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


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

Margaret Millar’s The Fiend (1964; 2016)


From the outset, The Fiend has a creepy element which readers hadn't yet experienced in the fiction Margaret Millar had published theretofore. "She was about nine. Having watched them all impartially now for two weeks, Charlie had come to like her the best." You're afraid to ask, aren't you: why

Margaret Millar’s The Fiend (1964; 2016)2017-07-26T13:34:30-05:00

Margaret Millar’s A Stranger in My Grave (1960)


Here, the figurative language of Millar's 1950s novels (like Vanish in an Instant and  Wives and Lovers) is replaced by a cleaner style which often focuses on extremes. "But Fielding’s pity, like his love and even his hate, was a variable thing, subject to changes in the weather, melting in

Margaret Millar’s A Stranger in My Grave (1960)2017-05-23T16:24:06-05:00

Margaret Millar’s A Beast in View (1955; 2016)


She won the Edgar for it in 1956: Best Novel. (If you are looking for new reading lists, the Edgar Award's site is filled with temptations.) And it was the first of three, later awards being given for The Fiend in 1965 and Beyond This Point Are Monsters in 1971. (She would

Margaret Millar’s A Beast in View (1955; 2016)2017-02-24T17:01:29-05:00

Tricia Dower’s Becoming Lin (2016)


Reading Becoming Lin reminded me of discovering Marilyn French's The Women's Room and Marge Piercy's Small Changes. Two unapologetically feminist novels which I felt had poured out of my own heart into some other writer's story. I inhaled these books, and I felt the same sense of intense recognition and

Tricia Dower’s Becoming Lin (2016)2017-07-24T14:33:39-05:00
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