Category: Reviews

Closing 150 with Granta

Language becomes its own landscape in this issue of Granta. Language falls apart, twists, reformulates, shatters and revives itself.4 Animal and self, unfinished history, land and waterways, colonization and dispossession, settlement and refuge – all […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 — […]

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 […]

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, […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Writer Two Kids

  Michelle Smith’s piece on Devon appeared in CWA in July 2014. Author of the poetry book dear Hermes…, she and co-author Faye Hammill recently published the monograph Magazines, Travel, and Middlebrow Culture: Canadian Periodicals (Liverpool […]

Saikaley Reviews Secrets

Review by Sonia Saikaley Secrets in a Jewellery Box by Demetra Angelis Foustanellas spans time and culture, shifting between the past and present. Foustanellas knows both worlds: she was born in Ottawa to Greek parents […]

Depraved World

Who better to review Charles Foran’s Planet Lolita than someone young, for whom Facebook is as familiar as the telephone book was to her parents’ (and Foran’s) generation? University of Toronto student Eleanor Proudfoot’s recent […]