• Dr. Bethune’s Children

    Dr. Bethune’s Children doesn’t always read like fiction, given the many similarities between the narrator and the author. Like the narrator, Xue grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution, and was shaped by the ideals of the period. In particular, his imagination was captured by the legend of Bethune.

  • Lost in September

    In this deeply layered, poetic, and empathic psychological novel, James Wolfe reappears – in 2017. Traumatized James, or “Jimmy,” wanders the streets of Montreal and Quebec, homeless and haunted by war, his loneliness palpable as he tries to come to grips with the plastic facades of modern life, and continues to grieve his lost eleven days.

  • Policing Black Lives

    Robyn Maynard’s Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present intervenes in the narrative of Canada as the Promised Land, a haven for escaped slaves. Reading it as a Black Canadian woman, the book is a brilliant and powerful validation of our lived experiences.

  • Feel Happier in Nine Seconds

    This is a truly exceptional work, not only for the content – which is rich in both narrative thread and evocative imagery – but also for its visual impact. It is printed in full colour on beautiful paper; materially, it is a quality broadsheet within the pages of a book.

  • Drakkar Noir

    Drakkar Noir, Dodds’s second collection, is quite a return: Dodds re-inhabits his own gory, gothic world with the relish of a contemporary Lord Byron. The title references an arch brand of ’80s cologne, and many poems have a sardonic, sledgehammer musk made up of off-kilter epigrams, heavy rhyming puns, and scenarios that display a fury at the selfishness and idiocy of humans.

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Gastronaut

I would cut off my own thumb for the perfect thimbleful
of wood-ear mushroom and bamboo shoot soup.

My paychecks all go to heirloom parsnips and pickled lamb tongues.
I dream of singed pigs’ feet, pearly cartilage and crisp skin.

By Catriona Wright • "Gastronaut" is taken from the book Table Manners, published by Signal Poetry • Read our review • Posted Filed in Poem of the Month

But When We Look Closer

In But When We Look Closer, her debut collection of eighteen short stories, Susan E. Lloy establishes a literary version of film noir, presenting us with characters whose suffering comes in many forms. In prose that fluctuates between stark and densely cinematic, Lloy explores the inner lives of the lost, the lonely, and the mentally ill.

The Bicycle Thief

If I could go back to my birthplace,    Lanciano,
wander all day up and down the corso,
stop by the cathedral built on the ruins
of a Roman prison and pray,
                                             if I could

By Mary di Michele • "The Bicycle Thief" is taken from the book Bicycle Thieves, published by ECW Press • Read our review • Posted Filed in Poem of the Month

The House on Selkirk Avenue

With The House on Selkirk Avenue, Karafilly offers a richly seductive account of a love affair with and in Montreal, balanced by a realistic portrayal of a woman confronting middle age, obsessed with the passing of time. Readers who allow themselves to fall under its sway will be rewarded.

The Tundra at last

The Tundra at last
Resound my heart
Your music, the river
Your light, the stars
Your carpet, the lichen’s tender green

By Joséphine Bacon • "The Tundra at last" is taken from the book A Tea in the Tundra / Nipishapui Nete Mushuat, published by BookLand Press • Read our review • Posted Filed in Poem of the Month

Hostage

Hostage is the account, as told to Delisle, of how a Doctors Without Borders worker in Nazran, Russia, was kidnapped by Chechen rebels in 1997 and held for three months in an undisclosed location. And there, handcuffed to a radiator in a bare room with a boarded-up window, trying to maintain hope, is where we find Christophe André for most of this remarkable book’s 400-plus pages.

Spacetime

We Twitter, Tinder, Tumblr through eternity. Loquacious text messages flit from fingertips, waves of data spill through our skulls. Every cm2 of oxygen overflowing with bank PINs, girls in yoga pants, the frequencies of whale cries. Digital clouds brim with selfies and rain videos on how to cook coconut shrimp. Sepia filtered photographs prowl for […]

By Yusuf Saadi • "Spacetime" is taken from the book Sonnets on a Night Without Love, published by Vallum • Read our review • Posted Filed in Poem of the Month

Polynya

With the continuing popularity of Scandinavian noir, it was only a matter of time before someone tried their hand at outright Arctic noir. With her second novel Polynya, Montreal author Mélanie Vincelette gamely steps up to the plate with a murder mystery – of sorts – set in Nunavut.

Placeholder image for missing book cover

Job Opportunity at mRb

Are you passionate about books, high-quality writing, and serial commas? Then we want to hear from you! Join the team putting together the only journal reviewing English-language books from Quebec. The Montreal Review of Books seeks an experienced and dynamic Associate Editor to work with the Editor and Publisher on all aspects of the journal. The Associate Editor […]