LGBTQ2

#813 Mordant men of Nova Scotia

The Home Stretch: A Father, A Son, and All the Things They Never Talk About by George K. Ilsley Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020 $19.95 /  9781551527956 Reviewed by Brett Josef Grubisic * Considered by title alone, The Home Stretch might encourage a vision — a celebratory one — of completion: finishing a taxing race…
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#772 Echoes of spirits dreaming

Bawaajigan: Stories of Power by Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler and Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith (editors) Toronto: Exile Editions, 2019 $21.95 / 9781550968415 Reviewed by Savana Alphonse with Rebecca Fredrickson * Bawaajigan: Stories of Power is a collection of short stories written by seventeen Indigenous authors from Turtle Island, today known as Canada. The stories here serve…
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#756 Lonesome in the City of Glass

We All Need to Eat by Alex Leslie Toronto: Book*hug Press, 2018 $20.00 / 9781771664196 Reviewed by Vincent Ternida * The popular adage “all our cells are replaced every seven to ten years” led to the notion that as human beings, we become completely new people within that cycle. In the nine stories in Alex…
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#749 Robin Blaser in retrospect

A Literary Biography of Robin Blaser: Mechanic of Splendor by Miriam Nichols New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019 $39.99 (U.S.) / 9783030183264 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * The most astonishing section of this book comes when author Miriam Nichols describes Robin Blaser’s time as a teacher at Simon Fraser University. Perhaps it is because…
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#722 A punchy and brilliant debut

Shut Up You’re Pretty by Téa Mutonji Vancouver: VS. Books, an imprint of Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $17.95 / 9781551527550 Reviewed by Jenna Butler * Téa Mutonji’s 2019 short story collection Shut Up You’re Pretty is the first book to be released under Arsenal Pulp Press’s VS. Books, a new imprint publishing work by young…
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#689 Little Blue Island almanac

Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) by Hazel Jane Plante Montreal: Metonymy Press, 2019 $18.95 / 9780994047199 Reviewed by Paul Headrick * On March 12, 2020, Hazel Jane Plante’s Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) was one of five books shortlisted for the 2020 Jim Deva Prize (for “writing that provokes”) from the BC and Yukon Book…
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#646 An abiding hunger for art

Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making of a Brown Queer Man by C.E. Gatchalian Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $18.95 / 9781551527536 Reviewed by Vincent Ternida * “I live for art.” This is how C.E. Gatchalian commences his brief but dense collection of interconnected personal essays in Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making…
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#639 The characters of English Bay

I Saw Three Ships: West End Stories by Bill Richardson Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2019 $16.95 / 9781772012330 Reviewed by Harvey De Roo * On March 12, 2020, I Saw Three Ships: West End Stories, by Bill Richardson, was one of five books shortlisted for the 2020 Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award of the BC and Yukon…
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#620 Vancouver beyond the postcards

Vancouver Noir by Sam Wiebe (editor) Brooklyn, NY: Akashic Books, 2018 $23.95 / 9781617756597 Reviewed by Paul Falardeau * Vancouver is a beautiful city, one you might expect is a good place to find some world-class, city-adjacent hikes, the best smoked salmon, and some of the finest sinsemilla you could ever hope to smoke. It’s…
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#559 Playing saxophone at Ponoka

Playing into Silence by Tina Biello Halfmoon Bay: Dagger Editions, 2019 $18.00 / 9781987915785 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * Narrative poetry often seems autobiographical even when we know it isn’t. Perhaps poetry is by definition more intense, concentrated and personal than prose. Tina Biello’s two previous books of poetry, In the Bone Cracks of the…
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#546 Flashes of fascinating humanity

Hider/Seeker: Stories by Jen Currin Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2018 $20.00 / 9781772141177 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * The twenty stories in Vancouver poet Jen Currin’s debut collection of fiction explore the lives of LGBTQ+ characters, in particular their relationships as they fall apart. Loneliness is occasionally assuaged by sex, which is mistaken for love, but…
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#511 Gold, gamblers, and greenhorns

Gold Rush Manliness: Race and Gender on the Pacific Slope by Christopher Herbert Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2018 $30.00 (U.S.) / 9780295744131 Reviewed by Robert Hogg * Christopher Herbert has added to the considerable literature on gender in colonial societies, and of frontier masculinities in particular, as well as to the historiography of race,…
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#475 Ian Waddell’s front row seat

Take the Torch: A Political Memoir by Ian Waddell Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2018 $22.95 / 9780889713475 Reviewed by Rod Drown First published Jan. 30, 2019 * In Take the Torch, long-time British Columbian New Democratic Party politician Ian Waddell tells, in detail and with humour, the story of how a Scottish boy made good in…
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