You and Me, Belonging by Aaron Kreuter

Toronto’s Tightrope Books continue to publish good short story collections by a very gifted group of authors. Most recently, it was Tread and Other Stories by Barry Dempster and The Colours of Birds by Rebecca Higgins. (Their reviews are here.) They were definite examples of sound literary short stories, and you may add Mr. Kreuter’s You and Me, Belonging to the list. In a little over 200 pages, there are only seven stories, so these are “long” short stories; as such, all are quite complete in themselves.… Continue reading

The End of Music by Jamie Fitzpatrick

Jamie Fitzpatrick is a host and producer at CBC Radio. His first novel, You Could Believe in Nothing, won the Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers in Newfoundland and Labrador. He lives in St. John’s.

The story, or stories, since there are two distinct interrelated tales told in The End of Music, centers around Herbert Carter (or Carter as he is most commonly called) a fortyish former guitarist for “Indefinite Yes”, a popular experimental indie rock band in the Toronto club circuit back in the nineties.… Continue reading

For the Love of It: 60 Years of the Miramichi Folksong Festival by Susan Butler

The Miramichi Folksong Festival has been held continuously for 60 years now, making it the longest standing folk song festival in Canada. Its director (and a performer) of the past 35 years is the irrepressible Susan Butler, a true “Miramichier” if there ever was one. Now, she has compiled the Festival’s history as well as her own in a self-published book entitled For the Love of It: 60 Years of the Miramichi Folksong Festival. Continue reading

Redemption Songs by Jon Tattrie

Redemption Songs won a 2017 The Very Best! Book Award for Non-Fiction.

do Nova Scotia, Black leader Marcus Garvey, and Rastafarian musician Bob Marley have in common? Very little, you might think until Jon Tattrie weaves some literary and historical magic to make it all seamlessly fit together in Redemption Songs (2016, Pottersfield Press), a treatise against racism and the false “colouring” of humans.
It was in 1937 that Marcus Garvey, who was close to death, gave an epic speech in Sydney, Nova Scotia in which he praised the town for “giving the Negro a chance.” However, it was the following passage from Garvey’s speech that was to inspire Bob Marley decades later to write “Redemption Song” the last cut on the last studio album he was to record:

“We are going to emancipate our minds from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind.”

Redemption Songs is one of those books that clarify, enlighten and educate at the same time.… Continue reading

Aspects of Nature by Rhoda Rabinowitz Green

Rhoda Rabinowitz Green is the author of two novels, Slowly I Turn and Moon Over Mandalay. Her short fiction has been published in magazines and journals across North America, including The Fiddlehead. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart prize and was a finalist in the Canadian Writers Union Short Prose Competition. She lives in Toronto.

Short story collections are always a delight for me to read.… Continue reading

Rapid Reviews June 2016

This installment of "Rapid Reviews" includes five titles which run the gamut from Maine to Nova Scotia to Newfoundland and then Canada in general. One is pure fiction, another a combination of memoirs/fiction, one is of Nova Scotia beaches, another about the late Newfoundland musician Ron Hynes, and lastly a reference book on the history of policing in Canada.