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From the archives

Our Violent National Game

The great hockey debate continues

Pax Atlantica

NATO’s long-lasting relevance

Allan Hepburn

Allan Hepburn is the James McGill Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature at McGill University.

Articles by
Allan Hepburn

Disaggregated Material

Thomas Wharton’s marvellous new novel July | August 2023
Fiction is like a game. As in sports or virtual reality, rules are established at the outset of a fictional story. How many characters will there be? What capacities do they have? Is the action restricted to a tiny space, maybe a house or a village, or is it dispersed across galaxies? Over what span of time does the story unfold: A single…

The Magic Touch

A new collection from Alexander MacLeod June 2022
Why are Canadians so good at writing short stories? Alexander MacLeod, with his richly textured narratives about the difficulties of being human, is a case in point. Flawless in design and spiked with humour, the eight tales in Animal Person are a tour de force. This collection is MacLeod’s follow‑up to his Giller-shortlisted…

Jagged Little Pills

Douglas Coupland is back November 2021
You can read the sixty stories in Douglas Coupland’s Binge one at a time, or you can wolf them down by the dozen. Each is four or five pages long. Like pills, they deliver quick hits: some will make you feel euphoric, while others will calm you and help you concentrate. The first-person narrators brood on a variety of topics: cystic…

The Riddler

From Russia with love July | August 2021
The twenty linked stories in Mikhail Iossel’s Love like Water, Love like Fire are very funny. They range over time and place, although most centre on life in Soviet Russia between the 1950s and ’80s. Some tales are only a page or two long and have the pithiness and pace of a well-told…

Storeys of Stories

Finding the sublime in the ridiculous June 2020
Maria Reva’s Good Citizens Need Not Fear is a superb debut: wry, unexpected, beautifully crafted, and mordantly funny. Nine interconnected stories follow the fates of several hapless Ukrainians who live at 1933 Ivansk Street, a ten-­storey apartment block built atop a marsh in Kirovka. The narrative is divided into two parts —“Before the Fall” and “After the Fall”— which extend from the 1980s through the collapse of the Soviet…

An Edited Life

A new novel by Alix Ohlin July | August 2019
Robin is an extrovert and makes friends easily. A gifted pianist, she studies at Juilliard and walks out of a concert tour in Scandinavia without a word of goodbye to anyone. After abandoning music, she buys a property in the Laurentians, north of Montreal, which she fences into a compound for wolves. She stores derelict pianos in her barn and plays them from time to…