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Words of (Dis)comfort: On the Luxuries and Limitations of Reading While White

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Back in the summer, when reading outside was a thing, I was sitting on my stoop, engrossed in Tommy Orange’s There There, when an older white woman interrupted to inform me that she’d quit reading the same novel a quarter of the way through because it was “too sad.” She said it like, How could I be expected to digest such a thing? Like, Isn’t reading supposed to be a pleasure and what was this, some kind of tricky trick to make me feel bad? And then she asked me, dubiously, whether I liked it and whether I was going to finish it.

CanLit, AmLit—NishLit? Rematriating Indigenous Literature Beyond Borders

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Crossing an international boundary in the current social climate is not easy for anyone, but when you’ve got a Native man, woman, and two-spirit trying to cross in a borrowed car using only the Indian status card of the driver, things get complicated fast. As my friends and family who make the point of using their tribal ID at the airport know all too well, asserting Indigenous sovereignty in the face of settler colonial bureaucracy is a tricky thing

Bad Jobs: Why We Stayed

Photo by Pim Chu on Unsplash

I don’t know exactly when I started being exploited…At the time, I worked in the most absurd and fucked up place in the whole universe: a large industrial factory. The owners were related to each other, a nepotistic mess. It was a father and son team. The son was a forty-year-old man who was brought up to feel entitled to everything. He sort of ran the show or aspired to. His parents had both been abusive to each other and their children. There was no such thing as boundaries or professionalism in this job. They brought all their internal drama to work, and yelled and screamed at each other in front of me. I was the only administrative staff. The rest of the workers were in the back. Read more →

Pussy

Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

Trans girls have surgery for many reasons. People often think of our surgeries as horrible experiences that rupture your life apart, but they can also be moments when you give birth to another world. It’s possible to hold two thoughts in your head at once. You can say this is hard and I’m so happy now at the same time without either one being untrue. Some of the reasons trans girls decide to have surgeries make more sense to people than others, but they’re all valid because we’re all valid. Read more →

Moving Like Water: Non-linearity as a Decolonial Practice in Dionne Brand’s The Blue Clerk

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The world of The Blue Clerk comes alive in colour. It is all “violet toll roads, freezing violet, museums of blue, violet turbines, blue vistas,” (211) all “the sense of orange” (209), all “the escarpment of a yellow house” (209). This world is moving like the water by the wharf where the Blue Clerk lives, a space of experience and texture, rather than time and place. The text is urgent and it is contemplative, it is stressed and unstressed, it lives in the complexity of difference and duality. Within the narrative, the main fixed points are the conversations between the Clerk and the Author,

A note from our new publicist: Eli Tareq Lynch

What does it mean to be a publicist? I’ll be thinking about this question a lot as I start in this position, filling the shoes of a dear friend, and collaborating with so many great editors and authors in my future at carte blanche! I’m so excited that I get to help people discover this journal daily, and see the progress we make as we grow, as we highlight important literature and art, and as we continue to work towards something we can be proud of.

3Macs carte blanche Prize Finalists! Oana Avasilichioaei, Alisha Dukelow, Kaie Kellough

Clockwise from top left: Oana Avasilichioaei, Madeleine Thien, Alisha Dukelow, Kaie Kellough

An exciting announcement for a crisp, fall morning: the finalists for the 2017 3Macs carte blanche Prize, as selected by juror and Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author Madeleine Thien, are Oana Avasilichioaei (poetry), Alisha Dukelow (fiction), and Kaie Kellough (poetry)!

Híyoge owísisi tánga itá (Cricket egg stories)

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Five-hundred-and-twenty-five years ago, confused Europeans “discovered” the “New World”. Heaps of broken brown bodies marked this great achievement as the Europeans congratulated one another. Brave explorers, selfless men of God, and devout Pilgrims soon began pillaging, raping, and slaughtering their way from sea to sea. They rename our homelands “North America.” Their descendants tell us that those men were seeking their fortunes, trying to save souls, hoping to find simple freedom for themselves.