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From the archives

Liberal Interpretations

Making sense of Justin Trudeau and his party

Clock Watching

The nuclear threat lingers still

Spending Power

Can compassion and efficiency be combined in the use of public funds?

Gayatri Kumar

Gayatri Kumar lives and reads in Toronto.

Articles by
Gayatri Kumar

Bog Trotter

The wet centre is bottomless June 2022
Readers may not open Swamplands expecting to learn much about art history, yet that is one of the many lessons Edward Struzik offers in his timely and enchanting disquisition on the many facets of peat. Before the Group of Seven set their brushes to capturing the boggy beauty of Georgian Bay in the…

The F Word

On different wavelengths December 2021
There is a moment in Pure Flame when the writer Michelle Orange stops to reflect on a trendy twenty-first-century T‑shirt slogan, one you’ve probably seen floating around on Instagram: “The Future Is Female.” “The phrase contains all the old questions: of identity and essentialism; what it means to be female, and what it should…

No Thank You

Once upon a Canadian dream September 2021
In 1965, Mohamed Assaf travelled to Edmonton from a small town in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. When he arrived, a relative who had preceded him on that journey offered a piece of advice: “Canadians always say please, thank you and stand in line.” Mohamed was twenty-one at the time and would go on to become a successful member of a well-integrated Lebanese Canadian…

The Unbearable Lightness

Coming of age takes a darker turn June 2021
By and large, women’s coming-of-age ­narratives used to follow self-improving, redemptive arcs, but they have taken a darker turn in recent years. “I’ve come to believe one can take the sentimental temperature of a cultural moment by looking at its novels’ heroines,” wrote Stephanie Danler for the New York Times in 2019. And the tone of this latest breed of books is “a rebellion cut through with apathy.” In response to our…

Melting Away

Travels of a reluctant activist December 2020
Lynne Quarmby always wanted to see the Arctic. “For much of my life,” she writes early in Watermelon Snow, “I yearned to visit the north of my imagination.” As a young girl whose great-grandfather was in the Klondike gold rush and whose father modelled an outdoorsy independence, she imagined “a romantic, ultimate wilderness of sublime landscapes.” At…

Lean and Slender Forms

A haunting debut October 2020
Reading Fanie Demeule’s airtight debut can feel a bit like watching a body-horror installation in a dark, windowless room. The narrator is struggling with an eating disorder that steadily consumes her; she’s also practically the only character in the book. But that’s not to say that it’s an entirely unpleasant experience. Lightness is a…

Leanings

Skewed views of work June 2020
Not long after North America closed up shop, The New Republic published a piece, “Against Productivity in a Pandemic,” by its staff writer Nick Martin. More than ever, he argued, we should resist the endless demands of business as usual. “The obscenity of pretending that work and ‘the self ’ are the only things that ­matter — or even exist — becomes harder to ignore.” Of…