Publications (in article form)

At UVic I was fortunate to make grocery – and, ahem, Friday night – money working at The Martlet, the student newspaper. Besides being paid to be the Classified Ads editor (where the excitement never stopped), I happily volunteered to review free things that arrived in the mail. Sometimes I’d write about novels and films, but most of the time I reviewed local theatre, whose tickets I wouldn’t otherwise pay for. Since then I’ve lost count of how many words I’ve typed about books, although I’m certain the number must be above 250,000. Below are some recent ones, book reviews mostly, with an author profile or interview here and a personal essay there. Most of the titles have links, so you’re free to look at any title that might make you curious.


Advocate a Powerful Story of Small-Town Small-Mindedness.” [review of Darren Greer’s novel]

“Ripper-era England Malevolent Chase Story Compelling.” [review of Steven Price’s By Gaslight]

“Interview: Anosh Irani’s Character Chooses ‘a lesser version of a dream.'” [profile]

“Emily Saso’s The Weather Inside.” [review]

“The Parcel.” [review of Anosh Irani’s novel]

“Joy Kogawa’s Reflections on Global and Personal Wounds.” [review of Gently to Nagasaki]

“Review: The Invisible Dead Sharp, Terrific But Disturbingly Grim.” [review of Sam Wiebe’s novel]

“Nathan Whitlock’s Rise and Fall of a Budding Restaurateur.” [review of Congratulations On Everything]

“Threats Multiply in the Dark Future of Claudia Casper’s Mercy Journals.” [review]

“Carellin Brooks: On Troubled Relationships and ‘Coldly Furious’ Downpours.” [interview]

“Meandering Through St. John’s.” [review of Edward Riche’s Today I Learned It Was You]

“Hungry and Angry.” [review of Mona Awad’s 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl]

“Thirteen Shells.” [review of Nadia Bozak’s novel]

“A Campus for the School of Hard Knocks.” [review of Cordelia Strube’s On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light]

“Nathan Whitlock’s Rise and Fall of a Budding Restaurateur.” [review of Congratulations on Everything]

“Grin-Inducing Farce Takes on Battle of the Sexes.” [review of Scott Gardiner’s Fire in the Firefly]

“The Many, Harrowing Lives of Carmen Aguirre.” [review of Mexican Hooker #1]

“Book Review: Poison Plot Fizzles in Yasuko Thanh’s Artful Debut Novel.” [review of Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains]

“Book Review: Double Dutch by Victoria-Based Author Laura Trunkey.” [review]

“Grin-Inducing Farce Takes on Battle of the Sexes.” [review of Scott Gardiner’s Fire in the Firefly]

“Book Review: Flight Instructions For the Commitment Impaired a Hopeful Bout of Self-Examination.” [review of Nicola Harwood’s memoir]

“Lesbian Couple Not Saved By Fostering Trans Teen.” [profile of Nicola Harwood]

“Book Review: Dark Fun Lurks on Onley Street.” [review of Kathy Page’s Frankie Steyn and the Silver Man]

“‘Black Deutschland’ by Darryl Pinckney.” [review]

Bad Things Happen.” [review of Kris Bertin’s story collection]

“Walking the Paths of Redemption in Crooked Heart of Mercy.” [review of Billie Livingston’s novel]

“Mission Was Impossible.” [Carellin Brooks Interviews Brett Josef Grubisic About From Up River and For One Night Only]

“Tuning in, Turning On and Dropping Out, Age 9.” [review of Sonja Larsen’s memoir, Red Star Tattoo]

“Touching Tales, A Solitary Rant.” [review of The Best Canadian Essays 2015]

“U-G-L-Y, You Now Have an Alibi.” [review of Gretchen E. Henderson’s Ugliness: A Cultural History]

“Glimmers of the Hopeless: The Mare.” [review of Mary Gaitskill’s novel]

“R.M. Vaughan, Bright Eyed: Insomnia and Its Cultures / Michael V. Smith, My Body is Yours: A Memoir of Melancholy Masculinity.” [review]

“Book Review: Puzzling Plot and Pages of Poetic Prose.” [review of John Massey’s The Plotline Bomber of Innisfree]

Two-Gun & Sun.” [review of Jane Hutton’s novel]

