Culture & Conversation


Mot/town: Alice Zorn

The Point is a neighbourhood of contrasts and history, where street names sound like they belong in Liverpool and kids run around speaking a French that wouldn’t be out of place in Les Plouffe circa 1953.

Gay paree

Novelist Will Aitken, my fellow Queer Film Classics book series author (Death in Venice, on Visconti’s adaptation of the Mann novella), offered his own beautifully intimate account of his process on this very site. Aitken wrestled with the problem of writing non-fiction and the strange durational qualities of basing remarks in fact, as well as his initial skepticism about revisiting a film that he had initially disliked and then mostly forgotten. My own process of writing on Paris Is Burning was precisely the opposite.

Perfect choice

The premise of this play is that a young trust fund kid, on the upper East side of New York, is expecting her dealer when an SAT tutor shows up instead. Ordinarily this is not the kind of story that would arouse my interest, but I saw the first few minutes at the QDF season launch and it caught my eye. I was delighted that it did.

Great combo

What a pleasure to hear well composed new music well performed! Musician/playwright Nick Carpenter teamed up with actor/singer Patricia Summersett (hence, Summersett Fred) to head a sextet that is truly innovative as well as crowd pleasing. At their recent appearance at the Wiggle Room..more known for stand up comics and burlesque..their original pieces of fusion genre were musically captivating.


Mot/town: David Homel

The sun sliced low above the street, on over to the brick wall of his building. David Homel read us a passage from Midway. A dog barked and everyone else had somewhere to go.

The Shooting Star

At 6:00 pm this evening, the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, will be presenting 14 winners with literary awards. Eleanor Catton will be among the recipients of Canada’s highest literary honour for her historical suspense novel The Luminaries. The 28-year-old author has been making headlines around the world, but not just for her GG win. Six weeks ago, Catton won the much-coveted Man Booker Prize. She was the youngest winner for the longest novel (832 pages) in its history.

Thus or thus

There was a lot of drama on stage at the Segal. it came in so many flavours and styles that one had difficulty figuring some of it out. Certainly some of the acting was outstanding. I particularly enjoyed Desdemona, played brilliantly by Amanda Lisman who was convincing as a loving and besotted newlywed. Paul Hopkins was just the right stature and breadth to play a powerful duke. Daniel Bruchu was frenetic and delightful as Cassio. Gitanjale Jain was convincing as both Bianc and a boy. Julie Tamiko Manning had the chops and the elegance to walk away with any scene in which she appeared and was the only one to give the final scene the gravitas in performance that it needed.

Lion heart

The Lion Seeker is a great big story, bursting with messy, vivid life, thick with the blood and dust of history. Isaac Helger’s family emigrates from…


Ambitious past

FICTION: THE ORENDA, BY JOSEPH BOYDEN (PENGUIN CANADA). An ambitious novel of a turning point in the history of the North American continent, The Orenda takes rare multiple perspectives of individuals from several Aboriginal nations, as well as a European newcomer.

2013 Governor General’s Literary Awards

On Thursday, November 28, one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards will be bestowed on 14 winners in 7 categories at a lavish ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. The Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, will be presenting this year`s awards and the $25,000 purse to each of the winners.