Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
Book Cover Memoir Conversations and Craft

Dazzling Memoirs

By Marjorie Simmins

Marjorie Simmins, author of MEMOIR: CONVERSATIONS AND CRAFTS, recommends her dream lineup of memoirs.

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For Fans of Grisham, Munro, Wolitzer, Shriver, and More

For Fans of Grisham, Munro, Wolitzer, Shriver, and More

By Kiley Turner

Isn't it great when you find a new author or series that fits your reading taste to a tee? Here are a few new books that …

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Book Cover Big Reader

A Taster: Spring 2021 Nonfiction Preview

By 49th Shelf Staff

Life stories, family, baseball, and retreat. These highlight the nonfiction we're most looking forward to this spring. 

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ICYMI: Don't Miss These Beauties

ICYMI: Don't Miss These Beauties

By Kiley Turner

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on our attention spans, making it possible to miss really great fiction. These books caug …

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Book Cover Small Courage

Small Courage: Parenting Memoirs

By Jane Byers

A recommended reading list by Jane Byers, whose new queer parenting memoir is out now.

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The Chat with Kimiko Tobimatsu

The Chat with Kimiko Tobimatsu

By Trevor Corkum

Author Kimiko Tobimatsu and illustrator Keet Geniza have teamed up to create Kimiko Does Cancer, a timely graphic memoir …

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Book Cover Best Canadian Poetry 2020

A Record of Literary History: Best Canadian Poetry 2020

By Marilyn Dumont

An excerpt from Marilyn Dumont's introduction to BEST CANADIAN POETRY 2020.

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Book Cover Book of Donair

The Donair: Canada's Official Food?

By Lindsay Wickstrom

Excerpt from BOOK OF DONAIR explores how a bitter rivalry between Halifax and Edmonton helped propel the donair to be de …

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Book Cover My Ocean is Blue

Notes From a Children's Librarian: Questions, Questions

By Julie Booker

Great picture books that engage with questions and encourage readers to think about answers.

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Book Cover Gutter Child

Most Anticipated: Our 2021 Spring Fiction Preview

By 49thShelf Staff

Exciting debuts, and new releases by Christy Ann Conlin, Pasha Malla, Eva Stachniak, Jael Richardson, and more.

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"Easy as pie. NOT!" Sharon McKay on Transforming Her Novel into a Graphic Novel

Book Cover War Brothers

Transforming War Brothers from a novel into a graphic novel was easy as pie and it only took a week! NOT! Here’s what really happened:

Comic book writer J. Torris (Bigfoot Boy, Jinx) gave a copy of War Brothers (the novel) to artist Daniel Lafrance. Dan was inspired enough to make a few sketches. He then drew ten pages of sequential art to include in a proposal. Holding my breath, I showed them to Rick Wilks, Director of Annick Press. Here’s where I say, “and the rest is history.” But wait!

I had a huge learning curve ahead of me. Dan had to carry me like a sack of potatoes. Yes, the words in the book are mine, but it was Dan who figured out how to transform them into a meaningful and powerful graphic form.

Initially, I was worried about the level of violence in the story. Make no mistake, there is NO gratuitous or unjustified violence in this book. It’s all real and happening right now. It’s not possible to write about child soldiers without showing the brutality, and reminding the reader that these children are both perpetrators and victims.

Page from War Brothers

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