by Graham Swift

It’s been a recent trend in filmmaking to withhold the picture’s title until the very end, as if the audience had been entirely in the dark about what it was watching until the credits rolled. The title story of England and Other Stories, Graham Swift’s first book of short stories in 30 years (all of them previously unpublished), functions similarly—but less coyly. It is the collection’s caboose, but also its coxswain. Read more…

by Ann-Marie MacDonald

The three-tiered Anglo-Saxon name of her new novel’s protagonist is just one of many suggestions that Ann-Marie MacDonald wasn’t kidding when she said in a recent interview that “everything” she writes is autobiographical. Like her creator, Mary Rose MacKinnon was born on a German military base to a Cape Breton-born father and mother of Lebanese extraction, is the Toronto-based author of two bestselling novels (young adult fantasy in this instance) and is married to Hilary, a theatre director (MacDonald is married to the theatre director Alisa Palmer). Like MacDonald, Mary Rose endured an agonizing coming out process; her mother’s withering reaction—“I would rather you had cancer”—turns out to be one of Adult Onset’s non-fictional elements. Read more…

by Frances Itani

Set a year after the end of the First World War, Frances Itani’s Tell, which has been longlisted for the 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize, is a portrait of two small-town Ontario marriages left rudderless by loss. Read more…