Columns

Stephen Henighan
In Search of a Phrase

Phrase books are tools of cultural globalization—but they are also among its casualties.

Stephen Henighan
Collateral Damage

When building a nation, cultural riches can be lost.

Stephen Henighan
Transatlantic Fictions

Coming to harbour in a new world.

Alberto Manguel
Arms and Letters

Science and the arts fulfil their functions to help us survive through the imagination.

CHERYL THOMPSON
Dismantling the Myth of the Hero

In a world dominated by heroes, difference is not tolerated.

Stephen Henighan
Reheated Races

Dividing and conquering local populations confines them to manageable administrative units.

Alberto Manguel
Achilles and the Lusitan Tortoise

“Have patience” and “Tomorrow” are two inseparable locutions in the Portuguese tongue.

Stephen Henighan
All in the Same CANO

For a brief period the band CANO gave shape to the dream of a bilingual Canadian culture.

LISA BIRD-WILSON
Occupation Anxiety

Lisa Bird-Wilson on UNDRIP, reconciliation, and the anxiety felt by Indigenous people in Canada.

Stephen Henighan
Residential Roots

"The hemispheric context reveals the roots of the residential school system...Destroying Indigenous cultures was a positivist policy from Patagonia to Dawson City."

Stephen Henighan
Not Reading

What we do when we absorb words from a screen—and we haven’t yet evolved a verb for it—is not reading.

Alberto Manguel
Library as Wishful Thinking

Libraries are not only essential in educating the soul, but in forming the identity of a society.

Stephen Henighan
Lethal Evolutions

Our society is formed on the assumption of a healthy immune system.

Stephen Henighan
Plague

What we can—and can’t—learn from the plague

Alberto Manguel
Léon Bloy and His Monogamous Reader

Dogged dedication grants a reader vicarious immortality.

Stephen Henighan
Confidence Woman

The woman who called herself Tatiana Aarons gave me an address that led to a vacant lot.

Stephen Henighan
A Pen Too Far

On March 5, 2006, a group of people gathered in a small Ontario city in the expectation of having books signed by an author who was not present.

George Fetherling
The Daily Apocalypse

The newspaper wars aren’t what they used to be.

Stephen Henighan
Taíno Tales

A package-deal paradise reputation curtails gringo knowledge of Dominican life.

Alberto Manguel
A Fairy Tale for Our Time

What can the Brothers Grimm teach us about the state of our economic system? Everything.

Alberto Manguel
Art and Blasphemy

Faith seems to shiver when confronted by art.

Alberto Manguel
Literature & Morality

Must artists declare their moral integrity?

Stephen Henighan
Flight Shame

Without air travel, family networks might have dissolved long ago.

Alberto Manguel
The Defeat of Sherlock Holmes

There’s something not quite right about the grid on which the game is played.

Sara Cassidy
Fact
The Lowest Tide

Nature’s sanctity is the only portal to the future.

David Sheskin
PRESS 1 IF

PRESS 1 IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE HEARD THE BIG BANG.

CB Campbell
Joe and Me

Playing against the fastest chess player in the world.

Mazzy Sleep
Heart Medicine

"You have bruises / There was time / You spent trying to / Heal them. / As in, time wasted."

Jennilee Austria
Scavengers

That’s one for the rice bag!

David M. Wallace
Red Flags

The maple leaf no longer feels like a symbol of national pride.

Jeremy Colangelo
i is another

"my point that / i is but a : colon grown / too long"

Danielle Hubbard
The muse hunt

"The following resume / arrived by fax: One ex-military / man, 52, applying / for duty ..."

CONNIE KUHNS
Marriage on the Download

If marriage was a television show, it might look something like this.

Deborah Ostrovsky
Saint Joseph, Patron Saint of Bad Pronunciation

Scrape every last bit of English out of your throat.

Debra Rooney
Weird Jobs

Who puts those little stickers on the apples in the grocery store?

Stephen Osborne
Waiting for Language

Remembering Norbert Ruebsaat.

Grant Buday
Reduce, Reuse, Reincarnate

Destroying books for the greater good.

Natasha Greenblatt
Scavenger Hunt for Losers

Losers: you have a lifetime to hunt.

Finn Wylie
Shelter in Place

"I never went looking for them."

Tara McGuire
Short Term

Tell me again how long the trip is?

Jill Boettger
Do You Remotely Care?

Fill the room with a flock of moths.

Stephen Smith
The Acknowledgements

Any resemblances to persons living or dead are purely vindictive.

Robyn Ludwig
Black Velvet, If You Please

The secret is in the velvet.

Sara Cassidy
Flying the Coop

You can’t break eggs without making an omelette.

Véronique Darwin
New Normal Board Games

Use the board games you unearthed during isolation to reinventclassic games for our times.

Stephen Osborne
Hospitals of the Mind

A few years ago, someone left a pocket-sized photo album on my desk with an unsigned note stuck on the cover that said I “might know what to do with it.” Inside, glued one to a page, are twenty-four photographs of Essondale, the mental hospital in N

Tiffany Hsieh
Church on Queen

Here they are our people.

Randy Fred
Resistance and Renewal

After hearing survivors’ stories, nothing can ever surprise me.

Celia Haig-Brown
Resistance and Relentlessness

The long road to decency and justice.

Rick Maddocks
The Other 9/11

Chileans remember when their government was overthrown by Augusto Pinochet on September 11, 1973.

Carmen Tiampo
Wash With Like Colours

People have asked: What’s it like? How’s it been? Are you scared?

Patty Osborne
Underwire

"We got into Zellers through jewellery, purses and umbrellas, stockings and underwear and into brassieres, where our momentum deserted us. Now we were both in unfamiliar territory."

Myrna Garanis
World-Class Hotel

Poets trashed hotel rooms long before rock bands made it fashionable.

Stephen Osborne
Defining Moments

The Olympic Games left a trail of moments: a rare moment, a Canadian moment, a you moment, a me moment...

Sara Cassidy
Gravitass

A poetic tribute to men's rear-ends.

RICHARD VAN CAMP
Meanwhile, in 1666

Aboard a stuck SkyTrain, reading Samuel Pepys's account of the Great Fire of London.

Robert Everett-Green
Licorice Roots

A writer uncovers a family connection with a sweet English confection.

Margaret Nowaczyk
Contact No Contact

Personal narratives by Indigenous and settler contributors describing significant first contacts that brought new insights.

Randy Fred
Seeing Things

When taking hallucinogenics, more is better, within limits.

Stephen Osborne
Reading in Summer

Where in the used bookstore would mysteries by Raymond Chandler be shelved—in Novels or in Fiction? Stephen Osborne remembers the summer pleasures of reading outdoors and used bookstores.

Marko Sijan
Peace on Earth

"My father believes the world is coming to an end, yet he commits his life to curing the sick." Dispatch by Marko Sijan.

Lucianne Poole
Chainsaw Man

A man with a chainsaw boarded the number 7 bus at about 7:45 a.m., when I was on my way to work in downtown Ottawa.

