Controversial journalist and confessed “sex radical” Gerald Hannon’s memoir provides an overview of LGBTQ+ history over the past four decades August 3, 2022
One need not agree with everything the author writes or believes in order to recognize the importance of his memoir as a document of the LGBTQ+ community’s development in Canada.
Fawn Parker deconstructs male ego and the image of the great man in literature and academia in two angry, unflinching novels July 20, 2022
Despite some missteps and shots at easy targets, Parker’s novels combine to form a provocative riposte to a culture that valorizes a certain kind of profane masculinity.
Sex and death collide in Like Animals, the debut novel from Eve Lemieux July 13, 2022
Like Animals has a modernist sheen, providing a chaotic surface reflective of its protagonist’s conflicted and disaffected psychology.
Cultural reporter Elamin Abdelmahmoud talks about his memoir, Son of Elsewhere, his love of The O.C, and what the banjo has in common with the oud July 6, 2022
“Even though I’ve been living in this country for twenty-two years and this is for all intents and purposes my home – it’s where I intend to live the rest of my life – elsewhere is this notion that one or two pieces are missing,” says Abdelmahmoud.
A tale of 2,058 timelines: Terri Favro tackles tropes from SF and comic books in her exuberant sequel, The Sisters Sputnik June 22, 2022
In her imaginative sequel to Sputnik’s Children, Favro comments on the nature and responsibility of storytelling.
What the body remembers: Naben Ruthnum examines corporeality and identity in his novella Helpmeet June 17, 2022
Ruthnum’s brief work of fin-de-siècle body horror reads like a mash-up of David Cronenberg and Henry James.
Come together: Conflicting notions of home and country are at the fore in Anita Anand’s novel A Convergence of Solitudes June 16, 2022
The novel, which is structured to resemble a double album of interconnected tracks, follows a cast of characters searching for a sense of belonging.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 30: “The Alps” by Colin Barrett May 30, 2022
Canadian-Irish writer Colin Barrett is a wizard with language that sings with the rhythms and cadences of the working class.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 28: “Hotel Tango” by Cora Siré May 28, 2022
In this story about a man’s assignation with a married woman, the chaos and culture of Buenos Aires serve as metaphors for the couple’s incompatibility.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 26: “The Fate of the Son of the Man on the Horse” by Rawi Hage May 26, 2022
Hage’s story of a doomed, ineffectual man is a layered consideration of religion, history, and the nature of celebrity.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 25: “Ordinary Love Song” by Alex Pugsley May 25, 2022
Pugsley resurrects a seldom-used literary form – the epistolary story – and repurposes it for the internet age.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 24: “June Bugs” by Kim Fu May 24, 2022
Fu’s three-part story fuses realism with fabulist elements.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 20: “Glory” by Janice Lynn Mather May 20, 2022
This story, about a teenage girl sent to live with her grandmother during the final months of her pregnancy, is about a struggle between conflicting notions contained in the title.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 17: “Once Removed” by Alexander MacLeod May 17, 2022
Like Alice Munro, MacLeod has the ability to build whole lives in a compressed space and to subtly shift a story’s focus and meaning without apparent effort.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 14: “Devotion” by Sharon English May 14, 2022
English’s story excavates the chasm that exists between two halves of a couple, a gulf that is exposed by the death of the pair’s dog.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 12: “The Stunt” by Michael LaPointe May 12, 2022
In this chilly story, three men do battle for the soul of a fifteen-year-old film star.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 11: “Come and Get Your Ice Cream, Motherfuckers” by Francine Cunningham May 11, 2022
An ice cream truck driver faces mental anguish resulting from his inability to escape the incessant jingle of his vehicle’s music.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 9: “An Orchid, Blooming” by Kathy Friedman May 9, 2022
In Friedman’s story, family secrets, like orchids, flourish in darkness.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 8: “A Survey of Recent American Happenings Told Through Six Commercials for the Tennyson Clearjet Premium Touchless Bidet” by Omar El Akkad May 8, 2022
In a brief and barbed satire, Giller winner Omar El Akkad links our current geopolitical malaise with the capitalist impulse to sell stuff.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 3: “The People Across the Canyon” by Margaret Millar May 3, 2022
Millar’s story, ostensibly a psychological drama, is in fact a trenchant satire on the pernicious attractions of a particular kind of American dream.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 2: “Little Green Men” by Elaine McCluskey May 2, 2022
Set in a tiny fishing village on Canada’s east coast, the story limns the distance between fact and supposition.
