Academia provides a concrete backdrop for a constantly shifting narrative in which the narrator is struggling to come to terms with herself and asserting that self in a society that treats her like an aberration because of her sexuality.
We happened across Raoul Peck’s film I Am Not Your Negro one February night while flipping through the channels. TVO was airing it as part of its yearly Black History Month’s selections. It’s a film that I would not hesitate to name as essential, and it’s what was responsible for my introduction to James Baldwin’s work.
Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark trilogy was one of my favourite sets of books when I was growing up. I especially loved books that presented stories and the folklore they were based on.
When I think about our little car and the time spent in it, I have a hard time imagining what it must have been like travelling by coach across the England.
Where you live is such an integral part of your everyday existence, and this is a novel about Harlem in the Depression Era — covering social politics, racial politics, as well as the complex interplay of social clubs and both religious and charitable organizations. This is a review of Claude McKay’s Amiable with Big Teeth.
It’s a book about many things: Canada’s struggle for identity as a sovereign nation with a complex relationship to Britain and British politics, the psychological and physical impacts of war, the differing attitudes of different strata of society towards the war overseas. I always find Can Lit particularly provides an atmosphere where this kind of multi-layered complexity flourishes. This is a review of Hugh MacLennan’s Barometer Rising.
This week’s Halloween in August pick is from a classic horror writer. It’s a collection of five stories all of them sharing a tone of unease, some with themes of the supernatural, others more about a mystery. This is a review of Daphne du Maurier’s Don’t Look Now.
We’ve settled into late spring, early summer without any of the in-between gradual changes. This is the kind of year that I think of as distinctly Canadian. This a review of Timothy Findley’s The Wars.