book review
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.

Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian)

Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian)

It is the simplest sentences that devastate in the debut novel from Hazel Jane Plante. “Vivian was my favourite person,” the narrator writes about her best friend, unrequited lover, and fellow femme trans conspirator in the wake of her sudden passing. It’s more a...

Sonnet’s Shakespeare

Sonnet’s Shakespeare

Sonnet L’Abbé’s third poetry collection is an incredibly ambitious project that assimilates William Shakespeare’s poetry, and it does not disappoint. Letter by letter, L’Abbé inserts her own language into his poetry, erasing and engulfing his words into her own. While...