In Every Wave by Charles Quimper, Translated by Guil Lefebvre

Over the few short years of its existence as an imprint of Baraka Books, QC Fiction has now produced nine titles, with a tenth one in the works. Looking back over this diverse catalogue, it would be easy to compare them to snowflakes (no two are alike) or the proverbial sampler box of chocolates. However, I have come to think of QC Fiction as a major league baseball pitcher who has a number of different pitches in his repertoire.… Continue reading

Between Rothko and 3 Windows by Corrado Paina

Paina has published five collections of poetry with Mansfield Press (Toronto) including Hoarse Legend (2000) and cinematic taxi (2015). In Italy, there have been numerous publications including a collection of short stories, several collections of poetry, and the original version of this novella, “tra Rothko e tre finestre”. One of the greatest joys in reviewing books is the unexpected pleasure of discovering an excellent story when you least expect it.… Continue reading

Mountain by Ursula Pflug

Ursula Pflug is the award-winning author of the novels Green Music; The Alphabet Stones and the story collections After the Fires and Harvesting the Moon. She has been shortlisted or nominated for many awards and currently lives in Norwood, Ontario. Her latest novel is Mountain (2017, Inanna Publications)

Mountain is a novel (but at only 98 pages, more of a novella) that tells the story of seventeen-year-old Camden O’Connor, a girl who lives in two worlds due to her parents’ separation.… Continue reading

The Bus by Adam Pottle

a six-hour window on April 21, 1941, The Bus (Quattro Books, 2016) features eight different narrators: six mental patients, the doctor who will kill them, and the man who will burn their corpses. Crammed into a bus with thirty-five others and unable to see out the painted windows, the patients are transferred from the Scheuern institution to the Nazi euthanasia clinic in Hadamar, Germany. (From Quattro Book’s website)

The Third Reich had a policy of mercy killing those deemed “incurables” such as the mental patients Nadja, Frederich, Sebastian, Leopold, Emmerich and Judith, all passengers unknowingly on their way to be gassed in a “shower room”, then cremated.… 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

Blackbird Calling by Laura Swart

When I first received Blackbird Calling (Quattro Books, 2016) and started reading it, I soon put it aside because I wasn’t ready for it, my mind wanted an ‘easy’ read at the time (it being summertime and the season of distractions, not to mention yard work) but I vowed to return to it one day. That day came months later, and I finished it in one day.… Continue reading