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From the archives

Untying the Knot

A new book untangles historical confusion and contemporary anxieties about marriage

Thou Art Anxious

Decisions, decisions

Keep in Touch

Why digital connections can’t sustain health, happiness or politics

Bronwyn Drainie

Bronwyn Drainie was editor-in-chief of the Literary Review of Canada from 2003 to 2015.

Articles by
Bronwyn Drainie

Through Youthful Eyes

Eleven months in the Middle East March 2022
In the 1970s, when I worked on CBC Radio’s Sunday Morning, our producer Mark Starowicz drummed one rule into our heads: “Make sure you report accurately the number of steps from the sidewalk up to the doors of the U.S. Capitol. If you get the small things right, the audience will be more inclined to trust you on the big ones.” These wise words came back to me as I began reading Peacekeeper’s Daughter

"I Love Arguing!"

In profound appreciation of Anthony Westell (1926–2017) May 2017
“Guardian angel” are the words that come to mind when I think about my friend and mentor Tony Westell, although he would be the first to scoff at the religious nuance of the phrase. (Tony was a serious atheist.) I did not know Tony in the early stages of his rich and eventful life: a stint as a cub reporter in…

Party of One

Solitude and the modern mind March 2017
In the finale of his first book, the Governor General’s Award–winning The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection, author Michael Harris wrote this: “Every technology will alienate you from some part of your life. That is its job. Your job is to notice. First notice the…

Music and Politics in China

Madeleine Thien has written her most ambitious work to date June 2016
It is extraordinary that Montreal-based author Madeleine Thien has the guts and stamina to keep writing about the things she keeps writing about. Her first novel, Certainty, explored the trauma of life in Northern Borneo under Japanese occupation in the Second World War. She followed that with Dogs at the Perimeter, a searing dissection of Cambodia during the nightmarish Khmer Rouge years of the…

Keep in Touch

Why digital connections can’t sustain health, happiness or politics April 2015
A quarter of a century ago, before the internet age really got going, I was having lunch one day with one of Toronto’s media heavyweights. As the meal was winding down, he said, out of the blue: “I had the strangest experience this past weekend. A friend invited me to his Ukrainian Orthodox Church for Easter…