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

In defence of e-readers

It's okay to go digital, writes tech columnist Tyler Hellard

Tyler Hellard@poploser

Confession: The first thing I do when I start reading a book is crack the spine. It’s satisfying. I’ve never understood people who keep their books in pristine condition. They are meant to be lived in—dog-eared and coffee stained and marked up all to hell. The pages should be wrinkled from that time you dropped it […] 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 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 »

What it was like to undergo gay conversion therapy in Canada

From Peter Gajdics's new book, The Inheritance of Shame

Peter Gajdics@HungarianWriter

“We don’t know why a person turns out gay,” Alfonzo told me when we were alone in his private office after my most recent group confession. “In your case you’ve obviously misplaced your maternal needs. You would never have sought homosexual love if you’d received the love of your mother as a child. But then […] More »
May-June 2017

REVIEW: Jillian Tamaki’s new short-story collection explores themes of confinement and escape

Inside Boundless, from Drawn & Quarterly

Jessica Rose

Boundless Jillian Tamaki Drawn & Quarterly, $27.95 “Humans think flying must feel very free. And they’re right! It does.” These are the first lines of “Boundless,” the title piece in a new rousing collection of short stories by Jillian Tamaki, the award-winning cartoonist and illustrator behind This One Summer, Skim, and SuperMutant Magic Academy. When the […] More »
March-April 2017

REVIEW: New CanLit is “an ode to books”

Inside Dominique Fortier's The Island of Books

Jemicah Colleen Marasigan

The Island of Books By Dominique Fortier (translated by Rhonda Mullins) Coach House Books, $19.95 An ode to books, Rhonda Mullins’s translation of Dominique Fortier’s The Island of Books captures the emotions of two struggling individuals hoping to find strength in writing. Told from the perspectives of an illiterate, grieving artist from the 15th century […] More »