The Irish Family: Kate O’Brien, Anakana Schofield, and Lisa McInerney


These are the kinds of stories which expose the imperfections which lie beneath a carefully smoothed comforter. Honest characterization is key, Lisa McInerney explains to Marie Gethins,: "There is absolutely no element or aspect of their characters’ lives a writer should shy away from presenting, no matter how unpleasant.

The Irish Family: Kate O’Brien, Anakana Schofield, and Lisa McInerney2017-09-18T10:58:03-05:00

Kingdoms of the Dead


Lynda Barry says a “happy ending is hardly important, though we may be glad it’s there”. But there’s more to it, she says: “The real joy is knowing that if you felt the trouble in the story, your kingdom isn’t dead.”* Doubleday Canada, 2015 If one reads a

Kingdoms of the Dead2016-06-10T08:40:34-05:00

Sigal Samuel’s The Mystics of Mile End (2015)


There are five windows on the cover of Sigal Samuel's debut novel; in only one of them does a pair of people appear. Freehand Books, 2015 In three of the windows there is a solitary silhouette, and in the window at the top, the blind is nearly pulled to

Sigal Samuel’s The Mystics of Mile End (2015)2020-08-19T08:28:35-05:00

Michael Crummey’s Sweetland (2014)


It begins in fog. With Matthew Sweetland hearing voices "so indistinct he thought they might be imaginary". Doubleday Canada, 2014 This scene from the past alerts readers that they should be concerned with the line between the real and the invented, and even more to the point, with how

Michael Crummey’s Sweetland (2014)2015-01-07T13:41:17-05:00

Memory, regret, dying, avalanches: quintessential Canlit


Dundurn, 2011 The ReLit shortlist was announced earlier this week, but I'm still reading from the longlist. Farzana Doctor's Six Metres of Pavement (Dundurn, 2011) was also nominated for the Toronto Book Award. That's fitting because the setting plays an important role in this story, but much of the drama

Memory, regret, dying, avalanches: quintessential Canlit2020-09-24T09:50:18-05:00
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