Quill and Quire

Fiction: Novels

By Linda Spalding

The biblical principle of the sins of the father being visited upon the sons is very much at play in Linda Spalding’s follow-up to her 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award winner, The Purchase. That novel ... Read More »

October 17, 2017 | Filed under: Fiction: Novels

By Greg Rhyno

The most effective vehicles for nostalgia are often sensory: the sight of former stomping grounds revisited after time away; the unbearably saccharine wave of the vodka coolers you swore off after too many notoriously bad ... Read More »

October 10, 2017 | Filed under: Fiction: Novels

By Tristan Hughes

It’s summer in Sitting Down Lake, a community of four cabins in northern Ontario, and Zachary Tayler, the 15-year-old narrator of Tristan Hughes’s fifth novel, struggles with loss and loneliness. “I don’t recall ever thinking ... Read More »

September 25, 2017 | Filed under: Fiction: Novels

By Francis Itani

Frances Itani’s previous book, the 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize–nominated Tell, ends with the clandestine adoption of a baby girl called Hanorah. In Itani’s new novel, Hanorah is all grown up and determined to discover for ... Read More »

September 25, 2017 | Filed under: Fiction: Novels

By Kathleen Winter

Kathleen Winter’s first novel, Annabel, made a deserved splash in 2010: it became a national bestseller and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and a Governor General’s Literary ... Read More »

September 7, 2017 | Filed under: Fiction: Novels

By Claire Messud

Twelve-year-olds are much more sophisticated these days than they used to be, at least in Claire Messud’s fictional Boston suburb of Royston. Best friends since nursery school, Julia Robinson and Cassie Burnes are only in ... Read More »

August 30, 2017 | Filed under: Fiction: Novels

By Anna Porter

The plot of The Appraisal finds Helena Marsh, an art expert skilled at disguises and unusually adept at killing, trying to authenticate a Titian painting for an elderly art collector named Géza Márton, whose family ... Read More »

August 14, 2017 | Filed under: Fiction: Novels

By Kevin Hardcastle

Kevin Hardcastle’s debut novel demonstrates that the violent depredations dramatized in the fiction of Cormac McCarthy are not confined to the Texas–Mexico border: rural Canada works just fine as a locale. In the Cage finds ... Read More »

August 14, 2017 | Filed under: Fiction: Novels

By Wayne Johnston

The publication of Wayne Johnston’s 1998 novel, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, brought as much consternation as praise. While Johnston’s portrayal of Newfoundland’s “father of Confederation,” Joey Smallwood, proved contentious, another character emerged as a ... Read More »

August 14, 2017 | Filed under: Fiction: Novels

By Martha Baillie

Martha Baillie’s sixth novel is a metafictional story told from the points of view of four characters: Clara, a reclusive, mentally ill writer; Julia, a curator and Clara’s sister, who questions Clara’s sanity; Maurice, Julia’s ... Read More »

August 14, 2017 | Filed under: Fiction: Novels

By Michael Redhill

With Bellevue Square, the first panel of a projected triptych titled Modern Ghosts, Michael Redhill puts his protagonist, Jean Mason, through wringer after wringer. As witnesses and vicarious participants, readers can appreciate Jean’s otherworldly predicaments, ... Read More »

July 31, 2017 | Filed under: Fiction: Novels

By Eliza Robertson

It’s a rite of passage for young novelists to tackle rites of passage: the sun-dappled, backward-glancing, coming-of-age fable is as regimented and routinized as any lean-boned crime thriller or bulky, mock-Victorian doorstop. There is currently ... Read More »

July 31, 2017 | Filed under: Fiction: Novels

By Andrew Pyper

Those who think the horror genre is dying may have to reassess after reading Andrew Pyper’s latest work. The Toronto writer’s eighth novel, a neo-gothic adventure with more blood-feeding than a vampire weekend, comes complete ... Read More »

July 20, 2017 | Filed under: Fiction: Novels