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Books

Books

Here is where we’ll bring you coverage of books. General criticism, reading lists, editorial picks, and much more!

Stephanie Bolster's Reading Recommendations

I've had a great run of poetry reading this summer; having just begun a long-anticipated sabbatical, I'm finally getting to books that have been on my list for a long time: Claudia Rankine's Citizen, Renee Sarojini Saklikar's Children of Air India, Soraya Peerbaye's Tell. These books have heightened my growing feeling that the best contemporary poetry engages with larger issues, generally difficult ones. (That is, larger than the issue of how to write a good poem.

Brian Bartlett's Reading Recommendations

Wislawa Szymborksa’s poems in translation — both ones I first read about 20 years ago and ones recently new to me — have been satisfying me at deep levels with their mixes of the everyday and the surreally fanciful, the grieving and the humorous, the raw and the powerfully shaped. Last month I read a few of the poems to my brother-in-law in a hospital during his final week of life.

Summer Reading Recommendations

Fiddlehead poetry editor Ian LeTourneau and local Fredericton poet Lynn Davies were on CBC Fredericton's Information Morning last Friday, July 8 to give their summer reading recommendations. You can listen to the podcast here

What do you plan on reading this summer? Read something recently you'd like to recommend? Let us know in the comments! 

Photo by Colleen Kitts-Goguen.

Celebrating Young Literary Ladies!

By Sarah Bernstein

I listen to CBC radio quite a bit, mostly because I can’t pay for cable, and I have run through all my DVDs, namely, a four-season box set of A Haunting and some bootlegged Harry Potters with burnt-in Greek subtitles. The CBC, as I am sure you know, has some terrific programmes and personalities (Eleanor Wachtel, especially). There are, too, these somewhat bizarre features, interviews with pseudo-scientist types whose main goal, it seems, is to shame the Younger Generation.

Grumpy Old Men (On Richler and Sendak)

By Sarah Bernstein

At my Jewish high school in Montreal, Mordecai Richler, of course, was a bit of a hero. Whether or not he liked it, and even though he relentlessly lampooned the Jewish community, he was still one of ours. February at our school was public speaking month. So, every February, the teachers compiled and distributed a list of quotations to all of us groaning, gawky teenagers — possible speech topics from which we were to choose. . . .

Breathe, Just Breathe: Christina Cooke on Zadie Smith's White Teeth

By Christina Cooke

Commendations on the novel’s thematic triumphs need not be contrived by this humble author as institutions such as The New Yorker, Guardian and Financial Times have safely lionized this text as one of the most celebrated of the past two decades. But the most striking yet undervalued aspect of White Teeth, from my reading, is Smith’s awareness of the constrictions placed upon writing by those reading it — of the insistent and insufferable question demanded ad naseum, “but what does this mean?" . . .

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