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From the archives

Pax Atlantica

NATO’s long-lasting relevance

A Larger Role for Unions

Organized labour may be shrinking but the rhetoric is still upbeat

This United League

Will not die, will not perish

Ruth Panofsky

Ruth Panofsky teaches English literature at Toronto Metropolitan University.

Articles by
Ruth Panofsky

Connection Lost

How sisters became strangers July | August 2024
The text arrived one afternoon in late December 2023. It contained no note, just a photograph of my mother holding the bouquet I had sent for her ninety-fifth birthday. She was smiling for the camera, but her look was vacant and her expression unnatural. My mother has vascular dementia and is declining. I was grateful for this glimpse of her face — to see her with flowers in…

Suffering of All Sorts

A Mark Anthony Jarman collection April 2024
Readers be warned: Burn Man is not for the faint of heart. The grim stories in this collection will not counter the darkness of our present moment, but they will command attention, for there is much to admire in Mark Anthony Jarman’s work. This is a writer who possesses stylistic mastery and an ability to evoke character and incident using the barest of…

From Beirut with Love

Christine Estima’s debut collection March 2024
Known for her journalism, Christine Estima has also published personal essays and travel writing, as well as fiction. The Syrian Ladies Benevolent Society, a collection of short stories, is her first book. Years in the making, it reveals a writer who is sure of her subject and craft. “Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning,” Estima once explained in the magazine Maisonneuve

Down the 401

A mother and daughter’s next chapter December 2023
When my mother announced that she would be moving to Toronto, I was uneasy. For more than forty years we had been living in separate cities. I could not imagine having her nearby. “What kind of daughter are you?” demanded the voice in my head. The reproach was familiar, for I often feel remiss when it comes to my…

Processing Memories

An English edition of Chava Rosenfarb October 2023
Chava Rosenfarb should be a familiar name. She lived most of her life in Montreal and was part of the city’s thriving literary culture. She was associated with well-known writers, including the poets Melekh Ravitch, J. I. Segal, and Rokhl Korn, as well as the poet Miriam Waddington and the novelist Adele Wiseman, whose work she…

Rising from the Flames

Across four generations with Janika Oza July | August 2023
Spanning India, Kenya, Uganda, England, and Canada, Janika Oza’s debut novel, A History of Burning, charts the lives of ten characters across four generations of an Indo-Ugandan family. The first section, dated 1898 to 1958, opens with Pirbhai at age thirteen, an “oldest son, no longer a boy,” in the western Indian state of…

Leeches and Lotus Shoes

Stories from Lindsay Wong May 2023
Lindsay Wong is best known for her 2018 memoir, The Woo-Woo, which exposed the secrets and mental health struggles of her conservative Chinese Canadian family. Although the book won critical and popular acclaim — it was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and a Canada Reads contender — it was met with silence by Wong’s…

Sister Act

A novel by Lilian Nattel December 2022
I must admit that I approached Lilian Nattel’s new novel through a particular lens: as the eldest of three sisters whose ties are fraught and distant. I hoped Only Sisters might offer me insight on how to foster a rapprochement with my siblings and reveal the key to sisterly attachment, which I seem to have misplaced some time…

Grief Observed

A portrait of loss November 2022
I thought I had grasped the profound pain caused by the current opioid crisis, but that was before I read Tara McGuire’s Holden After & Before. With unflinching honesty, McGuire tells the story of her twenty-one-year-old child, who died in 2015 of an accidental opioid overdose. Although the memoir is subtitled a “love letter” for a lost…

In the Squalid Mile

The latest from Heather O’Neill May 2022
This novel, the fourth by Heather O’Neill, opens in 1873, with two young ­aristocrats from Montreal’s Golden Mile, Marie Antoine and Sadie Arnett, playing in “a ­labyrinth constructed out of a rosebush.” The twelve-year-olds stand “back-to-back with pistols pointed up toward their chins.” When a maid dressed only in “drawers” and a “half-undone” chemise races outside to…

Character Study

Encounters with my father in the works of Mordecai Richler March 2020
Though he loomed large in my life, my father was difficult to know. He kept to himself, and he liked it that way. He was solitary and solemn. A storer of secrets. One story he did share was that of his high school friendship with Mordecai Richler. The claim of their closeness always intrigued me. My…