Wednesday, 26 February 2014

A Farewell to Meesha-Chan Grubisic, My Sister

Pre-Halloween Eve, Bond St., Victoria BC

Meesha-Chan Grubisic (10 September 1966 — 13 February 2014)
For as long as I draw breath, you will be missed.

The bustle in a house
The morning after death
Is the solemnest of industries
Enacted upon earth,--

The sweeping up the heart,
And putting love away
We shall not want to use again
Until eternity.

                    —Emily Dickinson

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Digression: Books I'm Reviewing—Audrey Thomas' "Local Customs"

   A ghost story! 
   There's fiction that you read and all the while understand that thematically or stylistically it belongs to a current fashion or literary norm. Narrated by a series of talkative and quarrelsome spectres, Local Customs appears to stand well outside convention as it presents a series of biased and partial accounts of the life of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, a real-life English poet who died in western Africa in 1838. Economical, funny, and decidedly odd, Thomas' novel crackles with personality even as it's suffused with Gothic atmospherics. 


My actual review appears in The Vancouver Sun

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Digression: Books I'm Reviewing—Kim Fu's "For Today I Am a Boy"

  If the characteristic tension of a coming-of-age narrative results from questions—"Who truly am I?" What should I become?" and "What does my social environment expect from me?"—Kim Fu's intriguing variant on the genre focusses on masculinity as a naturalized social construction. That description makes the novel sound like academic jargon, which it is not. In particular, then, Fu examines the immense, unenviable pressures faced by Peter Huang, a boy (and later adult) certain that he's meant to be female, and his unique responses to those pressures.

The review appears in The Winnipeg Review.