31 Days of Stories 2022, Day 1: “The Dead Are More Visible” by Steven Heighton May 1, 2022
One of the author’s best, this story interrogates the notion of societal visibility through the prism of a middle-aged-woman working as a labourer flooding ice rinks in the middle of the night.
31 Days of Stories 2022: Introduction April 30, 2022
If the novel is a regal lion king, the short story is a cackling hyena.
Putting the verse in metaverse: George Murray gets social with a private online network for poets April 20, 2022
The new members-only social-media site aims to replicate the café or salon in a virtual environment.
Us vs. the volcano: In their sophomore novel, John Elizabeth Stintzi offers a phantasmagoria of interconnecting stories about climate change and human fallibility April 1, 2022
Stintzi’s novel traverses space, time, and a sprawling cast of characters in its attempt to allegorize our most profound challenges in the present.
Rosemary Sullivan defends conclusions in controversial Anne Frank book; HarperCollins to keep the title on sale March 25, 2022
The author says in a statement that she has “full confidence” in the work that went into the book.
Dutch publisher Ambo Anthos retracts publication of a controversial book about Anne Frank after a report by historians refutes the volume’s conclusions March 23, 2022
The move comes after criticism of the cold-case team’s methods and assumptions by experts on the Holocaust and the Franks.
“You have to sign the same deal if you want to be good” March 16, 2022
Alexander MacLeod’s new collection is out in April.
“There are probably people getting away with such things right now”: Sarah Weinman discusses her new book, about a con artist who convinced a right-wing pundit to save him from death row March 4, 2022
Edgar Smith, the convicted murderer of a fifteen-year-old girl, found some powerful advocates in conservative writer William F. Buckley, Jr., and Alfred A. Knopf editor Sophie Wilkins.
Flight paths: Susan Glickman’s selected essays address poetry, criticism, and taking up art study in her sixties March 3, 2022
Glickman’s focus on technique on a granular level reveals her to be a deeply knowledgeable and highly erudite reader of a wide range of poets.
AI, AI, oh: In their second novel, Victoria Hetherington examines ontological questions about subjectivity and personhood February 17, 2022
The novel, about a sentient AI that develops a relationship with a university therapist, examines ontological questions about what it is that makes us human.
June bugs and haunted dolls: the strange and fantastical world of Kim Fu’s Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century February 10, 2022
These twelve stories interrogate individual human consciousness and the dangers of technology in our postmodern world.
HarperCollins Germany to review controversial book about the betrayal of Anne Frank in light of questions about claims in it February 3, 2022
The new book, which proposes a Jewish notary as the person responsible for giving up the Franks’ hiding place, has come under fire by historians who question its assertions.
Ship of fools: Will Aitken skewers late-capitalism and upper-class pretension in The Swells January 26, 2022
With not one but two pirate incursions, a mutiny, and other onboard shenanigans, the novel offers a fast, noisy narrative.
Where I’m calling from: Dimitri Nasrallah mines the immigrant experience for his new novel, Hotline January 21, 2022
Set in Montreal during the 1980s, the novel outlines the full range of the immigrant experience, from heartache to hope.
Debut novel from Camilla Grudova sold to Atlantic January 19, 2022
Grudova’s previous collection of short fiction was delightfully strange; the new novel appears to continue in this vein.
The death, rebirth, and afterlife of the author in Naben Ruthnum’s A Hero of Our Time January 12, 2022
In his debut literary novel under his own name, Ruthnum provides a slippery, serpentine narrative that calls into question notions of identity and narrative stability.
Home and away: the dislocations of place and self in Hoa Nguyen’s A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure December 14, 2021
The Toronto poet recalls her mother, a former stunt motorcycle rider, and her former home in Vietnam.
“This was, and is, a kind of genius”: colleagues, publishers, and admirers recall the importance of Marie-Claire Blais, one of the finest writers Canada has ever produced December 8, 2021
Timid is not a word anyone would reach for to describe Blais’s fiction, and especially her early work, which remains as shocking and defiant today as when it first appeared.
The subtle art of selling out: Adam Hammond investigates DIY gaming culture in his new book The Far Shore December 3, 2021
Hammond has written a text that is frankly unclassifiable: part biography, part critical exegesis, part hipster manifesto.
