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This Week in Reviews!

On the Origin of the Deadliest Pandemic in 100 Years coverIN THE NEWS!

ON THE ORIGIN

Elaine Dewar, author of On the Origin of the Deadliest Pandemic in 100 Years: An Investigation (August 31, 2021), was featured in a Q&A with Marsha Lederman in The Globe and Mail, titled “Canadian author Elaine Dewar’s book raises troubling questions about the origins of COVID-19”! The article was published online on September 10. You can read it here.

In the interview, Elaine Dewar states:

“I want to get at how come that happened. And I don’t want people to forget it. Because we have [27,000] dead people whose deaths might have been avoided if we had acted with speed. And if we had acted from a science point of view, as opposed to from a political point of view.”

And don’t miss the launch of On the Origin of the Deadliest Pandemic in 100 Years next week! Join us on Facebook Live or YouTube on Wednesday, September 15 at 6PM EDT!

Get your copy of On the Origin here!

DANTE’S INDIANA

Quite a bit of news for this title! Randy Boyagoda’s Dante’s Indiana (September 7, 2021) received a positive review in the Toronto Star! The review was published online on September 3, and it will appeared in their print issue that weekend. You can read it on their website here.

Reviewer Alex Good wrote,

“Boyagoda set himself a challenge, and it’s one that he’s up to … Boyagoda makes it seem easy with a series of apt similes … This is the sort of imaginative verbal panache that in our own vernacular pays tribute to Dante as literary guide … The classics, however, are always reimagined in ways that respond to the personal anxieties and public crises of our own time. In the shattered funhouse of the twenty-first century we may be expected to redefine the content of a faith that sustains.”

Dante’s Indiana also received a rave review in the Plough Quarterly! The review was published online on September 3. It will appear in their print issue as well. You can read it on their website here.

Reviewer Mike St. Thomas wrote,

“Randy Boyagoda’s Dante’s Indiana is many things—knee-slapping satire, social commentary, spiritual pilgrimage. But above all, it is an attempt to bring contrapasso to bear on contemporary American life, both implicitly and explicitly … As in his first novel, Boyagoda mixes the sacred and profane to great effect … By locating the sacred within the profane, Dante’s Indiana offers a counternarrative to that of the culture wars … Boyagoda’s novel is hilarious and deeply touching.”

Dante’s Indiana received a great review in Desi News, and it was the feature title! The review was published on September 1. It’s available online and in their print September issue. You can read it on their website here.

Desi News wrote,

Dante’s Indiana is, like the first book, about Prin’s adventures in a world that is crazy and chaotic for a man of faith. And it is, also like the first, real, yet surreal. Hugely funny, yet poignant … Many of us will find our stories reflected in Boyagoda’s work, we’ll meet people we know.”

Dante’s Indiana also received a rave review in North Texas Catholic. The review was published on September 8. You can read it on their website here.

Reviewer Susan Moses raved,

“Full of memorable characters and as fast-paced as the roller coaster that will be the main ride of hell, the novel reads like a movie script … Even when the plot descends into dark topics, Boyagoda’s eye for wit keeps the novel lighthearted … Sometimes absurd, sometimes witty, the humor of Dante’s Indiana is always thoughtful, never hurtful, and often satirical … As Prin makes his path through the twists and turns of this novel, he never gives up hope that heaven awaits on the other side of purgatory.”

Finally, Dante’s Indiana was included in NOW Toronto‘s list “The 15 best new books to read this fall”! The list was published online on September 10, and it will appear in their print issue. You can read it on their website here.

Reviewer Susan G. Cole praised,

“Another sharp satire from one of Canada’s best writers.”

Get your copy of Dante’s Indiana here!

White Shadow coverWHITE SHADOW

Roy Jacobsen’s White Shadow (April 6, 2021) received a great review in Book Post USA! The review was published on September 7. You can read the review on their website here.

Reviewer Robert Karron wrote:

“Seldom do we find a protagonist who pushes against her confinement as subtlety and deftly as Ingrid does, and who allows herself, while trapped in circumstances that are beyond her control, to be so open, inquisitive, and even loving. In White Shadow, Jacobsen offers a portrait of a woman who is single-minded but not rigidly so, purposeful but not devoid of feeling … The intensity of feeling just beyond the actions described, and the effort itself of forging language to capture their evanescent reality, seems like a literary accomplishment in the family of more overtly ‘sophisticated’ novelists like Thomas Bernhard or W. G. Sebald.”

Get your copy of White Shadow here!

HOUSEHOLDERS

On Friday, September 3, Kate Cayley’s Householders (September 14, 2021) received a rave review from Kerry Clare’s Pickle Me This! You can read the review on the website here.

Kerry Clare wrote,

“Literally took my breath away … Kate Cayley is splendid in her deft arrangement of the sentence, and in her depiction of the quotidian but just askew enough to be new and surprising. These stories are rich, absorbing, and oh so satisfying, and I predict this as one of the big books of the fall literary season.”

Get your copy of Householders here!

THE SINGING FOREST

Judith McCormack’s The Singing Forest (September 21, 2021) received a great review in the Ottawa Review of Books! The review was published on September 9. You can read the review on their website here.

Reviewer John Delacourt wrote:

“Yet there is nothing bleak or drained of life in The Singing Forest, despite such harrowing scenes. The energy of the prose does not falter, transcending the expectations—if not the limitations—of a crime drama. The interiority of Leah Jarvis’s transformation in the narrative lacks some of the tonal variation and visceral impact of the chapters devoted to Drozd, but she ultimately achieves a balance of darkness and light that, aptly enough, rhymes with something like justice. Which is fitting, because the scope of McCormack’s ambition is nothing less than a poetic meditation on the mutability of identity, and with The Singing Forest, she succeeds.”

Get your copy of The Singing Forest here!