The Night Wanderer

Drew Hayden Taylor‘s 2007 novel, The night wanderer (Annick Press Ltd.), is about a 350 year old Anishinaabeg (Ojibway) Vampire meeting a modern Ojibway (Anishinaabeg) teenage girl.
It has the subtitle ‘A Native Gothic Novel’ but I beg to differ with that categorization, ‘gothic’ implies something else to me. A dictionary defines it as:

A novel in a style emphasizing the grotesque, mysterious, and desolate.

To me, a better and less limiting summation would be ‘A Native Vampire Story’. While one of the two main characters, Pierre L’Errant, is certainly mysterious and has been, at times, desolate, he is never grotesque to me. Definitely not a typical vampire. And although Tiffany, the 16-year-old other main character, is frightened and helpless at times she has untapped inner strength. I see her as neither a gothic heroine nor could she afford to look like or be a goth. Taylor has created two very unique characters who inevitably clash with interesting and, IMHO, satisfying results. What I found most fascinating was Pierre’s view of the contrasts between his former culture and the current native culture found in Tiffany. I wanted more of that actually. Tiffany’s grandmother provides a sympathetic bridge between the old and the new as someone who yearns to hear Anishinabe language being spoken but lives patiently in the here and now.
All in all, a quick and highly recommended read!

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Comic Craze

There’s an exhibit called “Comic Craze” at the Cambridge Galleries in what used to be called Galt (1 North Square, Cambridge).  It goes until January 4th and is open every day (check the website for the hours).  They have art and many, many Canadian graphic novels to see.  It would be a great chance to browse through modern comics and you could see just how professional some of these ‘comic’ books have become.
Don’t miss Janet Morton’s (from Guelph) “Toque” exhibit hanging, massive, in the foyer if you get a chance to go.
A good start into a fascinating medium!

Adam’s Rib

Melanie Doane is among my favourite Canadian musicians. Her album, Adam’s Rib, is an amazing album and well worth buying. I love the title track. For me the very poetic lyrics evoke an exploration of women in contrast to men, women’s ‘place’ in the bible, being overly protected in a relationship and much more. I hear more every time I hear it. Another reason I enjoy this track is for the driving violin. It sounds so classical at first and evolves into a great rock ballad. Doane’s skill on the violin is wonderfully in evidence through the entire album.
Each song is worth listening to, although I especially like “Goliath”, “Waiting For The Tide”, “There Is No Beautiful” and “Absolutely Happy”. I took the CD out of the car since I was afraid it was going to get scratched as I was fumbling for it so often. I just listened to it, in fact, while making pork chops and vegetables for dinner; the rib was the appetizer.

Very worth while!