Book Reviews

Review of The Bear Woman in Translation

Review of The Bear Woman in Translation

How had Marguerite ended up on that phantom island, the Île des Démons, crawling inside a dark cave surrounded by wild wolverines and hungry, snarling bears? What scandalous affair aboard the ship had led to her abandonment? These insatiable curiosities fill the writer’s mind, and she is swept away in research, trying to escape her own time by imagining life in the 16th century. 

Review of Beast at Every Threshold

Review of Beast at Every Threshold

Poems in Beast at Every Threshold attempt both: the consumption of media and narratives is a process of looking for reflections of the self in another, while to “fluent” is to, in a way, translate between languages of love and touch.

Review of This is My Real Name: A Stripper’s Memoir

Review of This is My Real Name: A Stripper’s Memoir

Cid V. Brunet’s debut memoir, This Is My Real Name: A Stripper’s Memoir, is a loving, vengeful lament to sex work, based on the ten years Brunet worked as a stripper across Canada under the name Michelle. Anarchist and self-described “queer separatist,” Brunet reconstructs their experiences as Michelle with a precise, devastating eye, offering both the grime and glitter of the industry with the same restrained lyricism. 

Review of Narinjah: The Bitter Orange Tree

Review of Narinjah: The Bitter Orange Tree

Alharthi’s work is careful and honest, written with respect for this grandmother character and the familial gravitas she represents. While the readers may feel a tinge of sadness for Bint Aamir and the life she could have lived, there is solace in knowing Zohour’s carries on.

Review of Manikanetish

Review of Manikanetish

Originally published in French by Mémoire d’encrier in 2017, Manikanetish is the second novel by Innu writer Naomi Fontaine. A finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, it now appears in English-language translation by Luise von Flotow, a professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Translation and Interpretation. 

The Breaks

The Breaks

Julietta Singh’s The Breaks is at once a letter, a memoir, and a work of narration. In addressing her six-year-old daughter, Singh’s storytelling is, for the next generation, “a map of broken things, a recyclable archive that will spur you to fashion other ways of being alive, of living.”

Letters to Amelia

Letters to Amelia

In the respective epistolary novels The Color Purple and The Quintland Sisters, authors Alice Walker and Vancouver native Shelley Wood enlivened a genre that many literary scholars had dismissed as anachronistic. Both works probed the exploitation of girls within their families and in greater society. 

Home of the Floating Lily

Home of the Floating Lily

Silmy Abdullah’s Home of the Floating Lily begins and ends with the idea of ‘home.’ The stories focus on characters wrestling with migration, containment, and forging new identities as ‘foreigners’ on Canadian soil.

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