Monday, July 30, 2012

Taddle Creek No. 28

Edited by Conan Tobias

From the very nice Ethan Rilly cover through to Dave Lapp's visit to the Toronto Humane Society comic strip at the end, this is a quality issue of Taddle Creek, my favourite Toronto-centric literary magazine.  Which actually makes it my favourite Canadian literary magazine.  Although, in the interest of fair disclosure, the only other Canadian magazine I read is Spacing, and while it's great, it's not the least bit literary...

Anyway, this issue opens with a strong story by Stuart Ross about a man who wakes up while on a family trip to Black Creek Pioneer Village to find the place completely abandoned.  I haven't been to Black Creek in probably 25 years, but much of it came back to me while reading this story, and it reminds me that this is probably not somewhere I want to go.  That is one of the better features of good literature.

Kevin Chong's story 'Professions' is the strongest in the magazine.  Julian is a young lawyer who accompanies his fiancee to a ski chalet with her family, a group of upper class liberals, with whom he has no end of problems.  I love the scene where the brother takes Julian to task for having an iPhone, and then whips out his clunky FairSmart, the phone "made in Denmark from recycled materials by an industrial design collective with the help of at-risk youth and sex workers leaving the trade who are paid a living wage."  Brilliant stuff.

Sara Heinonen contributes a story about teens on the verge of going off to university that helps show the effect of underemployed parenting on the next generation, and Stacey May Fowles writes a strong story about dangerous flirtation at a cocktail party.  There is also a tough little comic strip by Nina Bunjevac about the politics of lesbian friendship and depression.

The magazine also has a nice little piece about author Lauren Kirshner, and another on the fading villages of Digby Neck in Nova Scotia.  There is an article about the changes in TTC street signage, and about an artists collective that decorated phone booths in the city to make an artistic point.  My favourite non-fiction piece in this issue is Sarah Gilbert's short article about attempting to access the beautiful art deco restaurant in Montreal's Eaton's store that has been boarded up for years.

In all, another very good issue of a very good magazine.

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