Kristen den Hartog
Solace

Bud was one of the few who’d seen Stewart’s face as it was.

Jeff Shucard
My Week in Tunisia

Enjoy the fresh kebab while your freshly dented fender gets fixed.

Jordyn Catalano
Goodbye and Good Luck

A COVID test in the city of a hundred steeples.

Hàn Fúsēn
Soy Alérgico

“Excuse me, are you the customer with the peanut allergy?”

Jonathan Montpetit
The Art of Shaving Oneself

In search of a unified self.

Andrea Routley
Thank You All For Coming

25 reasons to stop talking to my straight friend.

David Albahari
The Art of Renaming

Why does one culture give a flower a pretty, poetic name, while another culture names it in a seemingly derogatory way?

Jill Margo
Getting Textual

How to perform a textual analysis of a Facebook message, while under the influence of red wine.

Stephen Osborne
The Future Is Uncertain Country

As men of high seriousness appear on television with their crystal balls, Stephen Osborne shares what he learned about the future from Ray the astrologer.

Phoebe Tsang
Be Careful What You Wish For

A tarot card reading for John Franklin, Arctic explorer and Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land, by Phoebe Tsang.

David Mitchell
Imaginary City

Crack addicts, art critics and pregnant waitresses populate David Mitchell's uncanny vision of Vancouver.

Stephen Osborne
Snows of Yesteryear

A blizzard hits two days before Christmas, stirring up feelings of trepidation and excitement for the passengers of a bus.

Thad McIlroy
Trial by Water

Ebb and flow in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Paul DeLorme
Escapist

A Canadian soldier captured at Dieppe in 1942 tells what happened next.

Sewid-Smith Daisy
Three Stories About Moving

The worst time for your pet to run away is when you are moving, and my family moved a lot.

Thad McIlroy
Hernia Heaven

Thad McIlroy spends the night in hospital to get a hernia—possibly on his left side, possibly on his right—repaired.

C. E. COUGHLAN
Three Days in Toronto

A trip across the country, with didgeridoo and Trudeau too.

Edith Iglauer
Perfect Bite

A warm spring night, a country club dance, a date with an attractive young man—and braces on my two front teeth.

Hàn Fúsēn
Little Trouble in Chinatown

Limits of the language.

Joe Bongiorno
Piledrivin’ Patriots

On parle français icitte!

Joe Bongiorno
Last Laughs

Justin Trudeau and Greta Thunberg attend the Montreal climate march.

Lenore Rowntree
Straight, No Chaser

Women in '50s chic, men in sports jackets, and all manner of musical instruments at a suburban home in Toronto.

Margaret Nowaczyk
Room for More

Narrative text, written and spoken, refines a doctor’s ability to hear a patients’ stories.

Michał Kozłowski
Waiting for Trudeau

Pansy shoes and power suits on parliament hill.

Lorna MacKinnon
Weekend with Dorian

Storm prep for a category 2.

Beth Rowntree
7 lbs. 6 oz.

I looked in her purse and found nothing but scraps of paper so covered in writing there was hardly any white left on the pages.

Michał Kozłowski
Road Trip Supreme

Outlet Malls, Janis Joplin, The Godfather and Taco Bell—on the scent of Ameryka.

Jeff Shucard
Home Front

"My father began his shopping spree in the fashion department. He ordered jackets, sweaters, shirts, trousers and shoes. In his new wardrobe he looks like a mummy that has been dressed up for a big night of trick-or-treating."

Scott Andrew Christensen
n yer comin' wit me

"have ya been ev’ryweir?"

Hàn Fúsēn
Biking Around with Ondjaki

Just decide what happens and worry about the rest later.

Stephen Osborne
Wittgenstein Walks (Commercial Drive)

"8.21 Fur Bearers Defender"—the difficulty is to say no more than we know.

Geoff Inverarity
The Woman Who Talks to Her Dog at the Beach

The simple love of dogs.

Stephen Osborne
Halloween Capital of America

This year for Halloween, we creep back into the archives and Stephen Osborne digs deep into his family's history at the Salem witch trials.

Kristen den Hartog
The Two Lots

Theft, death and don't-mess-with-me expressions—unlocking the family portrait.

BRADLEY PETERS
Mission

Salmon runs, voodoo juice and chewing the fat in Mission.

BRADLEY PETERS
Mission

Salmon runs, voodoo juice and chewing the fat in Mission.

Finn Wylie
Road Trip with Cupid

“Want to marry me? My wife she burned me. She just burned me, you know. Now I’m going to court to burn her back.”

RICHARD VAN CAMP
In Memoriam: Edith Iglauer, 1917 - 2019

Respected journalist, Geist contributor and maker of olive sandwiches.

Edith Iglauer
The Prime Minister Accepts

Edith Iglauer invites Pierre Trudeau over for dinner and gets Barbra Streisand as a bonus.

JILL MANDRAKE
Ice Cream Dude

Compassionate, good truck driver, likes kids, likes ice cream—the makings of a no-fail ice cream dude.

Stephen Osborne
Exotic World

In 1989, when Harold and Barbara Morgan opened the Museum of Exotic World in the front rooms of Harold’s commercial painting business in Vancouver, they had been travelling the world every winter for forty-five years and had accumulated many souvenir

Randy Fred
Blind Man Dance

Randy Fred receives his first traditional Nuu-chah-nulth name.

Michał Kozłowski
After the Money

Notes from the Governor General’s Literary Awards.

Hàn Fúsēn
Till Talk

Han Fusen navigates multiculturalism and kookoo sabzi from inside a Persian grocery store.

JILL MANDRAKE
peanut brittle

Jill Mandrake on the surprising effect of peanut brittle.

Jocelyn Kuang
49 Days to the Afterlife

Rice, tea and a trillion dollars of spirit money.

Jeff Shucard
King Zog and the Secret Heart of Albania

The secret heart of Albania is imbued with compassion and a desire to help those in need

David Look
Sleeping Class

Scenic views, fresh muffins and drunk passengers—three days and four nights aboard the Canadian from Vancouver to Toronto.

ANNMARIE MACKINNON
Chicken at Large

What was a lone hen doing in the yard, a few feet from a busy city street?

Matt Snell
Laying on Hands

In Peterborough, Pastor Billy cures arthritis, back pain, bone spurs, lymphoma, stage four liver cancer, sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation

Susie Taylor
We Smoke Our Smokes

From morning to night, there's always someone coming in for smokes and a chat.

Marcus Youssef
Happy Shiny People

The Museum of Communism is easy to find thanks to the museum’s adver­tis­ing slo­gan: We’re above McDonald’s.

Steven Heighton
Jogging with Joyce

Before I opened for Joyce Carol Oates at her reading at Harbourfront in Toronto, we had dinner: Oates and her husband, Raymond Smith; the organizer, Greg Gatenby; and me.

RICHARD VAN CAMP
World's Most Wanted

Who knew my dad's old pen was a famous Parker 51 Vacumatic?

Véronique Darwin
K to 7

Veronique Darwin revisits her childhood journal, from hearing ghosts in kindergarten to staring at hotties in grade seven.

