Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction: David Huebert, Amber McMillan, and Claire Wilkshire

It's Atlantic Book Award season! There are twelve awards under the umbrella of the Atlantic Books Awards. To see all the nominated books, authors, illustrators, and publishers visit atlanticbookawards.ca. And you can follow along on Twitter @AtlBookAwards. Happily, the short fiction titles are from a few of my favourite independent publishers. Chemical Valley by David … Continue reading Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction: David Huebert, Amber McMillan, and Claire Wilkshire

From the Library: revenge, reunion, and unrequited love

All from Atlantic Canada, all involve some kind of travel. In Short Mercy, the characters embark on a road trip of revenge, from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick, leaving behind a trail of petty crime. In The Good Women of Safe Harbour, travel is restricted to Newfoundland, but it's the hardest kind of travel - … Continue reading From the Library: revenge, reunion, and unrequited love

Alistair MacLeod Short Story: Winter Dog (1981)

As MacLeod has proven before in his stories, he does not shy away from the harsh realities of life. And, as Marcie has already pointed out, Winter Dog is not an easy story to read. But there are so many great reasons you should read it anyway. Like the tender telling of the excited children … Continue reading Alistair MacLeod Short Story: Winter Dog (1981)

From the Library: Emily Austen, Richard Levangie, and Julie Pellisier-Lush

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin This book reminded me of an Ottessa Moshfegh book, except Gilda is more endearing than Moshfegh's characters. Described on the front cover as "the bumbling, anxious, helplessly kindhearted heroine we all need right now," Gilda suffers from anxiety and depression and is well known … Continue reading From the Library: Emily Austen, Richard Levangie, and Julie Pellisier-Lush

Senior Management by Martha Vowles

I imagine it would be hard to write an engaging and humorous memoir about dementia--an illness so devastating--but that's exactly what Martha Vowles managed to do. I enjoyed every sentence. I'm not completely surprised that I loved this book - she had both a brilliant publisher and editor. At the age of fifty-five, I became … Continue reading Senior Management by Martha Vowles

From Breakwater Books: Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Italy, England, sisters, shipwrecks, and yoga

Breakwater Books is an amazing independent publisher located in St. John's, Newfoundland. They have sent me so many wonderful books over the years: Dirty Birds by Morgan MurrayMelt by Heidi WicksAlmost Feral by Gemma HickeyEven Weirder Than Before by Susie TaylorThe Luminous Sea by Melissa Barbeau Ledger of the Open Hand by Leslie VryenhoekSome People's … Continue reading From Breakwater Books: Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Italy, England, sisters, shipwrecks, and yoga

The Most Precious Substance on Earth by Shashi Bhat

This is a novel made up of stories highlighting different stages of a woman's life. I loved this book for the structure, the humour, and the character's flaws. Not to mention the Halifax setting - as you know, I always appreciate a local setting. There is an incident that takes place early on in Nina's … Continue reading The Most Precious Substance on Earth by Shashi Bhat

Alistair MacLeod Short Story: Second Spring (1980)

This story is about 30 pages long and--plotwise--almost nothing happens. But the beauty of the story is in the seasonal rhythms and the ordinary routines of every day; the cyclical nature of a farm and the abundance of hope that year-after-year, the farm will sustain the lives of everyone involved, human and animal. SPOILER: There's … Continue reading Alistair MacLeod Short Story: Second Spring (1980)