“Debut Canadian Novel Channels Bukowski and Palahniuk.” [review of Vandal Confession by Mitchell Gauvin]

“‘Lord Byron’s Prophecy’ by Sean Eads.” [review]

“Margaret Atwood’s Future Holds Little Cheer.” [review of The Heart Goes Last]

“All Inclusive.” [review of Farzana Doctor’s novel]

“Queer Short Stories in English, A Multinational History.” [forthcoming in 2016’s The Edinburgh Companion to the Short Story in English, ed. Paul Delany]

“A Short History of the Queer Short Story.” (co-authored with Carellin Brooks) [forthcoming in 2016’s Cambridge History of the English Short Story, ed. Dominic Head]

“A Paul in Every Story.” [review of Pauls, by Jess Taylor]

You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman.” [review]

“A Dazzling Portrait of a Man Gone Awry.” [review of Anakana Schofield’s Martin John]

“Twisted Comic Paths Lead to Greg Hollingshead’s Act Normal.” [review]

“The Sad Darkness Behind a Best-Selling Author.” [review of Camilla Gibb’s This is Happy]

“Back to the Future in Dystopian Debut.” [review of The Casualties, by Nick Hornstock]

This is Happy: A Memoir, by Camilla Gibb.” [review]

Eulogy Explores a Damaged Past.” [review of Ken Murray’s novel]

“‘The Way Out: A History of Homosexuality in Modern England’ by Sebastian Buckle.” [review]

“A Sideshow of an Appalachian Novel.” [review of Glenn Taylor’s A Hanging at Cinder Bottom]

“‘The Giddy Death of Gays and the Strange Demise of Straights,’ by Redfern Jon Barrett.” [review]

“Inventive Sci-Fi Storytelling from an SFU Microbiologist.” [review of Irina Kovalyova’s Specimen]

“Joan Clark’s The Birthday Lunch, Reviewed: Sorrow Does Not Sleep.” [review]

“Down These Portentous Streets a Man Must Go.” [review of Shawn Curtis Stibbards’ The Video Watcher]

“Debut Novel Inventive But Scattered.” [review of Hollie Adams’ Things You’ve Inherited from Your Mother]

“Short Story Collection Entropic [by R.W. Gray] Takes Dreamlike Turns.” [review]

“Seeing Life Through Grim Prose-Coloured Glasses.” [review of Graham Swift’s England and Other Stories]

“‘Nothing Looks Familiar’ by Shawn Syms.” [review]

“RM Vaughan Tries to Keep Bright Eyed in New Book.” [interview]

“‘Duke’ by Sara Tilley.” [review]

“Author Finds Beauty in a Uzbekistan Wasteland.”  [review of Calvin White’s Letters From the Land of Fear]

“A Helpful Entry to the Lynn Crosbie Literary Universe.” [review of Where Did You Sleep Last Night]

“Short Stories: Guy Vanderhaeghe’s Daddy Lenin is Dark, Deep and Delightful.” [review]

“Michael V Smith’s Memoir on Body Shame and Gay Masculinity.” [profile of My Body is Yours]

“A Smart New Metropolitan-England-Today Novel: Book Review.” [review of Tessa McWatt’s Higher Ed]

Signal to Noise.” [review of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s novel]

“When Lesbian Love Sours.” [profile]

“Helen Humphreys’ The Evening Chorus, Reviewed: Characteristic Eloquence.” [review]

“Humour and Grief Flicker Through Priscila Uppal’s Cover Before Striking.” [review]

“CanLit, With a Mind-Bending Twist.” [review of Alain Farah’s Ravenscrag]

Making Nice by Matt Sumell [review]

“Literary Prizes, Taxpayer Dollars, and a “Values-Void” Novel.” [critical response]

“Debut Novel Presents a Case Study of Agoraphobia.” [review of Michael Christie’s If I Fall, If I Die]

“The Return of Sternbergh’s Noir Hit Man: Book Review.” [Adam Sternbergh’s Near Enemy]

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews.” [review]

“Writer’s Essays Elevate the Precious Parts of Nature.” [review of Christine Lowther’s Born Out of This]

“The Final Appearance of Victoria Grunt.” [story]

“The Contender.” [story]

