Winter 2020: In My Reading Log


There’s a shadow over Cherie Dimaline’s latest novel, Empire of Wild (2019). Part of it could appear in a history text: “In the church and at his Catholic day school, the priests called seven the age of reason. Moshom called it the age of learning how the hell to

Winter 2020: In My Reading Log2020-01-29T10:14:48-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “In Transit”


An airport is as good as a train for setting a story in, when that story is about change. So here we are, in the Helsinki airport for this very short, titular story by Mavis Gallant. (And can I just say: how wonderful is the ‘net for locating images,

Mavis Gallant’s “In Transit”2019-12-23T20:15:50-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “The Pegnitz Junction”


“'Once there we are almost home. Pegnitz is a junction. Trains go through every few minutes, in all directions. In most directions,' he corrected." Herbert is careful to be exact when he's speaking to his young son, Little Bert, who believes every word his father says. Later when Herbert

Mavis Gallant’s “The Pegnitz Junction”2018-05-15T09:41:01-05:00

Rachel Cusk’s Outline (2014) and Transit (2017)


Readers meet a woman up in the air. Literally. She is flying to Athens, where she will teach a course in creative writing. This is Outline. Perhaps partly because she could instruct in the art of outlining, demonstrate for her students the art of constructing a framework on which

Rachel Cusk’s Outline (2014) and Transit (2017)2017-10-25T16:47:19-05:00

And the Jailbird Speaks


"No one wants to hear what’s going on in some jailbird’s heart now do they?" It comes near the end of the novel, but I suspect that Joel Thomas Hynes took this idea as a challenge, that that's what inspired his Giller-Prize nominated novel We'll All Be Burnt in

And the Jailbird Speaks2017-10-03T12:12:22-05:00
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