Ann Diamond
An Awful Thing

“Never write a line you don’t mean,” said Carver. “And don’t ever imag

Stephen Osborne
Preoccupied

Stephen Osborne reflects on the Vancouver Poetry Conference, the Occupy movement, and a brunch with NaNoWriMo novelists.

Andrea King
Great Historical Curiosity

The facts (and fictions) surrounding the tale of Quebec's most famous murderess, La Corriveau.

Joe Bongiorno
The Shī Fu

Joe Bongiorno goes in search of enlightenment and finds the Shī Fu.

Carmen Tiampo
What Survives

My great-grandfather exists now only in memory, unacknowledged even by his tombstone

KATHRYN MOCKLER
I Won’t Clean the Tub

He said he just wanted towels. There was no reason to be afraid.

Carolyne Montgomery
In the Pines

It is a Sunday in August. We drive from London, Ontario, to the Pinery Provincial Park in a new green 1964 Mercury Comet.

Gabrielle Marceau
Fact
Main Character

I always longed to be the falling woman—impelled by unruly passion, driven by beauty and desire, turned into stone, drowned in flowers.

Mia + Eric
Future Perfect

New bylaws for civic spaces.

JUDY LEBLANC
Walking in the Wound

It is racism, not race, that is a risk factor for dying of COVID-19.

SADIQA DE MEIJER
Do No Harm

Doing time is not a blank, suspended existence.

Kristen den Hartog
The Insulin Soldiers

It was as though a magic potion had brought him back to life.

Steven Heighton
Everything Turns Away

Going unnoticed must be the root sorrow for the broken.

DANIEL CANTY
The Sum of Lost Steps

On the curve of the contagion and on the measure of Montreality.

Carellin Brooks
Ripple Effect

I am the only woman in the water. The rest of the swimmers are men or boys. One of them bobs his head near me, a surprising vision in green goggles, like an undocumented sea creature. I imagine us having sex, briefly, him rocking over me like a wave.

MARCELLO DI CINTIO
The Great Wall of Montreal

The chain-link fence along boulevard de l’Acadie— two metres high, with “appropriate hedge”—separates one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Montreal from one of the poorest.

Michał Kozłowski
New World Publisher

Randy Fred thought that life after residential school would be drinking, watching TV and dying. Instead, he became the "greatest blind Indian publisher in the world."

BRAD YUNG
Lessons I’m Going To Teach My Kids Too Late

"I want to buy a house. And build a secret room in it. And not tell the kids about it."

Paul Tough
City Still Breathing: Listening to the Weakerthans

I wasn’t certain whether I was in Winnipeg because of the Weakerthans, or whether I cared about the Weakerthans because I care about Winnipeg.

Stephen Osborne
This Postcard Life

Spiritual landscapes and unknowable people captured on film, used to convey a message.

Hilary M. V. Leathem
To Coronavirus, C: An Anthropological Abecedary

After Paul Muldoon and Raymond Williams.

Bill MacDonald
The Ghost of James Cawdor

A seance to contact a dead miner at Port Arthur, Ontario, in 1923—conducted by Conan Doyle himself.

Ann Diamond
The Second Life of Kiril Kadiiski

He has been called the greatest Bulgarian poet of his generation. Can one literary scandal bury his whole career?

Caroline Adderson
Lives of the House

A basement shrine in her 1920s home inspires Caroline Adderson to discover the past lives of her house and its inhabitants.

Ivan Coyote
Shouldn’t I Feel Pretty?

Somewhere in the sweat and ache and muscle I carved a new shape for myself that made more sense.

David L. Chapman
Postcolonial Bodies

Mastery of the self

CONNIE KUHNS
There is a Wind that Never Dies

"If you are still alive, you must have had the experience of surrendering."

Sarah Leavitt
Small Dogs

Emily’s mother had unusually large eyes that bulged slightly and often turned red, and she stared at people in restaurants and stores. Sometimes Emily’s mother commented on these people’s conversations, or laughed at their jokes, as if she were part

Ola Szczecinska
Symbiosis in Warsaw

Ola Szczecinska returns to Warsaw to visit her grandmother, and to keep from losing her memories.

Norbert Ruebsaat
Media Studies

These stories and conversations took place in a Media and Communications Studies class at a Canadian college. Students come to the college from many countries, in the hope of enrolling eventually in a North American university.

CONNIE KUHNS
Fifty Years in Review

A new anthology of reviews, interviews and commentary on Joni Mitchell's music reveals the star-making machinery.

J. Jill Robinson
Hot Pulse

I am sorry I caused you pain. But I thought it was okay.

Stephen Osborne
The Great Game

The British called it the Great Game. The Russians called it Bolshoya Igra. The playing field was, and still is, Afghanistan.

CONNIE KUHNS
Last Day in Cheyenne

Remembering her father's last days in a hospital in Wyoming, Connie Kuhns struggles with questions of mortality, memory and how to fulfill her father's dying wish.

CONNIE KUHNS
Strange Women

Connie Kuhns' major profile of punk, politics and feminism in 1970s Canada: the Moral Lepers, the Dishrags and other revolutionary bands.

M.A.C. Farrant
Strange Birds

We don’t know why the budgie did it. He must have been unhappy. It can’t have been easy for him—pecking the bell, hanging about on the pole.

D.M. FRASER
Surrounded by Ducks

D.M. Fraser on the myth of cultural identity.

DAVID COLLIER
The Last Grain Elevator in Regina

When you live in Saskatoon, you find yourself caring more about the details of grain farming then you did when you lived in Toronto or Windsor.

HOWARD WHITE
How We Imagine Ourselves

When Geist first approached me with the idea of speaking here, I made it known that of all the things I ever wanted to be when I grew up, being an after-dinner speaker was very low on the list.

Eve Corbel
Getting It Wrong

It's human nature to jump to the wrong conclusion–and stick with it.

Annabel Lyon
Eye for Detail

What is at the heart of this Edith Iglauer profile by Giller nominee Annabel Lyon? Hint: Ice Road Truckers.

Stephen Smith
Rinkside Intellectual

Stephen Smith investigates the hockey lives of Barthes, Faulkner, Hemingway, which were marked by dismissal, befuddlement and scorn.

Daniel Francis
The Artist as Coureur de Bois

Tom Thomson, godfather of the Group of Seven, drowned in an Ontario lake under mysterious circumstances, and ever since, his reputation has been the stuff of legend.

Alberto Manguel
Cri de Coeur

Compared to today's vile heros, Ned Kelly-the Australian outlaw who wrote the angry, articulate Jerilderie letter in 1879-seems as innocent as an ogre-slaughtering hero of fairy tales.

Ivan Coyote
If I Was a Girl

Femme girls get free Slurpees, but boyish ladies get free cavity searches at the border.

HAL NIEDZVIECKI
The Life and Death of Zadie Avrohom Krolik

Hal Niedzviecki com­mem­o­rates his Jewish grand­fa­ther—a heavy drinker, a bad driver and a Polish refugee.

