Julia Cooper


Sex, Bugs, and Schizophrenia: A review of Poison Shy


Reviewed in this essay: Poison Shy by Stacey Madden. ECW Press, 2012. Sex, bugs, and schizophrenia form an unlikely trinity, it is true. And yet they converge with surprising semblance in Stacey Madden’s first novel, Poison Shy. Told through first-person retrospective narration, Poison Shy is the story of a love triangle between two heavy-drinking late twenty-something males and the object of...

Total humanity: A review of Mad Hope


Reviewed in this essay: Mad Hope by Heather Birrell. Coach House Books, 2012. Mad Hope, by Toronto writer Heather Birrell, is a collection of 11 short stories that gives the unshakable sense that life, death, love, and grief are being felt and experienced at the highest pitch, all around you. From family relationships, to lovers’ quarrels, intimate forms of loss, and the many shapes parenthood...

Maidenhead by Tamara Faith Berger


Reviewed in this essay: Maidenhead by Tamara Faith Berger. Coach House Books, 2012.  maidenhead, n.1 The state or condition of being a virgin, virginity (esp. of a young woman, occas. of a man). Also: the hymen (occas.: †the vagina), esp. considered as the mark of a woman’s chastity. (OED) And so, there it is. We have a title whose dictionary definition conveniently sums up the action...