In which I discuss the skinny volumes which accompany me on my travels, while the heavier volumes (like John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany and Callum Roberts' The Ocean of Life) remain at home. Juliane Okot Bitek was inspired to engage with the Rwanda Genocide in response to Kenyan-American artist
For last year's Canadian book challenge, I chose to read on a theme: indigenous authors, inspired by some past favourites. But I neglected the northern natives. This reading trio will serve as a bridge into this year's Canadian book challenge. And, hey, it's not too late to join! The Shanawdithit spread
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
In Susan Hill's Howard's End Is on the Landing, she quotes a friend who says "We read Margaret Drabble to feel the zeitgeist, our daughters read Helen Simpson." (Their daughters' daughters might be reading Janine Alyson Young or Alex Leslie or Rivka Galchen or Eufemia Fantetti.) In the first story
It's not all "Reader, I married him" but plenty of contemporary novels are preoccupied by the idea of storytelling, and often one voice does speak to us directly even now. Periscope Books, 2016 In Tabish Khair's Just Another Jihadi Jane, the storyteller's direct address appears regularly and spiritedly.