The Globe & Mail, the second from The Winnipeg Review. Enjoy, and see you tomorrow!
THE-UP-FOR-GRABS WORLD OF NANCY JO CULLEN'S CANARY"The tawdry lower middle-class milieu of these stories, heavy with drinking and marital strife, calls to mind Raymond Carver, but Cullen’s stories have an open-ended resiliency very different than the sombre American master ... A taken-for-granted sexual transiency is the most strikingly contemporary feature of these stories; if it were written a decade ago the fact that many of the characters are gay, lesbian or bisexual would be seen as a political statement. But in Canary the sexuality of the characters doesn’t define their identity, and is in fact often as transitory and up-for-grabs as every other aspect of their unsettled lives. The quietly radical assumption implicit in the book is that sex isn’t a matter of fixed identity but of opportunistic action ... in story after story Cullen won me over. Their people and situations rang close to life ... Cullen deserves all the acclaim she’s going to receive."
CANARY, BY NANCY JO CULLEN"Consider your most embarrassing moment, suffered because of your family or not. Go on, dredge up that ineradicable instant of humiliation when you were a child, adolescent or young adult, it doesn’t matter what happened, when or where. Nancy Jo Cullen has you beat. The denizens of Canary, her first book of fiction, have soared, crashed, relocated, compromised, given up and started over more often than most of us. This collection is very good … there is plenty here to satisfy, the narrative arc running high and long ... robust, with a wide, compassionate embrace."