Kazuo Ishiguro calls out our buried giants

Last night at the Toronto Public Library’s Appel Salon, Kazuo Ishiguro stopped by to speak about his new novel The Buried Giant. To a sold out crowd, Ishiguro talked about his inspiration, the flack he’s getting for including pixies and ogres, and his long history of plagiarizing Charlotte Bronte.

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Banned books, burned books

It’s Freedom to Read Week in Canada so I thought I’d issue one of my regular reminders about how lucky we are to be in a place at a time when art is freely made and consumed. We are very, very lucky so it is important that we:

1) Make and consumer art (paint something, read something);

2) Protest if this right is challenged (get John Green to send thousands of books to towns where the school has banned a particular title);

3) Do what we can to secure this right for others (suggestions?).

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‘Basquiat: Now’s the Time’ and further reading

A little while ago, I wrote a piece for The Rumpus about a recently republished book about the life of Jean Michel Basquiat. The timing of the book’s re-release coincided with a major exhibition of the artist’s works at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. That exhibition opened to the public today, rung in with a kick-off party on Thursday, headlined by Grandmaster Flash. The city’s been waiting for this event like a shy teenager waits for prom after the most popular boy in school asks her. And we weren’t disappointed.

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I bet you think this comic is about you: Art Spiegelman talks Co-Mix

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetLast week I had the pleasure of hearing Art Spiegelman chat about comic arts and free speech responsibilities, live at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto. He’s in town alongside the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)’s retrospective of his work, CO-MIX. That exhibition has been making the rounds, I remember just missing it when I was in Vancouver last year, and it brings to life much of what is in Spiegelman’s book Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps.

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Andy Warhol in Toronto (not the real Andy Warhol he’s dead, calm down)

Good year for pop art in Toronto. The TIFF Bell Lightbox just announced that they’ll be mounting an exhibition of Andy Warhol’s works and personal artifacts drawn from Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum. I’m calling this a book event because the exhibition will include his personal scrapbooks and other manuscript material (and also because I’m the boss around here).

This exhibition will come on the heels of a large scale exhibition of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario so it’s generally an awesome year to be here if you love contemporary art and very cold weather.

The exhibition will run from October 20, 2015 to January 24, 2016.

But what if I am that kind of girl?


I am sometimes cynical and that cynicism makes me suspicious of the success of people like Lena Dunham. I read the work other cynics (I’m looking at you Gawker); this adds to my suspicion of the success of people like Lena Dunham. So imagine my surprise at learning that Lena Dunham is intelligent, engaging, charming, funny and entirely deserving of her success. At last night’s reading and interview about Not That Kind of Girl at the Toronto Public Library I had a fantastic time listening to a smart and thoughtful person answer questions and I’m not afraid to say so.

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