In Review: The Week of May 21st

May 26, 2018

This week, we celebrated Asian Heritage Month, looked at all kinds of short stories, read some diverse children's book studies, and welcomed our newest staffer, Will, who has a book recommendation for y'all.

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On the Blog



~ For Asian Heritage Month, we visited the Lytton General Store – run for generations by members of the Chong family circa 1935 – a story featured in Lily Chow's  Blossoms in the Gold Mountains: Chinese Settlements in the Fraser Canyon and the Okanagan (Caitlin Press).

~ This month's Jules Tools for Social Change has Short Story Month on the mind – Julia's chosen six short story collections by women.

~ One of those collections happens to be  The Things She'll Be Leaving Behind by Vanessa Farnsworth (Thistledown Press): we interviewed Vanessa and read from her collection this week.

~ Things got quotable with our revisit of the epigraph of Peggy Herring's Anna, Like Thunder (Brindle & Glass) – for the curious, it's poet Anna Ahkmatova's "You will hear thunder remember me, and think: she wanted storms."

~ In honour of the Victoria Day long weekend, we collaged a bunch of book covers with crowns on them.


Around the Web



~ According to a Cooperative Children's Book Centre study, 31% of children's books in the US were "diverse", but only 7% were written by Black or Indigenous writers, or writers of colour. Cue Picard facepalm.

~ Tin House is offering 20 free copies of an upcoming book with a decidedly "man child" main character to men who suit the description, "asking people to nominate men like Ray in their own lives, be it husbands, brothers or friends, to help them achieve a new level of self-awareness."

~ Some have been discussing the recent deaths of American literary greats Tom Wolfe and Philip Roth as leaving a vacuum of literary talent in the country. While they're surely missed, the unofficial nominees to take up their mantle are our summer reading lists done.


What Else We're Reading


Our newest ALU staffer Will recently read  Document 1 by François Blais, translated by JC Sutcliffe (Book*hug): "Document 1 is an epic adventure in which nothing happens – and that is why I love it so much. A story about two small-town Québecers who make an ordinary road trip to equally small-town Pennsylvania seem like an epic journey, Document 1 moves at a breakneck pace through the mundane lives of mundane people; and does so in an absolutely hilarious way. What makes this book so amazing is how it can make the ordinary seem so much more in one line, and then the very next bring everything back down to Earth and ground the reader and the characters again; how it can simultaneously make everything happen all at once and nothing happen at all; how you, the reader, can go on this journey with the characters of Document 1 while they barely go a block from their house."



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