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
Do you ever feel the weight of your stack? Many of the books I've been reading have been rigorous and demanding. Commodore Ajith Boyagoda's story of imprisonment in Sri Lanka, Marcelino Truong's memories of coming-of-age in Vietnam between 1961 and 1963, Shirin Ebadi's work for human rights in Iran, Solmaz
When I was musing on the possibilities for a reading list of indigenous authors, almost all of my favourites were fiction (just one memoir and some poetry snuck in). It just happened! But halfway through the reading year, I read the Summary Report of the Truth and Reconcilation Committee with my reading for
It's not impossible to find them, but if you read a lot of literary fiction, the novels which contain humour are outnumbered. Each of these books actually addresses a serious issue (or touches upon it, for Susan Juby's novel doesn't delve very deeply): global warming and habitat erosion, family farm
A new Friday fugue, running through this month, considering the ways in which our working lives appear on the pages of novels and short stories. Some of my favourite novels spend a good amount of time considering the good amount of time that we spend in our workplaces. Joshua Ferris'