#335 The tribulations of Brenda Joe

First published Jul. 3, 2018. Through Different Eyes By Karen Charleson Winnipeg, Manitoba: Signature Editions, 2017. $19.95 / 9781773240060 Reviewed by Paul Headrick       [Recently featured on the cover of B.C. BookWorld, Through Different Eyes is the sort of novel that will likely be overlooked in Toronto. It’s published from Winnipeg, it concerns…
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#325 Valgardson’s Gothic Valhalla

First published June 20, 2018. In Valhalla’s Shadow by W.D. Valgardson (Douglas & McIntyre, $32) In Norse mythology, Asgard was the dwelling place of the gods, located in another dimension, possibly the sky or a different planet. It was divided into at least twelve realms; Valhalla being one. Valhalla was the home of Odin and…
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#317 Channeling Camus

First published June 6, 2018. The Plague by Kevin Chong Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018. $19.95 / 9781551527185 Reviewed by Michael Kluckner * A 1947 modernist novel by an existentialist French philosopher set in a dusty Algerian town? This sounds like an improbable inspiration for a story about glittering 21st-century Vancouver, but Kevin Chong manages…
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#310 The Third Solitude

First published May 28, 2018. Indian Horse By Richard Wagamese Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2018. $21.95  /  9781771621908 Reviewed by Eldon Yellowhorn * First published by Douglas & McIntyre in 2012, this special edition of Richard Wagamese’s novel Indian Horse has been released to coincide with the appearance of the motion picture Indian Horse…
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#297 From Gallant to Kafka

First published May 4, 2018. The Two of Us by Kathy Page Windsor, Ontario: Biblioasis, 2016. $19.95  /  9781771960991 Reviewed by Paul Headrick   Kathy Page’s fiction has often been the bridesmaid, not the bride. After she was longlisted for the Giller Prize in 2014 for her story collection, Paradise & Elsewhere, Page was longlisted…
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#293 Emotional time bombs

First published April 25, 2018. The Promise of Water by Judy LeBlanc (Oolichan: 2017) 978-0-88982-320-4 $19.95 tp Review by Caroline Woodward * Judy LeBlanc’s debut collection evokes a tangible sense of place—Vancouver Island—where the sweet fragrance of cedar mingles with the murky odours of damp mould and stale cigarette smoke can be washed away by…
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#286 New Orphic Review bookend

MEMOIR: Endpiece: Recalling New Orphic by Margrith Schraner First published April 13, 2018 * Here Margrith Schraner recalls her twenty years as Associate Editor of The New Orphic Review of Vancouver and Nelson.  “I now conceive of ‘Endpiece’ as a caboose—a railway wagon attached to the end of a train. The lights at the back…
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#277 The new turf of Indigenous Lit

From Oral to Written: A Celebration of Indigenous Literature in Canada, 1980-2010 by Tomson Highway Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2017 $29.95  /  9781772011166 Reviewed by Deanna Reder First published March 30, 2018 * Eminent Cree author Tomson Highway’s From Oral to Written, released by Talonbooks in 2017, is beautifully flawed, inspiring the reader with tremendous lists of…
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#269 A plague on our houses

First published March 21, 2018. The Plague (Arsenal Pulp $19.95) by Kevin Chong review by Joan Givner * A classic French text invigorates a new tale of rats overtaking Vancouver. Joan Givner compares Kevin Chong’s The Plague, set in Vancouver, with Albert Camus’ work of the same name published seventy years earlier. * In 1947,…
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#235 Dancing on paper

First published Jan. 19, 2018. A Queer Love Story: The Letters of Jane Rule and Rick Bébout by Marilyn R. Schuster (editor) Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017. $39.95  / 9780774835459 Reviewed by Patricia Demers * Reading a collection of letters can be something of a guilty pleasure. Marilyn Schuster’s edition of the letters of Jane Rule…
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#187 Brother, where art thou?

First published October 23, 2017 Brother McClelland & Stewart 2017 by David Chariandy $25 hc ISBN 978-0-7710-2290-6 reviewed by Cherie Thiessen * The only author nominated for both the Giller and Rogers Writers Trust Fiction awards in 2017 is David Chariandy, whose second novel, Brother, concerns two siblings growing up in Scarborough in the 1980s….
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#168 Feminist shareholders meet

First published Sept. 11, 2017 REVIEW: Making Room; Forty Years of Room Magazine Edited by the Meghan Bell and the Growing Room Collective Vancouver and Halfmoon Bay: West Coast Feminist Literary Magazine Society and Caitlin Press, 2017. $24.95 9781987915402 Reviewed by Megan J. Davies *   Holding the 416-page heft of this volume gives me…
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#167 Depths of Shaughnessy Heights

First published Sept. 8, 2017 The White Angel by John MacLachlan Gray Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017. $29.95 978-1-77162-146-5 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy   The challenges of writing historical fiction are manifold, according to reviewer Ginny Ratsoy. “Writers must capture both the exterior (surface and sociological details of a time they know only through…
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