Adventures of a Grenfell Nurse by Rosalie M. Lombard

here is a meme floating around the Internet that states: “Don’t live the same year 75 times over and call it a life”. For at least two years of her substantial life (born in 1927, she is still alive as of this writing), Rosalie Lombard could not be accused of any sort of repetition as she served as a nurse for the Grenfell Mission in St.… Continue reading

Too Much Light for Samuel Gaska by Etienne Beaulieu

t may be just me, but there seems to be a lot of interest in literature coming out of Quebec these days. Whatever the reason, there have been many recent titles worthy of translation in order to reach a wider audience amongst English readers. Too Much Light for Samuel Gaska by Étienne Beaulieu (2016, Quattro Books, and translated by Jonathan Kaplansky) is a fine example of a novella: the story is too involved to be restricted to a short story, but just large enough for a novella.… Continue reading

The Unlikely Redemption of John Alexander MacNeil by Lesley Choyce

Lesley Choyce is an active, prolific author and his latest title The Unlikely Redemption of John Alexander MacNeil (Roseway Publishing, 2017) is bound to be well-received by the reading public. It is the tale of the octogenarian widower John Alex (as he is known to everyone) living in rural Deepvale, Cape Breton where he still sets a place for his deceased wife of thirty years, Eva. He is someone who has always lived his life without caring what anyone else thought of him. We join him at the story's outset where he is considering if he really is losing his mind....

Listening for Jupiter by Pierre-Luc Landry

Listening for Jupiter (Les corps extraterrestres is the original French title) is the fourth book to be published by QC Fiction and their first of 2017 (release date is June). It joins such well-received titles as Brothers, The Unknown Huntsman and Life in the Court of Matane, all translated from the original French language writings. However, what is unique about Jupiter is that two translators have been employed, one for each of the two main characters, Xavier and Hollywood.… Continue reading

The Fiddlehead Issue No.270 (Winter 2017)

Issue No. 270 of the Fiddlehead literary journal sports an attractive cover with art by Ann Manuel entitled “Blur 1” making you feel that what is contained within is something special. There are works of short fiction by Jasmina Odor, Charlie Fiset, David Clerson (an excerpt from his otherworldly novel Brothers (translated by Katia Grubisic), Darryl Whetter and David Carpenter. There are poems from no less than twelve different poets as well as book reviews.… Continue reading

mouth human must die by Lee D. Thompson

This 2017 chapbook by New Brunswick author Lee D. Thompson is either the work of a literary genius or a literary madman (not that the two are mutually exclusive). Having a small acquaintance with Mr Thompson impels me to put him in the former category as this 35-page exercise in creative writing left me staggered by his vision into the schizophrenic mind of Lester, a young man who lives in his mother’s basement, refuses medication and communes nocturnally with Lara, a Slow Loris in the city’s zoo.… Continue reading

The Path of Most Resistance by Russell Wangersky

The dedication at the beginning of The Path of Most Resistance (House of Anansi, 2016) states: “For those who fight the hardest to win the smallest of battles. You know who you are.” And that is what the baker’s dozen of Russell Wangersky’s short stories are about: winning small battles, typically in a passive aggressive way, either overtly or in a less conspicuous manner.

“Rage”, the first story, finds Ian, a journeying pharmaceutical rep, wondering why other drivers are so angry: “Why does everyone seem so angry today, Ian wondered.Continue reading