Thompson Rivers University collaboration

#800 Prisms of sisterhood

Dual Citizens by Alix Ohlin Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2019 $22.95 / 9781487004866 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Sororal bonds are complex: a pair of sisters may know each other better than anyone else does; they may see themselves reflected in the other to the extent that they expect the sister to think and…
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#797 Secwépemc land and language

Clinging to Bone by Garry Gottfriedson Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2019 $17.95 / 9781553805625 Reviewed by Heather Simeney MacLeod * Garry Gottfriedson is from the Secwépemc (previously Shuswap) Nation. He was born, raised and continues to reside in Kamloops. He studied under Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, and Marianne Faithful at the distinguished Naropa Institute in Boulder,…
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#787 The everlasting Bram Stoker

Drafts of Dracula by Bram Stoker, edited and annotated by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller, with a foreword by Dacre Stoker Victoria: Tellwell Talent, 2019 [price varies]  /  9780228814290 Order from your local indie bookstore or: $30.95  /  9780228814306 hardbound @ Chapters/Indigo $20.91  /  9780228814290 paperbound @ Chapters/Indigo $9.95  /  9780228814313 ebook @ www.amazon.ca Reviewed…
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#784 Buying time at Annika’s Café

Viaticum by Natelle Fitzgerald Surrey: Now Or Never Publishing, 2019 $19.95 / 9781988098876 Reviewed by Cassidy Jean with Ginny Ratsoy * Natelle Fitzgerald’s Viaticum has been seven years in the making, according to her acknowledgments page, and from this reader’s perspective, this debut work of literary fiction does not disappoint. “Viaticum,” of Latin etymology, can…
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#773 Past imperfect

Agency by William Gibson Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Berkley Books), 2020 $37.00 / 9781101986936 Reviewed by John Belshaw * Fully articulated alternative histories have been around for at least a century. In addition to attempts on the part of scholarly historians to change up the past, there are plenty of storylines in fiction that…
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#772 Echoes of spirits dreaming

Bawaajigan: Stories of Power by Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler and Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith (editors) Toronto: Exile Editions, 2019 $21.95 / 9781550968415 Reviewed by Savana Alphonse with Rebecca Fredrickson * Bawaajigan: Stories of Power is a collection of short stories written by seventeen Indigenous authors from Turtle Island, today known as Canada. The stories here serve…
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#771 A tale of rubble and splendour

Lampedusa by Steven Price Toronto: Penguin Random House (McClelland & Stewart), 2019 $32.00 / 9780771071683 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * From its jacket photo, which rivets the eye to the top of a stunning gilded inner courtyard in Rome, even as that sky is blocked from the reader, to the epilogue and to the narrative…
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#768 A tale of a winter’s day

The Wild Heavens by Sarah Louise Butler Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2020 $22.95 / 9781771622585 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * From chickadees to lynxes, cedars to lichen, rubber boas to salmon, the other-than human world permeates Sarah Louise Butler’s The Wild Heavens. In this stimulating debut, the natural world is more than a backdrop;…
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#753 Pungency and plate glass

Gatecrasher by Susan Buis Picton, Ontario: Invisible Publishing, 2019 $17.95 / 9781988784267 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson * We do not have to wait long with Susan Buis’s first volume, Gatecrasher, to realize that we are in the presence of a formidably original poetic talent. Take the first four lines of the first poem, “Arrowslit:” Quarry…
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#729 When an inlet is an island

Return to Spinners Inlet by Don Hunter Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2019 $22.00 / 9781771513081 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Although this collection of linked short stories is set in 2019, it evoked nostalgia in this reader. I was not surprised that its prequel, Spinner’s Inlet, was published in 1989 — which at once seems like…
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#726 Beware the Shakespeare seminar

Jacintha by Lorraine Davies Toronto: Dundurn, 2019 $21.99 /  9781459744554 Reviewed by Moira Laidlaw with Ginny Ratsoy * Lorraine Davies’ Jacintha is a novel of secrets, mistakes, and forgiveness. It tells the story of Richard Wilson, a professor of English Literature at the University of British Columbia. After a traumatic landslide destroys his house and…
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#724 Postwar gardening therapy

The Vegetable Museum by Michelle Mulder Victoria: Orca Books, 2019 $10.95 /  9781459816794 Reviewed by George M. Johnson * Michelle Mulder cultivates rich soil (sorry I couldn’t resist that) in her middle-grade novel about 13 year-old Chloë Becher, forced to move from Montreal to Victoria with her Dad when her parents separate. Initially she finds…
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#694 My name is Lane Winslow

A Deceptive Devotion: A Lane Winslow Mystery by Iona Whishaw Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2019 $16.95 / 9781771513005 Reviewed by Kim Naqvi * “He doesn’t seem like the romantic type. I mean, he’s kind of old.” “The world is full of mysteries, Constable.” Clever dialogue, and an ear for human flight and fumbles, places Iona Whishaw’s…
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#662 A young woman’s journey

The Brightest Thing by Ruth Daniell Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $18.00 / 9781987915907 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * New from Ruth Daniell of Kelowna is The Brightest Thing, a book that tells the journey of a nameless young woman through four sections of beautifully written poetry structured around fairy tales. Fairy tales, of course,…
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#640 Heartbreak in the Okanagan

11 Weeks: The Real-Time Chronicling of a Breakup. A True Story by Roo Phelps Independently Published (Amazon Digital Services), 2018 $23.15 / 9781791550363 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn with Ginny Ratsoy * A fourth-generation Canadian broadcaster with family roots in Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Courtenay, Roo Phelps has self-published her memoir 11 Weeks: The Real-Time Chronicling of a…
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#606 Whatever gets you through

Whatever Gets You Through: Twelve Survivors on Life after Sexual Assault by Stacey May Fowles and Jen Sookfong Lee (editors), with a foreword by Jessica Valenti Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2019 $22.95 /  9781771643733 Reviewed by Kimberly Webster and Chris Montoya * This book will piss you off. Who wants to be the perfect — or…
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#594 Talking feet & werewolf expertise

Collapsible by Tim Conley Vancouver: New Star Books, 2019 $18.00 / 9781554201518 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn with Ginny Ratsoy * The author of several previous books of poetry, Tim Conley teaches twentieth-century literature at Brock University, specializing in modernists such as Joyce and Beckett, as well as “experimental novelists and avant-garde poets,” according to his…
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#593 Wilderness campaigns & cultures

At the Wilderness Edge: The Rise of the Antidevelopment Movement on Canada’s West Coast by J.I. (Jack) Little Montréal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019 $29.95 / 9780773556409 Reviewed by John Douglas Belshaw * Bear with me, please. Shouldn’t “Wilderness” be in the possessive? At the Wilderness’s Edge maybe? If so, this is a shocking…
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