Jocelyn Parr

Jocelyn Parr is the author of Uncertain Weights and Measures, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Governor General’s Prize for English language Fiction, the Kobo Emerging Writing Prize, the 2019 Dublin Literary Award, and won the QWF Concordia University First Book Prize. She has a PhD in English literature and is co-founder of Reading to Decolonize. Her writing has appeared in Brick, Grain, Geist, the Montreal Review of Books, MOMUS, and internationally. She is based in Tiotiah:ke (montreal) and teaches history at Dawson College.

Reviews by Jocelyn Parr:

November 1, 2023
Elizabeth Abbott's book fictionalizes Dr. Maude Abbott’s life, revealing how she defied the bounds set for women at every turn.
May 30, 2023
Julian Sher's historical tome shows the Canadian and Montreal connections to the U.S. Civil War, on the Confederate side.
November 3, 2019
Georges Sioui’s Eatenonha: Native Roots of Modern Democracy promises to retell the history of Canadian democracy by tracing its origins back to Indigenous confederations that pre-existed the arrival of Europeans. It’s an exciting promise. Closely related to this effort is a second goal, which is to challenge the Canadian textbook histories that he finds grant an outsized role to the Hodenosaunee Confederacy and ignore the Wendat Confederacy almost completely.
July 6, 2019
My friend picked up Jan Zwicky’s The Experience of Meaning for me on the morning I had what I thought might be the first signs of labour. Were these period-like cramps early contractions, I wondered? What is labour and how do you know when are you in it? It’s a question thick with meaning; reading Zwicky’s book in this liminal time changed the way I thought about and sought to answer this question.
November 3, 2018
Frédérick Lavoie’s For Want of a Fir Tree: Ukraine Undone, translated by Donald Winkler, provides a portrait of Ukraine in the pivotal months surrounding the unseating of President Viktor Yanukovych and the subsequent division of Ukraine into a pro-Europe west and a pro-Russia east. Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 led to outright war between Russian separatist forces (a combination of Ukrainian rebels and imported Russian troops) in the Donbas region and the Ukrainian government.
July 7, 2018
Juliana Léveillé-Trudel’s recently translated novel Nirliit opens with a trip North to Salluit, a “postcard paradise” that is just past Puvirnituq, the “Most Violent Community in Nunavik.” Nirliit means snow geese in Inuktitut, and the narrator identifies with these birds, for she too travels north in the summer and south in the winter. In the opening, the narrator returns to learn that her friend Eva has disappeared. From its first pages, Nirliit resuscitates, albeit somewhat knowingly, the tropes of colonial literature: The disappearing Indian. The fucked up, drunken Indian. The stoic one. The gone.
November 4, 2016
While Testament may find readers everywhere, it will be of particular interest here in Anglophone Montreal, where word of Vickie Gendreau’s extraordinary life and death may have already been heard. Midway through 2012, at the age of twenty-three, Gendreau was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. Less than a year later, she had succumbed to it, but not before writing two books that would make her the darling, the shooting star, the fennec fox of Quebec literature.