Daniel Francis
War of Independence

World War I, Canada’s “war of independence,” marked a turning point for a young colony wanting to prove itself as a self-reliant nation, but at what cost.

JILL MANDRAKE
Elementary

On the merry-go-round, you just shouted out a des­ti­na­tion and all the kids pushed until every­one agreed we’d arrived.

CONNIE KUHNS
Life After Virginity

A flower child looks back, to the time between Motown and acid rock.

Kathleen Winter
BoYs

Derek Matthews has to be the ugliest boy in the class but I like him. I’ve liked every boy except Barry Pumphrey now. Barry Pumphrey likes me.

Ann Diamond
How I (Finally) Met Leonard Cohen

On a rainy night in October 1970, I crossed paths with Canada's most elusive poet.

MARY MEIGS
Off- and On-Camera

Out on the set, except for the fact that there is always someone to catch us if we stumble, or someone to set up folding chairs for us between scenes, we are beneficiaries of the semi that denies the passing of clock-time. There is nothing to remind

MARY MEIGS
Being in the Company of Strangers

Our film is a semi-documentary. We are ourselves, up to a point; beyond this point is the "semi," a region with boundaries that become more or less imprecise, according to our view of them. In one sense, it is semi from beginning to end, for we would

Patty Osborne
Beyond Recall

Patty Osborne reviews a collection of journal entries, correspondence and other writings produced by Mary Meigs during the last years of her life.

J. Jill Robinson
One Night at the Oceanview

Did that really happen? J. Jill Robinson initiates a midnight stand-off between the police and two drunk brothers in an RV Park in White Rock, B.C.

Life in Language

For four decades, Jay Powell and Vickie Jensen helped to revive forgotten languages for many Aboriginal groups along the coast of the Pacific Northwest. Read their story here.

Daniel Francis
Red Scare

The Bolshevists are coming! The Bolshevists are coming! Daniel Francis recounts Canada's close call with a revolution.

Stephen Henighan
Third World Canada

Stephen Henighan compares the chaotic sprawl of "Third World" societies to the degradation of Canada's political, social and physical landscape.

Daniel Francis
Double Life

The poet John Glassco lived in disguise, masquerading as a member of the gentry while writing pornography and reinventing his past.

Michał Kozłowski
Boomtown

L.B. Foote fled Newfoundland to avoid life as a cod fisherman and became Winnipeg's best-known photographer, chronicling Boomtown's growth, energy and struggles.

Sarah Leavitt
3 Girls

Sarah Leavitt is more than just a clever cartoonist; she also paints pictures with her colourful prose.

M.A.C. Farrant
Notes on the Wedding

The mother of the groom measures the distance between two weddings: twenty-six years, six thousand miles, and a donkey covered with flowers. It’s outtasight.

Robert Everett-Green
The Main

Last summer, during a visit to Vancouver, my nine-year-old son climbed the pediment of a cast-iron traffic-light standard and put his palm on the glowing hand that warns pedestrians to stay put. My mother pointed out afterwards that my photograph of the event contained its own French caption, in the word visible over his shoulder: main.

Bill MacDonald
An Ounce of Civet

Dinner with James Reaney—poet, playwright, professor—who is mistaken by a pair of Irish ladies for “that decadent writer Mordecai Richler.”

DAVID COLLIER
Happy Hearts

A series of lucky events seemed to conspire to bring me to Stettler, Alberta, one day in June 1998. Jennifer, the woman who was in between being my roommate and my girlfriend, was at the Banff Centre and I was on my way there from Saskatoon, where we lived. She had left me fifty dollars for gas so I could pick her up after her workshop, and I had accepted, hoping that when the time came I wouldn’t need it and I could give it back. I did need it, of course. I had been waiting for a cheque to come from the Globe and Mail for one of a series of drawings I was doing for them, and when it was time to leave, the cheque still hadn’t arrived. So I set out from Saskatoon with just a tank of gas and the fifty dollars.

Patrick Lane
Natural History

It started with a note I found tucked into an anthology of poems edited by Selden Rodman, a book I opened rarely, though there was a time when I was young I had read it so closely and so many times I had most of the poems memorized. The note lay in the spine of the book against a poem of Arthur Rimbaud's titled, I think, "The Twelve-Year-Old Poet." On it are four names printed out in my sure and youthful twenty-one-year-old hand: Baghdad, Koweit, Sakakah, Jaffa.

M.A.C. Farrant
Attila the Bookseller

I answered the ad: SWM likes to dance. Called him up (said his name was Jay), suggested we meet at the local cafe Tuesday night, something different, a performance poet performing. Free coffee and cookies, the place rocking with middle-aged angst.

Bart Campbell
The Real Woman

And then I remembered an important event. It happened at a funeral in St. Paul’s chapel for a twenty-four-year-old prostitute who had overdosed in her Gastown hotel room. The small chapel was half full, and very quiet. There were a couple of fresh flower arrangements in front of the cheap, closed coffin. Most of the congregation were other prostitutes dressed in their working clothes, and a few pimps. One woman apologized to Brother Tim for having nothing black to wear, except for lingerie and a leather miniskirt.

Norbert Ruebsaat
Burma Media Event

Once while living in Burma (now Myanmar), Goran Simic and his brother, whose father was the Serbian ambassador, were stopped by rebels on their way to the international school in Yangon. They were hauled out of their diplomatic Mercedes limousine and forced at gunpoint to witness the beheading, at the side of the road, of a uniformed Myanmar government official.

Edith Iglauer
Sitting on Water

During my thirty years living on the waterfront of British Columbia, I have always had some sort of container in which to sit on the water. My first boat was a ten-foot dinghy that my late husband John Daly, a commercial salmon troller, equipped with a small electric motor to surprise me. He had the bizarre idea that I, a sometime canoeist from Ohio, could manoeuvre a boat on my own around our capacious Pacific coast harbour. The electric engine would be ideal for me, he thought. No rope to pull to start it up! No gasoline tank on board!

MARY MEIGS
Freewriting

Mary Meigs and her friend Lise Weil, editor of Beyond Recall, met regularly to do freewriting together. For each exercise they chose a line or phrase from the work of a poet they both admired; then, inspired by that "prompt," both women wrote for five or ten minutes, recording whatever came to mind (and hand).

Daniel Francis
Re-hanging the National Wallpaper

When I lived in Ottawa in the 1970s, I used to enjoy passing lazy afternoons at the National Gallery looking at the pictures. I remember how surprised I was when I first encountered the Group of Seven collection. These paintings were completely familiar—I’d seen them in schoolbooks and on calendars, posters, t-shirts, everywhere—yet at the same time they were completely unexpected.

Robert Hunter
Launching Greenpeace

A first-hand account of Greenpeace's first expedition to stop U.S. underwater nuclear testing on September 15, 1971.

JILL MANDRAKE
Fact
A Backward Glance or Two

Review of "Let the World Have You" by Mikko Harvey.

Michael Hayward
Fact
ADVENT (AND OTHERS) IN A BOX

Review of "Short Story Advent Calendar" by Hingston & Olsen Publishing.

