Emma Donoghue’s The Pull of the Stars (2020)


Originally inspired by the 1918-2018 centenary of the Spanish Flu, Emma Donoghue began writing this novel in the tradition of her historical novels like Slammerkin and The Wonder. Her author’s note includes this statistic: “The influenza pandemic of 1918 killed more people than the First World War—an estimated 3

Emma Donoghue’s The Pull of the Stars (2020)2020-10-22T15:54:37-05:00

James Maskalyk’s Life on the Ground Floor (2017)


Your airway is the width of your smallest finger: you can see how things can go wrong. "Airway first. Breathing next. Medicine is life caring for itself. To me, it's the greatest story." James Maskalyk's story is structured from "A is for Airway" through "XY is for a man"

James Maskalyk’s Life on the Ground Floor (2017)2017-10-06T14:48:34-05:00

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

The Inseparables, Tobacco Wars, I’m Still Here


Having stories narrated by - or assembled via - a number of voices is a popular way of  world-building. Each of the following books plays with this technique, allowing different perspectives to combine and create a more credible space for readers to inhabit. Just as in Meg Wolitzer's The Position, the matriarch

The Inseparables, Tobacco Wars, I’m Still Here2017-07-24T14:21:27-05:00

“Face” Alice Munro


"You think that would have changed things?" "The answer is of course, and for a while, and never." In interview with Eleanor Wachtel, Nick Hornby discusses the "problem of being divided being two worlds" saying that many of us have a version of this in our own lives. This is true

“Face” Alice Munro2017-07-25T11:22:56-05:00
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