Winter 2019: 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 2019: In My Reading Log2021-01-06T12:23:29-05:00

What Makes Families Tick


The family stories in contemporary CanLit are not all that different from the stories and novels read by my grandmother’s generation. The women in my family did not read obsessively, no, but regularly, yes. What else was there to do in the evenings when your favourite show was in reruns

What Makes Families Tick2019-03-17T17:28:36-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “Saturday”


The image of the father in this story, unable to sleep, counting his sons-in-law instead of sheep, makes me smile. The way that he matches his memory of their faces with the litany of names, his uncertainty about the fifth, his debates over which of them is married to

Mavis Gallant’s “Saturday”2019-02-23T19:39:07-05:00

My girlhood friend, Sheila, and the assigned reading she hated


When I was attending elementary school in an extremely small south-western Ontario town, my friend Sheila transferred to a slightly-larger-but-still-small town in south-western Ontario for the eighth grade. Her sister was attending high school in that town and somehow this made it possible for Sheila to escape. Neither of

My girlhood friend, Sheila, and the assigned reading she hated2018-12-18T15:34:11-05:00

Mazo de la Roche’s Whiteoak Harvest (1936)


“I dare say old Red-head will be delighted. If there is one thing above another that pleases him it is an addition to the clan.” That’s Renny and, it’s true, his heart beats for Jalna, which is where the Whiteoaks are. But he has standards. He’s not about the

Mazo de la Roche’s Whiteoak Harvest (1936)2018-07-31T13:46:21-05:00
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