Off the Page

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

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The Chat with GGs Literature Award Winner Michelle Good

The Chat with GGs Literature Award Winner Michelle Good

By Trevor Corkum

Today we are pleased to kick off our special coverage of the 2020 Governor General's Award winners (English-language) wi …

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Book Cover Cattail Skyline

The World Up Close

By Joanne Epp

A recommended reading list by author of new book CATTAIL SKYLINE on paying close attention to the small and particular.

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Book Cover What's In It For Me

The Keepers on My Bookshelf

By LS Stone

Depth and humour are themes in this great recommended reading list by the author of the new middle grade novel What's in …

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Book Cover the Girl from Dream City

How Does a Woman Become a Writer?

By Linda Leith

"The writers who interest me most, always, are women who write about themselves in ways that a male writer never could." …

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Book Cover Big Reader

11 Essay Collections to Revisit Now

By Susan Olding

"The bestselling novel of a decade ago will sometimes seem stale or irrelevant today, but that’s rarely true of an ess …

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The Chat Special Coverage: Griffin Poetry Prize Roundtable 2021

The Chat Special Coverage: Griffin Poetry Prize Roundtable 2021

By Trevor Corkum

We’re so pleased to be partnering once again with our friends at the Griffin Poetry Prize to profile this year’s thr …

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Book Cover Run Riot

Poetry Feels Like Memory to Me

By Ash Winters

"Something of the intensity of feeling, sparseness of narrative and intricacy of images in poetry feels like memory itse …

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Book Cover Lost Immunity

Tackling the Big Themes

By Daniel Kalla

"I am drawn to fiction writers who highlight vital social and scientific themes through their novels. And fortunately, t …

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Book Cover The List of Last Chances

On the Road Again: Literary Road Trips

By Christina Myers

"I’m still fascinated by the possibilities that road trips present and perpetually curious about the unique and divers …

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Book Cover Maggie's Chopsticks

Note From a Children's Librarian: Stories for Asian Heritage Month

By Julie Booker

Great picture books celebrating Asian heritage.

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On Our Radar

"On Our Radar" is a new monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet.

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Book Cover The Best Thing About Kindergarten

The Best Thing About Kindergarten by Jennifer Lloyd, Illustrated by Qin Leng

From the blog Perogies & Gyoza:

"I'm sure there are some kindy kids who are apprehensive about their new journey, and for them I would recommend this book about the joys of kindergarten... It might seem odd to recommend a book about finishing kindergarten to kids who are just starting—but all kids of this age can identify with the excitement of the classroom and the love of a good teacher." 

Read the whole review here

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Accusation by Catherine Bush

From the Now Toronto review by Susan G. Cole: 

"You can record, videotape, photograph and do a ton of other things to document a situation. But you can never be sure whether you’ve discovered any actual truths. That’s the theme of Catherine Bush’s deftly rendered tale about a seasoned journalist trying to get to …

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On Our Radar: Rideout, Petrou, Marston, Heiti, and Hughes

"On Our Radar" is a new monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books in all genres with buzz worth sharing. The buzz hails from around the Internet, and beyond ...

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Book Cover Arguments With the Lake

Arguments With the Lake by Tanis Rideout 

From Mark Sampson at Free Range Reading:

"The listless, monolithic hulk of Lake Ontario looms large in this stellar collection of interconnected poems by Tanis Rideout. Arguments with the Lake takes as its basis the lives of two teenage swimmers from the 1950s, Marilyn Bell and Shirley Campbell, the former of which was the first person ever to swim across Lake Ontario. By plunging into the aquatic depths of these two characters’ fictionalized emotional lives, Rideout pulls off a poetic rendering of two historical figures that is as consuming as it is invigorating."

Read the whole review here

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Is This Your First War? by Michael Petrou

Winner of the 2013 Ottawa Book Award for English Non-Fiction. From the jury statement:

"Is This Your First War? is a harrowing journey into the heart of darkness of post-9/11 Afghanistan. In this journalistic coming …

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The Recommend: February 2014 #2

Research shows that most of the books we read are the result of one thing: someone we know, trust, and/or admire tells us it's great. That's why we're starting our new series, The Recommend. Every two weeks, we'll reach out to people—readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others—whose taste we respect and ask them to tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Ali Bryan, author of Roost; Steven Galloway, author of The Cellist of Sarajevo; Eliza Robertson, author of the Journey-Prize nominated short story, "My Sister Sang"; Jowita Bydlowska, author of Drunk Mom; and Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls.

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Ali Bryan picks Nicole Dixon’s High-Water Mark: "This short story collection is a quick, sensuous read that will simultaneously stroke your hair and slap you in the face. Dixon’s female characters, much like her writing style, are stripped down, raw, and real. She writes with a refreshing feminist bent and has a knack for capturing the raunchy and intimate with an honesty and grit reminiscent of Lena Dunham’s Girls. I was left with a hot face on more than one occasion, yet her stories are also infused with moments of tenderness, grief, and conflict that are palpa …

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ICYMI: Don't Miss These Beauties

tagged : Fiction, reviews

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on our attention spans, making it possible to miss really great fiction. These books caught the attention of some of Canada's foremost reviewers and we're happy to shine even more deserved light on them.

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Even that Wildest Hope, by Seyward Goodhand

What It's About

Even that Wildest Hope bursts with vibrant, otherworldly characters—wax girls and gods-among-men, artists on opposite sides of a war, aimless plutocrats and anarchist urchins—who are sometimes wondrous, often grotesque, and always driven by passions and yearnings common to us all. Each story is an untamed territory unto itself: where characters are both victims and predators, the settings are antique and futuristic, and where our intimacies—with friends, lovers, enemies, and even our food—reveal a deeply human desire for beauty and abjection. Stylistic and primordial, Even That Wildest Hope is a chaotic and always satisfying fabulist journey in the baroque tradition of Angela Carter, Carmen Maria Machado, and Ted Chiang.

Reviews

“Some of these stories, such as the opening 'Enkidu' (The Epic of Gilgamesh, redux) and 'So I Can Win,' the 'Galatrax Must Die,' bring to mind the off-kilter worlds of Paige Cooper. But my favourites here are the maybe quieter but still pleas …

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