Thompson Rivers University collaboration

#877 A primer for modern teachers

You Suck, Sir: Chronicles of a High School English Teacher and the Students who Schooled Him by Paul Bae Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press (Robin’s Egg Books), 2020 $19.95 / 9781551528076 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * A comedian, podcaster, writer, and actor, Paul Bae also taught English at Vancouver’s largest public school. He co-created and co-wrote…
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#866 Beware rainbow-filled Oreos

Rebent Sinner by Ivan Coyote Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $19.75 / 9781551527734 Reviewed by Anna Spencer with Heather Simeney MacLeod * On March 12, 2020, Ivan Coyote’s Rebent Sinner was shortlisted for the 2020 Jim Deva Prize (for “writing that provokes”) and was also shortlisted for the Hubert Evans Non-fiction Prize, both of the BC…
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#865 Channelling Oscar Wilde

Beautiful Untrue Things: Forging Oscar Wilde’s Extraordinary Afterlife by Gregory Mackie Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019 $60.00 / 9781487502904 Reviewed by Brittany Reid * There has long been a fascination with the unusual lives of authors, leading to the proliferation of a popular and academic genre known as literary biography. Literary biographies are intended…
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#846 Ashcroft drought and hunger

The Ballad of Samuel Hewitt by Nick Tooke Erin, ON: Porcupine’s Quill, 2020 $19.95 / 9780889844278 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Add Nick Tooke’s The Ballad of Samuel Hewitt to what I am calling the  BC Interior anti-Western (as in Old Hollywood Western movie) novel with roaming “heroes” emanating from the hardscrabble and hostile interior…
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#800 Prisms of sisterhood

Dual Citizens by Alix Ohlin Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2019 $22.95 / 9781487004866 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Sororal bonds are complex: a pair of sisters may know each other better than anyone else does; they may see themselves reflected in the other to the extent that they expect the sister to think and…
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#797 Secwépemc land and language

Clinging to Bone by Garry Gottfriedson Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2019 $17.95 / 9781553805625 Reviewed by Heather Simeney MacLeod * Garry Gottfriedson is from the Secwépemc (previously Shuswap) Nation. He was born, raised and continues to reside in Kamloops. He studied under Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, and Marianne Faithful at the distinguished Naropa Institute in Boulder,…
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#787 The everlasting Bram Stoker

Drafts of Dracula by Bram Stoker, edited and annotated by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller, with a foreword by Dacre Stoker Victoria: Tellwell Talent, 2019 Order from your local indie bookstore or: $30.95  /  9780228814306 hardbound @ Chapters/Indigo $20.91  /  9780228814290 paperbound @ Chapters/Indigo $9.95  /  9780228814313 ebook @ www.amazon.ca Reviewed by Heather Simeney MacLeod…
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#784 Buying time at Annika’s Café

Viaticum by Natelle Fitzgerald Surrey: Now Or Never Publishing, 2019 $19.95 / 9781988098876 Reviewed by Cassidy Jean with Ginny Ratsoy * Natelle Fitzgerald’s Viaticum has been seven years in the making, according to her acknowledgments page, and from this reader’s perspective, this debut work of literary fiction does not disappoint. “Viaticum,” of Latin etymology, can…
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#773 Past imperfect

Agency by William Gibson Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Berkley Books), 2020 $37.00 / 9781101986936 Reviewed by John Belshaw * Fully articulated alternative histories have been around for at least a century. In addition to attempts on the part of scholarly historians to change up the past, there are plenty of storylines in fiction that…
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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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#771 A tale of rubble and splendour

Lampedusa by Steven Price Toronto: McClelland & Stewart (Penguin Random House), 2019 $32.00 / 9780771071683 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * On March 12, 2020, Steven Price’s Lampedusa was one of five books shortlisted for the 2020 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize of the BC and Yukon Book Prizes. Winners will be announced on September 19th at…
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#768 A tale of a winter’s day

The Wild Heavens by Sarah Louise Butler Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2020 $22.95 / 9781771622585 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * From chickadees to lynxes, cedars to lichen, rubber boas to salmon, the other-than human world permeates Sarah Louise Butler’s The Wild Heavens. In this stimulating debut, the natural world is more than a backdrop;…
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#753 Pungency and plate glass

Gatecrasher by Susan Buis Picton, Ontario: Invisible Publishing, 2019 $17.95 / 9781988784267 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson * We do not have to wait long with Susan Buis’s first volume, Gatecrasher, to realize that we are in the presence of a formidably original poetic talent. Take the first four lines of the first poem, “Arrowslit:” Quarry…
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#732 Race, rails, and Hogan’s Alley

They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada by Cecil Foster Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2019 $22.95 / 9781771962612 Reviewed by John Douglas Belshaw * For Black History Month Canada (February 1- 20, 2020) we present John Belshaw’s review of Cecil Foster’s They Call Me George: The…
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#729 When an inlet is an island

Return to Spinners Inlet by Don Hunter Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2019 $22.00 / 9781771513081 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Although this collection of linked short stories is set in 2019, it evoked nostalgia in this reader. I was not surprised that its prequel, Spinner’s Inlet, was published in 1989 — which at once seems like…
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