“These are family secrets you need to know about, in order that your descendents realize whereof they spring and the whyfors of their existence on earth” — so speaks Mother of Leon Rooke’s short story, “Old Mother” which is told in his Rookishly fabulous, southern gothic sort of way. The story is a delight in an issue full of delightful things.
Number 109 opens with a story called “Boy” by Elise Levine. If you look her up on Google, you will see that she is doing just fine as a writer, publishing with Penguin and so on, and when you read the story, you will wonder why she isn’t a CanLit household name. The story is brilliant. Levine’s language is utterly engaging and “Boy” builds with dramatic tension that is released like a catapult at the story’s end.
There is some very fine poetry in this issue, including Elizabeth Harvor’s “Childhood Summer Night” in which you will find this image: “she turns to // laugh and the light scatters / and so we stay where we are.”
Current Malahat editor, John Barton, has a poem in the issue called “Academy Performance” which you might read to prepare for the Academy Award spectacle coming up next month, and current poetry board member Eric Miller is included with his poem “An Incident from the War of 1812” which you might read to prepare for the American invasion of Toronto, also coming up next month.
Bill Gaston makes an appearance with his story, “Saving Eve’s Father.” Gaston is, perhaps, a little more of a household name and you’ll see why—he’s just plain good.
There are poems by Sue Wheeler, Brian Bartlett, Linda Rogers, Steve Noyes, David Zieroth and others; and stories by Hannah Landecker, Stephen Henighan, Janice Kulyk Keefer and Elizabeth Ukrainetz.