Archive for November, 2010


Added on November 28, 2010

Soucouyant David Chariandy Arsenal Pulp Press, Canada, 2007 Arsenal Pulp is a very small Vancouver press. Although known in the past for their progressive and gay fiction, they are perhaps better known today for their wide selection of vegan cook books. So, it was a bit of a surprise when Chariandy’s debut novel came from [...]

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The Return

Added on November 25, 2010

The Return Roberto Bolano New Directions, New York, 2010 The Return is another collection of short stories recently translated by Chris Andrews. Andrews has done a great job of translating many of Bolano’s books, beginning with By Night in Chile. In one story, Bolano prefigures a character from his posthumously published opus novel 2666. In another, [...]

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The Farewell Party

Added on November 17, 2010

The Farewell Party Milan Kundera Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1976 This first American Edition is the true first English language edition of one of Kundera’s tragi-comic masterpieces. A British edition with the same cover art came out one year later, in 1977. This edition was translated by Peter Kussi. The Farewell Party is a [...]

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Late Nights on Air

Added on November 12, 2010

Late Nights on Air Elizabeth Hay McClelland and Stewart, Canada, 2007 This Canadian novel won the Giller Prize. It is partly based on Hay’s experiences as a CBC Radio journalist in Yellowknife. In a Canadian Living magazine article, Hay calls Late Nights on Air a story “…about the romance of the disembodied voice.” The Times [...]

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Specimen Days

Added on November 10, 2010

Specimen Days Michael Cunningham Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, New York, 2005 This novel consists of three stories: one from the past; one from the present; and one from the future. The three stories are tied together by, among other things, the poetry of Walt Whitman. According to Wikipedia, the movie rights have been optioned by [...]

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Age of Iron

Added on November 8, 2010

Age of Iron J.M. Coetzee Martin, Secker and Warburg, London, 1990 An old white woman living in Capetown during the apartheid era is dying of cancer. She has always been an opponent of apartheid, but she was insulated form the worst of it, that is, until her black housekeeper’s son brings her into the dark [...]

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Famous Last Words

Added on November 4, 2010

Famous Last Words Timothy Findley Delacorte Press, New York, 1981 I bought this book many years ago at a Canadian used book store and assumed it was a Canadian true first. Only later on did I have a closer look and realize it was the American second printing. I wasn’t then the more meticulous collector I was [...]

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Other Collections

Added on November 2, 2010

Other Collections I wonder how many book collectors collect other things. Personally, I have collected books all my life, but I have also had many other ‘phases’ that I have gone through. There was the toaster phase. Check out my two favourites: the 1940 Toast-o-lator on the left and the 1960 Sunbeam down on the [...]