Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
Book Cover The Orange Shirt Story

Books for Orange Shirt Day

By Julie Booker

Books to connect younger readers with the tragic legacy of Canada's residential schools.

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The Chat with Emily Urquhart

The Chat with Emily Urquhart

By Trevor Corkum

In The Age of Creativity (House of Anansi Press), Emily Urquhart challenges us to reconsider our thinking around artisti …

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Book Cover Noopiming

Launchpad: NOOPIMING, by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

By Kerry Clare

"This is bold storytelling drawing upon a rich history to present a possible future. Simpson is generously gifting reade …

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Book Cover Brighten the Corner Where You ARe

Fiction We Can't Wait to Read This Fall

By Kerry Clare

29 books that should be on your radar.

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Super September Giveaway!

Super September Giveaway!

By Kiley Turner

Did we call it this because of the alliteration? Maybe, but more because the books up for grabs here are SO GOOD. Enter …

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Book Cover Crosshairs

Launchpad: CROSSHAIRS, by Catherine Hernandez

By Kerry Clare

"Crosshairs asks us what we will do to resist and build a better future when faced with such momentous and dangerous tim …

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The Chat with Bahar Orang

The Chat with Bahar Orang

By Trevor Corkum

Bahar Orang’s Where Things Touch is a stirring, wholly invigorating meditation on beauty and memory. Part prose, part …

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Book Cover Angel Wing Splash Pattern

Launchpad: ANGEL WING SPLASH PATTERN, by Richard Van Camp

By Kerry Clare

"If your heart needs an ever-exploding series of glitter bombs, please read Angel Wing Splash Pattern. We are so proud o …

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Book Cover The Ghost in the House

Launchpad: THE GHOST IN THE HOUSE, by Sara O'Leary

By Kerry Clare

"This beguiling page turner of a novel is a story for all seasons—the seasons of the year, and yes, the seasons of our …

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Book Cover THe Manana Treehouse

5 Books for World Alzheimer's Month

By Kerry Clare

In fiction and nonfiction, these authors whose lives have been touched by Alzheimer's Disease bear witness and weave sto …

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Launchpad: CROSSHAIRS, by Catherine Hernandez

Launchpad Logo

Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today, Carrianne Leung is championing Catherine Hernandez's much anticipated second novel, Crosshairs.

Leung writes, "Crosshairs is a blistering page-turner. One can describe it as dystopic fiction, but Catherine Hernadez is presenting us with something much more prescient to consider. Through the richly drawn characters of Kay, Liz, Bahadur and others, the novel acts as a provocation and a challenge for readers to locate ourselves. Crosshairs offers a glance into a world that is possible if we continue on a trajectory that is frightfully present. Most importantly, Crosshairs asks us what we will do to resist and build a better future when faced with such momentous and dangerous times."

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Book Cover Crosshairs

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The Chat with Bahar Orang

tagged :

Bahar Orang_Author Photo_Credit Mel Mikhail

Bahar Orang’s Where Things Touch is a stirring, wholly invigorating meditation on beauty and memory. Part prose, part poetry, and part critical analysis, the book asks important questions about care, love, and the limits and possibilities of language. It was released last month by Book*hug Press as part of their celebrated Essais series.

Writing in NUVO Magazine, Allie Turner praises the work. “In a world where eyebrow raises, eye rolls, or scoffs can accompany a conversation about the philosophy of beauty or when so-called philosophers overcomplicate the concept as if that gives it more value, Orang eschews all expectations and allows the subject matter breathing room. She defines her own categories of beauty and looks inward to determine what she finds beautiful.”

Bahar Orang is a writer and physician-in-training living in Toronto. She has a BASc from McMaster University and an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto. She completed her MD at McMaster University, and is now completing specialty training in psychiatry in Toronto. Her poetry and essays have been published in such places as GUTS, Hamilton Arts & Letters, CMAJ, and Ars Medica. Where Things Touch: A Meditation on Beauty is her first book.

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Trevor Corkum: Where Things Touch i …

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Launchpad: ANGEL WING SPLASH PATTERN, by Richard Van Camp

Launchpad Logo

Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today, award-winning storyteller Richard Van Camp is championing the first book by young emerging author...Richard Van Camp. That's right! Van Camp's first book Angel Wing Splash Pattern has been reissued in a Special 20th Anniversary Edition.

Van Camp writes in the new introduction to his book:

"Angel Wing Splash Pattern, looking back now, was me using the short story as a celebration of being Tłįchϙ Dene and being raised in Fort Smith, NWT. Our home growing up was filled with music, books, stories, visiting, laughter, and a fun sense of community… I’ve braided the best of the ’80s with the best of the North in Angel Wing Splash Pattern, and, typing here in our home wit …

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Launchpad: THE GHOST IN THE HOUSE, by Sara O'Leary

Launchpad Logo

Last spring—as launches, festivals and other events were cancelled across the country—49th Shelf helped Canadian authors launch more than 50 new books with LAUNCHPAD. And now we're back this fall, but with a twist.

LAUNCHPAD 2.0 features new releases selected by great Canadian writers who've chosen books that absolutely deserve to find their way into the hands of readers.

Today, Christy-Ann Conlin is championing The Ghost in the House, by Sara O'Leary.

Conlin writes, "This beguiling page turner of a novel is a story for all seasons—the seasons of the year, and yes, the seasons of our lives. Fans of Virginia Woolf, Henry James, and Emily Dickinson will love this tale of Fay, told in a seamless cresting wave of a narrative which breaks in an unexpected ending. The book opens with Fay at home, but nothing is quite right, not what she’s wearing, or that she’s lying on top of the piano. I don’t want to give away the surprising plot and its twists, so trust me when I say that Fay is not quite at home in this world, and not quite sure who has invited her back.

Book Cover The Ghost in the House

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5 Books for World Alzheimer's Month

In fiction and nonfiction, these authors whose lives have been touched by Alzheimer's Disease bear witness and weave stories about the complexity of memory, identity, and love.

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Reverberations: A Daughter's Meditations on Alzheimer's, by Marion Agnew

About the book: Most people think Alzheimer's Disease is the same as memory loss, if they think about it at all. But most people prefer to ignore it, hoping that if they ignore it hard enough, it will go away. That was certainly Marion Agnew's hope, even after she knew her mother's diagnosis. Yet, with her mother's diagnosis, Marion's world changed. Her mother—a Queen's and Harvard/Radcliffe-educated mathematician, a nuclear weapons researcher in Montreal during Word War II, an award-winning professor and researcher for five decades, wife of a history professor, and mother of five—began drifting away from her. To keep hold of her, to remember her, she began paying attention, and began writing what she saw. She wrote as her mother became suspicious on outings, as she lost even the simplest of words, as she hallucinated, as she became frightened and agitated. But after her mother's death, Marion wanted to honour the time of her mother's life in which she had the disease, but she didn't want the illness to domin …

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