The Art of Frances Itani: Review of That’s My Baby

Review of That’s My Baby by Frances Itani, HarperCollins Canada, 2017, hardcover, 345 pages. Reviewed by Debra Martens. Are artists more accessible to authors as characters because artists, as do writers, observe the world and its creatures? Frances Itani’s novel, […]

The Fascinating Fragments of Durga Chew-Bose

Naomi Guttman reviews Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, NYC, 2017, 221 pages. Review by Naomi Guttman In publishing a book of creative non-fiction essays focused on the self by a young author, […]

(photo: Debra Martens)

Madeleine Thien in Palestine

Madeleine Thien’s essay, “The Land in Winter,” about her visit to the occupied territory in the West Bank and to Israel, appears in the collection Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation, edited by Michael Chabon and Ayelet […]

Closing 150 with Granta

The literary journal Granta published a special issue on Canada (Autumn 2017) edited by Catherine Leroux and Madeleine Thien. Single-handedly Thien has done more to promote Canadian Literature outside of Canada than this website has.


Happy New Year! Thank you all contributors, followers, readers and supporters of Canadian Writers Abroad — including all authors. Thanks especially to CWA‘s primary patron, Scott Proudfoot. The literary journey continues.     Highlights of 2017: Oh My Canada Home, […]

Mount’s Story

Nick Mount, Arrival: The Story of CanLit (Anansi 2017), 448 pages. Reviewed by Mark Sampson It’s perhaps no accident that the title of Nick Mount’s survey of the so-called “boom years” in Canadian publishing rhymes with the title of another […]

Lost: Mum

In the migrations caused by war or persecution, family members are sometimes separated, adding to grief and loss. One finds it hard, then, to imagine that a mother would voluntarily leave her children, but that too has happened. It happened […]

Salty 150

Canadian Writers Abroad has kept a low profile through Canada’s 150th celebrations, and finally, serendipity has delivered exactly what’s needed: something from the 100th.

Richler in Jerusalem

In My Jerusalem, Bronwyn Drainie adds the name Mordecai Richler to a list of artists who lived in Yemin Moshe, the neighbourhood where she lived. Elsewhere in her memoir she mentioned that Richler and his wife were in Jerusalem in […]

da costa

 “Place tends to occupy an important role in my books. The Scent of a Lie is strongly rooted in place, and in my view, the Caima River, the Freita hills and the Cambra valley are equal protagonists in that book, […]

photo by Debra Martens

Now Comes

In Vienna, she feels shadowed by history, time marching on. -from “Fréhel Takes Her Leave” by Sarah Bernstein Review of Now Comes the Lightning, by Sarah Bernstein (Pedlar Press, St. John’s NL, 2015), 142 pages. Reviewed by Naomi Guttman The […]

Jerusalem, Israel

My My, Drainie

Review of My Jerusalem: Secular Adventures in the Holy City (Doubleday 1994), paperback 287 pages. Reviewed by Debra Martens Bronwyn Drainie spent two years in Jerusalem (1991-1993) with Patrick Martin, then Middle East correspondent for The Globe and Mail, and […]

Foster’s Dream Life

Darlene Foster is the author of several books for children about a peripatetic twelve-year old named Amanda Ross, published by Central Avenue Publishing. Foster divides her time between British Columbia and Spain. Below Foster writes about how she went from […]

James Powell

Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine is not for ten-year-olds, but I tried to read an issue at that age simply because it had belonged to my mother who’d died. I was disappointed, probably because I expected queens and knaves but found […]

(c) Can Stock Photo / vasilevas

Clowning Around

In the excerpt below, Inspector Bozo of Clowntown’s homicide squad mulls over the conflict between clowns and mimes, in “A Dirge for Clowntown,” by James Powell. …Bozo decided clowns resented mimes not because the pigeons preferred their imaginary bread crumbs […]

David Walks into a Novel

One of the best ways to understand a country is to read its literature. For that reason my reading habit is to alternate Canadian with local, in this case either Israeli or Palestinian and some UK. And that’s why I […]

Oh My Canada

Twenty years ago, Antony Millen moved to New Zealand from Nova Scotia with his wife and children, where the small town of Taumarunui has been their home. Millen has taught at two schools, starting at St Patrick’s Primary School and […]

Old Coach Road

Holy NZ!

Antony Millen’s novel, Redeeming Brother Murrihy (2013) combines The Innocent Traveller with The Heart of Darkness, sending a resentful narrator on a road trip, a quest, that culminates on the Whanganui River in New Zealand. The rain forces the narrator […]

Home, yet not home

A new writer for a new year. Louise Ells was studying in the UK while I was living in London. Because I liked her written voice, I invited her to write for Canadian Writers Abroad. And she has. Below is […]


Joe’s ID

Imagine believing something about yourself and your family and then having someone tell you it’s not true. This seems to be what has happened to Joseph Boyden. We’ve met Boyden before in the pages of Canadian Writers Abroad, because he […]