Literary Review of Canada April 2020

Where the country’s best writers, thinkers, and artists come to take a stand on the topics that matter most. An unrivalled source of long-form reviews and commentary.

Literary Review of Canada
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10 Issues

in this issue

1 min
our contributors

John Baglow reads and writes in Ottawa. Jeffrey F. Collins is a research fellow with Dalhousie University’s Centre for the Study of Security and Development. He lives in Prince Edward Island. Susan Crean earned a Governor General’s Award nomination for The Laughing One: A Journey to Emily Carr. Brad Dunne is a freelance writer and editor in St. John’s. Sasha Gollish holds a PhD in civil engineering education from the University of Toronto. Tomas Hachard served as a book and movie critic for NPR from 2013 to 2015. Isabel Huggan wrote Belonging: Home Away from Home, a memoir. It won the 2004 RBC Taylor Prize. Adnan Khan published There Has to Be a Knife, his first novel, last year. Hattie Klotz has scribbled down notes for, among others, the Evening Standard, the Ottawa Citizen, and Ottawa Magazine. Mathilde Montpetit…

3 min
coming to the table

BEFORE I IMMIGRATED TO CANADA, I helped a University of Nebraska journalism professor research a book about Standing Bear, the Ponca chief who sued the U.S. federal government in 1879. Argued pro bono by Union Pacific’s chief attorney, his was a landmark court case — the one that finally recognized American Indians as “persons within the meaning of the law.” Standing Bear’s story revolves around the government’s order, in 1877, to forcibly remove the relatively small and politically inconsequential Ponca Nation from its homeland, at the confluence of the Niobrara and Missouri Rivers, to Indian Territory, in what is now Oklahoma. The move, bureaucrats believed, would make it easier to transport treaty provisions to the Great Sioux Nation. And so the Ponca Nation came to find itself in oil-rich lands, more…

6 min

RE: Cut It Out by Lydia Perovi (March) THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR LYDIA PEROVIC’S ARTICLE in the March 2020 issue. It takes enormous courage to speak out about this topic. Perovic is not the first person to compare silencing in an authoritarian regime to silencing by the paralyzing, politically correct dogma of the woke left. People say that the woke left lacks firing squads, and that they have not yet convinced the government to officially censor art. So what, they say, is the problem? We must actually “awaken” to the threat that comes from not fully understanding the power of a new technology. The woke left employs cyberviolence. People’s lives are destroyed online daily. It is more insidious, but no less terrifying, than actual physical violence. Paradoxically, the woke left insists that…

1 min
urgent interspecies telepathy in a sunlit bedroom

For Maureen The chickadee’s wings blurover bed and lamp, missingwith each air-pounding swoopthe turnoff back to its garlandedsky. Drop three pennies in your hand: a third of an ounce,this off-course aviator. I worryfor its heart knocking the glass(500 beats per minute in repose),recalibrating with each collisionthe validity of sight. On a nail,two carved dolphins simulateleaps toward open air. It’d be sogreat to say to this panickedcreature, I’m sorry you’re scared,I know what it means to be a fishout of water, I’m familiar withyour plight — see it shakea few feathers, chirpat the misplacedmetaphor. I close my eyes,will the bird to pause, to pleaseallow the daylight drifting into slip beneath a wingtip,whisper the angleby which towhoosh out and away. Anita Lahey is the author of Out to Dry in Cape Breton and Spinning…

17 min

The poor People cou’d not lay up Provisions, and there was a necessity, that they must go to Market to buy, and others to send Servants or their Children; and as this was a Necessity which renew’d itself daily; it brought abundance of unsound People to the Markets, and a great many that went thither Sound, brought Death Home with them.—Daniel Defoe A FEW KEY FEATURES, LIKE LOCATION, infectivity, symptoms, and susceptibility to treatment, together predict the nature and trajectory of an illness among the bodies of its hosts and victims. Alongside a streaming ticker of joke-no-joke headlines, the newly viral game Plague Inc. throws each of these variables into play, allowing you to put strategy to the service of a pathogen whose goal is to kill off humanity. What is…

11 min
collision course

The Case for Climate Capitalism: Economic Solutions for a Planet in Crisis Tom Rand ECW Press 272 pages, hardcover and ebook Nature’s Broken Clocks: Reimagining Time in the Face of the Environmental Crisis Paul Huebener University of Regina Press 220 pages, softcover UNPRECEDENTED BUSHFIRES AND heat waves in Australia. Increasingly intense hurricanes and cyclones. Melting glaciers and permafrost. Warming and acidifying oceans. Locust swarms devouring east Africa. And in the face of it all, global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. Even if the aspirational Paris Agreement were fully implemented today, we’d still be headed toward a 3.2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature, with far worse, indeed catastrophic consequences. According to the Emissions Gap Report 2019, released by the United Nations Environment Programme this past November, we need far deeper cuts in emissions to stop the unfolding apocalypse —…