Lynne Van Luven

Gabriola Island resident George Szanto writes fiction, including mysteries, and nonfiction. His most recent book is Bog Tender: Coming Home to Nature and Memory, a moving collection of essays about time, personal history and the natural world. Szanto was a university professor at McGill University in Montreal for many years but is also an inveterate […]

Victoria residents Kay Stewart and Chris Bullock are partners in life and crime-writing. Their third mystery in the Danutia Dranchuck series was published this spring. The series features a female RCMP constable who grows more complex with each new book. The authors will be in Vancouver April 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Peter Kaye […]

A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden: Writing from Prison by Stephen Reid Thistledown Press, 133 pages, $18.95 Reviewed by Lynne Van Luven This is possibly the saddest book of essays I have ever read. Not sad because the writing is bad; not sad because the author has no insight. But, yes, sad because the essays […]

Patricia Skidmore (left), who lives in Port Moody, British Columbia, has written a moving book about her mother’s experiences as a child migrant to Canada in 1937. Marjorie Arnison was from Whitley Bay in northeastern England. She lived in Birmingham for seven months before being sent to the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School in […]

Lionel Asbo: State of England By Martin Amis, Knopf, $29.95 Reviewed by Lynne Van Luven Witty. Profane. Excoriating. But possibly just a tad too long? That’s my postcard review of Martin Amis’s new work of fiction, his 15th, written from his perch in Brooklyn, from which he does indeed have the long view on Britain. […]

Kamal Al-Solayee    Photo by Gary Gould/Ryerson Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes By Kamal Al-Solaylee Harper Collins, 204 pages, $27.99 Kamal Al-Solaylee teaches journalism at Ryerson University and is a former theatre critic for the Globe and Mail. He answered Lynne Van Luven’s questions via-email at the end of September. He noted that his memoir […]

By Lynne Van Luven Dissing cat videos has suddenly become a vibrant pastime among the literati. Writers and film critics alike frequently bemoan the puerile focus and the cute factor. I don’t get it. I’d understand if such critics were exercised by schlocky music videos or vile snuff films. Or if they took umbrage at screaming-chef videos […]

A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter’s Journey from Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring By Nahlah Ayed Published by Viking, 356 pages, $32 Out of the Blue: A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption and, Yes, Happiness By Jan Wong Self-Published, 263 pages, $21.99 Despite many Canadians’ knee-jerk damnation of the print media, two new books […]