Image of Lake in Maine

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake, by French-Canadian internationally acclaimed crime writer Andrée A. Michaud, is an arresting, surrealist thriller that is propelled by a deeply relatable yet comically unlikable protagonist. Robert Moreau is a fifty-something retiree who abruptly left behind his family and friends, with only his loyal dog Jeff as company, to…

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A Beast in Paradise

At the end of the book, I was left wondering who was the title beast? Alexander or Blanche? It was only in the days after as I continued to ponder that question that I stumbled across the original French title—as a novice student of French, I was struck by its…

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Scan from old edition of Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata for violin & piano

The Bridgetower Sonata

Sonata per un mulattico lunatico. This is the dedication that Ludwig van Beethoven affectionately gave to his Violin Sonata No. 9, a piece deemed not only too hard to play, but also “outrageously unintelligible” and an affront to music, by contemporary virtuosic violinists. Due to a falling out, Beethoven ultimately…

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The Heart

Under the craft of a skilled writer, even the most straightforward story idea can breathe poetry. Such is the case in de Kerangal’s The Heart, originally published in French under the title Réparer les vivants (literally translated as “mend the living”). From the first line, Simon Limbres is introduced, or…

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Daniil and Vanya

It’s a familiar story in the North American psyche, a culture of people who are perhaps too eager to adopt, snatching up the first child that becomes available, putting full trust in their adoption agency with reckless blindness towards the traumatic and toxic conditions of those unregulated orphanages: a bright-eyed couple adopts a child from Russia only to find that they suffer from reactive attachment disorder (read: a childhood-trauma-induced lack of empathy that exhibits similarly to sociopathy).

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