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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Susan Swan on Self-Censorship and Freeing One's Expression

Freedom to Read Week 2013 image

Throughout Canada, it's Freedom to Read Week, February 24–March 2, 2013. Presented by the Book and Periodical Council, Freedom to Read Week is "an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms."

We talk to Susan Swan, author, writers' advocate, and a participant in Freedom to Read, about self-censorship and some of the authors she most admires.

Julie Wilson: In Canada, we have it much better than writers in Turkey. South Sudan has just become a pilot country for the UN Plan of Action on the safety of journalists. So as a country seen from abroad as one of the most progressive in terms of free expression how does censorship to your mind play out in Canada?

Susan Swan: The Western publishing world is heavily mercantile now. Then, too, our Canadian reading audience tends to be fairly genteel. Both these factors encourage authors to write to please readers. Some of the younger writers like Sheila Heti, Natalee Caple, Stacey May Fowles,  Annabel Lyon, Karen Connelly, and Sam Bernstein (to name just a few) write original books that make you question the way you think about yourself and the world around you, and I admire that. But a lot of book …

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