Under the Radar: An Interview with Olivier Matthon


Olivier Matthon, itinerant labourer and ethnographer, is the author of  Under the Radar: Notes from the Wild Mushroom Trade. It tells the story of the seasonal migrant labourers who harvest wild mushrooms in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, and is out now from Pioneers Press. Dylan Gordon caught up with Olivier between wild harvests for an interview. Your bio reads a lot like a mushroom...

CanLit Canon Review #14: Donald Creighton’s John A. Macdonald: The Young Politician


In an attempt to make himself a better Canadian, Craig MacBride is reading and reviewing books that shed fascinating light on Canada’s history. Of all the books I’ve read as part of this project, John A. Macdonald: The Young Politician has most improved me as a Canadian. Published in 1952, this book explores Canada’s beginnings through the life of the man who directed its creation...

China watches Jon Stewart, Robin Sloan likes libraries, and NPR tackles race: Bookishness for Apr. 15, 2013


Blog alert “Remember when folks used to talk about being ‘post-racial’? Well, we’re definitely not that. We’re a team of journalists fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting.” NPR’s new blog, Code Switch. Strolling through human knowledge Robin...

Vendors in the hot sun: Selling books in Nairobi’s shadow economy


The lookout point in Nairobi’s smart Upperhill district provides an admirable city vista where glistening new buildings pop against faded infrastructure—all evidence of Kenya’s stuttering but undeniable emergence from poverty. But from the bustling boulevard where Joe carefully lays out his books every morning, the view is much different. As a second-hand book seller, he is a member of Kenya’s...

The AGO’s “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting”: Something for everyone


Let’s face the obvious first. Surrealism isn’t everyone’s bag, especially in its more nightmarish forms. And if that’s true of you, if the darker Dalis make you cringe and the chilling Ernsts give you the sweats, taking in the work of Frida Kahlo may not be the optimal way to spend an afternoon. Kahlo’s art, while compelling, rates a Nine on Surrealism’s scale of grotesquerie, on which One is a...

TRB Podcast: Diana Taylor on “Taking to the Streets: Mass Mobilization Online and Off”


On January 18th, the Distinguished Lecture Series, sponsored by the TransCanada Institute / School of English and Theatre Studies (University of Guelph), presented Dr. Diana Taylor’s lecture entitled “Taking to the Streets: Mass Mobilization Online and Off.” Listen here: Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest...

Recommended Reading: “Occupy” Two Months On


As you well know by now, the Occupy protests have been going on for two months now, gaining considerable media attention across the world and significantly altering the public conversation about life in the post-financial-crisis West. As you probably also know by now, over the last week, protesters in many cities — most notably New York, Oakland, London and now Toronto — have finally...