Reviews of the written word

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection By Michael Harris Published by HarperCollins 243 pages, $29.99 Reviewed by JoAnn Dionne I loved The End of Absence the moment I heard of it, sometime late last summer, through an email linking to the Can-Lit website 49th Shelf.com. As the […]

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Caroline Adderson’s novel Ellen in Pieces has been nominated for a 2015 B.C. Book Prize. She is the author of three previous novels, A History of Forgetting, Sitting Practice, and The Sky is Falling, two collections of short stories, Bad Imaginings and Pleased to Meet You. A two-time winner of the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, […]

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All Day Breakfast By Adam Lewis Schroeder Douglas and McIntyre 378 pages, $22.95 Reviewed by Aaron Shepard Zombies, as cultural icons go, are surprisingly durable and versatile: they can do straight-up horror or gross-out comedy horror. And they seem to have something more to say about us humans than the one-note, sexy vampires. Their shambling […]

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Street Angel By Magie Dominic Wilfred Laurier University Press 150 pages, $22.49 Reviewed by Marjorie Simmins The first thing you need to know about Magie Dominic’s memoir, Street Angel, is that it is a poetic and circular windstorm, both humorous and disturbing. The second thing you need to know is that the tale is steeped […]

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Things You’ve Inherited From Your Mother By Hollie Adams NeWest Press 186 pages, $19.95 Reviewed by Traci Skuce Form and how to tell the story are critical choices for a writer. Some might say the only choice. And in writing her first novel, Things You’ve Inherited From Your Mother, Hollie Adams has boldly tossed most […]

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No One to Tell: Breaking my Silence on Life in the RCMP By Janet Merlo, Edited by Leslie Vryenhoek Breakwater Books 218 pages, $24.95 Reviewed by Lynne Van Luven Journalist Linden MacIntyre encapsulates the essence of No One To Tell in his introduction: “The institution Janet Merlo went to work for in 1991 was a […]

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Stars between the Sun and Moon: One woman’s life in North Korea and escape to freedom By Lucia Jang and Susan McClelland Douglas & McIntyre 287 pages, $32.95 Reviewed by Julia Leggett Stars between the Sun and Moon, Lucia Jang’s memoir (as told to the journalist Susan McClelland) is an engrossing account of Jang’s childhood […]

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On Malice By Ken Babstock Coach House Books 94 pages, $17.95 Reviewed by Julian Gunn How can you tell signal from noise? What are fair and foul ways to assemble knowledge? Ken Babstock sets his exacting and accomplished fifth collection of poetry, On Malice, at the confluence of just these questions. Named a Globe & […]

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Massacre Street By Paul Zits The University of Alberta Press 107 pages, $ 19.95 Reviewed by Lorne Daniel Don’t expect a smooth lyrical narrative from Calgary poet Paul Zits’s first book, Massacre Street. The book takes an off-kilter look at the Frog Lake massacre of 1885, an event early in the North-West Rebellion in which a […]

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We Don’t Listen to Them By Sean Johnston Thistledown Press 144 pages; $18.95 Reviewed by Cole Mash Continuing with the spare but complex minimalism that made Sean Johnston’s other works so satisfying to devour, We Don’t Listen to Them is a collection of stories with blind-depth that holds you at every turned page. Johnston was […]

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