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Issue 1, Volume 17 | January 2020

Issue 209, Winter 2019

Upcoming Issue

Featuring Constance Rooke CNF Prize contest winner "Bat Reign" by Jeanette Lynes, as well as poetry by Emeka Patrick Nome, Suphil Lee Park, Joel Robert Ferguson, Melanie Boyd, Franco Cortese, Sherry Johnson, Dominique Béchard, Carolyn Nakagawa, Kurt Marti translated by Jeff Kochan, Patricia Young, Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang, Robert Hilles, Kulbir Saran, Tatiana Ornoño translated by Jesse Lee Kercheval, Julia Brush, and Hasan Alizadeh translated by Rebecca Ruth Gould and Kayvan Tahmasebian. Fiction by Conor Kerr, Bernadette White, Jon Gingerich, and Sehrish Ranjha. Creative nonfiction by Angélique Lalonde, Sherine Elbanhawy, Dawn Lo, and more!

Last Chance for Holiday Deal!

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The gift that keeps giving all year round! Treat a friend, loved one, or yourself to four issues of The Malahat Review at our special holiday rate of $15. Good for new subscriptions or renewals/ extensions of current subscriptions. Hurry, this offer expires January 31!

Buy a subscription.


Fall Issue
Book Review

The Forbidden Purple City

Philip Huynh’s debut short fiction collection is a study of the Vietnamese diaspora in Canada, focusing on those who (or whose families) have fled war and persecution. The stories move back and forth through time and locale; characters are as likely to brandish a gun while escaping from Vietnamese soldiers as they are to wield a smart phone in a Canadian street. The doubling of lives and histories creates a nice effect in many of the stories, as Huynh explores what is left behind and what can never be abandoned.

The end result is a haunting and haunted collection, a world of judgement and retribution where the past always lingers and can affect the present.

Read the full review by Jon R. Flieger on our website.

CanLit for Your Reading List

New and Noteworthy

Review space may be limited in our quarterly magazine, but we’re delighted to share this list of new Canadian books. *Please note that inclusion on the list does not necessarily preclude a print review. 

Read the full list of new and noteworthy Canadian titles.

Three Weeks 'Til Deadline!

Novella Prize 2020

Submit your 10,000- to 20,000-word story for a chance to win $1500. Previous winning entries have also won the Journey Prize and a National Magazine Gold Award.

Entry fee (comes with a one-year print subscription):
$35 CAD for Canadian entries
$40 USD for entries from the USA
$45 USD for entries from elsewhere

Additional entries cost $15 CAD from anywhere, no limit!

This year's judges are Samantha Jade Macpherson and Naben Ruthnum.

Full contest guidelines available on TMR's website.


Interview with 2019 Constance Rooke CNF Prize Winner Jeanette Lynes

Jeanette LynesMalahat Review volunteer Tanisha Khan talks with the 2019 CNF Prize winner about lyric essays, stories as social survival, and using humour to bring levity and balance to painful writing subjects in her essay, "Bat Reign."


TK: Congratulations on your Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize win! “Bat Reign” discusses the difficulty of life beyond marriage as someone newly single. What led you to choose the bat as the overarching metaphor in the essay?

JL: The bat was not a metaphor in the first instance; it was literal, real, and terrifying – an obstruction to living a regular life. I only began to see the bats more metaphorically as the essay developed. I began to think of things the bat could represent – menace, invasion, an alien presence, a kind of pestilence – and these elements began to accrue a wider significance with respect to other things going on in my life. But this association was not immediate to me, and came with time, and further immersion in the writing.

Read the rest of Jeanette's interview on TMR's website.


Winter Issue Interview with Angélique Lalonde on CNF

Angélique LalondeMalahat Review volunteer Rajni Mala Khelawan talks with the Issue #209 contributor about Krazy Glue, the complexity of families, and approaching stories with compassion and curiosity in her essay, "Crazy Glue."


RMK: Can you speak about the particular scene, memory, or instance that inspired you to view glue in such a complex way?

AL: Krazy Glue does act on me like a time warp, no matter what, every time my children break a toy, I think of my mother, and how she fixed our toys, how she seemed to be able to fix things that seemed irreparably broken. Like magic. And how now, as a mother, I know how tentative that magic is. I’m never sure whether the glue I use will fix things, whereas she seemed to be sure somehow. Before I had children I never thought about glue this way. Probably because I had no toys to fix, just my own things, things that no longer had a connection to childhood, in which so many things are possible because we don’t yet define reality in the stringent ways adults tend to. I think a lot about how I shape reality as a parent, how my realities were shaped by my parents, how my sisters’ realities, raised by the same parents in the same house, were shaped differently.

Read the rest of Angélique's interview on TMR's website.


Winter Issue Interview with Suphil Lee Park on Poetry

Suphil Lee ParkMalahat Review editor Iain Higgins talks with the Issue #209 contributor about grief, gruesome details, and symbolic gestures in her poem, “After Her Mother’s Funeral Mother Calls Me into the Kitchen.”


IH: Is this poetics of unexpectedness — even of surprise — characteristic of your work generally, or were you attempting something new here?

SLP: To answer it simply, yes. You’ll find aesthetics—or elements—of surprise typical of my work. My mind tends to wander a lot when working on a poem, and usually ends up in unexpected, often dark places. Even a poem like “After Her Mother’s Funeral Mother Calls Me into the Kitchen,” which is among my most personal poems, veers far from its origin in the end. This poem in particular came after years of processing my grandmother’s funeral. At the time of her death, my family had been long estranged from my mother’s side of relatives because of religious disagreements. As my grandmother had always been a stranger, and not a kind one at that, the sheer intensity of my mother’s grief came as a nearly disorienting shock to me. Her grief seemed no less of a visceral reaction than thirst or hunger. But it did not feel like pure grief, either; I sensed something much more complex hissing underneath, something not entirely related to the fact of her loss, but could not put my finger on it. The emotional reality of what triggered this poem thus demanded more than a realistic narrative; it called for metaphors, symbols, and mythologies from which I borrowed the idea of parents eating their children.

Read the rest of Suphil's interview on TMR's website.


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