Author Archives: Heather

Montreal Reads: Serafim and Claire by Mark Lavorato

Serafim and Claire is a story about two people trying to escape the rigid social mores of the past to find passion in their single-minded pursuit of art. Claire flees the servitude of working for a rich Anglo family to … Continue reading

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Coarse vs. Course

Lexical Vexations coarse 1. adj. of a thick gauge; 2. adj. rough; 3. adj. unrefined, crude (of a person). course 1. n. a path or route followed by people or things; 2. n. a series of classes on a topic … Continue reading

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Chowter

Vest-Pocket Vocabulary Chow’ter, v. to grumble like a child or frog. Word in the Wild: Amitav chowtered at his roommate after she accidentally put his 2014 tax slips through the shredder. This fun word is obsolete, but let’s not let … Continue reading

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Montreal Reads: Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner

In Nikolski Montreal is a migratory hub, a city where nomads wind up, at least for a time. They carry their histories with them, mapping their routes and their roots as they go. Joyce leaves the fishing village of Tête-à-la-Baleine, … Continue reading

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Montreal Reads: Cockroach by Rawi Hage

Cockroach unfolds during a bitter Montreal winter. Its narrator, despite his de facto membership in a community of exiles, is utterly isolated and both fearful and desirous of human ties. As a master thief, he ties himself instead to people’s … Continue reading

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Reading Project: Montreal Reads

Montreal Reads My usual rules for pleasure reading are few. In fact, I may have only one “rule” for reading, which is that I must have variety. I like to routinely switch from one genre to another, from one setting … Continue reading

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English: The Language Is A-Changing

There seems to be an ever present anxiety that the English language is on the edge of some catastrophe. But never fear, it’s held up just fine to the technological upheavals of the printing press, radio and cable TV, and … Continue reading

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Palate vs. Palette vs. Pallet

Lexical Vexations palate 1. n . the top or roof of the mouth; 2. n. one’s sense of taste. palette 1. n. an easily held flat surface on which an artist mixes paints; 2. n. a range of available colours. … Continue reading

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Babery

Vest-Pocket Vocabulary Ba’bery, n. playthings for a child. Word in the Wild: Receiving nothing but blank looks from her nephews after she asked them to clear the living room of their babery and detritus, Celine tried again: “For pity’s sake, … Continue reading

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