Off the Page

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

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Book Cover bread and water

Most Anticipated: Our Fall 2021 Nonfiction Preview

By 49thShelf Staff

New books about everything, including food, beauty, art, travel, singing, healing, grieving, shopping, aging, and so muc …

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Book Cover Unlocking

CanLit Yearning

By Amy LeBlanc

"At the heart of my novella and in each book on this CanLit list is a sense of desire or a yearning (for belonging, iden …

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The Chat with Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo

The Chat with Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo

By Trevor Corkum

This week we’re in conversation with political trailblazer Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo, whose memoir, The Queer Evangelist, …

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Book Cover The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour

Most Anticipated: Our 2021 Fall Fiction Preview

By 49th Shelf Staff

With new books by Miriam Toews, Dawn Dumont, Douglas Coupland, Marie-Renee Lavoie, Omar El Akkad, Zoe Whittall, Trudy Mo …

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Book Cover The Quiet is Loud

Speculative Fiction: Vast and Thrilling

By Samantha Garner

"As a reader and a lightly superstitious human, I can’t deny the pull of the unusual, the not-quite-real. I love books …

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Book Cover Travels in Cuba

Writing with Four Hands

By Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel

"That’s what the Travels series is all about: sending a resourceful, observant, unafraid (well, sometimes a little afr …

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The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winner Anne Carson

The Chat with GG's Literature Award Winner Anne Carson

By Trevor Corkum

“Norma Jeane Baker of Troy leverages a millennia-old story of beauty and war to animate a history of the male gaze and …

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Book Cover The Hunted

The Places We'll Go

By Roz Nay

Pack your fictional bags at your peril! A recommended reading list by Roz Nay, whose latest thriller is The Hunted.

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Book Cover Ontario Picnics

Ontario Picnics

By Lindy Mechefske

A celebration of dining in the outdoors from new book ONTARIO PICNICS.

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Writers in Classrooms Bring Canadian Literature to Life


Guest contributor Thomas Hodd, PhD, who is an assistant professor in Canadian literature at Université de Moncton, recounts his experience of having Canadian authors come into his classrooms and speak with students.


There's something to be said for inviting Canadian writers into your classroom. Universities across the country have author readings, but it's been my experience that not enough of us go to them. These events are a wonderful gift.

In fact, some of my most rewarding conversations about Canadian literature happened when students were able to talk to an author they've been studying. You get a chance to learn about the writer's craft, her likes and dislikes, her own experiences, what it means to live in this country and create stories.

Such confessions would typically spur all kinds of thoughtful, imaginative and provocative questions from students: what were you trying to do? Why this word and not that one? Did you really have to describe that disgusting dead moose on page 34?  

Authors are slippery, of course: sometimes they would answer, other times evade. But what we all took away from the event was a new understanding of the writer's craft. More importantly, such conversations often enriched our reading of a text tenfold, made it dance in ways we h …

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