Off the Page

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

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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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Book Cover WANTED! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Life Sciences

By Julie Booker

Celebrate Earth Day with these fun and inspiring picture books.

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8 Books for Fans of Fabulism

The books I’ve always loved the most are those that are grounded in the real world with fantastical elements—stories that hold space for the more ineffable experiences in life. My debut novel, The Memory Collectors, falls into this category, landing somewhere between contemporary fantasy and literary fiction. Below are some books in that same vein by other great Canadian authors. Each of these is either a favorite of mine or a new release at the top of my reading list. If you crave stories that play with our understanding of reality, that incorporate myth and folklore into everyday existence, or that make you feel as though magic might just be real, these are absolutely worth checking out.

*****

Empire of Wild, by Cherie Dimaline

From the author of the incredibly powerful book The Marrow Thieves, this is a modern supernatural thriller that plays with traditional Métis stories of the werewolf-like Rogarou. A beautifully written page-turner, it follows the struggles of Joan as she discovers her missing husband at a revival tent in a Walmart parking l …

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Other Beings, Other Minds

Book Cover Hour of the Crab

Enter for your chance to win a copy of Hour of the Crab and other great book prizes on our giveaways page!

Ever since I was a three-year-old in a small English town, tracing the letters on the greengrocer’s orange crates—or so my mother told me—I’ve loved words. I was brought up on British fairy tales and animal stories—Wind in the Willows, Beatrix Potter, Andrew Lang’s The Blue Fairy Book—a tamed and domesticated landscape that was nevertheless full of mystery and yearning. We moved to Canada when I was nine, pitching me into exile. As Doris Lessing says, “When you leave one country, you leave them all.”

So it’s probably not surprising that themes of home and exile imbue my stories in Hour of the Crab, along with the presence of other dimensions where trees can communicate with humans and the world is filled with mysterious presences. Such fiction, for me, is not so much magic realist as heightened realism, an acknowledgement of how little we really know and how much wiser the older beings on our planet are. I’m trying, in my latest stories, to find ways to allow those voices to enter, voices we’ve shut out in our techno-industrial world but that we are in desperate need of listening to.

 

Such fiction, for me, is not so much magic realist …

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