Part anthology of summaries and essays, part intro to Can-Lit survey, and part ode to reading, T.F. Rigelhof’s Hooked on Canadian Books is a tribute to English-language Canadian fiction writing since 1984. At first, the introduction and much of the tone of the book seems self-indulgent and self-important.
Gary Kinsman and Patrizia Gentile’s The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation discusses the under-the-radar – and sometimes officially sanctioned – targeting of gays and lesbians as security threats from the 1950s to the 1990s. Written from – and told through – a series of first-hand accounts combined with documents obtained under the Access to Information Act, Kinsman and Gentile discuss the history of queer Canadians in a way that is passionate and personal.
Joy Fielding’s The Wild Zone begins when a personal trainer, a dishonourably discharged Afghanistan war veteran, and a Princeton philosophy Ph.D. walk into a bar and make a bet over who can sleep with the pretty, quiet girl alone with her martini. Suzy Bigelow, naturally, has secrets and an agenda of her own, and she leads them all on a wild and deadly ride which, though two-dimensional, is remarkably compelling.
The 2010 International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) in Montreal kicks off on March 18, featuring 230 films from 23 countries. Shortlisted from this group are a competitive selection of 43 films from 14 countries (including eight entries from Quebec). Buzzed films from the competitive group include Je M’Appelle Denis Gagnon, a documentary about the Quebec fashion designer who made quite an impression at Montreal Fashion Week; The Real World of Peter Gabriel, on the Genesis lead singer; and perhaps most intriguing, King of Spies: John le Carré, a documentary about the life’s work of a spy-turned-fiction writer.
Colm Tóibín is a writer fascinated by other writers. Tóibín, the award-winning Irish journalist and author, first considered writing a novel after reading the work of other journalists who wrote fiction: Ernest Hemingway, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, and V.