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From Elaine Kalman Naves: Peter Behrens' The O’Briens

Members of the eponymous family are so bicultural that their conversation often and readily slips from English to French. It’s difficult not to read into the author’s intent the desire to pen “a” if not “the” great Canadian novel.

From Margaret O'Brien: John Vaillant's The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

The Tiger is a Poe-like thriller, an analysis of post-perestroika economic disintegration (with plenty of black humour included), a treatise on biodiversity, an overview of paleoanthropology, and a completely absorbing read. But its essence is an intricate and measured plea for humans to understand and value our co-existence with the natural world.

Of Shakespeare, Anonymous, and Muriel Spark

"Shakespeare is – let us put it this way – the least English of English writers. The typical quality of the English is understatement, saying a little less than what you see. In contrast, Shakespeare tended toward the hyperbolic metaphor, and it would come to us as no surprise to learn that Shakespeare had been Italian, or Jewish, for instance." -- Jorge Luis Borges 1979

The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. National Portrait Gallery, London.

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