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Issue #152

Issue Date: October 2005
Editor: John Barton
Pages: 110
Number of contributors: 26

Buy Issue 152: Print Edition

Cover of issue #152

The cover of this issue is graced with a vibrant landscape painting by Max Maynard (from the University of Victoria’s Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery). Its title is Sussex Fields, but the patchwork prairie fields and extensive, sweeping sky feel very at home in a Canadian context.

Issue 152 begins with Aaron Shepard’s story “Valerian Tea,” which won the 2005 Far Horizons Award for short fiction. The story examines history, loss, travel, sacrifice, and moving forward through the protagonist’s trip to a foreign country to do academic research on human bodies preserved in Sweden’s bogs and his connection with a foreign widower.

Another story of note is Peter Gilmour’s “Solicitude,” a chilling tale of a woman’s all-encompassing desire to take on the role of mother and nurturer, and how this desire leads to mental illness, a crumbled marriage, and even violence. Gilmour’s subtle writing style and unreliable narrator creates perhaps as many questions as it answers, making the story all the more suspenseful and engaging.
There is also plenty of poetic pleasure to be had in this issue, including pieces by Daniel Tobin, Sue Sinclair, Governor General’s Award Winner Stephanie Bolster, and even Ancient Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso (as translated by Dan MacIsaac).
2005 Governor General’s Award nominee Elizabeth Bachinsky’s three-part poem “St. Sarah” uses deception and confession to explore the reality of growing up in Canada’s rural north (“where it’s cold / as hell and the girls are straight as lodge-pole pines”). The tongue-in-cheek humour and deft use of language that Bachinsky is known for are evident in piece.

This issue contains a review by Tanis MacDonald of Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road, and former Malahat assistant editor Lucy Bashford looks at George Szanto’s novel Second Sight, the second book of his Mexican trilogy. As well, University of Victoria English professor and long-time Malahat Review board member Eric Miller gives us a little Latin lesson and an interesting perspective the nature of translation in his review of Ewan Whyte’s 2004 translation of Catullus.

—Rose Morris

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