• I WILL BE CORRUPTED

    Joseph A. DandurandGuernica Editions, 2020127 pagesISBN: 978-1-77183-506-0$20.00Reviewed by Kashmir Lesnick-Petrovicz “Over time you begin to understand/who you are and why you are here” (111) I Will Be Corrupted is a fictional tale of a Kwantlen man living on Vancouver’s downtown east side who is both healer and heroin addict. Dandurand’s collection explores the painful battle of a life defined by addiction and mental health struggles, love and loss, trauma and Indigenous tradition, and forgiveness and eventual redemption. I Will Be Corrupted includes 57 relatable, raw, and heart-wrenchingly honest poems that play with fragments, unusual structure, and illusions so that each page is a new day unknown until we live it.…

  • I OVERCAME MY AUTISM

    Sarah KurchakDouglas & McIntyre, 2020228 pagesISBN 978-1-77162-246-2$24.95Reviewed by Darian Wagner Sarah Kurchak appeared normal to doctors and her parents when she was born on February 7, 1982 in North York, Ontario, but her experiences growing up—from birthday party embarrassments to banging her head against walls in a Las Vegas hotel room—told a different story. As an undiagnosed autistic child, Kurchak always knew two things: she was different and none of the boys liked her, so she made herself function like everyone else in the 80s and 90s, when autism wasn’t as accepted or understood as it is today. Kurchak wrote an essay in 2017 that eventually became this book after…

  • FONTAINEBLEAU

    Madeline SonikAnvil Press Publishers Inc, 2020194 pagesISBN: 978-1-77214-148-1$20.00 Reviewed by Isaac Maschek Madeline Sonik sets her misanthropic and heartbreaking short story collection in the fictional Ontario city of Fontainebleau, along the Detroit river. Each story follows a citizen of the city through traumas relived and repressed, from idealistic cops to heartbroken vandals. Sonik makes it easy to sympathize with even the most troubled individuals, and weep for the good-hearted souls trapped by Fontainebleau’s pull. Fontainebleau presents an immoral world where every human is a monster and every monster is humanized. The world Sonik describes is dark and grim,and plays with perspective, unreliable narrators, and characters that cross over between stories,…

  • BLAZE ISLAND

    Catherine BushGoose Lane Editions, 2020365 pagesISBN: 9781773101064$24.95Reviewed by Benjamin Weick Blaze Island captures the essence of 2020: global warming, mass forest fires in Australia and California, and the Covid-19 pandemic. These are lessons we’ve failed to learn as a community or have been unable to acknowledge in the face of peril. Blaze Island is a remote, rural location based on Fogo Island off the northeast coast of Newfoundland (not to be confused with Blaze Island in Nunavut). North of Blaze Island icebergs are increasingly breaking off sheets and drifting southward. Miranda is the protagonist whose father has become fearful and overprotective after his fall from grace in the scientific community…

  • THE LAST NEANDERTHAL

    Claire Cameron’s The Last Neanderthal presents readers with the dual narrative of two women separated by 40,000 years. While these two characters are different in almost every conceivable aspect, they both serve to illustrate themes: the indomitable human spirit; female empowerment; and the nature of humanity.

  • THE HAUNTING OF VANCOUVER ISLAND

    This spellbinding collection of folklore is set in one of the most naturally stunning parts of “supernatural” British Columbia. From ethereal forests to mystical coastlines, Vancouver Island is renowned for its visual and spiritual influences on inhabitants and visitors alike.

  • SODOM ROAD EXIT

    If you could replace the ghost in your lesbian supernatural romance with a living character and nothing substantial changed, you might not be writing a ghost story. Lambda Literary Award-winner Amber Dawn's second novel is many things – a compelling family drama, a fascinating piece of historical fiction, a thoughtful examination of the scars left by abuse, and a surprisingly sweet romance – but it is not a ghost story.

  • SEAS OF SOUTH AFRICA

    If the Life of Pi is one of your favourite novels, then you will love Philip Roy’s Seas of South Africa,– the sixth book of the Submarine Outlaw Series. Seas of South Africa is categorized as young adult, but the exotic locale will intrigue readers of all ages. The enchanting voice of the narrator-protagonist takes us on many exciting adventures on the high seas and onto the Dark Continent.

  • DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO

    Don't Tell Me What to Do by Dina Del Bucchia is a hilarious debut story collection both ridiculous and mundane. As the title implies, the author showcases women who are sick and tired of being told what to do and proving that “it's so easy to get in trouble if you demand every ounce of a person.”

  • WE ALL LOVE THE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS

    We All Love the Beautiful Girls is literary fiction by Joanne Proulx - a heart wrenching, emotional rollercoaster that captures the privileged lives of matron Mia Slate, her husband Michael, and Finn, their damaged son who is in love with a girl he cannot have.