Michael Hayward
Wanda x 3

Review of "Wanda" written and directed by Barbara Loden, "Suite for Barbara Loden" by Nathalie Léger, translated by Natasha Lehrer and Cécile Menon and "Wanda" by Barbara Lambert.

Patty Osborne
Teenaged Boys, Close Up

Review of "Sleeping Giant" directed by Andrew Cividino and written by Cividino, Blain Watters and Aaron Yeger.

Debby Reis
Dreaming of Androids

Review of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? " by Philip K. Dick.

Anson Ching
Further Years of Solitude

Review of "Black Sugar" by Miguel Bonnefoy.

Jonathan Heggen
A Thoughtful Possession

Review of "The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories" edited and translated by Jay Rubin.

Michael Hayward
Sitting Ducks

Review of "Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands" by Kate Beaton.

Peggy Thompson
What It Means To Be Human

Review of "All the Broken Things" by Geoff Inverarity.

Daniel Francis
Future Imperfect

Review of "The Premonitions Bureau " by Sam Knight.

KELSEA O'CONNOR
Rocks in a Hard Place

Review of "A Field Guide to Gold, Gemstone & Mineral Sites of British Columbia, Volume Two: Sites within a Day’s Drive of Vancouver" by Rick Hudson.

April Thompson
Prayer and Declaration

Review of "Monument" by Manahil Bandukwala.

Anson Ching
Archipelago

Review of "A Dream in Polar Fog" by Yuri Rytkheu, and "A Mind at Peace" by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar.

Michael Hayward
Vanishing Career Paths

Review of "The Last Bookseller: A Life in the Rare Book Trade" by Gary Goodman, and "A Factotum in the Book Trade" by Marius Kociejowski.

JILL MANDRAKE
Part of the Crowd

Review of "Crowded Mirror" by Sheila Delany.

JILL MANDRAKE
The Doors of Perception Had to Close

Review of "The Acid Room: The Psychedelic Trials and Tribulations of Hollywood Hospital" by Jesse Donaldson and Erika Dyck.

Michael Hayward
No Regrets

Review of "Stories I Might Regret Telling You" by Martha Wainwright.

Daniel Francis
Known It All

Review of "Know It All: Finding the Impossible Country" by James H. Marsh.

April Thompson
Call Yourself a Writer

Review of "Resonance: Essays on the Craft and Life of Writing" edited by Andrew Chesham and Laura Farina.

KELSEA O'CONNOR
Coming Unravelled

Review of "Unravelling Canada: A Knitting Odyssey" by Sylvia Olsen.

Thad McIlroy
Articulating the Inarticulate Speech of the Heart

Review of "The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression" by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.

TANVI BHATIA
Heat Death of the Universe

Review of "In the Dream House" by Carmen Maria Machado.

Michael Hayward
Is It Edible?

Review of "Mushrooms of British Columbia" by Andy MacKinnon and Kem Luther.

Anson Ching
The Geist of Turkey

Review of "Ethos" directed by Berkun Oya.

Michael Hayward
Seventy-Two Hours to Animal

Review of "Bunker: Building for the End Times" by Bradley Garrett.

Kathleen Murdock
Juice Worth the Squeeze

Review of "Shadow of Doubt: The Trials of Dennis Oland, Revised and Expanded Edition" by Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon.

Kris Rothstein
Decolonizing Canada

Review of "Before I Was a Critic I Was a Human Being" Amy Fung.

Kathleen Murdock
Doing It Special

Review of "nedi nezu (Good Medicine)" by Tenille K. Campbell.

Anson Ching
Recipe for a Harlequin Romance

Review of "Ring" by André Alexis.

CONNIE KUHNS
Rise Up

Review of "Rise Up: Songs of the Women's Movement" Co-Produced by Jim Brown, Heather A. Smith, and Donna Korones.

Patty Osborne
Middle Sister

Review of "Milkman" by Anna Burns.

Michael Hayward
Purveyors of Electric Fans

Review of "Clyde Fans" by Seth.

Michael Hayward
Tree Lit

Review of "The Overstory" by Richard Powers.

Anson Ching
Voyeur Galore

Review of "Captains of the Sands" by Jorge Amado.

Patty Osborne
Why White People Are Funny

Review of "Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny" Zebedee Nungak and Mark Sandiford.

Jonathan Heggen
Korean Supper

Review of "Crying in H Mart: A Memoir " by Michelle Zauner.

Michael Hayward
Dancing About Architecture

Review of "Utopia Avenue" by David Mitchell.

KELSEA O'CONNOR
Eaten to Extinction

Review of "Lost Feast: Culinary Extinction and the Future of Food" by Lenore Newman.

Michael Hayward
A Longing to Be Far Away

Review of "Fernweh" by Teju Cole.

Shyla Seller
Postal Lit

Review of "Long Live the Post Horn!" by Vigdis Hjorth.

SYLVIA TRAN
Poutine Pilgrimage

Review of poutine at Robson Fries in Tokyo.

JILL MANDRAKE
Older and Better

Review of "The Old Man in the Mirror Isn’t Me" by Ray Robertson.

Stephen Osborne
The Becoming of Vancouver

Review of "Becoming Vancouver: A History" by Daniel Francis.

Michael Hayward
Known to be Strange

Known and Strange Things (Random House) is a collection of Teju Cole’s essays and other short pieces, many of which have previously appeared in The New Yorker and elsewhere online.

Michael Hayward
A Blindness at the Centre of Seeing

Cole’s most recent book, Blind Spot (Random House), a generous hardcover printed on glossy stock, presents Cole’s photographs on recto pages, with brief, allusive essays on the facing verso page.

Patty Osborne
B for Beatrice

Patty Osborne on wacky kid tales and the joy of animated storytelling.

Michael Hayward
Roads to Nowhere

Michael Hayward on dharma trails, lawless landscapes and Hemingway's corner table.

SYLVIA TRAN
Manifesto

Sylvia Tran on cheesy haunted houses, destiny's child and capitalism.

Anson Ching
In Search of Time and Place

Anson Ching on desecration ratcheted to new levels.

Shyla Seller
Wanting

Shyla Seller on the brilliance of the Vancouver poet Gladys Maria Hindmarch.

JILL MANDRAKE
Dirty Dirty Gets Down to the Nitty Gritty

Jill Mandrake on Mississippi Live & the Dirty Dirty, a Southern rock band in East Vancouver.

Patty Osborne
Ordinary Filipinos vs. The Normal Irish

Patty Osborne on teenage love, internet clicks and stolen babies.

Michael Hayward
Fine Art in Lockdown

Michael Hayward on Félix Fénéon and the exhibits unseen during COVID-19.

Kathleen Murdock
Everything on Earth

Kathleen Murdock on race, resilience, rage and joy.

Thad McIlroy
Life in the Valley

Thad McIlroy urges us to run from big tech before the death knell tolls.

JORDAN ABEL
Indigenous Poetry Without Borders

As a Nisga’a writer, I’m often deeply invested in not only how other poets are tackling issues through poetry but also how Indigenous writers are navigating that same terrain. Reading poetry is necessary. Reading Indigenous writing is essential.

