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True Detective’s problem with true women in the spotlight

Inevitably showered with praise and awards, the show had many things going for it, but also an undeniable liability – it had a woman problem. In the first True Detective universe, women were mostly showcased via the male gaze, used for run-of-the-mill titillation, or as obvious architectural fodder for “more important” […]

Magic Mike XXL at Globe Arts

What if bros were safe? What if they weren’t dangerous, sexist homophobes, but instead tender and kind – both to each other and to the women in their midst? What if packs of jovial, tank-topped “manly men” weren’t something to steer clear of after dark? What if they were polite, considerate […]

Lost Boi in The Globe and Mail

This subversive and cheeky take on the classic children’s story arrives more than 100 years after Barrie first envisioned Peter Pan in his 1902 adult novel, The Little White Bird. Pan has seen many incarnations since – from an elfish boy clad in green in Disney’s 1953 animated film to Robin Williams’s bumbling grown-up version in […]

The Devil You Know captures the anxiety of Bernardo-era Southern Ontario

It’s delicate work, writing about dead girls. It’s far too easy to stumble into tasteless appropriation, to use the suffering of young women as an intellectual exercise, or for the purpose of lazy provocation. The dead girl is fodder for so many familiar pop-culture narratives, showing up in pulpy genre tales, […]

“Hearts Hot and Time Passing:” Looking back on the early 2000s and its girl outlaws who broke the rules

Nostalgia is a tricky thing because it tends to make the past look better than it was, but I’d be lying if I said I’ve seen a movement in literature as exciting and inspiring as that particular time period since. After years of being told by academic institutions what literature was […]

Diane Schoemperlen’s By The Book is a poetic journey lead by a skilled craftsperson

With each section, Schoemperlen lets you know the liberties she has taken with the source text she’s surgically altered. Sometimes her intervention is minimal, and in other cases it is fascinatingly and exhaustingly complex. “From this massive volume of 1454 pages, I have selected the events that interested me and […]

Adult Onset, by Ann-Marie MacDonald: Review

Yet there is a persistent unease to each domestic tableau in the novel, and there are many. Every action is tightly wrapped in the hysteria of modern parenting — the baby-proofing of coffee tables and toilets, stray pairs of scissors and choking-hazard pennies found by curious toddlers and a beloved […]

Carrie Snyder: en route to a runaway success

Girl Runner is a plot-driven narrative of one of those forgotten women, fictional 104-year-old Aganetha “Aggie” Smart. Now wheelchair-bound, alone and abandoned in a nursing home, Aggie asks, “Who will write my obituary?” now that everyone who knew her is gone. The ambitious and uncompromising Aggie reflects on her rich and […]

Hot, Wet, and Shaking, by Kaleigh Trace: Review

Hot, Wet, and Shaking is written in the tone of a trusted and cheeky friend, confessing secrets that shake loose their shame when spoken aloud. This is not the sex advice of a poised, multi-orgasmic, inaccessible, or clinical expert, but rather the honest musings of a woman in a pair of […]

Emily Gould’s Friendship for The National Post

Gould is indeed a polarizing figure, with constant debates about her validity, and constant vitriol slung her way, but I’ve always viewed her as much more of an admirable literary entrepreneur than an egregious upstart. Gould found success during a time of publishing upheaval, and wisely used the Internet to her […]