Off the Page

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

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Picture Books for Black History Month

By [Kerry Clare]

A perfect opportunity to highlight these excellent books which celebrate Black heroes and Black culture. 

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Book Cover I Am Josephine

Notes From a Children's Librarian: Animal Books

By [Kerry Clare]

Great nonfiction titles to introduce "Animal Classifications," the Grade 2 science unit. 

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Book Cover Love Me True

Lesley Buxton: "Are You Still Married?"

By [Kerry Clare]

An excerpt from a new book of essays, Love Me True, which delves deep into the mysteries of long-term bonds. 

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Logo Growing Room Festival

Your 2018 Spring Literary Festival Guide

By [Kerry Clare]

Mark your calendars, everybody! Across the country, incredible festival volunteers have been conspiring to pull off amaz …

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The Chat with Canisia Lubrin

The Chat with Canisia Lubrin

By [Trevor Corkum]

Today on The Chat, a conversation with Canisia Lubrin, author of the superb debut collection of poems, Voodoo Hypothesis …

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Book Cover Happinesswise

Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Spring Poetry Preview

By [Kerry Clare]

Our Spring Preview continues with poetry, exciting debuts, new books by award-winners, and books by your favourites. 

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The Chat with Jordan Tannahill

The Chat with Jordan Tannahill

By [Trevor Corkum]

This week on The Chat, we speak to Jordan Tannahill, interdisciplinary artist and author of the much-anticipated debut n …

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Book Cover The Red Word

A #MeToo Reading List

By [Kerry Clare]

15 books to make you think more deeply about the #MeToo movement.

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The Recommend: February 2018

The Recommend: February 2018

By [Kiley Turner]

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Carrianne Leung (That Time I Loved You), Sharon Butala (Zara's Dead), Di …

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Shelf Talkers: White Magic in the 1800s, Rock in the 90s, and the World in 1979

Shelf Talkers: White Magic in the 1800s, Rock in the 90s, and the World in 1979

By [Rob Wiersema]

Think about it: curled up under a fluffy duvet, a steaming beverage close to hand, maybe some music playing, a bit of su …

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Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Spring Poetry Preview

Our Spring Preview continues with poetry, exciting debuts, new books by award-winners, and books by your favourites. 

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David Alexander’s After the Hatching Oven (April) explores chickens: their evolution as a domesticated species; their place in history, pop culture and industrial agriculture; their exploitation and their liberation. Cameron Anstee’s Book of Annotations (April) deploys a number of minimalist strategies to question how small a poem can be made, and how can a small poem be made expansive. Joelle Barron’s debut is Ritual Lights (March), a meditation on trauma and identity, deeply vulnerable and reserved, funny and full of rage. Jonathan Bennett’s latest collection of poetry is Happinesswise (April), poems that interrogate what we tell ourselves about happiness, about its opposite, and about ourselves in the process. And False Spring (May), by Darren Bifford, is a collection of poems with great weight and energy, largely concerned with various forms of collapse and cultural disintegration.

E.D. Blodgett, two-time winner of the Gove …

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The Chat with Jordan Tannahill

tannahill
TREVOR CORKUM cropped

This week on The Chat, we speak to Jordan Tannahill, interdisciplinary artist and author of the much-anticipated debut novel, Liminal (House of Anansi Press).

Ann-Marie MacDonald calls Liminal “generous, bold, unabashedly emotional, and really smart—an ultra-engaging portrait of the artist, and portal to the art.”

Teva Harrison, artist and author of In-Between Days, says “This book has everything: a road trip, coming of age, philosophy, mythology, meditation on the nature of self, and the tender love of a son for his mother—all infused with uncommon emotional intelligence.”

Jordan Tannahill is a playwright, director, and author. In 2016 he was described by the Toronto Star as being “widely celebrated as one of Canada’s most accomplished young playwrights, filmmakers, and all-round multidisciplinary artists.” His plays have been translated into multiple languages and honoured with a number of prizes including the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama and several Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Jordan’s films and multimedia performances …

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A #MeToo Reading List

Swirling headlines, new revelations, another story breaking.... You know what the #MeToo movement needs right now? It needs books. Books to make us think deeper, ask questions, make connections, and figure out not only what's happening now, but also what needs to happen next.

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Ascent of Women, by Sally Armstrong

Why we're taking notice: From our 2013 Q&A with Armstrong, "Look at the story of Malala, look at the one about the young woman who was gang raped to death in India, the one about Sahar Gul in Afghanistan. The stories about these girls make the front page. The world doesn't let go. We used to look the other way. Not anymore. These girls have become our daughters. Their case is our case. The issues affecting women and girls today are all over the news—on the front page. Yes—we're winning. Big time." 

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Putting Trials on Trial, by Elaine Craig 

Why we're taking notice: "In pursuit of trial practices that are less harmful to sexual assault complainants as well as survivors of sexual violence more broadly, Putting Trials on Trial makes serious, su …

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The Recommend: February 2018

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 run this series, The Recommend, where readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.

This week we're pleased to present the picks of Carrianne Leung (That Time I Loved You), Sharon Butala (Zara's Dead), Dimitri Nasrallah (The Bleeds), Kim Clark (A One-Handed Novel), and Naben Ruthnum (Find You in the Dark).

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Carrianne Leung picks Catherine Hernandez's Scarborough

Catherine Hernandez's Scarborough is a love letter to the underrepresented folks and communities that are so marginalized that they are often erased in public discourse, let alone in literary fiction. Scarborough tells stories of everyday people in a pocket of a suburb. Through multiple characters across a linear timeline, Hernandez leads us through one year in their lives. These are little stories told through the eyes of children, single mothers and Ms. Hina, a city worker who tries to do these families justice. I admire Hernandez's delicate attention to these characters. They are fully realized, fully fleshed, complicated characters for whom we ache and cheer on. Hernandez reminds that eve …

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Shelf Talkers: White Magic in the 1800s, Rock in the 90s, and the World in 1979

For a lot of Canadians, this can be a rough time of year. The stretch of late January and early February, characterized by cold temperatures and mostly grey days, can induce a wintery funk. Sure, there may be a bit of skiing, skating, or walks on those rare days when Canada’s much-loved natural world isn’t actively trying to kill you, but there’s a certain glumness to the air. The unbridled optimism (and hangovers) of the new year are behind us, and we’re left with, well, hangovers from the unbridled optimism. Spring is on the horizon, but it seems so far away.

There is a respite, though.

This is the perfect time of year to lose yourself in a good book.

Think about it: curled up under a fluffy duvet, a steaming beverage close to hand, maybe some music playing, a bit of sun creeping in through the blinds, a new favourite book... Doesn’t that sound lovely?

Think about it: curled up under a fluffy duvet, a steaming beverage close to hand, maybe some music playing, a bit of sun creeping in through the blinds, a new favourite book... Doesn’t that sound lovely?

The hardy booksellers of our Shelf Talker panel certainly think so. They’ve weighed in with some picks perfect for winter reading, those warm hygge holidays that will see us through until the daffodils start to pop up.

And remember, it doesn’t stop here. The next time you’re out, duck into an independent bookstore and ask what the booksellers are reading. They’re eager to share!

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