“Resurfacing (Alternative Lit History series #2).” [story]

“The Search for Heinrich Schlögel, by Martha Baillie: Reviewed.” [review]

“[In Pedal] Author Chelsea Rooney Tackles Family’s Dark Anguish.” [review]

“‘The Prince’s Boy’ by Paul Bailey.” [review]

“Angie Abdou’s Between Thrives on Domestic Culture Clash.” [review]

Will Starling, by Ian Weir. [review]

“A Deadly New Collection of Short Stories.” [review of The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher and Other Stories, by Hilary Mantel]

More Curious by Sean Wilsey.” [review]

“Ellen in Pieces [by Caroline Adderson] Traces a Heart Dented by Experience.” [Review]

Cloud by Eric McCormack.” [Review]

“David Mitchell Conjures Another Whopper of a Tale [review of The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell].” [Review]

“Author Makes Case for Promoting Curiosity.” [Review of Curious by Ian Leslie]

“Q&A: Writer Michael Harris.” [Interview]

“Book review: Prairie Ostrich [by Tamai Kobayashi].” [Review]

Orfeo by Richard Powers.” [Review]

“Grant Buday: Portrait of the Middle-Aged Artist.” [review of Grant Buday’s The Delusionist]

Bad Teeth by Dustin Long.” [Review]

“The Western Home: Stories for Home on the Range” by Catherine Cooper. [Review]

“Collections Tackle ‘Alternate Reality,’ Novelists’ Faults.” [Review of Paradise and Elsewhere by Kathy Page and Novelists by C.P. Boyko]

“Rae Spoon and Ivan Coyote Question ‘The Order of Things.'” [profile of Gender Failure]

“Historical Whodunnit a Playful Historical Pastiche.” [Review of Frog Music, by Emma Donoghue]

“The Age, by Nancy Lee: Review.” [Review]

“Substance Trumps Style in Collection.” [Review of Bark, by Lorrie Moore]

“New Novel Resurrects a Talkative Ghost[ [Review of Local Customs, by Audrey Thomas]

Orfeo, by Richard Powers. [Review]

The November Optimist, by David Zieroth. [Review]

I Was a Fat Drunk Catholic School Insomniac, by Jamie Iredell. [Review here]

The River: A Memoir of Life in the Border Cities, by Paul Vasey. [Review]

For Today I Am a Boy, by Kim Fu. [Review here]

“‘The Outside World’ by Barry Dempster.” [Review]

“Stories Expose Harsh Realities of Youth.” [Review of The Other Side of Youth, by Kelli Deeth]

“Happiness is a Possible Urban Mantra.” [Profile of Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, by Charles Montgomery]

Book Review: Juanita Wildrose, by Susan Downe.”

“‘The Once and Future World’ by J.B. MacKinnon.” [Review]

“Girls Inhabit Gritty World in Anatomy of a Girl Gang.” [Review of Anatomy of a Girl Gang, by Ashley Little]

“Life Interrupted.” [Interview with Fresh Hell: Motherhood in Pieces author Carellin Brooks]

“Book Review: Worst. Person. Ever., by Douglas Coupland.”

Lisa Moore’s Caught: When Plans Go to ‘Pot.’” [Review of Caught by Lisa Moore]

“Book Review: Floating Like the Dead, by Yasuko Thanh.”

“Book Review: Siege 13, by Tamas Dobozy.”

“Epic Tale Would Have Been Better Told in More Than One Book.” [Review of The Headmaster’s Wager by Vincent Lam]

Impact: A Titanic Effort.” [Profile of Billeh Nickerson and Impact: The Titanic Poems]

“Book Review: Monoceros, by Suzette Mayr.”

