Issues

September 2010

Why, of all places on the earth, has Bangalore in India become the red-hot capital of “business process outsourcing” (BPO)? Why, if Mexico has profited enormously from the NAFTA deal with the United States, are the southern areas of that country still so impoverished? These are the sorts of questions Mario Polese asks and attempts to answer in his new book, The Wealth and Poverty of Regions, reviewed for us by renowned urban analyst Jeb Brugmann.

Devotion to literature is one thing; devotion to CanLit is quite another, and author and critic T. F. Rigelhof has it in spades. Since 1983 he has been reviewing Canadian fiction for The Globe and Mail, and has now produced what our reviewer Charles Foran calls a miscellany, Hooked On Canadian Books: The Good, The Better and the Best Canadian Novels Since 1984. Rigelhof’s overall mission: to wrest CanLit from the academic specialists and present a generous sample of it to that largely forgotten creature, the general reader.

Historians rarely get such colourful material to work with as Janet Soskice has in her Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels. Reviewer Don Akenson, who has delved repeatedly into the waters of religious history himself, declares Soskice’s book “a terrific read in the Victorian tradition.” That tradition includes dauntless wandering heroines, exotic scenery, oily foreign tricksters and priceless treasure. Akenson’s own story-telling talents are on exuberant display here and will doubtless encourage readers to find Soskice’s book and consume it in large gulps.

Enjoy! Bronwyn Drainie Editor