Progressive politics, ideas & culture



July-August 2017

REVIEW: Play unveils tragic story of death and imprisonment based on real-world events

Inside Judith Thompson's Watching Glory Die

Nadya Sarah Domingo

Watching Glory Die By Judith Thompson Playwrights Canada Press, $17.95 In Watching Glory Die, two-time Governor General’s Literary Award–winner Judith Thompson tells the tragic story of Glory—a character inspired by 19-year-old Ashley Smith who died in 2007 of self-strangulation in Ontario’s Grand Valley Institution for Women after guards were instructed to not intervene while she […] More »
July-August 2017

REVIEW: New book explores the complex world of Indigenous healing

Inside The Medicine of Peace by Jeffrey Paul Ansloos

Allyson Aritcheta

The Medicine of Peace: Indigenous Youth Decolonizing Healing and Resisting Violence By Jeffrey Paul Ansloos Fernwood Publishing, $28.00 A distilled theoretical work regarding oppositional views between Indigenous culture and Western social science, The Medicine of Peace: Indigenous Youth Decolonizing Healing and Resisting Violence, a debut by educator and counsellor Jeffrey Paul Ansloos, introduces critical-Indigenous peace […] More »
July-August 2017

REVIEW: Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s powerful new poetry collection

Inside This Accident of Being Lost

Jessica Rose

This Accident of Being Lost By Leanne Betasamosake Simpson House of Anansi, $19.95 This Accident of Being Lost is a powerful collection of short stories and songs by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist, who is quickly becoming known as one of the country’s greatest storytellers. Unique in its fragmented […] More »
July-August 2017

REVIEW: New anthology explores Toronto’s queer origins

Inside Coach House's Any Other Way

Samantha Sobolewski

Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer Edited by Stephanie Chambers, Jane Farrow, Maureen FitzGerald, Ed Jackson, John Lorinc, Tim McCaskell, Rebecka Sheffield, Rahim Thawer, and Tatum Taylor Coach House Books, $25.95 Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer provides an illuminating look into the multi-faceted history of queerness in Toronto. From a peer into […] More »
July-August 2017

REVIEW: Gwen Benaway’s new poetry collection explores trauma, gender identity, and ancestry

A look inside Passage

Tara-Michelle Ziniuk

Passage By Gwen Benaway Kegedonce Press, $16.00 In her second collection of poetry, award-winning poet Gwen Benaway journeys through ancestral and geographic origins, trauma history, and gender identity. Broken into five sections named after the Great Lakes, the poems within Passage are a testament to Benaway’s survival: of violence, of rejection, of being treated recklessly. […] More »
July-August 2017

REVIEW: New book expertly deconstructs 1990s film

Inside Gentlemen of the Shade: My Own Private Idaho by Jen Sookfong Lee

Lisa Whittington-Hill@nerdygirly

Gentlemen of the Shade: My Own Private Idaho By Jen Sookfong Lee  ECW, $12.95 Jen Sookfong Lee’s Gentlemen of the Shade, the latest volume in ECW’s entertaining Pop Classics series, thoughtfully examines writer and director Gus Van Sant’s 1991 critically-acclaimed indie film My Own Private Idaho. Lee was a Doc Martens-wearing 15-year-old when she first […] More »
July-August 2017

REVIEW: Inside the brave and thoughtful analysis of sexual assault evidence systems in Canada

The Technoscientific Witness of Rape by Andrea Quinlan delves into the Sexual Assault Evidence Kit's long and complex history

Maria Siassina

The Technoscientific Witness of Rape: Contentious Histories of Law, Feminism, and Forensic Science By Andrea Quinlan University of Toronto Press, $24.95 The Technoscientific Witness of Rape by Andrea Quinlan is a thoughtful and brave analysis of the long and complex history of the Sexual Assault Evidence Kit (SAEK). Quinlan, an assistant professor in the Department […] More »
May-June 2017

REVIEW: Powerful memoir explores the challenges of living with multiple sclerosis

Inside Jen Powley's Just Jen

Jemicah Colleen Marasigan

Just Jen: Thriving Through Multiple Sclerosis By Jen Powley Fernwood Publishing, $21.00 Just Jen: Thriving Through Multiple Sclerosis, written by advocate-cum-urban planner-slash-writer Jen Powley, is a powerful memoir chronicling her journey with multiple sclerosis (MS). From travel milestones, to date nights, to a litter box incident, each chapter of Just Jen is evocative, candid, and […] More »
May-June 2017

REVIEW: Inside the visual remembrance of John “Daddy” Hall

Tony Miller's new book explores the historical figure's life through linocuts

Maria Siassina

Daddy Hall By Tony Miller The Porcupine’s Quill, $22.95 Daddy Hall by Canadian artist Tony Miller is a visual retelling of John “Daddy” Hall, a man who lived until the remarkable age of 117 in 19th-century North America. Hall was of Mohawk and African-American descent and lived through many historical events, such as the Underground […] More »
May-June 2017

REVIEW: New Biblioasis novel explores grief, loss, and relationships

Inside Blue Field by Elise Levine

Sharon Kashani

Blue Field  By Elise Levine Biblioasis, $19.95 Blue Field, a new novel by Elise Levine, tracks the underwater adventures of Marilyn through grief, loss, and relationships. Following the passing of her friend Jane during a diving exploration, Marilyn convinces Jane’s widow, Rand, to dive with her again. A vibrant mixture of intimate moments between two […] More »
May-June 2017

REVIEW: New book explores the dying art of eulogy

Inside Julia Cooper's The Last Word

Marisa Iacobucci

The Last Word: Reviving the Dying Art of Eulogy By Julia Cooper Coach House Books, $14.95 Not knowing what to say when death arrives is precisely why readers should pick up Julia Cooper’s lifesaver of a book, The Last Word: Reviving the Dying Art of Eulogy. In this critical examination and analysis of the eulogy […] More »