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Lazy Bastardism (Carmine Starnino)

The actual subjects of the individual essays in Lazy Bastardism, Carmine Starnino’s latest collection of critical prose, remain secondary to the book’s primary subject: critical prose itself. Fearing inept readers, Starnino begins with a prologue excerpting an interview with Patrick Warner, in which Starnino states that “To despise criticism . . . is to despise […]

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Don’t Tell Me What to Do (Dina Del Bucchia)

Dina Del Bucchia’s debut collection of fiction follows three outstanding, hilarious, intelligent poetry books and displays a good deal of the same insightful wit. Del Bucchia’s stories are similarly bold, brash, and self-assured. The highlight of Don’t Tell Me What to Do is the short story “Nest,” in which Sara, an architect designing luxury doghouses, […]

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Pockets (Stuart Ross)

“It is marvellous how everything is connected,” says the narrator of Pockets, and that statement operates as a mini-review of the novel itself. The story unfolds in short, poetic paragraphs that offer surreal snapshots. In this way, Ross develops a fragmentary, dreamlike novel that is startling, sometimes silly, and marbled with melancholy. “I stood in […]

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Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew (Stuart Ross)

Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew is Stuart Ross’s first novel and seems tame compared to his previous book, the short story collection Buying Cigarettes for the Dog. That’s not to suggest that Ross hasn’t produced a moving and funny novel, but that he’s not extending his talents to their limit. The novel explores how the historical trauma of the […]

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The Jill Kelly Poems (Alessandro Porco)

The Jill Kelly Poems is a whimsical book in which Porco takes as his muse the actress Jill Kelly, who has appeared in over 400 films, including Prettiest Bikini I Ever Came Across, Prettiest Tits I Ever Came Across, and the 33rd installment of the apparently popular 100% Blowjobs series. Porco also writes about other […]

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We Go Far Back in Time (Nicholas Bradley)

In February 1976, Al Purdy, then writer-in-residence at the University of Manitoba, wrote to Earle Birney. “I’m in mid-winter Wpg. blues. Depressed as hell. Great time to write you, eh?” A few weeks later, Purdy reported that he was “drinking far too much. But a bottle helps get me thru the winter and Wpg, so […]

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Deluded Your Sailors (Michelle Butler Hallett)

It seems curious that Canadian literature has suffered this book to live. About halfway through Michelle Butler Hallett’s novel Deluded Your Sailors, one of these titular sailors (in the early 1700s) inflates and deflates a passage of poetic description: On deck, Walters got jovial and told a story about calenture, a fever that struck in […]

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Assdeep in Wonder (Christopher Gudgeon)

Christopher Gudgeon’s Assdeep in Wonder weds a raw, intense emotionalism to a wry, detached cynicism. Gudgeon effects a lot through his overarching tone, and it is easy to see some of his tactics at work in “The Causes of Hetereosexuality”: Scientists have looked, but cannot find, the biochemical factors that underlie heterosexual attraction […] […] […]

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The Logogryph (Thomas Wharton)

Something between a novel and a collection of short stories, The Logogryph is presented as a series of texts ranging from a brief survey of the literature of Atlantis to a tale of dueling margin-scribblers. Independently, each tale is a remarkable stand-alone work, wound together through the framing narrative of a young boy who falls […]

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