“I think everyone in some way is an outsider”: Kate Cayley on short stories, literary tradition, and why she would be hesitant to read a novel she had written December 1, 2021
“Art is a way of remembering what it is like to be alive when you may have forgotten,” says Cayley.
The things we carry: Michelle Berry examines the confluence of personal and geopolitical trauma in Everything Turns Away November 29, 2021
The risk in writing a domestic thriller with 9/11 as backdrop is that the geopolitical material comes off as a gimmick rather than an integral story element.
“I want to be able to go in and out of hell with grace”: Shawn Hitchins on death, queer transformation, and the astonishing bass line in Boney M’s “Rasputin” November 24, 2021
In his new memoir, the author contemplates his life and community in the wake of two significant figures dying within five months of each other.
Nic Brewer’s debut novel uses body horror as a means of interrogating the artistic process November 12, 2021
The book uses Grand Guignol techniques to literalize the process of tearing oneself open in the act of artistic creation.
A.C. Wise channels unease and melancholy in her story collection The Ghost Sequences November 3, 2021
In this suite of sixteen uncanny tales, memory and loss are manifest in the spectres that haunt various characters.
“White folks get to erase or occlude parts of their history”: Ian Williams on race, language, and his new essay collection, Disorientation November 2, 2021
For the author, the titular condition involves those moments when one is just trying to live one’s life and is suddenly reminded of one’s race.
The annual anthology series Best Canadian Stories celebrates fifty years of showcasing Canada’s proficiency and variety in the literary form November 1, 2021
“The function of it was the pleasure of the work for readers, and the value to writers was to show them how good they had to get,” says longtime series editor John Metcalf.
Adam Pottle on how the CanLit establishment’s preference for literary realism downplays the value of horror writing October 27, 2021
Horror doesn’t gel with those who’ve propped up CanLit respectability – that is, chiefly cishet, nondisabled white people, Pottle writes.
Horror is as horror does: Susie Moloney on the genre’s ability to ease real-life pain October 15, 2021
“Horror movies really, really distracted me from the most painful time of my life. Alone in the theatre for a couple of hours, being manipulated into screaming, swearing, and tossing my popcorn, I was transported.”
“I was always a morbid kid”: James Grainger on respectability, experimenting on pig hearts, and the movie that got him interested in horror October 14, 2021
“If you just look at your own nightmares, you know that there are no rules.”
David Demchuk on queerness, supernatural horror, and the intersection of fictional and real-life monsters October 9, 2021
“A lot of it reminds me of just how much I have come through. And how much the people I know have come through. And what it was like to lose people.”
“It encourages madness of a certain kind”: David Cronenberg on the horror genre October 6, 2021
“The very things that nurture you in the horror genre are also the things that can suppress an understanding of what you’re trying to do.”
“I didn’t realize how difficult it was going to be”: Lisa de Nikolits on a turn to science fiction in her latest novel, The Rage Room October 1, 2021
“I think I see life in very, very noir terms,” says the author, who considered quitting after finishing work on her latest novel.
“You just clench your teeth and keep on going”: Linden MacIntyre on masculinity, moral ambiguity, and why he hates golf September 29, 2021
“I didn’t have much of a relationship with masculinity growing up,” MacIntyre says. “I grew up among women.”
Aimee Wall’s debut novel recalls a 1960s underground movement in a story told through precise, exuberant language September 16, 2021
The brief novel’s propulsion and effect result from its author’s key understanding of just how far to push her technique to achieve maximum effect.
Shashi Bhat blurs the line between novels and short fiction in her new book, The Most Precious Substance on Earth September 15, 2021
Though Bhat’s new book is described as her second novel, the individual pieces comprise all the attributes of linked stories.
A book of blood: David Demchuk’s queer horror novel addresses real-life terrors September 9, 2021
The Toronto author’s story provides a metaphorical response to a very real history of trauma and violence.
“There is something about the body that I find monstrous”: Mona Awad on Shakespeare, comedy, and her new novel, All’s Well August 21, 2021
Awad’s latest novel uses allusions to the Bard to tell the story of a woman whose chronic pain is miraculously alleviated.
Control tactics: Sarah Berman discusses writing about Keith Raniere, NXIVM, and a self-empowerment scheme that masked the wanton abuse of countless women August 4, 2021
The Vancouver journalist’s book chronicles a four-year plunge into the depths of the NXIVM miasma.
