Reviews of the written word

Gender Failure Ivan E. Coyote and Rae Spoon Arsenal Pulp Press 265 pages, $17.95 Reviewed by Julian Gunn And what a gorgeous failure it is. Gender Failure is the new book by performers, authors and musicians Ivan E. Coyote and Rae Spoon. Under its wry title, it succeeds on any terms you care to apply: […]

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Rabbit Ears By Maggie De Vries Harper Trophy Canada 232 pages, $14.99 Reviewed by Kyla Shauer Every young adult novel I’ve ever read has concluded with some sort of bow-tied happy resolution. Usually the hero/heroine procures the love of someone dear, defeats their inner and/or outer demons and makes the world better. This is not […]

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Writing With Grace: A Journey Beyond Down Syndrome By Judy McFarlane Douglas & McIntyre  2013 205 pp. $22.95 Reviewed by Janet Ralph       Vancouver writer Judy McFarlane uses a personal and conversational style to invite readers into her experience mentoring Grace Chen, a young woman with Down Syndrome, who has a dream of becoming a […]

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Fists Upon a Star By Florence Bean James with Jean Freeman University of Regina Press 298 pages, $34.98 Reviewed by Joy Fisher If you like true stories about strong women, you’ll like this book. If you’re interested in live theatre, this book will engage you. If you have a vague notion that it’s important to […]

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The Deaf House  By Joanne Weber Thistledown Press 274 pages; $18.95 Reviewed by Margaret Thompson There is a prefatory Note to The Deaf House by Joanne Weber that explains the difference between deaf/Deaf and hearing/Hearing as they are used in the narrative. For many readers this may well be their introduction to points of view […]

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 Mr. Selden’s Map of China By Timothy Brook House of Anansi Press 211 pages; $29.95 Reviewed by Margaret Thompson The key word in the subtitle of Timothy Brook’s work of historical detection, Mr Selden’s Map of China, is “decoding.” Even at the most superficial level the map is fascinating; for an expert on the history […]

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A Family By Any Other Name Edited by Bruce Gillespie Touchwood Editions 229 pages, $19.95 Reviewed by Julian Gunn A Family By Any Other Name, editor Bruce Gillespie’s latest anthology, invites its authors and readers to consider what queer families might look like now. The anthology is, above all, a snapshot of a fascinating moment […]

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 High Clear Bell of Morning By Ann Eriksson Douglas and McIntyre 256 pages, $22.95 Reviewed by Arleen Pare Few books make me cry. So I was genuinely surprised when I found myself crying when I finished reading High Clear Bell of Morning.  To be honest, I cried half way through too — well, I had […]

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Correspondences By Anne Michaels and Bernice Eisenstein McClelland & Stewart Unpaginated, $35 Reviewed by Karen Enns             Correspondences is a deeply layered collaboration between poet and novelist Anne Michaels, and artist and writer Bernice Eisenstein (author of the graphic memoir “I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors”). It is a beauty of a book, seamlessly […]

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Assholes: A Theory By Aaron James Published by Doubleday 201 Pages (plus Appendix), $25.95 Reviewed by Michael Luis  We’ve all experienced the wrath of assholes, whether this is every day at work, at home, or—perhaps most commonly—in traffic. In Assholes: A Theory, American philosopher Aaron James contends that “asshole” is more than just an insult […]

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