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The Past Is Not Such a Foreign Country

The Past Is Not Such a Foreign Country

It was 1811, the year of Napoleon's Comet and the birth of his son. It was a time of a new world order, a time when people held the past in their head and the future in their hands. No better way to describe the inner conflict of the three protagonists in Ann Pearson’s sophisticated historical novel A Promise on…

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Making Sense of a Troubled Life in My Father, Fortune-Tellers & Me by Eufemia Fantetti

Making Sense of a Troubled Life in My Father, Fortune-Tellers & Me by Eufemia Fantetti

Eufemia Fantetti’s most recent book, My Father, Fortune-Tellers & Me: A Memoir (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2019) is a gripping outpouring of grief, confusion, pain, and underlying hope. As the author embarks on an emotionally harrowing journey back to her childhood – to her familial roots in post-World-War II Bonefro, a small mountain town in Southern Italy– we are thrown into…

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Inside the Noisy Bubble of a Totalitarian State: Possess the Air by Taras Grescoe

Inside the Noisy Bubble of a Totalitarian State: Possess the Air by Taras Grescoe

Taras Grescoe presents himself as a travel writer who falls for a place and then looks around for a book idea to justify prolonged dalliance. Shanghai Grand (Harper Collins, 2016) captured the teetering glamour of China’s port city on the eve of the Second World War. His new book, Possess the Air (Biblioasis, 2019) delves into Rome under Mussolini. Definitely not…

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Life, Possibilities, and the Kalahari’s Many Secrets in The Afrikaner by Arianna Dagnino

Life, Possibilities, and the Kalahari’s Many Secrets in The Afrikaner by Arianna Dagnino

Arianna Dagnino was born in Genova, Italy. After Moscow, London, and Boston, she worked in South Africa as a foreign correspondent. In Australia, she earned a PhD in sociology and comparative literature. She currently teaches at the University of British Columbia. Like many of her characters, she shares the nomadic experience. The Afrikaner (Guernica Editions, 2019) is a powerful novel…

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Monica Meneghetti on Upending Conventions and Her Recent Memoir, What the Mouth Wants

Monica Meneghetti on Upending Conventions and Her Recent Memoir, What the Mouth Wants

In her recent memoir, Monica Meneghetti challenges assumptions about relationships between people – some of the things that bring us together as human beings and some that draw us apart – sometimes with dire consequences. Recently, she sat down with Accenti to discuss her book, her love of food, and her love of life.   Throughout your memoir you address…

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Questioning How We Communicate and Why in Domenico Capilongo’s Send

Questioning How We Communicate and Why in Domenico Capilongo’s Send

They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but the image on the cover of Domenico Capilongo's most recent collection of poems, Send (Guernica Editions, 2017), provides a useful hint about the nature and central themes of the poems in the collection itself: a silhouette of a smartphone floats over a bank of clouds in a blue sky;…

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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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