Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
Book Cover What the Kite Saw

What the Kite Saw: Stories of Children and Crisis

By Anne Laurel Carter

"Children have their own unique ways of facing a crisis. Yes, they need protecting, but they are also resilient. They ha …

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Shelf Talkers: Spring 2021

Shelf Talkers: Spring 2021

By Robert J. Wiersema

One of the best pieces of news in an otherwise dark year was the word that, despite the growth of online giants during t …

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Book Cover The Shadow Life

My Drifter Reading List

By Jen Sookfong Lee

A poetry list by the author of new book The Shadow List.

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Book Cover Fuse

Persian-Canadian Writers You've Got to Read

By Hollay Ghadery

So, where were all the Persian Canadian writers? It turns out, here all along, but not as represented as one might hope; …

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Tough Like Mum: An Essential Picture Book for Kids *and* Adults

Tough Like Mum: An Essential Picture Book for Kids *and* Adults

By Geoffrey Ruggero

Picture books are often written with young children as their intended audience. In Tough Like Mum, Lana Button provides …

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Book Cover We Jane

Aimee Wall on The Great Canadian Abortion Novel

By Kerry Clare

"I didn’t want the plot to turn on an abortion or the decision to have one. Any conflict or tension is rooted elsewher …

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Book Cover Because the Sun

Poetry That's Going to Grab You

By 49thShelf Staff

Great books to read before for National Poetry Month is out.

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The Chat with Christopher DiRaddo

The Chat with Christopher DiRaddo

By Trevor Corkum

Christopher DiRaddo’s sophomore novel, The Family Way, is a dynamic and rich exploration of queer family, parenthood, …

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Book Cover No More Plastic

Fighting for the Planet: Inspiring Books for Earth Day

By Kerry Clare

An eclectic list of inspiring books about fighting to protect the planet.

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Book Cover Hour of the Crab

Other Beings, Other Minds

By Patricia Robertson

A recommended reading list by author of the new book Hour of the Crab.

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Great Books for the Moment

There's always something to be excited about in the world of Canadian books—the literary festival circuit, hot spring releases, summer reads, fall books, awards season, holiday reading, and so much more. Literally, it is our job to be enthusing about books all year round and to bring you a taste of everything that's happening across the country in literary fare. It's always the most incredible whirlwind and it almost never stops. 

Except right now.

Mid-January, and it's cold outside. Over the last week, we've been snowed in from coast-to-coast (although most particularly in Newfoundland. Wow!). We're in that sweet spot between the Best Books of 2019 lists and the Most Anticipated Books of 2020, which is possibly the closest we'll ever get to living in the moment. So why not stay here for a while? And to keep you company, we're recommending a handful of 2019 books you'd be lucky not to miss.

*****

A Dark House and Other Stories, by Ian Colford

About the book: In Ian Colford's latest collection, people get themselves and those they love into situations awkward and sometimes dangerous, doing what they think is best for all. A man kidnaps his young son from his ex-wife and the road trip west quickly spirals out of control; a destitute mother makes a risky alliance wit …

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5 Debut Authors in Search of a Book Launch

Book Cover The Jane Austen Society

Natalie Jenner's debut novel, The Jane Austen Society, will be released on May 26.

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Seeing one’s novel on a bookstore shelf for the very first time is so often the dream and the work of a lifetime. Sadly, debut authors have been hit particularly hard by the publishing industry repercussions from the current virus outbreak. New writers lack established audiences for their work, which makes it that much harder to see their release dates, marketing initiatives and in-person events postponed or even cancelled. The necessary news focus on the pandemic gripping our world also means, unfortunately, even less opportunity for book reviews and media interviews, a key component of increasing awareness of new authors and their books.

The following five Canadian authors (Anita Kushwaha, Ava Homa, Deborah Hemming, Erin Ruddy and Eddy Boudel Tan) have seen the cancellation of most if not all of the marketing events planned for their debut books and are trying to launch their books and their careers amidst tremendous uncertainty and stress. From wondering if physical copies of books will even get made or official release dates will hold firm, to seeing the cancellation of first-time speaking appearances at such noted industry events as the LA Times Book Festival, the Ottawa …

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