Latest stories

Reading Life: Kathryn Kuitenbrower

R

For the third instalment in the TRB’s Reading Life series, Kelli Deeth sat down with Toronto novelist Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer. Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer is the author of the novels All The Broken Things, Perfecting, and The Nettle Spinner, as well as, the short story collection, Way Up. Her work has been published in Granta, The Walrus, and Storyville, where she won the Sidney Prize. She is...

“The whole art of everything is about forgetting yourself” – A Conversation with Alice Oswald

Alice Oswald’s collections include Dart, which won the 2002 T.S. Eliot Prize, Woods etc. (Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize), A Sleepwalk on the Severn (Hawthornden Prize), Weeds and Wildflowers (Ted Hughes Award) and, more recently, Memorial, which won the 2013 Warwick Prize for Writing. “Dunt,” included in this collection, was awarded the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. Her latest book, Falling...

“Rosily I Will Squander Myself”: A Review of 3 Summers by Lisa Robertson

Bear with me while I tell you, briefly, about Epicureanism: a philosophy about a world without divine judgment, where nothing you are or do in your lifetime is anything more than what it is. This is a world without sin but also without transcendent meaning. There are definitely gods, as befitting an idea forged in ancient Greece, but there is no grand, God-given plan. Amanda Jo Goldstein calls...

The Season – On Football Books and Football

T

The referee blew the whistle, the ball went to our centre-back. He passed it out wide to me. Quicker than I expected. I took a quick step out toward the ball and twisted my ankle as I landed. I even thought I heard a snap as I fell down on to the turf. I limped to the sidelines and sat, looking uselessly for ice. In my sleep, that night, I was still playing: turning with the ball, untouched...

Bromance Revisited: A Review of Fugue States, by Pasha Malla

B

If there is one aspect of Pasha Malla’s new novel, Fugue States, that will linger in the mind long after you’ve finished the last page, it will be the book’s supremely rendered portrait of an obnoxious friend from the past. Have we all not had someone like this in our lives before? A person whom we’ve known for years, even decades, and maintained a relationship with out of a dyed-in-the-wool...

Feature-Length Books: Ariel Levy and Joan Didion

F

Without being about writing, two books out this spring from Random House, Ariel Levy’s The Rules Do Not Apply and Joan Didion’s South and West, put its processes on display. Each chases a feature-length magazine article that feels somewhat missing-in-action in the prose: Levy’s expands a perfect essay, Didion’s, a publication of notes, imagines an essay that might have been. The viral popularity...

Karen E. Bender’s Reading Life: Oh, that sentence

K

We’re delighted to bring you the second instalment in our Reading Life series, a look into the books at the heart of American author Karen E. Bender’s life and work. Karen E. Bender is the author of the story collection Refund, which was a Finalist for the 2015 National Book Award and shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She is also the author of...

Self-Love

S

I do not know if I was given James Herriot books to read as a child because I wanted to be a veterinarian or if I wanted to be a veterinarian because I was given James Herriot books to read as a child but at one point in the books or maybe all the time in all the books— I have no memory of any other events that happened in the books only that they were abundant and I read them and James Herriot a...

We All Feel So Foolish: A TRB Spring Party

W

On April 4, please join The Toronto Review of Books in feeling foolish during five five-minute readings by some of Toronto’s best writers—Jessica Westhead, Heather Birrell, Rebecca Rosenblum, Mark Sampson, and Antanas Sileika. Compare notes on folly over drinks in good company afterwards. Please join us! All fools welcome. Tuesday April 4, 7pm Poetry Jazz Café, 224 Augusta Avenue, in Kensington...

A Book with a View: TRB Live, March

A

The medium is the message in this month’s roundup of literary film, art, music, and mediations, along with innovative programming from local reading series, a preview of Ottawa’s VERSeFest, and more. On March 8, as part of the McLuhan Salon series, visual artist Catherine Richards and film and media scholar Alanna Thain join moderator Janine Marchessault for a discussion before the...

Jordan Abel’s Reading Life: 40 Pounds of Poetry

J

Welcome to our new series, Reading Life, in which we’ll be asking writers and other makers to share insights into their lives as readers—what they read and how much, where they read and why. Some great authors will be telling the TRB about the books they love, the books they can’t do without, and the reading experiences that have changed them. We’re thrilled to be starting this series with...

Nuannaarpoq: Thomas Wharton’s Every Blade of Grass

N

In all of his literary fiction, Thomas Wharton speculates on one question: what is a book? Answers are as various as books themselves. Wharton imagines fantastic books: books as pinwheels and books nested inside books until they were too tiny even to read. Audio-books and graphic novels stretch books in the direction of the purely acoustic and the primarily visual. In e-formats, a book no longer...