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TRB Live: November

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TRB Live is a monthly roundup of literary events you might enjoy. Get in touch with me (@kathmcleod) or the TRB (@TorontoReview) on Twitter if you’d like to suggest an event to include next month. In Toronto, Pivot Reading Series presents three readings all-star casts of readers: Leesa Dean, Stevie Howell, Rob Taylor, and Erin Wunker on November 2; Jan Conn, Hoa Nguyen, Madeleine Thien and Zoe...

To the Lighthouse: A review of Christy Ann Conlin’s new novel, The Memento

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Christy Ann Conlin, the author of Heave, has published her second novel, and the result is nothing short of dazzling. The Memento is as much a gothic, often mordantly funny meditation on the persistence of memory as a living, perhaps undead thing, as it is the story of Fancy Mosher, a twelve-year old Bay of Fundy girl who may have inherited her grandfather’s gift—the power to see and commune with...

Death is Not the End: A Review of Patience by Daniel Clowes

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Few artists have done more to elevate the status of comics in the public imagination than Daniel Clowes, and Patience, as befits a graphic novel billed as “a cosmic timewarp deathtrip to the primordial infinite of everlasting love,” is his longest and most ambitious work yet. It opens in 2012, as underemployed schlub Jack Barlow finds his pregnant wife Patience dead in their apartment, brutally...

TRB Live: October

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With TRB Live I’m going to be posting monthly roundups of literary events you might enjoy. Get in touch with me (@kathmcleod) or the TRB (@TorontoReview) on Twitter if you’d like to suggest an event to include next month. Toronto The Coach House Books Fall Launch ushers in autumn with the launch of six new books: Lisa Robertson’s 3 Summers, Jordan Scott’s Night & Ox...

Evan Munday on Toronto’s Word on the Street, 2016

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The Word On The Street festival happens at the Harbourfront, Sunday September 25th 2016, 11am-6pm I sat down with Evan Munday, Interim Director of Toronto’s premiere day-long free lakeside literary event, for a chat about what to look out for at this year’s Word on the Street Festival, its place in Toronto literary culture, and the life of an Interim Director. Don’t miss the festival itself...

Bina Shah’s A Season for Martyrs

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The funeral congregated in Liaquat National Bagh park. Angry clerics denounced the government for allowing the execution to proceed, and an ambulance strewn with flowers carried Mumtaz Qadri’s body slowly through the crowds. When Qadri was executed for the murder of Punjab governor and Benazir Bhutto loyalist Salman Taseer on February 29th, Pakistan’s sharp ideological divisions and complexities...

Tonight: Sarah Barmak’s Closer Launches with an Adult Colouring Party

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Tonight Coach House Books launches Toronto author Sarah Barmak’s Closer: Notes From The Orgasmic Frontier Of Female Sexuality, the latest in its Exploded Views series. Coach House is promising “light refreshments, adult colouring pages – and we mean adult – and other titillating surprises.” Details: Wednesday, July 6, 2016 Studio Bar 824 Dundas St. W 7pm. More about Closer: We...

The Talk of the Canadian Writers’ Summit

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Last week at the Canadian Writers’ Summit in Toronto many people who work with words walked around blearily, carrying canvas bags, seeing old friends, wilting in the heat. Things are tough for us writers, publishers, and editors. There is great gloom, there is despair! Gentle reader: there is also hope. The Canadian Writers’ Summit is a superconference intended to bring together people who would...

Fresh Blood and New Words at The Toronto Review of Books

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I’m thrilled to announce that The Toronto Review of Books is opening a fresh call for submissions and contributors to mark the arrival of two new staff members. Novelist Damian Tarnopolsky is joining us as Managing Editor, and CanLit scholar Katherine McLeod comes on board as Poetry and Community Editor. Damian is the author of the novel Goya’s Dog, and the short fiction collection Lanzmann...

After the Prophet: Leigh Fondakowski’s Stories from Jonestown

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The paradox of utopias is that while their failure is assured, their appeal is eternal. 800 years ago, tens of thousands of ordinary people left their homes, their families, and the innumerable small ties which made up their lives to march on Jerusalem and retake it in the name of God, in the deadly mass migration known as the Children’s Crusade. Today, would-be jihadists make the dangerous...

What is What is Man? On Mark Greif’s The Age of the Crisis of Man

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Few recent works of academic cultural criticism have received such rapturous, widespread, and indeed almost universal acclaim as Mark Greif’s The Age of the Crisis of Man has over the last several months. Lorin Stein in The Paris Review calls it “exhilarating.” Adam Kirsch, in The Tablet, says that it’s “a brilliant contribution to the history of ideas, one of the rare books that reshapes the...

Three Generations of Magic Between E. Nesbit, C.S. Lewis, and Lev Grossman

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As I read E. Nesbit’s The Story of the Amulet, a tale of children’s magical adventures, a feeling of familiarity came over me. This 1906 book seemed to anticipate C. S. Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew, published almost exactly half a century later (1955) but, unlike the rest of the Narnia series, set back in the era when Nesbit herself was writing. It’s well known that Nesbit influenced Lewis’s...