Jennesia Pedri
Jamaica on Ice

Jennesia Pedri reviews A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James.

Anson Ching
Voices From the Margins

Anson Ching on the strength of the narrator.

Jonathan Heggen
Mirror Image

Jonathan Heggen on staying on the periphery until the proverbial dust settles.

JILL MANDRAKE
Coach Has a Vehicle

Jill Mandrake on lyrics that make her shout out loud.

Michael Hayward
Ekphrastic Literature

Michael Hayward on plastic art and slow sonnets.

KELSEA O'CONNOR
Scratching the Print-Making Itch

Kelsea O’Connor on 48 printmakers and their unconventional studios.

JILL MANDRAKE
Life in the Tall Towers Lost

Jill Mandrake on living life on the edge—from Etobicoke to Iqaluit.

Anson Ching
An Apartment Block in Angola

Anson Ching on the opening and closing of catastrophes.

KELSEA O'CONNOR
Shocked and Discredited

Kelsea O'Connor on the bible, the Golden Girls and Captain Kirk's Lesbianism.

Patty Osborne
Forgetting the Question

Patty Osborne on licking fish, erotic hallucinations and the mystery of the missing anthropologist.

Michael Hayward
Bordering

Michael Hayward on an armchair travelogue of the troubled borders in the eastern Balkans.

Shyla Seller
Round the Clock Coverage

Shyla Seller on Marion Stokes and her collection of 71,716 videotapes.

roni-simunovic
King of Bicycles

Roni Simunovic on the joker playing card through the ages.

Michael Hayward
Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Michael Hayward on "The Baker's Wife" by Marcel Pagnol.

Michael Hayward
Glorious lists

Michael Hayward on "The Glorious Mountains of Vancouver’s North Shore: A Peakbagger’s Guide."

Michael Hayward
Happy Talk

Michael Hayward on "Strange Planet" by Nathan W. Pyle.

Anson Ching
Why Turn to Myths

Anson Ching on "An Orchestra of Minorities."

Anson Ching
The Plot Thickens in the Weimar Republic

Anson Ching on "Babylon Berlin."

Michael Hayward
Nothing Doing

Michael Hayward on "How To Do Nothing."

Daniel Francis
Pandemic Non-Reading

Dan Francis asks you not to read "Midnight in Chernobyl."

Kathleen Murdock
Fighting Fires

Kathleen Murdock on the shiny TV adaptation of "Little Fires Everywhere".

Claudia Casper
Let’s Go For A Walk

Claudia Casper on the way "Lost Lagoon" allows us to experience time rather than get through it.

KELSEA O'CONNOR
Linguistics Revolution

Kelsea O'Connor on "Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language" by the Canadian linguist Gretchen McCulloch.

Michael Hayward
Contagion During a Pandemic

Michael Hayward on his surreal experience of watching "Contagion" during lockdown.

Kate Helmore
Escaping Orthodoxy

Kate Helmore on the stark contrast between skinny jeans and ankle-length skirts in the Netflix series "Unorthodox".

Michael Hayward
Baudelaire Through the Looking Glass

Michael Hayward on "The Baudelaire Fractal" by Lisa Robertson.

Shyla Seller
Reel Love

Shyla Seller on "The Forbidden Reel"—a documentary on the legacy and preservation of Afghan Films.

roni-simunovic
Flight of Fancy

Roni Simunovic takes an Air Canada rouge flight from Halifax to Calgary and ridicules the flight attendants' absurd new uniforms.

Michael Hayward
Into the Heart of the Landscape

Michael Hayward on the recursive nature of reading and writing inspiration.

Barry Kirsh
Soulmates: Honoring the Mysteries of Love and Relationships

Barry Kirsch on the juices and nutriments of imagination.

KELSEA O'CONNOR
Broken Hearted

Kelsea O'Connor on two comic-obsessed teens in rural Nova Scotia.

JILL MANDRAKE
Unity, Order and Equilibrium

Jill Mandrake on the beauty of crafted visual poetry.

Anson Ching
Zen in Ecotopia

Anson Ching on letting the facts form your privilege.

Patty Osborne
A Korean Friend

Patty Osborne on a North Korean novel from North Korea.

Anson Ching
The City in an Apartment

Anson Ching on a time and place, and the people who live there.

Kris Rothstein
Pencil Pushers

Kris Rothstein on the current state of employment in Bullshit Jobs and Temp.

RICHARD VAN CAMP
Look Out, Not In

Mary Schendlinger on "How the Girl Guides Won the War" by Janie Hampton.

Patty Osborne
Canadian Dystopia

Patty Osborne on an engrossing world where nothing monumental happens.

Michael Hayward
Cycling the Himalayas

Michael Hayward on the elation and freedom of long-distance cycling.

Michael Hayward
Walking, with Writers

Michael Hayward on the journeys documented by writers.

Anson Ching
Passing on the Sport

Anson Ching on the hardest board game to learn.

Michael Hayward
Pre-Potter Wizardry

Michael Hayward and 50 years of writing from Ursula K. Le Guin.

KELSEA O'CONNOR
Drool-worthy

Kelsea O'Connor on many aspects of food, from culinary extinctions to kombucha microbiomes.

Kathleen Murdock
Text That Breaks

Kathleen Murdock on the physical and meaningful structure of text.

Stephen Henighan
In Search of a Phrase

Phrase books are tools of cultural globalization—but they are also among its casualties.

Stephen Henighan
Collateral Damage

When building a nation, cultural riches can be lost.

Stephen Henighan
Transatlantic Fictions

Coming to harbour in a new world.

Alberto Manguel
Arms and Letters

Science and the arts fulfil their functions to help us survive through the imagination.

CHERYL THOMPSON
Dismantling the Myth of the Hero

In a world dominated by heroes, difference is not tolerated.

Stephen Henighan
Reheated Races

Dividing and conquering local populations confines them to manageable administrative units.

Alberto Manguel
Achilles and the Lusitan Tortoise

“Have patience” and “Tomorrow” are two inseparable locutions in the Portuguese tongue.

Stephen Henighan
All in the Same CANO

For a brief period the band CANO gave shape to the dream of a bilingual Canadian culture.

LISA BIRD-WILSON
Occupation Anxiety

Lisa Bird-Wilson on UNDRIP, reconciliation, and the anxiety felt by Indigenous people in Canada.

Stephen Henighan
Residential Roots

"The hemispheric context reveals the roots of the residential school system...Destroying Indigenous cultures was a positivist policy from Patagonia to Dawson City."

Stephen Henighan
Not Reading

What we do when we absorb words from a screen—and we haven’t yet evolved a verb for it—is not reading.

Alberto Manguel
Library as Wishful Thinking

Libraries are not only essential in educating the soul, but in forming the identity of a society.

Stephen Henighan
Lethal Evolutions

Our society is formed on the assumption of a healthy immune system.

Stephen Henighan
Plague

What we can—and can’t—learn from the plague

Alberto Manguel
Léon Bloy and His Monogamous Reader

Dogged dedication grants a reader vicarious immortality.

