Category: Reviews

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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 what happened to the survivors. The question of what happens […]

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 also available in English as Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy […]

Singing Her Way

This week Demetra Angelis Foustanellas reviews the historical novel The Goodtime Girl (Cormorant Books 2012) by Tess Fragoulis. You may recall that Foustanellas is our Canadian in Greece. Tess Fragoulis also lived in Greece — for two years in her […]

Bones and Marrow

Poet laureate of Toronto from 2009-2012, winner of a Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry in 1997 and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award in 2003, Dionne Brand was born in Guayaguayare, Trinidad in 1953. She moved to to Canada in […]

From Ruins to Hope

This book review by Sonia Saikaley is not about a new book, but Ann Charney’s Life Class (Cormorant Books 2013) is apt for Canadian Writers Abroad, hitting all the right notes: foreign locales, expats, immigrants, and questions of identity. Ann […]

Cusk’s Writing Class

This review of Outline by Rachel Cusk is written by Kim Reynolds in Ottawa, who has launched an indie publisher, Bookgiddy. Rachel Cusk lives in England, and has done so for a very long time, since her family relocated from […]

Three Lonely Men

The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel (Knopf Canada 2016) 332 pages. Reviewed by Hubert O’Hearn In 1515, the Sultan of Cambay sent the gift of a rhinoceros to King Manuel I of Portugal acknowledging the good relations between […]

Not Getting Married

Empire Girls: the colonial heroine comes of age by Mandy Treagus (University of Adelaide Press 2014) is an academic study of three novels: Olive Schreiner’s The Story of an African Farm (1883), Sara Jeannette Duncan’s A Daughter for Today (1894), […]

The Orenda

Joseph Boyden is a Canadian author (heritage part Anishnaabe, Irish and Scottish) who lives during the school year in New Orleans, where he teaches at the University of New Orleans, and in Canada, where he has been writer-in-residence at several […]

Each poppy commemorates a military British and Commonwealth life lost in WWI

Imagine

At the Remembrance Day ceremony for Canada in Green Park, London, the High Commissioner, Gordon Campbell, asked everyone to imagine what it would have been like to be in the trenches, to see your friends die, the person with whom […]

Flight Paths

Landing Gear by Kate Pullinger, Doubleday Canada 2014, hardcover 286 pages. Reviewed by Debra Martens. Kate Pullinger is a Canadian author living in the UK and was interviewed for Canadian Writers Abroad in 2012. Visiting a neighbourhood like Richmond, you […]