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Winter

Adam Gopnik has been reliably surprising us for so long now that there might be a danger of taking him for granted. Step back a bit from his work, though, and it becomes clear just how unusual the fifty-five year-old’s approach is.

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With a Closed Fist

In the 1960s and 1970s, “Canada’s toughest neighbourhood” was neglected, disenfranchised, and prone to outbreaks of fire, roaches, and gangs of kids warring over territory. It was also Dobson’s childhood home.

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Stopping For Strangers

As a rule, Daniel Griffin avoids using exclamation points. The economical, unadorned prose that is the distinguishing feature of his new short-story collection, Stopping for Strangers, doesn’t provide much room for excessive gushing, punctuation marks included.

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The O’Briens

One of the downsides of being a lifelong reader is that one rarely approaches a book innocently, free from the spoiler effects of hype and reputation. I was out of the country, away from the news this summer, when Peter Behrens’ novel The O’Briens came to me in a near pristine state.

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Outside The Box

Writer Maria Meindl inherited thirty-eight boxes of papers from her grandmother Mona Gould. Mona was a big name at one time, but, by the 1960s, she was virtually forgotten.