hummingbird)

2018-12-18T15:50:34-05:00

There are a lot of lonely characters in CanLit: just think about all that snow, how starkly a single shape stands out in relief against the “great northern woods and in the empty places of the earth”. (I’ve recently read Louis Hémon’s snow-soaked 1921 classic, Maria Chapdelaine, translated by

On lonely characters (including Felix in Devin Krukoff’s Hummingbird)2018-12-18T15:50:34-05:00

Survival of the Funniest

2018-05-29T10:50:19-05:00

Researching Dawn Dumont, to review her most recent collection, Glass Beads, this quote leapt out at me: "If you can laugh then you can survive until the solution arrives." (Room Magazine, interview with Theressa Slind) It's easy to dismiss funny books as light, insubstantial. To call them

Survival of the Funniest2018-05-29T10:50:19-05:00

New Homes, Other Homes: Emigration and Immigration

2018-05-30T16:18:40-05:00

There are many amazing stories about moving from somewhere to elsewhere, about the process of elsewhere becoming somewhere. Take Rabindranath Maharaj's The Amazing Absorbing Boy - literally, amazing. It's right there on the cover. It's a real favourite of mine, in which seventeen-year-old Samuel reads comic books in Trinidad to

New Homes, Other Homes: Emigration and Immigration2018-05-30T16:18:40-05:00

Page Turners: Thieves, Bombs, Predators, Gunshots, and Oil Spills

2017-12-12T12:09:52-05:00

In which pages are turned, at a faster rate than usual. Character-soaked, but still fast-paced storytelling. Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves (2017) is set in a future in which the dominant culture has determined that the blood of indigenous peoples holds an inherent value for healing. Exploitation and genocide ensue. This

Page Turners: Thieves, Bombs, Predators, Gunshots, and Oil Spills2017-12-12T12:09:52-05:00

Alison Watt’s Dazzle Patterns (2017)

2017-10-25T13:21:19-05:00

The thing with an explosion is that it comes out of nowhere. And that's exactly what happens in Alison Watt's debut novel. Even though I knew that the 1917 event was at the heart of this Halifax story, I was completely absorbed in Clare and Fred's ordinary workday at

Alison Watt’s Dazzle Patterns (2017)2017-10-25T13:21:19-05:00
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