Stephen Henighan
Confidence Woman

The woman who called herself Tatiana Aarons gave me an address that led to a vacant lot.

Stephen Henighan
A Pen Too Far

On March 5, 2006, a group of people gathered in a small Ontario city in the expectation of having books signed by an author who was not present.

George Fetherling
The Daily Apocalypse

The newspaper wars aren’t what they used to be.

Stephen Henighan
Taíno Tales

A package-deal paradise reputation curtails gringo knowledge of Dominican life.

Alberto Manguel
A Fairy Tale for Our Time

What can the Brothers Grimm teach us about the state of our economic system? Everything.

Alberto Manguel
Art and Blasphemy

Faith seems to shiver when confronted by art.

Alberto Manguel
Literature & Morality

Must artists declare their moral integrity?

Stephen Henighan
Flight Shame

Without air travel, family networks might have dissolved long ago.

Alberto Manguel
The Defeat of Sherlock Holmes

There’s something not quite right about the grid on which the game is played.

Daniel Francis
Who Cares Who Ate John Franklin?

Daniel Francis on John Franklin, John Rae and the Globe and Mail's enthusiasm for cannibalism.

Alberto Manguel
Marilla

Prince Edward Island gothic.

Alberto Manguel
Hoping Against Hope

Kafka’s writing allows us intuitions and half-dreams but never total comprehension.

Joseph Weiss
King of the Post-Anthropocene

Kaiju are the heroes we deserve.

Stephen Henighan
Left Nationalists

Progressives are far less likely to be nationalists than ever before.

Alberto Manguel
Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)

There is no way to step back from the orgy of kisses without offending.

Daniel Francis
Acadia's Quiet Revolution

Revolutions need popular heroes, and unpopularvillains, and the Acadians of New Brunswick had both.

Stephen Henighan
Vanished Shore

To build a city on land flooded by the tides isn’t just a mistake—it’s utopic.

LISA BIRD-WILSON
Distant Early Warning

We think of the Arctic as pristine and untouched—but nowhere on the planet is as harshly impacted by climate change.

Alberto Manguel
Libraries without Borders

Reading is a subversive activity and does not believe in the convention of borders.

Stephen Henighan
Happy Barracks

In Hungary, goulash socialism becomes difficult to swallow

Alberto Manguel
How I Became a Writer of Colour

Airport security assures Alberto Manguel that he has been randomly picked.

Alberto Manguel
Beginning at the Beginning

To teach us how to read Don Quixote, a text so contrary to conventional literary tradition, the prologue itself needed to break from all traditions

Stephen Henighan
Caribbean Enigma

Unravelling the mysteries of Alejo Carpentier

Alberto Manguel
The Devil

We insist The Devil whispers horrible things in our ear and inspires our worst deeds.

LISA BIRD-WILSON
Smashing Identity Algorithms, Yes Please

While status registration under the Indian Act is a construct, claiming status identity isan important factor in Indigenous identity and cultural transmission.

Stephen Henighan
Victims of Anti-Communism

Anti-communism, retired by most Western governments,receives monumental status in Canada

RICHARD VAN CAMP
Buried Treasure

Mary Schendlinger challenges a review of a biography of Blanche Knopf, the underrecognized co-founder of Alfred A. Knopf Inc.

Stephen Henighan
Ethnic Babies

Stephen Henighan discusses the crude first steps to finding a new way to talk about racial reality.

Alberto Manguel
Reporting Lies

The craft of untruth has been perfected.

LISA BIRD-WILSON
Clowns, Cakes, Canoes: This is Canada?

Romantic notions that equate Indigenous peoples with nature are not going to cut it.

Rob Kovitz
Question Period

Rob Kovitz compiles the pressing questions of the day—"How are they gonna beat ISIS?" And, "On Twitter, who cares?"

Stephen Henighan
Write What You Can Imagine

Like most advice given to writers, the injunction to “write what you know” is misleading.

Stephen Henighan
City Apart

The idea of Europe is incarnated nowhere as much as in St. Petersburg—Stephen Henighan on Europe's greatest city.

Alberto Manguel
I Believe Because It’s Impossible

Memories lie because they build on memories. I think that I remember something, but in fact I remember remembering it, and so on through countless layers of memory. Every memory is a mise en abyme.

Rob Kovitz
Because a Lot of Questions Are Complex

Begging the question of what can be defined as “form.”

Stephen Henighan
Power of Denial

The crowds learned that they could not act effectively in the present without confronting the past, specifically the historical treatment of indigenous people.

Stephen Henighan
Treason of the Librarians

On the screen, only the image—not the word—can become the world.

RICHARD VAN CAMP
Grey Matters

It all started with a zesty little book about getting old.

Daniel Francis
Umpire of the St. Lawrence

Donald Creighton was a bigot and a curmudgeon, a cranky Tory with a chip on his shoulder. He was also the country’s leading historian, who changed the way that Canadians told their own story.

Alberto Manguel
Pistol Shots at a Concert

The novelist can often better define reality than the historian.

Stephen Henighan
Phony War

"We know that life-altering and possibly cataclysmic change is coming, and we continue to live as we have always done."

Alberto Manguel
Power to the Reader

"Since the beginning of time (the telling of which is also a story), we have known that words are dangerous creatures."

Daniel Francis
Birth of a Nation

Lacking in drama and embarrassingly undemocratic, Canada’s origins owe a lot to old-fashioned politics and not much to European battles or transcontinental railways.

Alberto Manguel
In Praise of Ronald Wright

"Authenticity is the essential quality of all travel literature, imaginary or real."

Alberto Manguel
Fist

Alberto Manguel examines the rich symbology of the fist, a primal symbol of rebellion and grief, across cultures and history.

Stephen Henighan
Cross-Country Snow

"Cross-country skiing offered me the reassurance sought by the immigrant who is excluded from his locality’s history: a viable alternate route to belonging."

Stephen Henighan
Immigrants from Nowhere

Stephen Henighan asks: what if you don't have a tidy answer to "Where are you from?"

Daniel Francis
Time for a Rewrite

Aboriginal people are creating a new version of Canada, and non-Aboriginals can lend a hand or get out of the way—Daniel Francis on the new Canadian narrative.

Daniel Francis
When Treatment Becomes Torture

Daniel Francis discusses Canada's failing mental health care system and its long history of mistreatment.

Stephen Henighan
Offend

The writer who is loved by all, by definition, neglects literature’s prime responsibility: to offend.

Daniel Francis
Acts of Resistance

"Resistance to wars is as much a Canadian tradition as fighting them." Daniel Francis discusses alternative histories, anti-draft demonstrations and the divisive nature of war.

Alberto Manguel
The Armenian Question

"Sometimes, in politics or history, certain words, certain names are sufficient unto themselves: it is as if there were names that once pronounced require no further telling."

Alberto Manguel
Jewish Gauchos

European Jewish artisans on horseback in Argentina.

Stephen Henighan
Campus Confidential

"In the public eye, universities have never recovered from the antics of Donald Sutherland as Professor Jennings in the 1978 film Animal House."

