TRB Live: November


TRB Live is a monthly roundup of literary events you might enjoy. Get in touch with me (@kathmcleod) or the TRB (@TorontoReview) on Twitter if you’d like to suggest an event to include next month. In Toronto, Pivot Reading Series presents three readings all-star casts of readers: Leesa Dean, Stevie Howell, Rob Taylor, and Erin Wunker on November 2; Jan Conn, Hoa Nguyen, Madeleine Thien and Zoe...

TRB Live: October


With TRB Live I’m going to be posting monthly roundups of literary events you might enjoy. Get in touch with me (@kathmcleod) or the TRB (@TorontoReview) on Twitter if you’d like to suggest an event to include next month. Toronto The Coach House Books Fall Launch ushers in autumn with the launch of six new books: Lisa Robertson’s 3 Summers, Jordan Scott’s Night & Ox...

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


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...

Costume and Bone and Thirty Years in Literature: a Chat with Lucinda Johnston about her First Book


Writer, bookseller, anti-censorship advocate, and longtime Parkdale resident Lucinda Johnston worked at Queen Street West’s legendary Pages Books and Magazines from 1989 until its doors shut in 2009. TRB had a few questions for her as her newly published first book, Costume and Bone, inaugurates a new stage in a thirty-year career in the literary arts in Toronto. TRB: For decades, Pages Books and...

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


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...

Canada’s Messy History of Big Ticket Airport Projects, from Mirabel to Porter and Pickering


Porter Airlines made news last year by announcing its purchase of a dozen Bombardier CS-100 jets that it intends to fly from its hub, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (BBTCA). Next month City Council will vote on the plan. Last June, the federal government decided to revive the Pickering airport project, first announced in 1972 but shelved three years later and unsuccessfully revisited several...

Brecht Resurrected in Toronto: Sarah Sheard’s Krank


Reviewed in this essay: Krank: Love in the New Dark Times, by Sarah Sheard (Seraphim Editions, 2012) Gestalt therapist Ainsley Giddings just wants a sabbatical year free of entanglements to write her book. The protagonist of Toronto writer Sarah Sheard’s fourth novel – her first in over a decade – has recently left a difficult and draining all-but-legal ten-year marriage to Dan, “A man in search...

Portrait of a Record Store: She Said Boom! Roncesvalles


She Said Boom! takes its indelible name from the first song on Toronto post-punk band Fifth Column’s All-Time Queen of the World. It has two locations (393 Roncesvalles Ave and 372 College St), under separate but amicable ownership, that serve two very different communities. The College store is close to Kensington Market and the University of Toronto so it caters to younger customers, mostly...

Love Letters to a City: Lindsay Zier-Vogel’s Epistolary Project

Image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/camdiluv/4373811197/in/photostream/

A woman in her late 20s is walking down Queen Street and stops in front of a bicycle. She opens her bag and pulls out an airmail envelope. There is a hole punctured on the side with a piece of string attached, the woman crouches and ties the string to the handle. The next morning the bike receives another visitor, the owner. The word “love” is scrawled on the bottom right corner of the dangling...

Oil sands, Pussy Riot, and Arnaud Maggs: A guide to the 2013 Hot Docs Festival


Toronto’s twentieth annual Hot Docs film festival begins April 25th and will screen 205 films over eleven days. The complete list is here — but here are a few that caught our interest. The festival will kick-off with director Shawney Cohen’s The Manor, a film about his journey back to Guelph, his home town, to help out through a difficult time at the family strip club. In two films, music helps...

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


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...

Freedom to Read Week in Toronto: A guide


Though some of you will no doubt choose to celebrate Freedom to Read week in Toronto by exercising your freedom to stay home and read (for which we would never fault you), the week of Feb. 24-Mar. 2, 2013, does promise a thrilling roster of events about censorship and books to draw you out of the house. →Type Books is hosting a “Challenged Books Display” called CENSORED until Mar...