Grass-Fed by Aaron Schneider

Recently, I read a review of a book that stated: “As insightful as it is absurd […] there is nothing derivative about this book, which is original in every sense…” While I agree with that assessment of the book in question (I had read and reviewed it as well) I felt that those words were just as applicable to Grass-Fed, a brilliant novella written by Aaron Schneider, who is an Assistant Professor at Western University (London, Ontario), and founding editor at The /tƐmz/ Review, amongst other accomplishments.…

Down From by Ursula Pflug

The novella Down From (2018, Snuggly Books) follows on the heels of Ms. Pflug’s 2017 cli-fi novella Mountain, which was published by Inanna. It’s a little hard to describe Down From, but as I see it, it is a story of two females, Sandrine and Vienna. They are the prime characters, with Habib and Sandrine’s husband River providing some male presence.…

In Every Wave by Charles Quimper, Translated by Guil Lefebvre

Over the few short years of its existence as an imprint of Baraka Books, QC Fiction has now produced nine titles, with a tenth one in the works. Looking back over this diverse catalogue, it would be easy to compare them to snowflakes (no two are alike) or the proverbial sampler box of chocolates. However, I have come to think of QC Fiction as a major league baseball pitcher who has a number of different pitches in his repertoire.…

Perfect World by Ian Colford

(This is a guest review submitted by Naomi MacKinnon of Consumed by Ink.) Naomi often reviews books that I can never get around to reading, and such is the case with Ian Colford’s Perfect World.)

We first meet Tom as a 13-year-old living in rural Nova Scotia with his parents and new baby sister. But ever since his sister was born, his mother has been having what his father calls “spells.”…

The Bus by Adam Pottle

a six-hour window on April 21, 1941, The Bus (Quattro Books, 2016) features eight different narrators: six mental patients, the doctor who will kill them, and the man who will burn their corpses. Crammed into a bus with thirty-five others and unable to see out the painted windows, the patients are transferred from the Scheuern institution to the Nazi euthanasia clinic in Hadamar, Germany.…

Too Much Light for Samuel Gaska by Etienne Beaulieu

t may be just me, but there seems to be a lot of interest in literature coming out of Quebec these days. Whatever the reason, there have been many recent titles worthy of translation in order to reach a wider audience amongst English readers. Too Much Light for Samuel Gaska by Étienne Beaulieu (2016, Quattro Books, and translated by Jonathan Kaplansky) is a fine example of a novella: the story is too involved to be restricted to a short story, but just large enough for a novella.…

Harbour View by Binnie Brennan

Harbour View (2009, Quattro Books) deals with the small inner world of a Halifax nursing home (called Harbour View Centre) in which each character adds notes of wistfulness, sadness, lightheartedness, even tragedy to be combined in a singular literary-musical tapestry that reaches through to the heart and to the mind.  Ms. Brennan’s follow-up volume of short stories, A Certain Grace (2012 Quattro Books) and most recently, a novel, Like any Other Monday (2014, Gaspereau Press) are equally as impressive, firmly establishing Ms.…