PositiveQuill & Quire (CAN)Like much of Rachel Cusk’s writing, Second Place feels more like a conduit for philosophical and cultural thought than mere storytelling ... What erupts is a taught, discomfiting drama, one that allows ample scaffolding for Cusk to build out keen observations. A long list of enduring topics are tackled with graceful, flowing ease ... Cusk is at her best when she works in diversions, as she does with the deceptive simplicity of Second Place. The novel is skilfully meandering, offering consistent flashes of insight while traversing a great deal of intellectual terrain. The drama is tight and the action straightforward, but when it comes to the beguiling complexity of human nature, the wisdom offered here is significant.
PositiveQuill & Quire (CAN)This meticulously researched book finds its greatest strength in Leduc’s own generous account of being a disabled person (Leduc prefers to use identity-first language) in a world propped up by fairy-tale thinking ... Told in Leduc’s affecting prose, the memoir elements of her book provide further evidence that the pervasive ideas fairy tales promote are not without consequence. Leduc adeptly interrogates the ubiquitous idea that fairy tales are harmless and stresses the pain—however unintentional—caused by the language we use and the way we choose to use it ... it’s the generous vulnerability of Leduc’s own story that illuminates the urgency of this vital message.
RaveToronto Globe and MailIt\'s very difficult to write about Shrill, Lindy West\'s debut essay collection, without being effusive. When you finish the final page, your immediate impulse is to gush at anyone who will listen about how accomplished it is ... With grace and wit, she\'s taken on the ubiquity of rape jokes and fat shaming, and lifted the veil on the abusive tenor of our online conversations. In short, West has become a much-needed beacon of solace and reason in an increasingly vitriolic world ... Some of the book is certainly laugh-out-loud funny, as West writes with her signature irreverence and light conversational tone ... Beyond being hilarious and smart, one of the more compelling aspects of Shrill is West\'s ability to write reflectively on pieces she\'s already put out into the world ... it\'s certainly no exaggeration to say we\'re all very lucky to live in a world where Lindy West exists.
PositiveThe Globe and MailOriginally published in 1980, Basic Black with Pearls is a lauded (if lost) feminist classic that unravels the ennui and desperation of the disregarded woman ... It echoes narratives like Charlotte Perkins Gilman\'s The Yellow Wallpaper, Sylvia Plath\'s The Bell Jar and even Joan Didion\'s Play It As It Lays; its taut prose exploring the roles available to women, tinged with an evolving suggestion of madness made by a uniquely female lot ... Weinzweig is certainly deserving of a new crop of readers this new edition is meant to entice – her brisk style and tone remain fresh to a contemporary audience, and her subject matter is still disturbingly relevant.