Apron Strings: Navigating Food and Family in France, Italy and China by Jan Wong

Wong is the author of five non-fiction bestsellers, including Out of the Blue and Red China Blues, named one of Time magazine’s top ten non-fiction books of 1996. She has won numerous journalism awards and is now a professor of journalism at St. Thomas University. A third-generation Canadian, Jan is the eldest daughter of a prominent Montreal restaurateur.
Apron Strings (2017 Goose Lane Editions) is a different kind of book.… Continue reading

Behind the Eyes We Meet by Mélissa Verreault

Verreault has a master’s degree in translation from Université Laval in Quebec City and lives in Lévis with her Italian husband and their triplets. She has published three novels in French. Behind The Eyes We Meet is the English translation of L’angoisse du poisson rouge, her first novel to be translated. The translator is Arielle Aaronson.

Behind The Eyes We Meet is several stories in one, that of Sergio (a POW in WWII) and his grandson Fabio, who emigrated to Canada and now resides in Montreal, and Manue (short for Emmanuelle) who discerns that there is something missing from her twenty-something life.… 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

The Women of Saturn by Connie Guzzo-McParland

This ambitious debut novel (420 pages) by Ms Guzzo-McParland is an epic story of an Italian family emigrating to Canada, some (like Caterina the narrator) to join their family, others (like her older friend Lucia) to meet husbands for the first time. They make the voyage by the sea in the late 1950's onboard the Saturnalia, from which the story takes its title. Caterina, her mother Teresa along with Lucia the teenage proxy bride are "the women" of the Saturnalia.

A Beckoning War by Matthew Murphy

According to statistics released by the American Veteran’s Administration, U.S. WWII veterans are dying at the rate of 492 per day. The numbers are likely similar for Canadian service personnel. Either way, in a few years there won’t be many veterans left. Perhaps that is why interest in the Second World War seems to be increasing, whether it be in film or book, fact or fictional.  … Continue reading