Off the Page

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

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Book Cover Indians on Vacation

Most Anticipated: Our 2020 Fall Fiction Preview

By 49th Shelf Staff

New books by old favourites, sparkling debuts, and more than a few timely books about pandemics are among the titles tha …

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Book Cover County Heirlooms

Summer Eats: Kohlrabi Slaw, from COUNTY HEIRLOOMS

By Natalie Wollenberg and Leigh Nash

"I’ve always been impressed that seeds will produce all the food you need to live. It’s miraculous."

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Book Cover Cedar and Salt

3 Great Recipes from the 2020 Taste Canada Awards Shortlist

By Kerry Clare

Foodies, take note! Great recipes from celebrated cookbooks.

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Book Cover On Nostalgia

Launchpad: On Nostalgia, by David Berry

By Kerry Clare

"Berry’s subject is a wide-ranging one, but he pulls off the impressive feat of covering plenty of ground in a concise …

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Literatures, Communities and Learnings

Literatures, Communities, and Learning

By Kerry Clare

9 conversations with Indigenous writers about the relationship between Indigenous literatures and learning, and how thei …

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The Chat with Faye Guenther

The Chat with Faye Guenther

By Trevor Corkum

Swimmers in Winter (Invisible Publishing) is Faye Guenther’s debut collection of short fiction. These six stories expl …

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Book Cover Little Secrets

Summer Reading Starts Here

By Kerry Clare

Summer is not cancelled, and summer reading isn't either. We've got thrillers, epics, drama, historical fiction, and so …

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Cover Summer Feet

Picture Book Sneak Peek: Summer Feet, by Sheree Fitch and Carolyn Fisher

By Kerry Clare

Summer starts HERE with this glorious celebration of childhood...and filthy feet.

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Interview with Cary Fagan, Giller-Longlisted Author of My Life Among the Apes

Cary Fagan is the author of Valentine's Fall (finalist for the Toronto Book Award), The Mermaid of Paris, Felix Roth and other novels as well as many books for children. His short stories have been included in Best Canadian Stories and other anthologies. His writing has received two Jewish Book Awards, a Mr. Christie Silver Medal, and many other awards and nominations. Cary Fagan lives in Toronto with his family. His new book My Life Among the Apes has been longlisted for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

My Life Among the Apes

KC: You’ve noted your interest in magic in the past, and the first story in your new collection My Life Among the Apes is about a marriage torn apart when a man insists on pursuing a career as a magician against his wife’s wishes. And then there is your epigraph, from War and Peace: “He felt as a conjurer must who is all the time afraid that at any moment his tricks will be seen through.” Are there parallels for you between writing and magic-making? How is story writing similar or different from a conjuring trick?

CF: Ah, you noticed! Well, first of all I must tell you that as a kid I was in love with magic tricks. My parents would let me buy one once in a while and I'd practice it over and over. And then I bought books on magic. Later, I became fascinat …

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