Tag

fiction

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Being Harmless: James Grainger on Horror, Fiction, and Toronto

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Toronto author James Grainger’s debut novel, Harmless, reveals the potential for horror in everyday life when a weekend in the country among old friends turns into a search for their daughters who’ve vanished in the nearby woods. TRB sat down with Grainger to situate his new book in the haunted landscape of Canadian horror. TRB: How do you think horror fiction fares in Canada? JG: It’s an...

Really Seeing: An Interview with Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer about All The Broken Things

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SP: In your remarkable and moving All The Broken Things, Toronto’s CNE, bear-wrestling, Agent Orange, and Bo’s family life and history all work together to filter sadness, rage, love, regret, guilt, and joy to a pure and human core. What was the writing process like? Did you ever find a tension between the documentary facts you use and writing the fictional story? KK: With the work I’ve been...

A Fantasy of Indigenous Experience: Cherie Dimaline’s The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy

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Reviewed in this essay: The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy by Cherie Dimaline. Published by Theytus Books (June 2013). The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy, written by celebrated Ojibway and Métis author Cherie Dimaline, weaves together a story of struggle, hope, and magic. As the main character, Ruby Bloom, experiences a series of traumatic childhood events, planets start to grow around her head. The planets...

Histories and Hauntings: New Books of Note

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Much-anticipated, curious, or simply thrilling, here are some new and notable books. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (McClelland & Stewart) – Hailed as a promising young writer after her award-winning first novel, Eleanor Catton won the Man Booker Prize for this 800-page historical saga. Attracted to Hokitika by the West Coast Gold Rush, Walter Moody finds himself drawn (along with a diverse...

CanLit Canon Review #15: Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

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In an attempt to make himself a better Canadian, Craig MacBride is reading and reviewing the books that shaped this country. Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, published in 1959, is a hilarious and rambunctious novel that gives little space to scenery or introspection. It is the story of Duddy Kravitz, a smart-ass kid with ambition, a fast mouth, and little time for education...

The no-spin zone: A review of Jonathan Dee’s A Thousand Pardons

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Reviewed in this essay: A Thousand Pardons, by Jonathan Dee. Random House, 2013. Lance Armstrong could have used a hand from Helen Armstead, the inexperienced public relations guru at the heart of Jonathan Dee’s novel A Thousand Pardons. Whereas Armstrong’s stone-faced mea culpa was undermined by years of deceit, Helen would have had him prostrate before the public from the very start. That, we...

The philosophical thriller: A review of Simon Heath’s Doppelganger

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Reviewed in this essay: Doppelganger, by Simon Heath. Self-published, 2012. Doppelganger will be of special interest to Toronto readers. Although our city is never expressly mentioned named as the setting, locals will recognize several distinctive details. Unmistakeable King Street office blocks, Rosedale doctor’s offices, packed Tim Horton’s and Timothy’s coffee shops, summertime escapes to the...

Forgoing truth for drama: Kathryn Bigelow’s not-so-true story Zero Dark Thirty

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Reviewed in this essay: Zero Dark Thirty, written by Mark Boal. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Starring Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, and Kyle Chandler. Running Time: 157 minutes. Opening in Toronto Jan. 11. Kathryn Bigelow’s Academy Award-winning The Hurt Locker (2009) succeeded as a straightforward study of military bomb disarmers. Although the film was set during the second Iraq War, Bigelow...

Bookishness: November 5, 2012

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  Rock (yeah) ing (yeah) chair (yeah) Rock your way to a full battery with Micasa Lab’s (still in development) ipad charging rocking chair. Canadian Poetries Promises poet secrets. How tempting. Fraaaaamed David Kaiser on the essay he didn’t write, “The essay falls in a beguiling category: the zombie fact, claims that are shown to be untrue but which simply will not die...

TRB Podcast: Lynn Coady and The Antagonist on the Eh List

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On May 17, the Toronto Public Library invited Lynn Coady to speak at the Barbara Frum Branch as part of the 2012 eh List Author Series, which highlights Canadian writers. Reading from her novel The Antagonist, Coady raises questions regarding who has the right to tell stories and considers the ethics of writing a life. Listen and enjoy! Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is...

Reflecting on Amy Hempel’s “In A Tub”

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After reading Amy Hempel’s “In a Tub,” I felt inspired to reflect on the story. Two years ago, I posted this essay on my blog, A Long Story Short.   I eyed my grey, suede moon boots and my white ski jacket in the front closet, smelled snow on the draft seeping through the front door, then climbed the steps of the landing and lay on my back– overwhelmed. When she pushed open the front door at five...

CanLit Canon Review #10: Gabrielle Roy’s The Tin Flute

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In an attempt to make himself a better Canadian, Craig MacBride is reading and reviewing the books that shaped this country. The Tin Flute, Gabrielle Roy’s debut novel, explores poverty, war, and Montreal, and it romanticizes none of them. The book centers on the 10-member Lacasse family, which is trapped by poverty in the suburban dystopia of St. Henri. It focuses on Florentine, the eldest of...