Boombats, Tony Desantis’ New Comedy Web Series

Boombats, Tony Desantis’ New Comedy Web Series

Tony DeSantis was born and raised in the east end of Montreal, Quebec. He grew up in a predominately Francophone neighbourhood but his Italian parents managed to maintain family traditions while assimilating into Canadian society. It is perhaps this unusual Franco-Italo-Canadian upbringing that provided the fodder for his most recent web series, the absurd yet entertaining, Boombats. To create a…

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Lives of Ordinary People: Licia Canton’s The Pink House and Other Stories

Lives of Ordinary People: Licia Canton’s The Pink House and Other Stories

The Pink House and Other Stories (Longbridge Books, 2018) is Montreal writer Licia Canton’s second collection of short stories after Almond, Wine and Fertility (2008). In her latest volume, Canton narrates the lives of ordinary people facing challenging times, drawing from her own personal experiences, as a writer, a daughter, a mother and as an Italian immigrant living in Montreal. With her straightforward…

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Contemplating Machines in Terri Favro’s Generation Robot

Contemplating Machines in Terri Favro’s Generation Robot

I’ve turned on my computer to write this review of Terri Favro’s new book, Generation Robot (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018), and I find it challenging to put into words how the book has affected me. Like Terri, I too vividly remember our milk, bread, and eggs arriving at our place by horse-drawn carts, and my mother telling me to announce the arrival so…

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Ethical Dilemmas in Rene Pappone’s The Partisan Brigade

Ethical Dilemmas in Rene Pappone’s The Partisan Brigade

In Rene Pappone’s latest novel, The Partisan Brigade, a long-kept secret haunts a man. He still harbours the painful memory of the injustice that embittered his family. If he returns to the place where, in tragic circumstances, he acted against his own beliefs, would he finally find solace? Pasqualino Leone has been asking himself that question ever since he returned to Canada…

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Waiting for Chrysanthemums, a Novel from the Grey Zone

Waiting for Chrysanthemums, a Novel from the Grey Zone

Border towns can be grey zones with split identities, regions where loyalties are divided, nations kiss, laws are broken, and boundaries are both enforced and transgressed. As literary settings, borders offer up stories that defy easy categorization: American Jeffrey Eugenides’ Detroit-based novel Middlesex and Canadian Craig Davidson’s Niagara Falls-based Cataract City come to mind as excellent examples of the form. I grew up on…

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Fellini Summer

Fellini Summer

The gala to launch the Fellini Spectacular Obsessions Exhibit at TIFF Bell Lightbox this summer seemed to prove the long-held suspicion that if you want to attend a fun party in Toronto, go to one thrown by Italians. It all started, appropriately enough, with a wild party. Perhaps “wild” is an overstatement. After all, we are talking about a party…

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Thunder Bay to LA: Dina Morrone’s Moose Play

Thunder Bay to LA: Dina Morrone’s Moose Play

From the evening of Friday, June 3 to the afternoon of Sunday, July 24, 2011, the audiences of Los Angeles were treated to the extended run of Dina Morrone’s engaging and thought-provoking new play, Moose on the Loose. I had the very distinct pleasure of attending the opening night and its final performance, whereupon I realized the magic that this theatrical…

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In Search of Divine Connection

In Search of Divine Connection

In The Honeymoon Wilderness (Mansfield, 2002), Pier Giorgio Di Cicco writes the kind of poetry that traces the cartography of the ordinary acts of living and how they make contact with our existential questions and the soul's longings. Di Cicco's voice attains a dazzling level of lyrical and spiritual power in this book of new poems, since he broke his publishing silence…

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City of a Perilous Legacy

On June 10, 1940, and in the months following, while Canada was at war against Italy, hundreds of Italian Canadian men across the country were arrested by virtue of the War Measures Act. Terrified men, some as young as eighteen and others in their seventies, were whisked away to internment camps in the Canadian bush to serve a sentence as…

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