When you’re a stranger: Omar El Akkad follows up his bestselling debut with a novel that represents a stark departure in form and subject July 20, 2021
“Any story, any work of literature, any storytelling endeavour has to be both lighthouse and storm,” El Akkad says.
Not what they seem: P.J. Vernon and Carrie Jenkins deliver queer thrillers with very different tones and approaches July 12, 2021
A breezy, plot-driven book and an abstruse, philosophically dense ontological mystery provide different pleasures for readers.
“I wanted to stimulate people”: Canadian playwright Brad Fraser on provocation, the theatrical establishment, and his new memoir June 24, 2021
“I realized the adult world was every bit as fucked up as anything else.”
“They don’t see it until they see it”: Cheryl Thompson on Harriet Beecher Stowe, Kevin Hart, and the legacy of a complicated literary figure June 15, 2021
The through-line in Thompson’s book involves a historical inability on the part of Western culture to see Black people as fully human.
Running in the family: Jordan Abel’s multimedia, polyvalent memoir addresses issues of identity and cultural heritage in the face of intergenerational trauma June 4, 2021
Griffin Poetry Prize winner Abel has crafted a cross-genre work that addresses questions of identity and the ways we are affected by past hurt.
31 Days of Stories 2021, Day 27: “The Book About the Bear” by John O’Neill May 27, 2021
In Atwoodian terms, O’Neill’s story represents a conflation of doomed animals and survival.
31 Days of Stories 2021, Day 26: “Safeword” by R.O. Kwon and “Scissors” by Kim Fu May 26, 2021
Two stories about pleasure and pain interrogate the nature of trust and what we risk when we relinquish control.
31 Days of Stories 2021, Day 23: “How Myrna Survives” by Diane Schoemperlen May 23, 2021
Diane Schoemperlen’s plaintive tale is about what happens when youthful promise gives way to the creeping disillusion of adulthood.
31 Days of Stories 2021, Day 20: “Serving” by Eva Crocker May 20, 2021
Eva Crocker’s dual father-and-son narration draws parallels between two characters trapped in their own lives.
31 Days of Stories 2021, Day 19: “Radium Girl” by Sofi Papamarko May 19, 2021
Sofi Papamarko’s superhero origin story takes a little-known historical tragedy and imagines a different outcome.
31 Days of Stories 2021, Day 15: “How to Live Longer” by M.G. Vassanji May 15, 2021
Two time Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Vassanji’s story is about missed opportunities and unfulfilled dreams.
31 Days of Stories 2021, Day 14: “Tits for Cigs” by Téa Mutonji May 14, 2021
Mutonji’s story is an empathetic look at burgeoning female sexuality and the roles women are expected to perform in our capitalist system.
31 Days of Stories 2021, Day 13: “Firebugs” by Craig Davidson May 13, 2021
The language of the story is tightly calibrated and walks a tightrope between lyricism and incipient violence.
31 Days of Stories 2021, Day 12: “Arsonists” by Chris Benjamin May 12, 2021
A story about a granddaughter on the day she euthanizes her grandmother is also a veiled critique of the residential school system.
31 Days of Stories 2021, Day 7: “Fan Mail” by Peter Robinson May 7, 2021
In this short, ironic work of feminist noir, the femme fatale turns the tables on the hapless men and their murderous scheme.
31 Days of Stories 2021, Day 4: “The Ice Queen” by Madeline Sonik May 4, 2021
Three female figures, and their carefully interwoven relationships, provide the backbone for this creepily fractured fairy tale.
31 Days of Stories 2021, Day 2: “Adoro Te Devote” by Kristyn Dunnion May 2, 2021
Dunnion’s story, about a gay teenager navigating the shoals of religious and sexual attraction, finds its momentum in the juxtaposition of the sacred and profane.
No future, or, the submerged punk ethos of Susan Sanford Blades’s Fake It So Real April 27, 2021
In these tales of mothers, daughters, fathers, and lovers, punk is more attitudinal than aural or political.
Novelist Kim Echlin ventures into dark territory in Speak, Silence, a Bosnia-set novel about rape as a war crime April 18, 2021
“For 2,000 years or more, women in literature have been represented as the spoils of war,” says Echlin about one impression she wanted to correct by writing this novel.
“Not a likeable man”: “Four Stations in His Circle” by Austin Clarke March 7, 2021
Clarke’s story – nominally a comic work – is a piercing examination of the way Canadian capitalism disfavours those who are not white.
