The Dusty Bookcase: A Journey Through Canada’s Forgotten, Neglected and Suppressed Writing

Brian Busby. Biblioasis (Consortium, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $17.95 trade paper (359p) ISBN 978-1-77196-168-4
Canadian literary historian Busby (Character Parts) takes the reader on a journey through many neglected areas of Canadian literature, including pulp, porn, the political, and the postapocalyptic. Frustrated with the lack of visibility of Canadian literature, domestically and internationally, he began a search through the good, bad, and ugly. The book follows his explorations, and is a noteworthy effort to celebrate, even luxuriate in, the quirky and odd. Material covered includes the Victorian writings of Grant Allen and the sexist, sometimes menacing 1973 memoirs of hair stylist Nicholas Loupos (which also provide a revealing view of the times.) Although most entries include enough summary to effectively be plot-spoilers, Busby’s conversational commentary will help readers decide which of these obscure books it will suffice to read about and which ones to actually read. Readers who would like to acquaint themselves with Canadian literature outside the canon, as well as those who will enjoy a highly idiosyncratic and striking selection of the lesser known, would do well to pick this up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 11/06/2017
Release date: 09/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-77196-169-1
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