Daniel Francis
Park In Progress

Daniel Francis asks why a high-speed commuter route runs through Stanley Park, Vancouver's precious urban oasis.

Alberto Manguel
Not Finishing

"A library is never finished, only abandoned." Alberto Manguel on incompletion, voluntary interruption and the pleasure of the day before.

Stephen Henighan
Iberian Duet

The assumption of mutual comprehensibility between speakers of Spanish and Portuguese creates a culture of mutual ignorance.

Alberto Manguel
A Novel for All Times

Alberto Manguel's column from Geist 93 about how the most important Turkish novelist of modern times took over fifty years to reach English-speaking audiences.

Daniel Francis
We Are Not a Nation of Amnesiacs

"Canadians have long been convinced that we do not know much, or care much, about our own history, but a new study suggests that this truism is not true."

Stephen Henighan
Fighting Words

A look back at World War I as the first great twentieth-century pollution of language.

Alberto Manguel
Reading the Commedia

An appreciation of Dante's "Commedia."

Stephen Henighan
Homage to Nicaragua

Despite hardships and dangerous slums, Nicaragua maintains a sense of hope that draws back to the democratic days of the Sandinistas.

Daniel Francis
Magical Thinking

The canoe as a fetish object, a misreading of Canadian history and a symbol of colonial oppression.

Alberto Manguel
Role Models and Readers

Ruskin's readers have the power to know that there is indeed room for Alice at the Mad Hatter's table.

Alberto Manguel
Imaginary Islands

In order to discharge ourselves of certain problems, why not simply erase from our maps the sites of such nuisance?

Alberto Manguel
Face in the Mirror

What does it mean to "be" yourself? The face reflected in the mirror is unrecognizable.

Stephen Henighan
The Market and the Mall

In the farmer’s market, a quintessentially Canadian setting, much of Canada is not visible.

Daniel Francis
Sex, Drugs, Rock ’n’ Roll and the National Identity

In this essay, Daniel Francis discusses how Gerda Munsinger—a woman with ties to the criminal underworld—shaped Canadian politics in the 1960s.

Alberto Manguel
The Other Side of the Ice

Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner is a film about community and the north.

EVELYN LAU
Love Song to America

Reflections on John Updike's death.

Alberto Manguel
Geist’s Literary Precursors

The Geist map has a venerable ancestor that goes back four centuries and halfway around the world.

Sheila Heti
American Soul

Slot machines sing their astral music. The tape recorder turns off. “Do you talk to friends about sex?” he asks.

Annabel Lyon
Irony-Free Reality TV

There may be more to reality TV than meets the eye.

Alberto Manguel
Cooking by the Book

I'm always looking for the moment in which a character must stop to eat because, for me, the very mention of food humanizes a story.

Stephen Henighan
How They Don’t See Us

During the 1980s the literary critic Edward Said organized occasional research seminars at Columbia University in New York.

Alberto Manguel
My Friendship With Rat And Mole

The books we love become our cartography.

Daniel Francis
Afghanistan

One thing Canadians have learned from our armed incursion into Afghanistan is that we do not have a vocabulary for discussing war or warlike events.

Daniel Francis
African Gulag

The atrocities were carried out in the name of some version of “civilization” that the Queen represented.

Alberto Manguel
Neighbourhood of Letters

There are imaginary cities for scientists, vampires, lechers and even bad students—but what about writers?

Daniel Francis
Identity in a Cup

Is it the icons of Canadian pop culture—hockey fights, Tim Hortons coffee, Don Cherry’s haberdashery, Rick Mercer’s rants—that reveal the deepest truths about us?

Daniel Francis
Come to the Cabaret

The Penthouse, the notorious Vancouver night club, shares a history with several of the city's missing women cases.

Alberto Manguel
Dante in Guantánamo

After fol

Stephen Henighan
Canada for Spartans

Stephen Henighan exposes the errors, omissions and problems with the Conservative party's study guide for Canadian citizenship.

Alberto Manguel
Burning Mistry

Alberto Manguel examines a modern-day book burning and asks: how is this still happening?

Stephen Henighan
Language and Nation Now

Do shared languages form the natural boundaries of any nation in the world?

JILL MANDRAKE
A Backward Glance or Two

Review of "Let the World Have You" by Mikko Harvey.

Sara Cassidy
The Lowest Tide

Nature’s sanctity is the only portal to the future.

Michael Hayward
ADVENT (AND OTHERS) IN A BOX

Review of "Short Story Advent Calendar" by Hingston & Olsen Publishing.

Gabrielle Marceau
Main Character

I always longed to be the falling woman—impelled by unruly passion, driven by beauty and desire, turned into stone, drowned in flowers.

Michael Hayward
Wanda x 3

Review of "Wanda" written and directed by Barbara Loden, "Suite for Barbara Loden" by Nathalie Léger, translated by Natasha Lehrer and Cécile Menon and "Wanda" by Barbara Lambert.

David Sheskin
PRESS 1 IF

PRESS 1 IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE HEARD THE BIG BANG.

Patty Osborne
Teenaged Boys, Close Up

Review of "Sleeping Giant" directed by Andrew Cividino and written by Cividino, Blain Watters and Aaron Yeger.

CB Campbell
Joe and Me

Playing against the fastest chess player in the world.

Mazzy Sleep
Heart Medicine

"You have bruises / There was time / You spent trying to / Heal them. / As in, time wasted."

Debby Reis
Dreaming of Androids

Review of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? " by Philip K. Dick.

Anson Ching
Further Years of Solitude

Review of "Black Sugar" by Miguel Bonnefoy.

Jonathan Heggen
A Thoughtful Possession

Review of "The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories" edited and translated by Jay Rubin.

Jennilee Austria
Scavengers

That’s one for the rice bag!

Michael Hayward
Sitting Ducks

Review of "Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands" by Kate Beaton.

Peggy Thompson
What It Means To Be Human

Review of "All the Broken Things" by Geoff Inverarity.

David M. Wallace
Red Flags

The maple leaf no longer feels like a symbol of national pride.

Mia + Eric
Future Perfect

New bylaws for civic spaces.

Daniel Francis
Future Imperfect

Review of "The Premonitions Bureau " by Sam Knight.

Stephen Henighan
In Search of a Phrase

Phrase books are tools of cultural globalization—but they are also among its casualties.

KELSEA O'CONNOR
Rocks in a Hard Place

Review of "A Field Guide to Gold, Gemstone & Mineral Sites of British Columbia, Volume Two: Sites within a Day’s Drive of Vancouver" by Rick Hudson.

April Thompson
Prayer and Declaration

Review of "Monument" by Manahil Bandukwala.

Stephen Henighan
Collateral Damage

When building a nation, cultural riches can be lost.

Jeremy Colangelo
i is another

"my point that / i is but a : colon grown / too long"

Danielle Hubbard
The muse hunt

"The following resume / arrived by fax: One ex-military / man, 52, applying / for duty ..."

CONNIE KUHNS
Marriage on the Download

If marriage was a television show, it might look something like this.