Le Mas Blanc and Isabel Huggan

I am happy to be able to offer you this interview with Isabel Huggan about the writing retreat she has recently opened at Le Mas Blanc. A Canadian writer of fiction, essays and poetry who now lives in France, she […]

Big and Small

By big and small I don’t mean the play of the same name with Cate Blanchett. I mean Tuesday, when I went to the oversized London Book Fair at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in the afternoon and to “The Art […]

D.W. Wilson

Remember this aside from my “Masterclass”? (Hmm, University of East Anglia rings a bell. Ah yes, that’s where the Canadian who won the BBC short story competition was studying. Who was he?) Well, I found him, and met him in […]

Sat down and

Think of a Canadian love story gone sad and who do you think of? The federal budget of 2012 has made a cut to the CBC of $115 million over three years. See Annex 1: Responsible Spending, Heritage Portfolio, Table […]

Writing Workshop with Sarah Selecky

What do you do when you are writing in a place where no one knows you, or you don’t know the language, and you don’t have a writing group or a mentor to urge you on? You listlessly eye that […]

A Love Story

When I’m at home, I listen to the CBC; when abroad, to the BBC. Naturally, while abroad I start to miss the CBC, and in Canada I miss the Beeb. And when I come back to them, they weren’t as […]

Exploration and Empire

For the past two Monday evenings I have fallen asleep in front of the BBC program “Empire.” During “Making Ourselves at Home,” on March 5, host Jeremy Paxman went to various countries of the empire, including Canada. I perked up […]

Parry, Ponga and Pōhutukawa

“As if there aren’t enough horrors right here on earth to turn any man’s hair white without bringing in some unknowns from outer space.”  -Simon on UFOs,  Man & Other Natural Disasters Nerys Parry’s debut novel, Man & Other Natural […]


My readers may know by now that I am a Guardian newspaper reader. So it is no surprise that the first writing workshop I tried out was one of the Guardian Masterclasses.  They offer not only fiction writing but also […]


In the last episode of the BBC Sherlock series, “The Reichenbach Fall,” the viewer sees the newspaper headline “Boffin Sherlock Solves Another.” Sherlock tosses the newspaper aside, saying in disgust, “Boffin Sherlock Holmes.” Watson, meanwhile, sits back with a newspaper […]

Karyn Huenemann and Sara Jeannette Duncan

Karyn Huenemann is the first contributor (other than me) to Canadian Writers Abroad – and her article makes clear why she should be. She has lived in England, India, California, Paris and Boston. While in England and India, she was […]

Jane Urquhart

“I think you will love me if I have stories too.” -Teo in Sanctuary Line by Jane Urquhart, MacLehose Press, p. 215 When I asked Jane Urquhart if living in both Canada and Ireland affects her work, she answered that […]

Sara Jeannette Duncan 2

It was easier than I thought it would be to find where Sara Jeannette Duncan lived in Chelsea — or, actually, Mrs Everard Cotes. Yesterday, at the public library of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, I checked two […]

Sara Jeannette Duncan

It’s time to talk about writers who lived abroad. I want to start with a Canadian writer who left home to write and never moved back. She was given the name Sarah Janet Duncan, but she didn’t write under it, […]

The Canadian in Doctor Who

Who knew that “Doctor Who” was created by a Canadian? Sydney Newman transferred from Canadian television to English television in 1958. He worked on ITV’s Armchair Theatre series, which included a run of Mordecai Richler’s “The Trouble with Benny” in […]

Shakespeare and Company

George Whitman, the owner of the bookstore Shakespeare and Company, died on December 14, 2011, at the age of 98. Whitman went to Paris from the United States after his service in the Second World War, and stayed. He opened […]

Compare and Contrast

I start making comparisons as soon as we arrive at our flat in London. “Oh, look, the furniture is the same as in our place in Vienna.” And New Delhi and Nairobi. We live in assigned furnished accommodation, paying rent […]


During ten years of living outside of Canada I found that I took pictures of walls as much as scenery. I mean not only the walls that sheltered me but also the walls whose doors I sought. The long walls […]