Outside People and Other Stories by Mariam Pirbhai

Mariam Pirbhai was born in Pakistan and lived in England and the Philippines before emigrating to Canada. She lives in Waterloo, Ontario, where she is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies, at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her short stories have also appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. Outside People and Other Stories (2017, Inanna Publications) is her debut collection of short fiction.… Continue reading

First Things First: Early and Uncollected Stories by Diane Schoemperlen

Schoemperlen is the award-winning author of twelve books of fiction and non-fiction. In 2016, she published is This Is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications regarding her relationship with a federal inmate serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. Diane has lived in Kingston, Ontario, since 1986.

While Ms Schoemperlen has been a published author and one of Canada’s best-known writers of fiction, it was not until I came across This is Not My Life that I was introduced to her work.… Continue reading

Homecoming: The Road Less Travelled by Wayne Curtis

Prolific Miramichi author Wayne Curtis, whose most recent collection of fictional short stories was In the Country (2016, Pottersfield Press), has just released a new collection entitled Homecoming: A Road Less Travelled (2017, Pottersfield Press). The book’s thirteen stories, many interrelated, contain the idea of returning to a place either one has escaped from or returning to in order to make amends with those from the past:

“it is like I have to return to that place to see how much of my past was real and how much was an illusion, and if either is still there.” (from “At Mount St.… Continue reading

A Moose in the Dark by H. W. Browne

H.W. Browne writes poetry and short fiction and received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of British Columbia. She has published several books of poetry, and her story, “Beach Glass,” was recognized as a notable short story by the judges for the 2014 Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award. A native New Brunswicker, she now lives in Ontario.

This small volume of 160 pages contains many good stories, the highlight of which may well be the aforementioned “Beach Glass” which is revolves around a couple’s visit to the Percé Rock and its famous legend of Chevalier Raymond de Nerac, a handsome young officer of the French army who fell in love with a beautiful girl named Blanche de Beaumont, and got engaged to her.… Continue reading

A Bird on Every Tree by Carol Bruneau

A Bird on Every Tree won The Very Best! Book Award for Short Stories.

Bruneau is the author of six books, including the recent These Good Hands. Her 2007 novel, Glass Voices, was a Globe and Mail Best Book. She lives with her husband in Halifax, where she teaches writing at NSCAD University.
I had never read Carol Bruneau until receiving this ARC from Nimbus Publishing, and it made me a little anxious for here was a Maritime author I should have been familiar with, yet it is not humanly possible to have read books by all the different authors the East Coast provinces are blessed with.… Continue reading

mouth human must die by Lee D. Thompson

This 2017 chapbook by New Brunswick author Lee D. Thompson is either the work of a literary genius or a literary madman (not that the two are mutually exclusive). Having a small acquaintance with Mr Thompson impels me to put him in the former category as this 35-page exercise in creative writing left me staggered by his vision into the schizophrenic mind of Lester, a young man who lives in his mother’s basement, refuses medication and communes nocturnally with Lara, a Slow Loris in the city’s zoo.… 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.

“Rage”, the first story, finds Ian, a journeying pharmaceutical rep, wondering why other drivers are so angry: “Why does everyone seem so angry today, Ian wondered.Continue reading

The Effect of Frost on Southern Vines (Stories) by Sandra Bunting

Miramichi’s unofficial poet laureate Sandra Bunting, has just released her first collection of short stories entitled The Effect of Frost on Southern Vines (2016, Gaelog Press). Having lived abroad for many years, Ms Bunting returned to Miramichi in 2011. The stories that make up this volume are primarily set in Ireland, but some, such as the title story are set on this side of the Atlantic.… Continue reading