The Winter 2019 issue of The Fiddlehead arrived in my mailbox recently and typically the first thing I do is look at the book reviews, specifically to see if any of the books I have read and reviewed in the past appear in the current issue. Well, I was happy to see two of my favourite books reviewed: Listening for Jupiter and Mister Nightingale. It’s always interesting to read other reviews to see what other, more literate, critics discover in a book that I may not have considered. Of course, the reviewers are typically authors themselves, so they write from a completely different perspective than I would. Katia Grubisic said of Listening for Jupiter: “Yet this fantasy is more in line with hipster lit than with science fiction or magic realism proper. Listening for Jupiter dabbles in nihilism to examine a world steeped in nombrilism, with more than a sprinkle of alcoholism and insomnia.” One also learns new words as well; nombrilism is from a French word for navel-gazing or self-absorption.
New Brunswick Links
The cover of issue No. 278 is from an oil and acrylic painting by New Brunswick-born artist Jack Bishop. It is entitled “Coca-Cola”. Sackville, NB author Chris Graham-Rombough has a work of short fiction entitled “Spawn Point” in this issue, and Mi’kmaq poet Shannon Webb-Campbell has two poems here as well.
A New Editor for The Fiddlehead
Also, this is the first issue of The Fiddlehead with Sue Sinclair as Editor; Ross Leckie has stepped down to the role of Associate Editor after 20 years as the guiding force behind one of Canada’s most respected literary journals. In the Introduction to issue 278, Ms. Sinclair muses on the meaning of “home” or specifically, what home means when it comes to her position as Editor:
“I’d like to see what kind of emerging communities it’s possible for The Fiddlehead to contribute to as we struggle onward. What kind of home can it be, for whom? “Home,” of course, is a loaded word many people don’t feel at home in their bodies or anywhere else, and find the word alienating, one more concept that ignores their experiences. And “home” is a dangerous word when it suggests exclusion, a line drawn between those who belong and those who don’t. Or when it ignores colonization. But if home could be a place where there is no pressure to perform happiness, where it’s okay to feel alienated and uncomfortable, if home could be a place where generosity and humility take the place of exclusion, where colonization is recognized and its ongoing effects attended to — well, that’s a possibility I’d like to consider as The Fiddlehead moves forward.”
Beautifully put, and I certainly look forward to reading future issues of The Fiddlehead under her oversight. The Fiddlehead is published four times a year, and a one-year subscription is only $30.00 Canadian.
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James M. Fisher is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Miramichi Reader. He began TMR in 2015, realizing that there was a genuine need for more book reviews of Canadian literature. It has since become Canada’s best-regarded source for the finest in new literary releases. James has been interviewed about TMR on CBC Radio and other media sites. James works as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist and lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife Diane and their tabby cat Eddie.