Off the Page

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

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Book Cover knot body

Launchpad: knot body, by Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch

By Kerry Clare

"Readers may sit and ruminate on the sharp and sensual inquiry offered by each individual letter, or read cover-to-cover …

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book cover footlights

2020 Poetry Delights

By Pearl Pirie

A list by the author of new collection footlights. These books turn and explore, question and listen.

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The Chat with Zsuzsi Gartner

The Chat with Zsuzsi Gartner

By Trevor Corkum

Zsuzsi Gartner’s debut novel, The Beguiling (Hamish Hamilton), is a stunner. It was a finalist for this year’s Write …

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Book Cover Loss Lake

Launchpad: LOSS LAKE, by Amber Cowie

By Kerry Clare

"Sentence by gorgeous sentence, Cowie reveals an intricately woven, powerful plot, unveiling the depths of the character …

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Hope Matters

25 Reasons to be Hopeful

By Kerry Clare

The following books are infused with hope—that what we do and who we are really matters, that second chances are possi …

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Book Cover Spend It

Notes From a Children's Librarian: Money Money Money

By Julie Booker

Financial literacy is part of the new math curriculum for grades 4-6. But why not start even sooner, as young as kinderg …

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Book Cover You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked.

Launchpad: YOU ARE EATING AN ORANGE. YOU ARE NAKED. by Sheung-King

By Kerry Clare

"This novel ...gives the cold shoulder to the dominant gaze and its demands to control the Asian body, carving out a thr …

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Book Cover The Way Home

Books for University Press Week

By Clare Hitchens

“Raise UP” is a particularly apt theme in a time when information moves at faster speeds than ever before across a m …

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Shelf Talkers: Indie Booksellers Get Us Through the End of the Year

Shelf Talkers: Indie Booksellers Get Us Through the End of the Year

By Robert J. Wiersema

To mark the passing of the year, we’ve gathered the independent booksellers of the Shelf Talkers fellowship – the st …

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Book Cover Four Umbrellas

Launchpad: FOUR UMBRELLAS, by June Hutton and Tony Wanless

By Kerry Clare

"Our goal from the outset was to write a book in which the person with Alzheimer’s has a place on the page, too."

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25 Reasons to be Hopeful

In difficult times, sometimes hope is maligned as something frivolous, a symptom of one's inability to engage with reality and look trouble in the face. But of course, the certainty of hopeless is its own kind of limitation. As Rebecca Solnit writes, "To me, the grounds for hope are simply that we don’t know what will happen next, and that the unlikely and the unimaginable transpire quite regularly.”

The following books are infused with hope—that what we do and who we are really matters, that second chances are possible, and so too is a better world.

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This is Not the End of Me, by Dakshana Bascaramurty

About the book: Layton Reid was a globe-trotting, risk-taking, sunshine-addicted bachelor—then came a melanoma diagnosis. Cancer startled him out of his arrested development--he returned home to Halifax to work as a wedding photographer—and remission launched him into a new, passionate life as a husband and father-to-be. When the melanoma returned, now at Stage IV, Layton and his family put all their stock into a punishing alternative therapy, hoping for a cure. This Is Not the End of Me recounts Layton's three-year journey as he tried desperately to stay alive for his young son, Finn, and then found purpose in preparing Finn for a world without him.

Wit …

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The Chat: Trevor Corkum Interviews Trevor Cole

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This week on The Chat, I’m thrilled to speak to author Trevor Cole, whose complex and heart-tugging novel Hope Makes Love explores issues of love, trauma, and the lengths we will go to make amends for our past.

Hope Makes Love tells the story of Zep Baker, a former major league baseball player who believes all he needs to put his life back on track is to revive his marriage by convincing his wife to return to Tampa with their daughter. In order to do so, he enlists the expertise of Hope, a neuroscience researcher. Hope, meanwhile, is struggling with a traumatic past and relationship issues of her own. The novel follows both characters as they travel into new and uncertain emotional terrain.

Trevor_Cole - Author Photo

Trevor Cole has won international acclaim for his fiction and journalism. His first two novels—Norman Bray in the Performance of His Life and The Fearsome Particles—were each shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award and longlisted for the Dublin International IMPAC Literary Award. His third novel, Practical Jean, published in Canada, the US and …

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The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen in Comic Book History

Book Cover Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen

Hope Nicholson's newest project is The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen, an engaging and gorgeous catalogue of comic book heroines though the ages. Hope, author of The Secret Lives of Geek Girls and founder of Bedside Press, specializing in archival comics collections, is pretty spectacular herself, and we relished the opportunity to ask her a little more about this fascinating book. 

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49th Shelf: It seems like superwomen are having a moment, what with the success of Supergirl and the Jessica Jones series, the awesomeness of reboots like Ms. Marvel, and excitement about the forthcoming Wonder Woman film. But your book posits that there exists an incredible history of powerful female heroes that it lesser known. So what do you think is particular about what’s happening right now?

Hope Nicholson: I think there are a lot of great things happening right now for female characters! Definitely we've never had as intense a cross-platform saturation as exists today in this really overwhelming presence of comic-book-related TV shows and movies, and we are seeing more female characters pop up as leading characters in these programs. Another great thing that is happening is an awareness that we need a lot of female characters from many different walks of life, to con …

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