All posts by Debra Martens

author, editor

photo: Debra Martens

Tel Aviv

The photo above is of the Eden Cinema on Lilenblum Street in Tel Aviv, taken October 21, 2018. It would seem the cinema is no longer in use for showing […]

War, Music, Love

Eva Salomon’s War by Gabriella Goliger (Bink Books 2018; review copy). Reviewed by Debra Martens The first person narrator of this absorbing historical novel is Eva Salomon, who is writing […]

Goliger’s King David

  “The King David Hotel sprawled at the top of a long, sloping hill. Well before I saw the smoke, I could smell the bitter odour. I could see shards […]

Refuge

More than one character seeks refuge in Merilyn Simonds’s wonderful novel, Refuge (ECW Press 2018 review copy) —  about aging, memory, lies, the stories we tell ourselves and others, and […]

Reading Abroad

I met Merilyn Simonds on a sunny June day in Toronto to discuss what she might write for Canadian Writers Abroad. Happily we agreed on the importance of reading the […]

Writers Summit

Let’s say you swallow the pretentiousness of the title, with its peaks and important meetings of world leaders, all contained in that word “summit” in the Canadian Writers Summit, held […]

Kibbutznik Pick

Canadian Writers Abroad has been searching for a Canadian author in Israel or Palestine. The weather here is getting warm, and so too is the search. Found: a Canadian author […]

Jenna Jarvis

April is National Poetry Month, and on this last day of April, CWA is pleased to present two poems by Jenna Jarvis. Born in Ottawa, Jarvis lives in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, […]

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 […]

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 […]

(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: […]

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 […]

2018

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

(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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Nottawaga

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 […]

Roman Gerasymenko

Ice Land

What better country to write about near Christmas than a land of ice and snow? Iceland has nipped me on the nose thanks to a Canadian writer who made the […]

What then?

Remembrance Day. Is it enough to remember those who lost their lives fighting in the First World War? Sharon Johnston’s novel, Matrons and Madams (Dundurn 2015), asks us to consider […]

cover image courtesy of Guy Delisle

Ah Bon Delisle

The graphic book Chroniques de Jérusalem, by Guy Delisle (Éditions Delcourt 2011) is still relevant although it was published five years ago, and took place from 2009. The book is […]