Book Reviews

Stars Need Counting: Essays on Suicide

Stars Need Counting: Essays on Suicide

In the six-page preface, Principe takes great care to write that her book is not: an apology for suicide, a comprehensive review of suicide, a history of suicide, an argument for or against suicide, judgment, or a response to suicide that is without love.

The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak

The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak

Grace Lau’s debut poetry collection, The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak is a love letter to the narrator’s younger self. Throughout the book, learning the language of care is embedded in the literal act of learning a second language as immigrant children. 

Tainna: The Unseen Ones

Tainna: The Unseen Ones

Tainna, pronounced Da-e-nn-a, features five stories that centre Inuk characters living in the Canadian South. Dunning’s tone throughout the book is candid and colloquial. However, since Tainna is a series of short stories, each story uses a slightly different voice, and that’s where we see the elegance in Dunning’s craft as a writer. 

awâsis–kinky and dishevelled

awâsis–kinky and dishevelled

Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer’s sixth book, awâsis – kinky and dishevelled, shimmers and cackles on each page. “awâsis” is the nêhiyawêwin word for “child,” but, as Halfe states in the acknowledgements, the word translates beyond the concept of a child to mean “being lent a spiritual being.” Halfe lends the reader a spiritual being throughout the text: the title figure appears in each of the fifty-three poems. 

Always Brave, Sometimes Kind

Always Brave, Sometimes Kind

Always Brave, Sometimes Kind begins with “All the Children We Don’t Know,” an earnest story about Rhanji, a doctor managing hospital overflow and a staffing crisis in 1995. Told through matter-of-fact prose, Bickell tells readers that workers are “used and abused, underpaid and unseen” instead of having readers infer the physical and emotional impacts that healthcare cutbacks have on characters.

Entering Sappho

Entering Sappho

There’s a meditative quality to Entering Sappho, a centrifugal movement that emerges as Dowling reinterprets and remixes her understanding of both the geographical and the literary Sappho. So proceeds “Soft Memory,” my favourite poem in the book, a sequence quickly identifiable as a rewriting of Sappho 31 (her “Ode on the Beloved”).

Kimiko Does Cancer

Kimiko Does Cancer

In the same spirit as the opening page, the book wastes no time diving into Tobimatsu’s diagnosis, treatment, and the aftermath, allowing the reader to get some glimpse into Tobimatsu’s whirlwind of emotions after being diagnosed at the young age of 25. In a matter of days, the diagnosis forced Tobimatsu to make long-term decisions about her fertility, while doctors gave her heteronormative advice on sexual health and appearance.

I Can’t Get You Out of My Mind

I Can’t Get You Out of My Mind

Marianne Apostolides Book*hug Press, 363 pages, $23.00, 2020 Marianne Apostolides delves into the philosophical writings of J.L. Austin and Jacques Derrida in the first few pages of her ambitious novel on what it means to say “I love you”—a universal utterance that is...

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Cover of Audacity, featuring artwork "Guts" by Gaby D'Alessandro (a split torso with guts spilling out in muted browns, greens, and reds)

ROOM 45.3 AUDACITY
Edited by Molly Cross-Blanchard
Assistant Edited by Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros
Shadow edited by Ellen Chang-Richardson and Michelle Ha

In This Issue: Gwen Aube, Georgina Berbari, Brandi Bird, Alex Maeve Campbell, Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros, Ellen Chang-Richardson, Megan Cole, Molly Cross-Blanchard, Kayla Czaga, Gaby D’Alessandro, Petranella Daviel, Kate Finegan, Marlowe Granados, Hannah Green, Michelle Ha, Kendra Heinz, Eileen Mary Holowka, Barbara Hranilovich, nic lachance, Isabella Laird, Angélique Lalonde, Elene Lam, Khando Langri, Tin Lorica, Merkat, Mridula Morgan, Em Norton, Moses Ojo, Sandy Pool, Maezy Reign, Josephine Sarvaas, Sarah Totton, Preeti Vangani, Christine Wu, Lucy Zi Wei Fang, Eugenia Zuroski

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