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A blog on Canadian writing, reading, and everything in between

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The Chat: Trevor Corkum Interviews Madeleine Thien

The Chat: Trevor Corkum Interviews Madeleine Thien

By [Kiley Turner]

Last month, Canadian Madeleine Thien was among 13 writers longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize for fiction for …

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mister nightingale, paul bowdring, soyaya roberts, in my humble opinion, the red files, lisa bird-wilson, burning in this midnight dream, louise bernice halfe, jane ozkowski, watching traffic, all the world a poem, gilles tibo, manon gauthier, erin woods,

On Our Radar

By [Kerry Clare]

Books with buzz worth sharing. 

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Book Cover Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau

Carmen L. Robertson: Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau

By [Kerry Clare]

Was Morrisseau an uneducated artist plagued by alcoholism and homelessness? A shaman artist who tapped a deep spiritual …

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Meet the Online Literary Neighbourhood

By [Kerry Clare]

A shout-out to our fellow Canadian online literary hubs.

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Book Cover Watching Traffic

Most Anticipated: Our Fall 2016 Books for Young Readers Preview

By [Kerry Clare]

Books for young readers (and readers who are young at heart). 

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Book Cover Julia Child

Notes From a Children's Librarian: Food Books

By [Kerry Clare]

Our Children's Librarian columnist, Julie Booker, brings us a new view from the stacks every month.

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The Chat: Trevor Corkum Interviews Brett Josef Grubisic

The Chat: Trevor Corkum Interviews Brett Josef Grubisic

By [Trevor Corkum]

This week on The Chat, we’re in conversation with Brett Josef Grubisic. His novel From Up River and For One Night Only …

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Book Cover The Light That Remains

Lyse Champagne: Perspectives on Culture, War, and Genocide

By [Kerry Clare]

With this deeply considered list, Champagne shares with us some of the many books she read while researching the plight …

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Shelf Talkers: August Is the Best Time for Reading

Shelf Talkers: August Is the Best Time for Reading

By [Rob Wiersema]

It’s all part of the experience: brave the heat and make your way to your local independent bookstore (bonus: many of …

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Book Cover Somewhere a Happy Life Awaits

Short Story Collections Not To Be Missed This Summer

By [Kerry Clare]

Canadian writers sure know how to rock the short story—we are the nation that brought the world an Alice Munro after a …

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The Chat: Trevor Corkum Interviews Madeleine Thien

TREVOR CORKUM cropped
Thien, Madeleine cr. Babak Salari

Last month, Canadian Madeleine Thien was among 13 writers longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize for fiction for her extraordinary new novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing. This week, she’s my guest on The Chat.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing is impressive in scope, covering key historical moments in recent Chinese history, including the Cultural Revolution and the 1989 massacre at Tiananmen Square. The Guardian calls the book “a moving and extraordinary evocation of the 20th-century tragedy of China.” The Globe and Mail says the work “will cement Madeleine Thien as one of Canada’s most talented novelists, at once a successor to Rohinton Mistry and a wholly singular stylist.”

Madeleine Thien is the author of the short story collection Simple Recipes, which was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, a Kiriyama Pacific Prize Notable Book, and won the BC Book Prize for Fiction; the novel Certainty, which won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award; and the novel Dogs at the Perimeter, which was shortlisted for Berlin’s 2014 International Lite …

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On Our Radar

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"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

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Mister Nightingale, by Paul Bowdring

Reviewed by Trudy Morgan-Cole at The Compulsive Overreader:

This is a novelist’s novel, a book for people who love words. It’s also a fun read for anyone who knows and loves St. John’s, Newfoundland and its literary scene, which is the main reason it floated to the top of my overcrowded “to-read” list. Apart from the general caricatures of the local scene and the loving evoked details of the city, there are a few characters that are pretty clearly (and in some cases, hilariously) based on thinly-disguised real people.

Read the whole review

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In My Humble Opinion: My So-Called Life, by Soraya Roberts

Reviewed by Sadaf Ahsan at the National Post:

Though Roberts’ book harbours a specific focus on what it means to be a girl in the wake of My So-Called Life (using it to demonstrate the weight of television in …

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Carmen L. Robertson: Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau

Book Cover Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau

Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau: Art and the Colonial Narrative in the Canadian Media examines the complex identities assigned to Anishinaabe artist Norval Morrisseau. Was he an uneducated artist plagued by alcoholism and homelessness? Was Morrisseau a shaman artist who tapped a deep spiritual force? Or was he simply one of Canada’s most significant artists?

***** 

“Native artists had to know how to play the white man’s game, they had to be able to work the media and the market, or they weren’t going anywhere.”—Sarah Milroy, Globe and Mail, 7 February 2006

With the 2006 opening of Norval Morrisseau: Shaman Artist at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, two of Canada’s leading newspapers, the Globe and Mail and the Ottawa Citizen, characterized the Anishinaabe artist’s retrospective as a “taming of demons.”

While each paper acknowledged Morrisseau as a pivotal artist in Canadian art history, both stories attributed demons to Morrisseau, when in actuality it was the Canadian nation and its colonial arm of nationalism, the media, that were the primary source of the many demons attributed to Morrisseau. As the first Indigenous artist in Canada to break into the mainstream art world, Morrisseau had entered an exclusive and elitist club with …

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Meet the Online Literary Neighbourhood

There are still some who contend that the online world is the enemy of all things properly bookish and literary, to which we would respectfully issue our disagreement. Then again after more than five years of celebrating Canadian books online, we would disagree, wouldn't we? But we're certainly not the only ones marrying a love of books with the digital world, and in the spirit of kinship, we'd like to take this opportunity to shout out to our fellow Canadian online literary hubs. 

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All Lit Up

Who they are: Highlighting the best books Canadian independent presses have to offer, All Lit Up is managed by The Literary Press Group, and their mission is to keep these amazing books by indie presses on Canadian readers' radars.  

You know them for: They were born as a pop-up shop a couple of Christmases ago featuring magnificent gift suggestions, and have since morphed into an online community bookstore for readers who like an indie vibe but don't have an independent bookshop in their neighbourhood. 

Don't miss: Their summer book club, whose pick this month is A Gentle Habit, by Cherie Dimaline, a book we love. 

Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram

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Most Anticipated: Our Fall 2016 Books for Young Readers Preview

There's still plenty of summer left, but we're looking forward to the excellent new books that are coming our way this fall. This time we're focusing on books for young readers (and also for readers whose hearts are young).

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Picture Books

Book Cover King Baby

Victoria Allenby and Tara Anderson follow up their award-winning Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That with Rhino Rumpus (September); expect more rhyming couplet fun. Cale Atkinson (who illustrated Vikki VanSickle's If I Had a Gryphon in the spring) releases Maxwell the Monkey Barber (August), about a jungle barber who can handle all the wild animals' coiffures, but then must comfort the poor elephant who is sad because he doesn't have hair at all. Kate Beaton tops The Princess and the Pony with King Baby (September). Rebecca Bender (of Giraffe and Bird fame) releases How Do You Feel? (November), about feeling, textures, and delightful animal creatures. And Stompin’ Tom Connors has his classic song put into print with The Hockey Song (October), with pictures by Gary Clement.

Book Cover In the Red Canoe

Paul Covello's Canada ABC (September) follows up …

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