Monday, July 28, 2014

Kociejowski on Syria

Poet and cultural critic Marius Kociejowski appeared on Vatican Radio Friday to discuss the present plight of the Syrian people.  "We have to remember, the horror hasn't stopped," Kociejowski comments: "the barrel bombs are being dropped on Aleppo every single day, people are being tortured in prisons, the regime is feeling comfortable enough to arrest those people involved in the very first peaceful protests, and those people are being killed in the prisons, and this will continue.”

Look for Kociejowski's new collection of essays "The Pebble Chance" this fall.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Night of the Living Deals

Can you dig it?

Despite the construction, the Walkerville Night Market is still on tonight! Come out between 5 and 10pm for some good-times, great finds and even better books! For information about parking, visit or give us a call at 519 968 2206.

Hope to see you there,


Monday, July 21, 2014

"Why Marijuana is Boring"

A pro-MJ celebration in Denver, CO.
In response to the decision by Washington State to legalize marijuana use, a blog columnist at the Vancouver Sun elected last week to write a feature on why, to him, marijuana is boring. Further to that decision he elected—in an offbeat-if-not-unwelcome move—to use as his argumentative springboard Ray Robertson's I Was There the Night He Died, from which he'd heard Ray read at the Ottawa Writer's Festival and which he apparently enjoyed. ("Many people seem to get quite excited about marijuana," runs the Sun's photo caption, "but, as Canadian novelist Ray Robertson notes, it's not exactly conducive to good conversation.") The piece has—perhaps unsurprisingly in Vancouver—triggered a few indignant comments from the four-twenty crowd in defense of Mary Jane. Thought it might amuse.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Filippo Bologna's The Parrots excerpted on BITSblog

“Let’s say a trapeze artist in a circus gets one of his moves wrong on the first night of the show. Luckily, his partner has good reflexes and catches him. The number goes down well, the audience don’t notice a thing and happily applaud. Then, when the show is over, the two of them clear things up in the caravan, and that’s the end of it.”
      The two men began circumnavigating the aviary.
    “Now let’s say the trapeze artist makes the same mistake on the second night. This time his partner misses him… The audience hold their breath, then applaud in relief. There was a net underneath. When the show’s over the owner of the circus goes to the trapeze artist’s caravan. He comes out after a while…”
The Publisher stopped—they had now walked halfway round the aviary—then resumed walking, again slowly dragging The Writer with him.
    “Now, let’s say the trapeze artist gets the same move wrong for a third night running. There’s complete silence under the big top. Everyone’s holding their breath, thinking—”
    “As long as there’s a net,” said The Writer, interpreting the audience’s thoughts.
    “There had been. The circus owner had had it taken away.”
    “And you know why he had it taken away?”
    “Because he loved the circus more than he loved the trapeze artist.”


Italian writer Filippo Bologna's gut-busting send-up of the publishing industry and prize-culture excerpted on the Biblioasis Translation Series blog, courtesy of our friends at Pushkin Press. Happy weekend reading, and be prepared to laugh!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

We Learned it at the Movies

"Though it’s set in a different country, English readers might be reminded of NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names....In language laced with Cuban Spanish and Russian-accented English, the story is informed by its political context but still manages to evoke that magical form of thinking that children in particular possess." 
Granma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secret takes the lead in The Globe and Mail's most recent small press books round-up

And in case you missed it, Benjamin Woodart's recent in-depth and very smart reading of the novel over at Numero Cinq is well worth checking out. Especially recommended for film buffs, it highlights the many ways in which Ondjaki slyly references and deconstructs the Hollywood adventure story throughout the book, and it even includes a specific count of the number of times the word "movies" appears in the novel. So crack out the popcorn, sit back, and enjoy Woodart's performance. Here's a taste:
"These children know how movies work, and apply this knowledge to create an adventure...By constantly having his characters live out and reference moments from their favorite films, Ondjaki’s narrative succeeds on two fronts: first, a steady verbal rhythm is created. The word “movie” appears 26 times throughout the thin volume, and with each mention, the reader is simultaneously transported back to the previous mentions (a flashback-within-a-flashback, if you will) while also propelled forward within the narrative. This creates a wonderful looping rhythm to both the piece and the language within. Secondly, these moments reinforce to the reader the fantasy that is the novel: Only in a film would a ragtag group of youngsters take on a military force with nothing but their wits and courage. And this is where Ondjaki’s flashback structure also helps cleverly underline the narrative as that of playful, rambunctious popcorn. Knowing the mausoleum will be ruined at the beginning of the story allows the reader to fully embrace the events that lead up to the explosion." 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Attention for Ondjaki

Happy Monday!

This week it's Ondjaki's Granma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secret that has been getting all of the attention.  The Winnipeg Review's Thomas Trofimuk examines Ondjaki's work (translated by Stephen Henighan) which is part of the Biblioasis International Translation Series.


Monday, July 07, 2014

All Saints: A book to watch

Good morning readers, I hope you all had a great weekend and a happy 4th of July!

More praise has been pouring in for KD Miller's All Saints.  This time it was the Midwest Book Review who featured All Saints in their Reviewer's Bookwatch. 

"Expertly crafted short stories that perform an impressive story arc and engage the reader's fascinated attention from first page to last, All Saints is an extraordinary anthology that documents author K.D. Miller as an impressively gifted and original writer ... highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections."

Have a great week,


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Praise for Kathy Page and K.D. Miller

Morning All! 

I hope you had a wonderful Canada Day, we certainly did here at Biblioasis! 

Kathy Page's Paradise and Elsewhere has been racking up the praise this week.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune review called it "A mind-bending collection of stories about transformation and adaptation, full of startling ideas, capricious characters and uncanny goings-on ... Paradise & Elsewhere is composed of elastic language and distorted reflections, each story boldly illuminating as it playfully confounds."

In their Canada Day blog That Shakespearean Rag made a list of their top 5 books so far this year and we are so proud that two of our authors were included.  About Paradise and Elsewhere they said “Kathy Page’s new collection is cast in the fabulist mode of Angela Carter, with stories about a society that has outlawed kissing due to an orally transmitted virus, a sea creature who takes the place of a lighthouse-keeper’s missing wife, and a journalism student who takes the notion of communing with nature to a bizarre and unsettling extreme.”

Also featured in That Shakespearean Rag's top 5 books was K.D. Miller’s All Saints. “All Saints is infused with humour, a surprising degree of eroticism, and an uncompromising eye for human fallibility and frailty."