Roxanne Dubois


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Du Québec au Brésil, en passant par la France: une épopée féminine | Roxanne Dubois

‘Le tout dernier roman d’Éric Dupont, La route du lilas, publié l’automne dernier, a la qualité d’être prometteur. Deux femmes, une Québécoise et une Brésilienne, se rencontrent à Paris juste avant les évènements de mai 1968. Elles se lient d’amour, découvrent ensemble la ville, la littérature, et certaines douleurs de la vie. Ce roman épique, qui tangue de la France au Brésil, et de Nashville à la Gaspésie, est un hommage aux personnages féminins grandioses, ainsi qu’à la fleur peu commune qu’est le lilas.’

Incertitude environnementale et arrogance humaine | Roxanne Dubois

‘Alors que les intempéries ragent et que les catastrophes climatiques empirent, les humains s’entêtent avec leur arrogance tenace. Ils rient devant une nature déchaînée et imprévisible. Ils se baignent dans des eaux infestées de requins luminescents. En quête de sensations fortes, ils défient les règles et entrent dans une fosse aux lions. Ils se prélassent dans un spa-nature en pleine pluie torrentielle. Voilà le monde de Faunes.’

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Critique de livre: La route du lilas d'Éric Dupont

Le tout dernier livre d’Éric Dupont, publié l’automne dernier, a la qualité d’être prometteur. Deux femmes, une québécoise et une brésilienne, se rencontrent à Paris juste avant les évènements de mai 1968. Elles se lient d’amour, découvrent ensemble la ville, la littérature, et certaines douleurs de la vie. Dans ce roman épique qui tangue de la France au Brésil, et de Nashville à la Gaspésie, ce roman est un hommage aux personnages féminins grandioses, et à la fleur peu commune du lilas.

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Year-ends and bookends

This year, my world was moved by current events and personal challenges. Books helped me steady my way, and so I continued reading. I have read new books, old books, classics in French and English. I have read fiction and non-fiction, in paper and electronic form. I was not particular about what I would read, so long as I kept reading. Here is a round-up of some of my favourites.

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Book review: Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver published her latest novel in October of this year. Unsheltered was much awaited given that Kingsolver has a number of acclaimed novels under her belt, including The Lacuna and The Poinsonwood Bible. Unsheltered tells two parallel tales of families living in the same old house, in Vineland, New Jersey, about 100 years apart. The novel takes on fascinating historical elements, but overall falls below this reader’s expectations.

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Critique de livre: Adolphe de Benjamin Constant

Dans ce court roman rédigé à la hâte par Benjamin Constant, le lecteur découvre le personnage d’Adolphe, meurtrit et déchiré par le fardeau moral que lui impose sa relation amoureuse. Constant était un homme politique et littéraire du XIXe siècle, et la profondeur d’analyse sentimentale exposée dans ce roman en fait un classique incontournable.

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Book review: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

In this simple novel, Yoko Ogawa brings to life an improbable trio with an absolute passion for prime numbers and baseball. Published in 2003, translated into English from Japanese, The Housekeeper and the Professor is a quick read that will surprise readers with its purity, humour and hope.

GM closing all operations in Oshawa, Ont. | CTV News

‘Numerous sources have told CTV Toronto that General Motors is planning to close all operations in Oshawa, Ont., affecting thousands of high-paying jobs. The announcement is expected to be made on Monday, in the city of about 159,000 people located roughly 60 kilometres east of Toronto.’

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Book review: Art after Money, Money after Art: Creative Strategies Against Financialization by Max Haven

Ten years after the crash, is any aspect of our daily lives unfettered by the influence of finance capital? It is clear enough that neoliberalism has permeated most layers of public governance, most social interactions, to create a legacy of starved public services, wealth inequality and powerful global capitalism. Surely art has been spared, especially in the contemporary form, which can be an expression of emotion and beauty, or even a space where criticism, resistance and subversiveness are not only allowed but expected. Max Haiven argues instead that art and money cannot be disassociated; that art is in fact dependent on capitalism and in no way apart from it.

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Book review: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

At last! I finished Jane Austen’s immensely popular Pride & Prejudice. It won me over, in the end, but hell, was it ever hard to get through. Such is the challenge with making your way through a list of classics. While I am always content to finish them, some are bound to be grueling reads.

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Book review: The Break by Katherena Vermette

So far this year, I have read a number of incredible books, none of which have come close to The Break by Katherena Vermette. I finished this book months ago, and have since been haunted by some of its vivid, upsetting and heartwarming scenes. In many ways, this book is far too grand to summarize. In fact, what you will read below is less of a book review, and more of a post on why everyone in Canada should read this book.

IJV Statement on the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) expresses its deepest sympathies to members of the American Jewish community following the killing this morning of ten worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Tariq Ali on Galeano, the Left, and making space for big ideas

Internationally known left-wing writer and scholar Tariq Ali was in Toronto last night. Two back-to-back speaking events were hosted by the Toronto Public Library as part of the On civil society series. He first talked about his favourite writer Eduardo Galeano, and then about the Left more broadly. Both talks were sold out, the second even requiring an overflow room.

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Book review: Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

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.

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L'esclave vieil homme et le molosse de Patrick Chamoiseau

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 !

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Book review: The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

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.

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

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.

Reading the #WorldCup | Roxanne Dubois

Football fans across the globe are focused on the World Cup, which started just over a week ago and is hosted in Russia. The tournament takes place every four years, and will be, as always, one of the most watched sporting events of the year. For this non-sports fan, the World Cup is an object of fascination with good timing. In these early days of summer, watching football and getting into the game is a welcome distraction. Here is a short, global, and somewhat political reading list for following the World Cup.

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

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.

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Lectures d'hiver

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.

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