WHAT I'M READING
THE INNOCENTS BY MICHAEL CRUMMEY
An uncomfortable fairy tale meets florid adventure. This story of two curious orphaned siblings strikes with resounding painful subject matter yet is told with such eloquent wording, the reader is forced to turn over the beautiful language more than once, even when it takes you to a place of uncertainty.
THE DISHWASHER BY STEPHANE LARUE
A debut novel translated from French and written by my friend and old coworker. A gambling loner finds his way back to himself and what matters after gaining employment at a top shelf, party-infused Montreal restaurant, where the kitchen and bar staff form an alliance of alcoholic vagrancy. Rumour has it, there is a character based on me.
GREENWOOD BY MICHAEL CHRISTIE
Complex and transversive, this story of what it means to be a family and make a family spans from the Depression Era into a dystopian climate obscured future. Using old-world Naturalism, Christie leaves an impact with what isn't said, as much as what is. I cried on page 429.
WATCHING YOU WITHOUT ME BY LYNNE COADY
I couldn't put this book down. Simultaneously tender and tense, a woman returns to her hometown after the death of her mother in order to look after the aftermath and the needs of her older sister who lives with a developmental disability. It was suspenseful and the dialogue is exceptional.
VANISHING MONUMENTS BY JOHN ELIZABETH STINTZI
I consider myself a broad reader, but noticed I hadn't diversified deep enough. Poetic prose usuing multiple pronouns and genders. It speaks to me as a vivid, but mysterious ode to home, mothering and the 'self' All of which are places where a lot of my own feelings tend to rally. A beautiful first novel.
WE HAD NO RULES BY CORRINE MANNING
Wonderfully queer and diverse short stories that span the quirky and complicated tales of love, sex and relationships. Finished in one digestable read, but savoured as a classic I would go back to when in the mood for lust, trouble and adventure.
A MIND SPREAD OUT ON THE GROUND BY ALICIA ELLIOTT
A compelling compilation by a Haudenosaunee writer that had me laughing and crying. Short stories and essays detailing the wide spread and personal effects of racism, colonialism and systemic oppression on today's Indigenous communities. All white Canadian's should explore this work.
SHUT UP, YOU'RE PRETTY BY TEA MUTONJI
Follow Loli, a black Congolese girl coming of age in Toronto. These short stories are a voice of vulnerability and perseverance. Race, indentity, sexuality and the feminine collide. Reading about personal growth never felt so good.