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Memoir

January-February 2021

Good riddance, Canada Fitness Test

You are not missed

Julia Zarankin

Dear (thankfully defunct) Canada Fitness Test, It’s been exactly 30 years since since you last subjected me to evaluation, but your quartet of badges still populates my worst nightmares. In the name of promoting healthier attitudes toward personal fitness, you terrorized an entire generation from 1970 to 1992. Your arrival every May coincided with nothing […] More »
January-February 2021

Love alone could not protect us

On connecting, reconnecting, and reflecting

Brittany Penner

“When are they taking me away?” This was a question I frequently asked my mom throughout my childhood. The first time I wondered this aloud I was three years old. My foster brother and sister had lived with us on and off for two years by then and I didn’t remember life without them. The […] More »
January-February 2021

I can’t say her name

On Black mental health during the pandemic

Venus Noirre

Breonna Taylor. I’m tired of hearing her name, I’m tired of seeing her face everywhere. It seems like 2020 has been the year for everything and everyone to break down. The complete isolation that so many of us have been forced into has destroyed any semblance of the old selves that were left. With numerous […] More »
November-December 2020

What’s in a name?

On names, naming, and name-calling

Minelle Mahtani

“Give your daughters difficult names. Names that command the full use of the tongue. My name makes you want to tell me the truth. My name does not allow me to trust anyone who cannot pronounce it right.”       — Warsan Shire   “Mama, why do you always give out Dada’s name at […] More »
November-December 2020

How social media informed my grief

The internet made it easy to get lost in the shadows of my father’s life

Rebecca Dingwell

After my father died, I looked for him everywhere. Time crept forward in my one-bedroom apartment and my boyfriend might’ve been the only reason I even noticed the passing of days. His comings and goings signalled whether it was time to grieve at my desk, on the couch, or the bed. My desk, hardly a […] More »
September-October 2020

Don’t tell me how to age

On aging, beauty, and expectations

Rose Cullis

Picture me sitting on a couch in chartreuse satin pajamas with turquoise embroidery stitched on the seams. The satin feels cool and slippery when I shift to move my computer onto my crossed legs to begin writing. I’ve pinned a big pink button over the place on the body we associate with the heart. The […] More »
September-October 2020

A certain swanness

On Korean adoption and beauty

Jenny Heijun Wills

A quarter million Korean adoptees live (or have lived) around the world. Aren’t our black eyes so cute when they get pushed up by our cheeks as we smile for the photo displayed at the office? Don’t we garner the most likes and applause on those mommy blogs when we’re sent to show-and-tell in a […] More »
September-October 2020

What fashion blogging taught me about being genderqueer

An essay about coming out in front of the camera

Sanchari Sur

I am not sure what compelled me to ask him, and what compelled him to say yes. But there I was, craning my neck like a chicken about to be slaughtered, and smizing my eyes for all they were worth, while he clicked. The photos were for my new fashion blog, my experiment with fashion […] More »
September-October 2020

Cover models

Six Canadian writers tell us about doing makeup looks to match beloved book covers

Various

“Terese has the best #booklooks and what a nice surprise to see this this morning,” tweeted author Casey Plett this spring when Terese Mason Pierre posted her #booklook based on Plett’s Little Fish. Later in the spring, Canthius, a feminist magazine of poetry and prose, tweeted that “the best thing on Twitter right now has […] More »
July-August 2020

A letter to Audre Lorde

There's nothing wrong with being unoriginal

Hadiyyah Kuma

Dear Audre Lorde, My fingers ache. All I can do since this pandemic started locally is read and write. And not my assignments and essays; none of those thrill me. None get at what I really want to say; none encapsulate the expanse of human suffering we are seeing on our screens and streets. To […] More »
July-August 2020

Call me Iranian

In my youth, I asked to be called Persian—but not anymore

Nedda Sarshar

I can’t tell you the exact moment when I went from calling myself “Iranian” to “Persian.” I know that it happened post 9/11 and that the decision was made when I went to a predominantly white middle school. Prior to that, the only time I faced real issues with being Iranian was whenever we crossed […] More »