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Despite the Odds: a Review of Project Compass

Project Compass
Lizzie Derksen, Matthew Stepanic, Kristina Vyskocil, Robert Strong
Monto Books, 2017

Review by Peter Takach

What do you get when you take four emerging Edmonton writers and give them each a quadrant of their city to explore? In Project Compass, publisher and editor Jason Lee Norman has assembled a crack crew to take readers on an odyssey through a city that, despite producing its fair share of writers, is rarely the explicit setting of their stories. The result is an engaging and emotionally-arresting collection of four concurrent novellas that all unwind on June 21, 2016. Starting from the north, south, east, and west, we follow four Edmontonians as they wander their way through the longest day of the year and reflect on the paths they have taken.

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The Story Behind The Story: The Decedent by Yuly Restrepo Garcés

Yuly Restrepo photographed by David Wheeler

Our winter issue will be arriving soon, and includes a story by Yuly Restrepo Garcés, a writer and professor at the University of Tampa. A MacDowell Fellow, Yuly is also the recipient of a VONA/Voices Fellowship. Her fiction has appeared in Zone 3 and is forthcoming in Natural Bridge. Of her story, “The Decedent,” Yuly says:

I started to write “The Decedent” in May 2015, at the Ft. Lauderdale airport, during a seven-hour layover, though I had been thinking about it for at least a year before that. I wrote about twelve pages while I waited for my flight to Medellín, where I would spend the summer months visiting family and working on a rough draft of my novel-in-progress. The story itself is a convergence of several things I had been preoccupied with in the months before I started writing.
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The Novel That Lies Before Us: Thomas Trofimuk’s This is All a Lie

This is All a Lie

Thomas Trofimuk

Enfield & Wizenty, 2017

Review by Peter Takach

You are about to read a review of Thomas Trofimuk’s new novel. Perhaps you’ve seen This is All a Lie reclining against the shelf at your local bookstore, its stark white cover a breath of sanity amidst more lurid neighbours. Hesitantly, you ease it off the shelf, for you’ve been hurt before. Still, you remain optimistic that, somewhere past the bland bestsellers and the remainder bin, the perfect paperback awaits you.

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59 Glass Bridges

Cutting to the Core of Humanity: Steven Peters’ 59 Glass Bridges

59 Glass Bridges

Steven Peters

NeWest Press, 2017

Review by Deborah Vail

Steven Peters makes an impressive entrance into the world of speculative fiction with his debut novel, 59 Glass Bridges, which began as his thesis project while studying English at the University of Calgary. Inspired in part by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, the fifty-nine bridges in Peters’ hometown of Calgary, and his memories, this story is dark, evocative, and compelling.

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