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

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Book Cover My True and Complete Adventures...

Great Companions

By [Kerry Clare]

Connecting the dots between some of the season's most talked-about books. 

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Book Cover When Raven Becomes Spider

Illustrators' Gallery: When Raven Became Spider

By [Kerry Clare]

On supernatural characters in Indigenous art and modern comic superheroes.

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Book Cover Malaika's Costume

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Books on Respect

By [Kerry Clare]

Books about respecting differences, community, one's own self, and the earth.

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Book Cover A Bird on Every Tree

Carol Bruneau: Change Your Take on Nova Scotia Lit

By [Kerry Clare]

"This is no mere exercise in voice: this is a reflection of a writer utterly in touch with her stories—not only what t …

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The Chat With Naben Ruthnum

The Chat With Naben Ruthnum

By [Trevor Corkum]

We’re leading off the fall in conversation with Naben Ruthnum, author of Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race. Curry is pa …

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Book Cover You Are Not Needed How

Annette Lapointe: How’d We Get All the Way Out Here?

By [Kerry Clare]

The author of You Are Not Needed Now on stories whose characters are found in strange and unexpected places. 

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Book Cover Snacks

YUM! Janis Thiessen on Canadian Snack Food

By [Kerry Clare]

Hawkins Cheezies, anybody? Yes, please! 

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Logo Whistler's Writers Festival

Your Fall 2017 Literary Festival Guide

By [Kerry Clare]

We've been waiting for this all year long...

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Shelf Talkers: Back to School and Beyond

Shelf Talkers: Back to School and Beyond

By [Rob Wiersema]

For possibly the first time in this column’s history, two of our booksellers have chosen the same book.

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Great Companions

If you're going to read one book....you might as well read two. Our "Great Companions" feature connects the dots between some of the season's most talked-about books. 

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History Meets the Present Day

My True and Complete Adventures as a Wannabe Voyageur, by Phyllis Rudin, and Lost in September, by Kathleen Winter

About My True and Complete Adventures as a Wannabe Voyageur: In this coming-of-age story, Benjie Gabai is convinced he’s been the victim of a terrible cosmic hoax. Instead of being born in the 18th century as a French-Canadian voyageur, God has plunked him down in present-day Montreal, into a family that views his fur trade obsession as proof that their Benjie, once so bursting with promise, has well and truly lost it. Benjie serves out his days as caretaker of The Bay’s poky in-store fur trade museum, dusting and polishing the artifacts that fuel his imagination. When he learns his museum is about to be closed down, scattering his precious collection to the four winds, he hatches a plan that risks bringing his voyageur illusions lapping dangerously up against reality.

My True and Complete Adventures as a Wannabe Voyageur melds Canadian frontier history with the madcap adventures of a young man who is not ready to meet adulthood head on.

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Illustrators' Gallery: When Raven Became Spider

Book Cover When Raven Became Spider

Shaun Beyale, The Time Traveller, 2015, ink, grey Copic marker, and white Gelly Roll pen on paper. Collection of Regina Public Library. Photo: Courtesy of the Artist.

Taking its title from a body of work by Sonny Assu, depicting Spiderman in a traditional Kwakwa_ka_'wakw style, When Raven Became Spider was a contemporary art exhibition curated by Vancouver-based Gitxaala/British, curator, artist and writer Leena Minifie.

The book, When Raven Became Spider, serves as documentation of the exhibition, and continues Minifie's research on supernatural characters in Indigenous art and modern comic superheroes, expanding the conversation to include a commissioned art work by Jolene Yazzie, and essays by Indigenous scholars from across North America.

We are pleased to publish a selection of images from the publication.

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The Beautiful NDN SupermaidensTM

Joi T. Arcand, The Beautiful NDN SuperMaidensTM Trading Cards: Neckbone Wonder Woman, 2016, mixed media. Collection of the Artist. …

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Notes from a Children's Librarian: Books on Respect

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

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Respect can be understood in different ways: respect for differences, respect for community, for self, or for the earth.

In Malaika’s Costume by Nadia L. Hohn, illustrated by Irene Luxbacher, Malaika is sad because her mother is far away in Canada. She’s promised to help Malaika buy a new Carnival costume but letters arrive without money. Grandma offers her the costume she used to wear as a girl, but the angry Malaika runs out into the neighbourhood. There, she hears a song: “It is true we are poor but we have dignity…” Together, grandma and granddaughter rebuild her costume into a proud peacock, incorporating traditions of her absent mother, her grandmother, and her community. K+

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Book Cover I'm Here

I’m Here, by Peter H. Reynolds, was written for children on the autism spectrum, but it’s a story for anyone who feels different. A boy sits at the edge of the playground, apart from the overwhelming noise of recess. A piece of paper in the wind lands at his feet …

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Carol Bruneau: Change Your Take on Nova Scotia Lit

A Bird on Every Tree is Carol Bruneau's latest book, a short story collection whose starred review in Quill & Quire concludes as follows: "This is no mere exercise in voice: this is a reflection of a writer utterly in touch with her stories—not only what they are, but how they are, overlooking nothing in her craft. Bruneau is a master."

Here, Bruneau shares a list of books by other Nova Scotia authors that serve to complicate common perceptions of that province. 

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Exploring Nova Scotian identity, the stories in my new collection, A Bird on Every Tree, reflect the wanderer’s spirit in most of us, regardless of where we originate. Maritime literature often gets cast as tales of insular, hard-done-by characters living the life down some dirt road, at best, salt-of-the-earth timid folk who don’t stray from home, or, at worst, mean-spirited hicks with a hate-on for things “from away.” Both stereotypes bear a smidge of truth.

But the bigger, truer flipside is that Nova Scotia is and always has been a province of adventurers, people who like living on the edge. From the Mi’kmaq who first navigated Mi’kmaqi’s rivers and coastal waters, the exiled and returning Acadians, the Black Loyalists fleeing slavery in the US, the waves of European settlers who came …

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The Chat With Naben Ruthnum

TREVOR CORKUM cropped
NabenRuthnum-135 (1)

We’re leading off the fall in conversation with Naben Ruthnum, author of Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race. Curry is part of the Exploded Views nonfiction series published by Coach House Books.
 
In this compelling essay, Ruthnum critically examines a range of key works by brown writers. He casts his gaze upon novels, travelogues, recipes, and other pop culture signifiers to argue that “the distinctive taste of curry has often become maladroit shorthand for brown identity.
 
Naben Ruthnum won the Journey Prize for his short fiction, has been a National Post books columnist, and has written books and cultural criticism for the Globe and Mail, Hazlitt, and the Walrus. His crime fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Joyland, and his pseudonym Nathan Ripley's first novel will appear in 2018. Ruthnum lives in Toronto.

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THE CHAT WITH NABEN RUTHNUM

curry
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