“British Gay and Lesbian Short Stories” [in The Companion to the British and Irish Short Story, ed. Cheryl Alexander Malcolm and David Malcolm]

“The Substance of Progress.” [Profile of Michael V. Smith and Progress]

“A Lament for the Future of Meaningful Reading.” [Profile of Stan Persky and Reading the 21st Century]

“Bright and Delectable Storytelling.” [Review of The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger]

“Angry Man at War with his Cold World Merits an Ear.” [Review of Mount Pleasant by Don Gillmor]

Not Man Enough?” [Personal essay about watching Spike, a purported network for men, and being a gay man]

“‘Male Enhancement’ and the Cult of the Phallus” [Personal essay about experimenting with male enhancement products]

Short Stories Explore Tumults of Youth.” [Review of Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility by Theodora Armstrong]

End of Days.” [Review of Beatrice & Virgil by Yann Martel, Player One by Douglas Coupland, and The Sky is Falling by Caroline Adderson]

“The Antagonist Paints a Picture of a Flawed, Complicated ‘Hero.'” [Review of The Antagonist by Lynn Coady]

Surface Dwellers.” [Review of JPod by Douglas Coupland]

Margaret Atwood: A Sampling of Thinking and History.” [Review of In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination by Margaret Atwood]

“‘Sweet Tooth‘ by Ian McEwan.” [Review]

“Potential of Artificial Intelligence and Romance Plots Fall Flat.” [Review of A Working Theory of Love by Scott Hutchins]

A Rough Upbringing on the Prairies.” [Review of Whitetail Shooting Gallery by Annette LaPointe]

Motherhood, Mortality, and Occasional Bursts of Joy.” [Profile of Rachel Rose and Notes on Arrival and Departure]

“Book Review: Malarky, by Anakana Schofield.”

“Novel Indicts 1960s-style Canadian Racism.” [Review of Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese]

Bruce Springsteen, Island Life Shape Books by B.C. Authors.” [Review of Walk Like a Man by Robert Wiersema and Stranger on a Strange Island by Grant Buday]

It Starts with a Suicide.” [Profile of Suzette Mayr and Monoceros]

“Book Review: The Measure of a Man, by JJ Lee.”

This London Bears Little Resemblance to Olympic Love-in.” [Review of NW by Zadie Smith]

Breaking Down Aging Stereotypes.” [Review of In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age by Patricia Cohen]

Hell in the Hinterlands.” [Review of Bull Head by John Vigna]

Truth or Fiction? Hard to Tell.” [Review of Life is About Losing Everything by Lynn Crosbie]

Astounding Tales.” [Review of Darwin’s Bastards, edited by Zsuzsi Gartner]

De Botton’s Puckish Philosophy an Ode to Living Right.” [Review of Religion for Atheists by Alain de Botton]

Judy Garland? In Toronto? Aged 138?” [Review of Come Back by Sky Gilbert]

“Book Review: Swamplandia! by Karen Russell.”

Reckless Redemption Trek a Dazzling, Dizzying Read.” [Review of Wild by Cheryl Strayed]

“‘Every Happy Family’ by Dede Crane.” [Review]

“‘The Only Man in the World’ by Faith Johnston.” [Review]

Boredom is a Yawner, but The Steal will Snatch your Attention.” [Review of Boredom: A Lively History by Peter Toohey and The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting by Rachel Shtier]

‘Milosz’ by Cordelia Strube [Review]

“Rough Talk Needs a Tough Editor.” [Review of Once You Break a Knuckle by D.W. Wilson]

“Pico Iyer Explores his Obsession with Graham Greene.” [Review of The Man Within My Head by Pico Iyer]

Love in Life Boils Down to Financial Forces.” [Review of Dollars and Sex by Marina Adshade]

“Book Review: Inside, and Signs and Wonders, by Alix Ohlin”

“Book Review: Ballistics, by D.W. Wilson.”

Poetic Reflection Exposes a Dark Side.” [Review of How Poetry Saved My Life by Amber Dawn]

Book Review: The Hungry Ghosts, by Shyam Selvadurai.”

Blood and Thorns, Secrets and Ghosts.” [Review of A Geography of Blood by Candace Savage]

Novel about U.S. Draft Dodgers Steers Away from Easy Targets.” [Review of Once We Had a Country by Robert McGill]

MaddAddam Recalls Early Atwood.” [Review: MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood]

Weaving Nature Back into Our Cores” [Profile of J.B. MacKinnon and The Once and Future World]

Interview: Tamas Dobozy

Lesser Bainbridge is Still Bainbridge.” [Review of The Girl in the Polka-Dot Dress by Beryl Bainbridge]

If Woody Allen Went to the Track.” [Review of My Year of the Racehorse by Kevin Chong]

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