Floridian trio look to right the wrongs of the past in Jones’ evocative new novel4 minute read Yesterday at 2:00 AM CDT
Pebble & Dove is a story built around the generational relationships of women and the choices they make in attempting to right the wrongs of their mothers.
Canadian author Amy Jones’ third novel is told from the perspective of multiple characters, a narrative structure she also employed effectively in her 2016 debut We’re All In This Together and sophomore effort Every Little Piece of Me.
As in her earlier novels, Jones shows a particular mastery for setting a scene, bringing a Florida trailer park for retirees so vividly to life that the reader can feel the humidity, hear the cicadas and see the “chain restaurants and gun shops and laser-hair removal clinics… condo towers rising up between scrubs of palmettos, huge pines dripping with Spanish moss, vultures perched in their upper branches.”
Much of the action in the novel quirkily takes place in the Florida Keys aboard a 19th-century sailing ship turned into a tourist-trap aquarium, its main attraction a manatee named Pebble. (This appears to be loosely based on the real-life Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company and its manatee Snooty who, like Pebble, was born on a sailing ship converted into an aquarium in the 1930s and lived decades in captivity.)
29°C, A few clouds
Professor, student come to terms with love and loss in Kang’s new novel4 minute read Preview Yesterday at 2:00 AM CDT
St. Boniface-born Greenpeace co-founder fondly remembered in essay collection3 minute read Preview Yesterday at 2:00 AM CDT
Deep-space mystery morphs into horror4 minute read Preview Yesterday at 2:00 AM CDT
David Wellington has written some fine horror novels: Monster Island, Thirteen Bullets, Frostbite. He’s also published some excellent science fiction: Forbidden Skies and its sequels (written as D. Nolan Clark) and The Last Astronaut. In his new novel Paradise-1 (Orbit, 688 pages, $24), he combines the genres.
What begins as a science fiction story — Alexandra Petrova, an agent for a policing group called Firewatch, is sent on a mission to the deep-space Colony Paradise-1, which has mysteriously gone silent — shades into horror when, unexpectedly, her ship comes under attack from a vessel that appears to have been stripped of human life.
But the situation is much worse than that.
It takes guts to put a monster story inside a science-fiction novel, and Wellington pulls it off spectacularly.
Canadian pair among finalists for Griffin poetry prize4 minute read Preview Yesterday at 2:00 AM CDT
Two Canadians are on the short list for the revamped Griffin Poetry Prize, including a professor of Arabic literature at the University of Alberta.
Iman Mersal’s poetry collection The Threshold, translated to English by Robyn Creswell, is on the short list along with Exculpatory Lies, by B.C. poet Susan Musgrave.
The rest of the books in the running for the $130,000 prize, all by American authors, are The Hurting Kind, by Ada Limon; Best Barbarian, by Roger Reeves; and Time is a Mother, by Ocean Vuong. The winner will be announced Wednesday.
Last fall, the Griffin board announced it was switching from a Canadian-only prize to an international one and bumped up the prize money accordingly.
Hanks’ colossal cast of characters provides inside look at movie magic5 minute read Preview Yesterday at 2:00 AM CDT
Winslow’s gangsters back for more mayhem in scorching sequel4 minute read Preview Saturday, May. 27, 2023
Narrator’s quest for purpose, identity at core of deft debut5 minute read Preview Saturday, May. 27, 2023
Canada’s role in U.S. Civil War, Lincoln’s death examined in engaging account5 minute read Preview Saturday, May. 27, 2023
Provincial grievances, Indigenous rights loom large in fragile national unity4 minute read Preview Saturday, May. 27, 2023
Climate, politics pondered in verse4 minute read Preview Saturday, May. 27, 2023
The two long poems that make up ryan fitzpatrick’s Sunny Ways (Invisible Publishing, 104 pages, $22), Hibernia Mon Amour and Field Guide, sift through ordinary people’s everyday complicities in the climate crisis. From the title, which is taken from a speech given by Justin Trudeau, to his use of citation and mis-citation, fitzpatrick’s deft use of syntax and rhythm expose the glib emptiness and internal contradictions of political speech.
These poems circle the logics and structures of the Alberta oil industry and interrogate the ways in which the nation-state and those who publicly oppose the oil industry are complicit in the destruction it causes. “How do you live in the twenty-first century/you ask/ taking a sip of San Pellegrino/ through a straw you just banned/ because a straw is a kind of pipeline/ you can ban without letting go of something.”
While Field Guide is a propulsive rant, Hibernia Mon Amour is structured using a repeated semantic hesitation: “[N]o these protesters should better index their/ anger to the price per barrel but.” Through its repetition, the “no… but” creates its own momentum that overcomes the equivocation of the syntax to become increasingly breathless.
To write explicitly political poetry that resists pieties and platitudes and to explore responsibility for harm without giving over entirely to denial or becoming mired in shame is a difficult project, and fitzpatrick manages the challenge with dexterity and wit.
Bovey’s survey of Western Canadian art a clear and passionate account4 minute read Preview Saturday, May. 20, 2023
Family’s grieving of 9/11 death offers valuable lessons3 minute read Preview Saturday, May. 20, 2023
Pioneer novel brings suspense, romance4 minute read Preview Saturday, May. 20, 2023
Alberta author Martine Leavitt (previously published as Martine Bates) won the Governor General’s award for Calvin in 2015 and has written over a dozen young adult books. In her newest release, Buffalo Flats (Groundwood, 256 pages, hardcover, $20) she tells tales of an earlier age, the 19th century, in an area of the North-West Territories close to the Montana border.
Based on stories of her husband’s family, she focuses on the life of Rebecca Leavitt, an early feminist who longs for her own piece of land in a time when women were not able to own property. Outspoken and independent, she frequently defies the codes of her strict Mormon community but is blessed with parents who recognize her worth and forgive her shortcomings. A pioneer story full of accounts of inclement weather, endless labour, floods and plagues, it also shows the self-sacrifice and solidarity that held these communities together.
There is suspense, as Rebecca must act as midwife before she is properly trained, and faces an enraged neighbour threatening her with a horse whip. And there’s romance, as Rebecca weighs the worth of the charismatic Levi against those of the stolid but loyal and hard-working Cody.
For lovers of historical fiction ages 12-18.