Off the Page
A blog on Canadian writing, reading, and everything in between
Today Sean chats with Jennifer LoveGrove, poet and author of Watch How We Walk and Jennifer reads from new, unpublished …
Nearly one week until Christmas! Here's hoping we can hook up your loved ones with the perfect present.
Perfect reads to curl up with while the snow falls outside.
On her debut novel, The Umbrella Mender, and the books that inspired her as she was writing it.
Yes, it’s the busiest time of the year, but a large troupe of our Shelf Talker professionals made time to give us thei …
Today, Sean chats with Matt Rader, whose most recent book is a collection of stories titled What I Want to Tell Goes Lik …
We promise that you will never ever run out of great things to read.
Never has there been a world conversation like this.
Hi everyone! Welcome back to The Interruption, a 49th Shelf–Books on the Radio collaboration in which I interview Canadian writers about the surprising things that inform, inspire, and even interrupt their creative process.
Today, I speak with Jennifer LoveGrove, a poet and novelist who divides her time between the bustle of Toronto and walking her dog among the wild turkeys of the Haliburton region. Her poetry collections are The Dagger Between Her Teeth and I Should Never Have Fired the Sentinel. Her most recent novel is called Watch How We Walk. All of these titles have been published by ECW Press.
You can find out more about Jennifer and her work at www.jenniferlovegrove.wordpress.com
The Interruption always features two podcast selections for your listening enjoyment: the first podcast features my interview with Jennifer. The second podcast features Jennifer reading from a series of new, unpublished poems.
Unless something unexpected happens, it's quite likely that tomorrow's will be the final episode of Serial, the podcast that has kept the world hooked over the past couple of months with a yearning to discover whether Adnan Syed might in fact be proven innocent of the crime for which he was sentenced to life in prison, and if so, then who is responsible for the 1999 murder of Baltimore high school student Hae Min Lee?
Given the limitations of just one more episode, the story probably isn't going to be tied up in a tidy way. Such is the nature of true and facts, as the writers of the following books know well.
But fortunately these are books that will go a long away toward filling the Serial-shaped hole in your life that tomorrow leaves.
Award-winning novelist and memoirist Butala takes a decades-old cold case—the 1961 murder of a high school classmate, a former Beauty Queen who was once serenaded by Johnny Cash—and becomes determined to put the pieces together in a way that makes sense. But finding truth in f …
There's just about a week left until Christmas Eve! So it doesn't count as "last-minute shopping" yet but we're certainly coming down to the final dash. And here's hoping we can help you hook up some of your loved ones with the perfect present (and even the less-loved ones for whom a present is still required).
For the Conspiracy Theorist:
For the guy who thinks that 9/11 was an inside job, and still keeps scrapbooks of news clippings on Igor Gouzenko, may we suggest Mr. Jones, by Margaret Sweatman? If Graham Greene had written a Canadian Cold War novel, it might have been this one, the story of a disillusioned Canadian civil servant during the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s, and his encounters with secret agents, spies and dreamers during a time of particularly heightened political tensions. And then there's his relationship with his wife, who has secrets of her own. The plot thickens, indeed, but have we also mentioned that, in addition to the plot, Sweatman's prose is gorgeous?
For the Hipster Hater:
For the pal who loves nothing more than rai …
The cover of Deborah-Anne Tunney's debut story collection is so evocative, and the stories within won't disappoint. In this this list, Tunney provides some other great books to curl up with while the world is quiet and the snow falls outside.
Is there anything more enjoyable, relaxing, or soothing for the soul than being in a warm room, a fire burning, snow falling silently out the window? With time to settle into a book, as you would settle under a warm duvet. Watching snow fall has always evoked in me a expanding sense of isolation and yet comfort, much as reading the best fiction does.
My own book of short stories, The View from the Lane, has a few such scenes of snow falling. I was hoping in those scenes and through the image of falling snow to give the reader a sense of aloneness, of being caught in quiet contemplation and reflection, where the mind settles, akin to the settling of the reading mind.
My recommendations for what to put before that reading mind have been culled from a multitude of Canadian work, many of which I feel badly about leaving off this list, but as we all know time is finite and at some point the snow will stop falling.
In his review of Christine Fischer Guy's debut novel, The Umbrella Mender, Philip Marchand calls attention to the story's atmosphere, its complex characters, and all the questions the narrative refuses to answer neatly. The Umbrella Mender is a novel with tremendous depth, with nothing at all careless in its construction. And its author's skills as a careful reader and skilled writer are clearly in evidence here with a list of books that informed her during the years she was writing her book.
Samuel Johnson said that a writer “will turn over half a library to make one book.” Some writers say that they can’t read fiction while writing, and while there were points during the six years of writing The Umbrella Mender that I felt too suggestible to read other fiction, I was always reading. Other books were companions, interlocutors, mentors, and time thieves. Here’s a selection of my favourite non-fiction, poetry, and novels from that time period.
Six Months in Sudan, by James Maskalyk
Toronto physician James Maskalyk began blogging about his exper …