Nirliit by Juliana Léveillé-Trudel

On the back cover of Nirliit (2018, Véhicule Press) there is a quote by Dorothée Berryman of La Presse that perfectly sums up how I felt about reading this small, but transcendent novel: “I’m about to reread this book because its powerful beauty haunts me.” I did reread the book, but only after I was almost finished it and I felt I needed to go back to recapture the mood of the book; I felt I was reading it too fast and not absorbing the acute perceptions of the author regarding her time spent in the northern Quebec Inuit village of Salluit.… Continue reading

The Light a Body Radiates by Ethel Whitty

At fifty-eight pages into The Light a Body Radiates by Ethel Whitty (2018, Caitlin Press), Eileen Macpherson’s grandmother tells her:

“If you’re a storyteller, it’s your job to make it a story that wants to be told. Where we come from, the one who always keeps the stories is the granddaughter.” Then she murmured, “You can be that granddaughter to me.” In response to the confusion she read on my face, she continued in a less conspiratorial tone, “Don’t worry, they’ll be good stories.”

The Light a Body Radiates comprises a good story in its 280+ pages.… Continue reading

Finishing the Road by David Cozac

Canadian author David Cozac was born and raised in Toronto. He works for the United Nations. In the past, he worked for several human rights organizations, including PEN Canada and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression.

Finishing the Road (2017, Tightrope Books) is Mr Cozac’s debut novel and it certainly augurs well for any future books he may pen.… Continue reading

The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes by Bridget Canning

F.Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby defined a time period, then Bridget Canning’s The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes is a book defined by a time period, and that time period is now. 2017. Technology and social media figure so prominently in Wanda Jaynes that this book could not have been written 10 or 15 years ago, for 2007 was still the email age; texting, YouTube, and the rise of the ubiquitous smartphone were yet to come.… 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.… Continue reading

For All of the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known by Danila Botha

I became an instant fan of Toronto author Danila Botha after reading her first full-length novel, Too Much on the Inside (2015, Quattro Books) last year, concluding: “This is an impressive first novel from this young, energetic author and it is my hope that more titles will be forthcoming.” I didn’t have too long of a wait, for Ms Botha has just released a collection of new short stories entitled For All of the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known (2016, Tightrope Books).… Continue reading