Off the Page

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

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 The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winners The Fan Brothers

The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winners The Fan Brothers

By Trevor Corkum

We continue our special coverage of this year’s Governor General's Literature Award winners in conversation with the a …

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Book Cover Oy Feh So

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Books on Jewish Heritage

By Julie Booker

Compelling stories showcasing Jewish Heritage to be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

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The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winner Madhur Anand

The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winner Madhur Anand

By Trevor Corkum

Check out our conversation with Madhur Anand, whose brilliant experimental memoir This Red Line Goes Straight to Your He …

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Me and Bridget Jones (20 Years Later)

Me and Bridget Jones (20 Years Later)

By Erika Thorkelson

Erika Thorkelson's "Me and Bridget Jones (20 Years Later)" is one of the essays in Midlife, a new essay collection explo …

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The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winner Michelle Good

The Chat with GG's 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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Lesley Buxton: "Are You Still Married?"

Book Cover Love Me True

Love is hearts and roses, but life is complicated, and to share a life with someone else requires a bond and commitment far stronger than any verse ever penned on a Valentine. In the new anthology Love Me True, edited by Fiona Tinwei Lam and Jane Silcott, 27 creative nonfiction writers and 16 poets explore how marriage and committed relationships have challenged, shaped, supported and changed them, delving deep into the mysteries of long-term bonds. 

Lesley Buxton's essay from the collection, "Are You Still Married?" is devastating, sad, glorious and beautiful, and we're so glad to be able to share it with you. 

Please note that Love Me True is on our giveaways page until February 18.

*****

“Are you still married?” the customer asks.

I look up from her bill and glance towards my section on the patio, hoping to find an excuse to leave. Nobody needs me. I’m stuck.

This customer and I share an unwanted and one-sided intimacy. For the last months of my sixteen-year-old daughter India’s life, this customer was our social worker. Her job was to navigate us through the medical system. She was neither exceptionally good at her job nor bad. This is the first time I’ve seen her since my daughter died ten months ago and I can’t remember her name.

Finally I say, “Yes, …

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Can-Lit's Sexy Side

It's Valentine's Day, and we've been all about the bookish love over here at 49thShelf with our Feel the Love Valentine's Day Contest (whose deadline is February 14th at midnight). But we also wanted to take a moment to highlight the racier elements of romance, that sexier side of Can-Lit. Because it's true, (surely you knew?), that Can-Lit has a sexy side. We've put together this list of Canada's sexiest books with input from some of the nation's best readers. If you notice any glaring omissions, let us know in the comments below and we'll add them to the list.

Maidenhead by Tamara Faith Berger: In 2012, this was the book that everybody was talking about, and it was showing up everywhere on 2012 year-end best-of lists. As Stacey-May Fowles wrote in The National Post, ''For those of us who secretly read V.C. Andrews and The Story of O under the covers with flashlights in early adolescence, Tamara Faith Berger is our grown-up literary saint."

SECRET by L. Marie Adeline: Widely touted as "the Maidenhead of 2013," the pseudonymous Adeline was recently out …

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Feel the Love Valentine's Day Contest

Valentines Book

Photo Credit: Eric M. Martin

Whether or not you’ve found your one true love, you’ve read enough to know what it should feel like—and it ain’t all pretty. For Valentine’s Day, help us create a list of Canadian books with powerful love stories in them. The love can end well, it can end tragically, but it must have made your heart beat harder or broken it at least a little.

We've started off the Feel the Love list, so add your book(s) by:

By adding a book to our list in any of these three ways, you get entered automatically into our contest to win a $150 gift certificate for books at the bookstore of your choice. You can also enter by sharing the list on Twitter or by sharing one of our FB posts about the contest (for both options add #cdnbooklove).

Contest ends at midnight on February 14, 2013. We will announce the winner February 15!

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P.K. Page: I could do with the good solid reality of you

Book Cover Where the Nights Are Twice As Long

Under the covers of Where the Nights Are Twice as Long: Love Letters of Canadian Poets, David Eso and Jeanette Lynes collect letters and epistolary poems from more than 120 Canadian poets, including Pauline Johnson, Malcolm Lowry, Louis Riel, Alden Nowlan, Anne Szumigalski , Leonard Cohen, John Barton, and Di Brandt, and many others, encompassing the breadth of this country's English literary history.

We are pleased to feature this excerpt, a love letter from P.K. Page to F.R. Scott, a letter full of longing and love from one poet to another. And learn more about the anthology at http://wherethenights.tumblr.com. 

*****

P.K. Page to F.R. Scott Friday, June 30, 1944

Friday

I’m sorry to write rot.

1x1 has just arrived. Lambie-pie how swell of you. I have been gobbling it up & not understanding but getting the feeling & going back & regobbling & understanding better & all in all feeling it’s my birth day or yours or something. Cummings seems to be a sort of carrier pigeon flying back & forth between us.

I have decided to leave here on the 14th & that is definite. Will arrive at New River the same day — or night rather — if I can connect with a bus. I’m quite excited about it. From now on I’m going to try to work like stink on the histories to make enough money …

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Who Wrote the Book of Love?

Whether yours is a happy Valentines, or an unhappy Valentines (sob), there's a book on love on our list that will suit you perfectly. 

*****

F*ck Love: One Shrink's Sensible Advice for Finding a Lasting Relationship, by Michael Bennett, MD, and Sarah Bennett

About the book: From the New York Times bestselling authors of the “refreshingly blunt” (Harper’s Bazaar) F*ck Feelings—this seriously irreverent roadmap reveals the essentials to look for when you're done being suckered by the promise of true love and want help seeking a real, lasting relationship. 

Many people have opinions on the subject of romantic relationships—why they’re so hard to find, so difficult to maintain, so easily analogized to planets and pets—but the real source of trouble isn’t too complicated: it’s that we are choosing our partners based on love, excitement, lust, attraction, neediness…on feelings.

Instead of helping readers find true love (also known as “total bullshit”), Dr. Michael Bennett and his comedy-writing daughter Sarah reveal the practical, commonsense criteria for good partnerships that will allow real love to develop, even after the romance has died down or been buried completely. Finding a good partner involves losing preconceived notions about who your dre …

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