Culture & Conversation

Posts by Veena Gokhale

Nuanced understanding of “back home”

To read The Girls of Piazza d’Amore is to be transported heart and soul to a Calabrian village in 1950s Italy. Guzzo-McParland creates a warm, sensuous, detailed and compelling portrait of everyday life in Mulirena, which is nestled in the Appenine Mountains.


My friends had always spoken well about MAI over the years, and I was curious to find out more. Knowing a little about its mandate to promote artists from diverse cultural backgrounds, I decide to check out the curtain raiser for their annual cabaret, ECLECTIK. Running May 25-26, ECLECTIK features dancers, writers, actors, songwriters, musicians and interdisciplinary artists. About thirty artists in 13 mini performances reflect the theme ailleurs ici (elsewhere here), which also informs their overall programming for the year.

A Touch of Gothic

Anita Rao Badami’s riveting novel Tell it to the Trees begins with a dead body. Anu, a tenant who lives in the summerhouse of the Dharma family at Merrit’s Point, a small town in Northern British Columbia, is found dead from exposure, during a bitterly cold winter. Not only is Merrit’s Point “at the end of the road,” the Dharma house is totally isolated and their nearest neighbour has boarded up and left.

Drinking the Literary Cocktail

Even as I was flitting about, I had an acute sense of all the simultaneous events I was missing. It was a fitting frame of mind for encountering Gore Vidal, in flesh. Described as a supernova by interviewer Michael Enright (CBC), he remains witty, articulate and iconoclastic, reminding us that all things must pass (he is 85).

When in Canada

The title of the event, Reading Canada: Fiction in English from Coast to Coast, remained an enigma. Both writers admitted to no real fictional grounding in Canada.

Head Turning Sculptures

Lauren Trimble’s first solo exhibition of clay sculptures at L’atelier de sculpture du Village features a time-honoured subject – the human head – but with intriguing…