Arts & Culture

by Editor — last modified 2019-02-21T21:21:16-04:00

Content curated by Roxanne Dubois.

Book review: Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Sep 09, 2018 01:51 PM
Jonny Appleseed is heading back to the Peguis First Nations community where he was born, just outside of Winnipeg, because his stepfather passed away. Such is the premise of this short, punchy first novel by author Joshua Whitehead. In this book, Jonny's character wanders through thoughts and memories, feelings of pain and joy as he attempts to gather enough money to go back to the reserve to see his mother.

L'esclave vieil homme et le molosse de Patrick Chamoiseau

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jul 16, 2018 08:24 PM
Par hasard, je suis tombée sur la référence d’un livre de Patrick Chamoiseau récemment traduit vers l’anglais. L’auteur natif de la Martinique a passé le plus clair de sa vie à ce jour à écrire, à raconter des histoires, et à défendre la création créole. Dans ce court roman intitulé L’esclave vieil homme et le molosse, le lecteur part à la poursuite de cet homme en quête de liberté. Celui-ci s’échappe de la plantation où il a passé des années interminables au service d’un maître infatigable et il court. C’est court, mais combien puissant comme petit roman !

Book review: The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jul 15, 2018 08:29 AM
Cherie Dimaline first published a novel in 2011, and should be on everyone’s list of authors to follow. Her most recent book is The Marrow Thieves, which received multiple awards and competed in the 2018 edition of Canada Reads. The novel is set in a world ravaged by climate change, where it rains almost every day and humans have been through numerous environmental catastrophes. Everyone has lost the ability to dream in their sleep, except for Indigenous people who have, in their bone marrow, a special composition that allows them to continue dreaming. As a result, they are persecuted. In this book, we get to know eight people through the eyes of a young boy, Francis also known as Frenchie, who is part of this group on the run from the marrow thieves.

Book Review: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jun 27, 2018 11:47 AM
It is a strange experience to be in the midst of reading an excellent dystopic novel when the world around you keeps showing signs that it is coming apart at the seems. Just last week, in real life, we followed the news of children being torn away from their parents and kept in child detention centres in the United States. Meanwhile, I was immersed in Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, a novel where a young woman struggles through a time of environmental depletion and fatal wealth inequality that is set in …2024. Butler’s portrayal of what we could call a future that is too close for comfort rings so true today.

Classique parmi les classiques : Les liaisons dangereuses de Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jun 06, 2018 08:06 AM
Il s’agit d’un exploit non négligeable que celui d’écrire un roman épistolaire où la trame narrative se développe entièrement au fil de lettres écrites d’un personnage à l’autre. Sur les quelque 600 pages du livre Les liaisons dangereuses, plus de 175 lettres tracent le portrait de relations troubles entre membres de la bourgeoisie française du 18e siècle. Rusé, malveillant et éperdument délicieux, ce roman occupe une place bien méritée parmi les rangs de la grande littérature française.

Lectures d'hiver

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Apr 15, 2018 10:35 AM
Le printemps tarde à réchauffer ma ville, et j’en profite pour partager mes lectures francophones des derniers mois. Je vous souhaite de trouver ici quelques suggestions pour vos lectures printanières -- le beau temps se pointera bien un jour ou l’autre.

Book review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Apr 02, 2018 10:57 AM
For the first time in what feels like a long while, I finished a recent and popular book. Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere came out in September 2017 and an announcement earlier this month confirmed its TV adaptation in the near future. Set in Shaker Heights, Ohio, this novel tells the story of one suburban family confronted with the arrival of a mother and daughter to their rental unit. Nostalgic children of the ’90s, be warned: this book hits all the right notes.

Book Review: The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Mar 25, 2018 11:22 AM
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver was published almost 10 years ago, but that’s no reason to leave it unread. In this epic novel, a young writer grows up in Mexico City, takes a job as a cook and dreams of becoming a writer. The historical context and characters give this book an intrigue worth pursuing.

Freethinker: The Life and Works of Éva Circé-Côté

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Mar 04, 2018 08:23 AM
"Éva Circé-Côté was a diehard Montrealer,” writes Andrée Lévesque in her account of a woman whose impact has been, for too long, underestimated. As it turns out, this Montrealer was also a skilled journalist, a prolific writer, a provocative columnist, a lifelong librarian and an independent thinker who occupied a prominent place in the city. Yet her name is barely remembered. And without Freethinker, references to Circé-Côté would be limited to a handful of historical documents from the early 1900s.

Book Review: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Mar 06, 2018 09:10 AM
Arundhati Roy’s second novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, was much anticipated in 2017. I kept hearing about the author, peeking into her non-fiction work, and I decided to read her first, well-known novel before diving into the current one. I began 2018 by reading The God of Small Things, a book published in 1996 and winner of the Booker prize in 1997. It’s an epic story about twins growing up in India, and the bits of life that change their course.

Reading my way through 2017

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Dec 31, 2017 10:30 AM
January 2017 was somewhat of a low point. Living in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as the president of the United States had a chilling effect not just on me, but on everything and everyone around me. Reading the news became more depressing than before, and I was uninspired to write—my usual remedy to seasonal blues.

L’amour aux temps du choléra de Gabriel Garcia Márquez

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Dec 30, 2017 09:18 AM
Il était grand temps de s’attaquer à l’œuvre de Garcia Márquez, dont les échos résonnent dans tous les recoins de la littérature. L’auteur prolifique honoré du Prix Nobel de la littérature en 1982 a atteint le statut de légende. Et pourtant, L’amour aux temps du choléra était mon premier voyage dans son univers. Il faut prendre le titre au pied de la lettre : ce roman est résolument un grand et magnifique roman d’amour.

Book Review: Brother by David Chariandy

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Dec 30, 2017 01:21 PM
David Chariandy’s second novel is set in Scarborough, Ontario in the ’90s: a backdrop that turns out to be a brilliant soundtrack for the story of a teenage boy. Raised by a single mother who came from Trinidad, Michael grows up in a large residential complex called The Park. Brother is an impressive story about family, struggle, grief and violence.

Book review: The Past by Tessa Hadley

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Nov 26, 2017 12:16 PM
I struggled to find a good book to usher me along the dreary, grey weeks of November until I heard of the Past by Tessa Hadley. It was described to me as a skillfully written tale where very little happens, to the point where it might even be boring—but in a beautiful way. I started it right away, and it turned out that this excursion into the English countryside where grown-up family members get back together in their grandparent’s home was the perfect antidote for this time of year.

Book Review: Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Nov 10, 2017 01:13 PM
Toronto Star journalist Tanya Talaga takes a dive into a crisis based in the northern community of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Since the year 2000, seven Indigenous high school students have died in circumstances that are too similar to discount. Questions around the events leading to their deaths remain unanswered to this day. In every case, it was found that the police systematically failed to provide the families with due process and a sense of justice. In the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) final report in 2015, Seven Fallen Feathers is required reading.
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