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Textile artists reclaim narrative through 'Strange Material'

Strange Material: Storytelling through Textiles

by Leanne Prain
(Arsenal Pulp Press,
2014;
$24.95)

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From old Blockbuster video receipts to embroidered pillows to crocheted fabric squares, Strange Material: Storytelling through Textiles by Leanne Prain showcases artists who work with textiles you'd expect to see in a living room, not an art gallery.

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'Nothing Looks Familiar' asks: 'What does it mean to live in a body today?'

Nothing Looks Familiar

by Shawn Syms
(Arsenal Pulp Press,
2014;
$15.95)

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"I won't go out with another man on the killing floor," says Wanda, the narrator of 'On the Line,' in the opening line of Shawn Sym's debut collection Nothing Looks Familiar. "I can't stand the smell of them, or their attitudes."

Wanda's potential suitors work with her in a meat-packing plant, and carry the smell of dead flesh on their skin. Her preoccupation with their bodies' scent is understandable. It is also emblematic of the author's thematic concerns.

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Capitalism must die in order for Indigenous nations to live

Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition

by Glen Sean Coulthard
(University of Minnesota Press,
2014;
$22.50)

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"The master laughs at the consciousness of the slave," wrote Frantz Fanon. "What he wants from the slave is not recognition but work." Recorded in the footnotes of his influen­tial work Black Skin, White Masks, this statement by the anti-­colonial Algerian thinker was meant to refute Georg W.F. Hegel's famous philosophical concept of the dialectical relation between master and slave.

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A bold vision for Canada's future

A Bold Vision: Women Leaders Imagining Canada's Future

by Edited by A Bold Vision Steering Committee
(Women's Network Inc.,
2014;
$18.86)

A bold vision for Canada's future: what would that look like to you?

Would it encompass a new outlook on justice and politics, or would it emphasize equality and equity or would it require a look back on Canada's past in order to better see the future? Would it be all of these things?

When the members of A Bold Vision Steering Committee posed this question to numerous women leaders in Canada, A Bold Vision: Women Leaders Imagining Canada's Future was born.  

The anthology's list of contributors reads like one conjured from the question "If you could have dinner with any Canadian feminist hero, who would it be?"

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The new Canada: A paradox of citizenship and belonging

Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship

by Adrienne Clarkson
(House of Anansi,
2014;
$19.95)

I suspect many of us share Adrienne Clarkson's vision of what Canada is and should be: a place where everyone can belong.

Her latest book Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship, based on the 2014 Massey Lectures she delivered on CBC Radio, offers plenty of philosophical and evidentiary reasons for promoting the admirable concept of shared citizenship.

Yet, somehow, I also suspect that many of us couldn't help wonder whether this grand vision she describes so convincingly is fading away into a past we are already beginning to lament.

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Capitalism vs. The Climate: Who will win?

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

by Naomi Klein
(Penguin Random House,
2014;
$36.95)

On Burnaby Mountain, while oil company Kinder Morgan works to lay a pipeline, growing numbers of people have been standing and resisting since September 3.

Indigenous land defenders and settler allies point out that these are still unceded Indigenous lands. Occupying them to establish the Trans Mountain pipeline, transporting crude oil and refined products from Edmonton to Burnaby, would also bring 890,000 barrels of tar sands oil every day. This at a time when nearly every day another report reveals that our climate is more susceptible to carbon dioxide than we realized, and that we should be keeping it all in the ground to stand anywhere near a chance.

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Celia's Song, Lee Maracle in Conversation with Waubgeshig Rice

Friday, December 5, 2014 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Location

Octopus Books
251 Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Ottawa, ON
Canada
45° 24' 58.7052" N, 75° 41' 48.6744" W

Mink is a witness, a shape shifter, compelled to follow the story that has ensnared Celia and her village, on the West coast of Vancouver Island in Nu:Chahlnuth territory.

Celia is a seer who — despite being convinced she’s a little “off” — must heal her village with the assistance of her sister, her mother and father, and her nephews.

While mink is visiting, a double-headed sea serpent falls off the house front during a fierce storm. The old snake, ostracized from the village decades earlier, has left his terrible influence on Amos, a residential school survivor. The occurrence signals the unfolding of an ordeal that pulls Celia out of her reveries and into the tragedy of her cousin’s granddaughter.

Interview: Eliza Robertson talks #CanLit

Wallflowers

by Eliza Robertson
(Bloomsbury USA,
2014;
$26.00)

Eliza Robertson was born in Vancouver and grew up on Vancouver Island. Her stories have been shortlisted for the Journey Prize and CBC Short Story Prize. In 2013, she won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Her first collection of stories, Wallflowers, came out with Hamish Hamilton Canada and Bloomsbury this year. She lives in England.

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Hot nights, Toronto streets: What is love enough?

Love Enough

by Dionne Brand
(Knopf Canada ,
2014;
$26.99)

Why is Dionne Brand's new novel called Love Enough?

That was a question I asked myself while reading. Of course, I knew I might never have a proper answer. Still, I suppose that one way to answer that question would be to track where love appears, where love is silent, what love does, what love is in proximity to.

On page five! A clue:

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