Luciana Ricciutelli, groundbreaking feminist publisher and small-press advocate, dead at 62 December 17, 2020
The longtime editor-in-chief of Inanna Publications is remembered as much for her dedication to publishing debut and marginalized authors as her commitment to small presses in Canada.
Poet George Murray launches Walk the Line, a pair of workshops to teach beginning and intermediate writers the craft of verse December 16, 2020
The former St. John’s, Newfoundland, poet laureate is looking to demystify poetry and convince people that anyone has it in them to write verse.
James Grainger on Folk Horror and confronting Canada’s colonial past October 29, 2020
In order to establish a Folk Horror tradition, Canada would first have to reckon with the sins of its history as a settler-colonial nation.
Tony Burgess on the most terrifying reading experience of his life October 19, 2020
“I thought there were things this book could do to me that were dangerous.”
Nathan Ripley on the intimidation of writing in “the best genre” October 14, 2020
The author of psychological thrillers says his respect for the horror genre may explain why he has had difficulty writing in the genre.
Nick Cutter, aka Craig Davidson, on the allure of Asian horror October 12, 2020
Manga creator Junji Ito’s work is a terrifying combination of enclosed spaces, group mania, and obsessive desire, writes Cutter.
Andrew Pyper on why he writes horror fiction October 8, 2020
The number one reason? It’s fun.
Newfoundland’s Michael Crummey on history, story, and his latest novel, The Innocents September 29, 2020
Michael Crummey talks fiction, Newfoundland, and landscape: “I had lived in Labrador for a while and I had the very real sense that this place could kill you.”
31 Days of Stories 2020, Day 27: “Baby Jesus and the Intruder” by Elise Levine May 27, 2020
Elise Levine, sui generis.
31 Days of Stories 2020, Day 25: “Petty Theft” by Adrian Michael Kelly May 25, 2020
Adrian Michael Kelly uses a train ride as a means to examine a character who is much less upright than he at first appears.
31 Days of Stories 2020, Day 23: “The Art of Shipbuilding” by Tyler Keevil May 23, 2020
Tyler Keevil’s brief two-hander is a parable about what it takes to be an artist.
31 Days of Stories 2020, Day 20: “Mani Pedi” by Souvankham Thammavongsa May 20, 2020
Souvankham Thammavongsa’s story is a multi-layered tale of a former boxer who takes a job at his sister’s nail salon.
31 Days of Stories 2020, Day 19: “Long Term Care” by Kate Cayley May 19, 2020
Kate Cayley’s emotionally shattering story is about the struggles of adult children managing a parent’s end-of-life care.
31 Days of Stories 2020, Day 16: Seventy-two Canadian stories, curated by Kevin Hardcastle May 16, 2020
The Canadian novelist and short story writer has put together a list that provides a robust cross-section of Canadian short fiction in the 21st century.
31 Days of Stories 2020, Day 15: “The Swan Suit” by Katherine Fawcett May 15, 2020
In “The Swan Suit,” Katherine Fawcett updates the tropes of classical folk tales, lending them a feminist spin.
31 Days of Stories 2020, Day 14: “Mr. Molt” by Anosh Irani May 14, 2020
Anosh Irani’s story is about a grieving mother who is convinced her dead son has been reincarnated as a penguin at the local zoo.
31 Days of Stories 2020, Day 10: “The Parachute” by Seyward Goodhand May 10, 2020
Seyward Goodhand’s ambitious and risky alternate history imagines a meeting between Simone Weil and Leni Riefenstahl.
31 Days of Stories 2020, Day 7: “The Puppet Motel” by Gemma Files May 7, 2020
A modern-day ghost story, Gemma Files’s literary chiller is a masterpiece of atmospheric dread.
31 Days of Stories 2020, Day 5: “Ozk” by Sarah Meehan Sirk May 5, 2020
Sarah Meehan Sirk’s poignant and ironic story is a study of disappointment told in the context of a daughter’s relationship with her distant mother.
31 Days of Stories 2020, Day 4: “Investment Results May Vary” by Zsuzsi Gartner May 4, 2020
Zsuzsi Gartner’s precisely calibrated, vicious little parable is about the things we want but can’t have.
Where is the Canadian novel to rival Ducks, Newburyport? Hint: look to Quebec March 10, 2020
Why isn’t there a Canadian novel to rival last year’s Ducks, Newburyport? There is, just not where you might have been looking for it.