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

An Impalpable Certain Rest by Jeff Bursey

After a bit of a wild ride in Jeff Bursey's last book, I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. But he's shown himself to be wonderfully versatile, and has written a (more) "mainstream" collection of short stories. (Like Unidentified Man at Left of Photo, An Impalpable Certain Rest is published by corona\samizdat, which … Continue reading An Impalpable Certain Rest by Jeff Bursey

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)

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)

Alistair MacLeod Short Story: To Every Thing There Is A Season (1977)

There are spoilers ahead, but this short Christmas story doesn't need to be 'unspoiled' to enjoy over and over. The narrator of To Every Thing There Is a Season is looking back at the Christmas he was a boy of eleven. Christmas is a time of both past and present and often the two are … Continue reading Alistair MacLeod Short Story: To Every Thing There Is A Season (1977)

Joshua Whitehead: ‘Jonny Appleseed’ and ‘Love After the End’

Jonny Appleseed and Joshua Whitehead made Canadian history this year - by winning the 2021 Canada Reads debates, they became the first Indigenous and Indigiqueer book and author to win Canada Reads. “This means the world to me,” Whitehead said. “I’m holding this as a legacy and a fire to keep burning for all Indigenous … Continue reading Joshua Whitehead: ‘Jonny Appleseed’ and ‘Love After the End’

Alistair MacLeod Short Story: The Golden Gift of Grey (1971)

The Golden Gift of Grey is set in the midwestern United States - a far cry from the first two stories in this volume, both about small town fishing and mining families in Cape Breton. However, there are many similarities between this, The Boat, and The Vastness of the Dark, some of which are identified … Continue reading Alistair MacLeod Short Story: The Golden Gift of Grey (1971)

The Vastness of the Dark: A Short Story by Alistair MacLeod (1971)

It's been a while since I read and wrote about one of Alistair MacLeod's stories, even though my plan had been to go through them all. That's why I was especially pleased to see that Marcie at Buried in Print has chosen Alistair MacLeod for her newest short story project. Last week we read The … Continue reading The Vastness of the Dark: A Short Story by Alistair MacLeod (1971)

From the Library: Crow Gulch, Electric Fences, and Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun

Crow Gulch by Douglas Walbourne-Gough This book was brought to my attention during a Zoom event hosted by the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia: a Writers' Panel on Indigenous Writers to Read Right Now. So many great books and writers were discussed, including long-loved writers like Rita Joe and Thomas King to up-and-comers like Billy-Ray … Continue reading From the Library: Crow Gulch, Electric Fences, and Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun

Q&A with Chris Benjamin, author of Boy With A Problem

The twelve stories in Boy With A Problem tap into "the heart of our deeply human fear of failing to truly connect with others." Smart, compassionate, and insightful, Benjamin is able to say things through his stories without actually saying them. Gemma Marr, in her review at The Miramichi Reader, mentions the "one-sentence insights" that … Continue reading Q&A with Chris Benjamin, author of Boy With A Problem