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Thirteenth Issue
Volume 7, No. 1
 





features

O Mordecai, Where Art Thou?
By Juan Rodriguez


fiction

Quebecite: A Jazz Fantasia In Three Cantos
Reviewed by Kelly Murphy

A House By The Sea
Reviewed by Ian McGillis

The Speaking Cure
Reviewed by Mark Heffernan

The Applecross Spell
Reviewed by Eleni Zisimatos Auerbach

Universal Recipients
Reviewed by Eleni Zisimatos Auerbach

Black Bird
Reviewed by X.I. Selene

A Sunday At The Pool In Kigali
Reviewed by Edward R. Smith

Song For My Father
Reviewed by Mary Soderstrom

The Heart Is An Involuntary Muscle
Reviewed by Kim Bourgeois

Another Book About Another Broken Heart
Reviewed by Poppy Wilkinson

Without Cease The Earth Faintly Trembles
Reviewed by Jessica Ticktin


fiction at a glance

After All!
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Moosehead Anthology #9: Career Suicide! Contemporary Literary Humour
Reviewed by Ian McGillis


non-fiction

Respectable Burial: Montreal's Mount Royal Cemetery
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Shoshanna's Story: A Mother, A Daughter, And The Shadows Of History
Reviewed by Elizabeth Johnston

Louis Riel
Reviewed by Philip Hawes

Tables For One: A Spanish Journal
Reviewed by Sarah Rosenfeld

Practice Imperfect
Reviewed by Joan Eyolfson Cadham

Ha! A Self-murder Mystery
Reviewed by Anne Cimon

Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages
Reviewed by Jill Rollins


non-fiction at a glance

Womankind
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

A Love Of Reading: The Second Collection
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Entering The War Zone: A Mohawk Perspective On Resisting Invasions
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Drive I-95: Exit By Exit Info, Maps, History And Trivia
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Crooked Smile
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Four Hundred Brothers And Sisters
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

After Notman: Montreal Views - A Century Apart
Reviewed by Ian McGillis



poetry

Snow Formations
Reviewed by Bert Almon

In The Worshipful Company Of Skinners
Reviewed by Bert Almon

Bamboo Church
Reviewed by Bert Almon

An Abc Of Belly Work
Reviewed by Bert Almon




young readers

Emma's Story
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

The Mole Sisters And The Fairy Ring
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

The Mole Sisters And The Way Home
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Learning With Animals
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Sink Or Swim
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Suki's Kimono
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Peter's Pixie
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

A Friend For Sam
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Sam's First Halloween
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Tales Of Court And Castle
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Think For Yourself: A Kid's Guide To Solving Life's Dilemmas And Other Sticky Problems
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Nellie Mcclung: Voice For The Voiceless
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte




Universal Recipients
By Dana Bath
$19.95
paper 176 pp.
Arsenal Pulp Press 1-55152-142-3
fiction

Earth mother knows best

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New Document Dana Bath's
is also concerned with feminist issues. The opening story, set in Japan, raises questions about male/female stereotypes, sexuality, and cultural differences. Phrases such as "Being a ghost doesn't make one unafraid of death," or "He glances at me, unsurprised, as if he'd called me and I'd come," mark Bath's attention to detail. Insightfully, she writes, "But sometimes we can't bear for something to be finished because we're trapped inside it." The sense of being trapped pervades the book as characters deal with personal ghosts, sexuality, relationship pain, parental issues, violence, incest, rape, or delusion.

Bath also captures character and place well. From "Bottle Episode": "'Enchantay, enchantay,' says Warren, chewing his fruit log and spraying a little spit." In her description of Tokyo, we read that it is dangerous "Not like losing your wallet or being raped in an alleyway; more like a feral thing cooped inside one of those plastic balls from bubble-gum machines." It's a resonant, intricately spun image.

Most of her stories move in and out of a narrator's interior psychic space. Figuring out one's place in society and the meaning of connectedness are central concerns throughout the book. Observations like "sleep is a familiar place," or "I'm so happy to be here that I'm confused" lend the various narrators and characters depth and sensitivity. "Operculum," the concluding story, is the best example in the book of descent into a narrator's conflicted subconscious. Repetition works well to represent the dream landscape, which is often interrupted by prevailing realities.

Bath, who works best in the non-fragmented narrative mode, has compiled an engaging set of short stories with many instances of insight.

Eleni Zisimatos Auerbach was a finalist for the 2002 National Magazine Awards in poetry. Her work is forthcoming in Musings, a new anthology of Greek Canadian writing (Vehicule Press, 2004)