All posts by Debra Martens

author, editor

Going Ashore with Mavis Gallant

I’ve been reading some of Mavis Gallant’s early stories, collected in Going Ashore (McClelland & Stewart 2009) with an introduction by Alberto Manguel. Manguel praises several of the stories: “brilliant, […]

Marvellous Mavis, Great Gallant

Mavis Leslie Gallant, née de Trafford Young (1922-2014), died yesterday in Paris at the age of 91. Gallant was famed for her short stories, which were, from her first publication, […]

Chava Rosenfarb

Chava Rosenfarb (1923-2011) is a Canadian writer you should know about. An award-winning poet and novelist, she wrote in Yiddish. While living in Montreal, she began translating her own work […]

Sonia Saikaley's Lebanon

Of Goats and the Lyrical

Sonia Saikaley interviews Irene Marques (PhD Comparative Literature). Marques writes in English and Portuguese and teaches at Ryerson and York universities. In 2007 she spent a year in South Africa […]

photo: Sheila Coutts

Paris

During the Christmas holiday we went to Paris for a couple of days. There is much for a Canadian literary tourist to see in Paris, but I limited myself to […]

Elm Cottage, Penn, continued

We got back in the car and drove to the other end of Penn. We turned onto Beacon Hill (Margaret Laurence is pictured walking up it in the James King’s […]

Elm Cottage

Our search for the house where Margaret Laurence and her children lived for ten years in England began in a car on the A4 under a sky pregnant with water. […]

Novella

Malahat magazine’s Novella Prize deadline is February 1. Which raises the question: how does the novella differ from the novel? Well, it is shorter. Malahat calls for a length of […]

Mauricio Segura

Numéro Cinq has published this week a review of Eucalyptus by Quebec writer Mauricio Segura, and an excerpt from the reviewed novel. While reviewer Benjamin Woodward poses the question “What […]

(photo: Debra Martens)

Year’s End

Winter in London is similar to March in Canada, except there is no melting snow. Wind follows rain follows wind. Excitement last weekend over two sunny days in a row. […]

melting ice

The Winter Gift of Silence

How could I choose an American for CWA’s solstice post? Adam Gopnik lived in Montréal and did his BA at McGill University, then left for New York. Known for his […]

There and Not Back

Is it worth it? After two years of putting out Canadian Writers Abroad (CWA), that’s a question I have to ask myself. The other question is: should I continue? CWA […]

Fun words and not so fun

What is a tweeny? A faddist? Researching Sara Jeannette Duncan for an essay this summer, I came across some startling vocabulary, not quite as fun as boffin but interesting. During […]

Allons-y!

Geronimo! Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary fell on the same day as the second anniversary of Canadian Writers Abroad. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read what I, and […]

Dust to Dust

How does one become a war poet? Suzanne Steele began by being curious about the exact colour of the Afghan dust when writing “Elegy for an Infantryman” in 2005.  She […]

Books, prizes and survey

Half of voters who did the survey were against, and half minus one were in favour of Catton’s novel being in competition for the GG’s Lit Award. There you go. […]

Eleanor Catton

Trans-national Literature

  There are times when Canadian Writers Abroad seems quaint. Do people stay at home most of their lives and then undergo a great upheaval by moving abroad? This is […]

Munro’s and Jerry’s Nobel

This post is in celebration of Alice Munro‘s Nobel Prize in Literature. The quick facts: she is the first Canadian writer, the 13th woman, and the 27th English speaking author […]

A Cloistered Life

Jane Christmas is a Canadian writer living in England. Her recent memoir, And Then There Were Nuns: Adventures in a Cloistered Life is a fall 2013 publication with Greystone Books. […]

Back to School

For our family, school now means university. Which is a convenient topic, because in the spring I researched Canadian writers who sought education outside of Canada. I don’t have at […]

Hot

This is the hottest day in London so far this summer, or in the last seven years. But you know what? Somewhere else in the world it is hotter. Like […]

A Fine Neustadt

Does winning an international prize count as abroad? The Neustadt prize “was  established in 1969 as the Books Abroad International Prize for Literature, then renamed the Books Abroad / Neustadt […]

Pirate Queen

K.V. Johansen went to Macedonia to promote a translation of her children’s book, Torrie and the Pirate-Queen. Her trip was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. Which got me […]

Land of the Lumberjack

A quick search of UK media to try to get a little fact — how many people turned up at the Canada Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square — was frustrating. […]

photo: D. Martens

Summertime

On the summer solstice [June 20, 2013], I want to introduce you to the poetry of Marilyn Dumont. The poem below, “The Sky is Promising,” is taken from her collection […]

Journey with No Maps

Review of Journey With No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page by Sandra Djwa (McGill Queen’s University Press) 2012: 418 pages. Reviewed by Debra Martens For the past few weeks […]

Dem Bones

Writing about P.K. Page’s first meeting with the group putting out the poetry magazine Preview, biographer Sandra Djwa explains that after Page passed around her poems, she was met by […]

Writers by the Dozen: Peter Wilkins’ Portraits

Last night I was at Canada House to hear Angela Hewitt and Gerald Finley perform in an enchanted evening (that was the closing song). If you have never been to […]

Partisans and Books: Antanas Sileika in Lithuania

Antanas Sileika is the author of the novels Underground (Thomas Allen and Son 2011), Woman in Bronze (Random House 2004), and Dinner at the End of the World (Mosaic 1994). […]

Canadian Buzz at the London Book Fair 2013

There were over 20 Canadian publishers at the London Book Fair this year, as well as some agents. I asked a few of them if it was worth their while, […]