by Julie Dupuis
A hybrid travelogue and memoir that pieces together the fragmented recollections of one woman’s rocky journey toward vegetarianism. From her rural upbringing in francophone Northeastern Ontario to exotic locations, outlandish adventures, and bizarre meals, Julie relives her struggle to make the right food choices for herself and examines the consequences of her decisions.
WHY SOY SUCKS
I DON’T EAT SOY if I can help it. It’s one of the primary causes of deforestation in the Amazonian rainforest. Moreover, entire communities are getting sick from the chemicals used on the fields. I may not eat meat, but I refuse to get my nutrients from an equally harmful source simply because it’s plant-based.
I’m certainly not a typical vegetarian. Unfortunately, it’s hard to escape soy in South Korea. It’s everywhere, especially in non-meat dishes. Well, if there’s no other option, fine. I’ll eat soy. I won’t seek it out, though.
IT’S OKAY TO KILL animals so long as it’s for food,” says my father. “Killing them for sport is unforgivable.”
“So, then . . . What about poachers? They kill for food.”
I’m young but full of ideas.
“Around here, yes. But there are poachers in other parts of the world with different motives. Most of the ones around here—and there aren’t all that many—I don’t have much of a problem with them. They’re usually not wasting the animal. In fact, the government should grant local hunters leniency because we’re not sport hunters. We hunt for food and buy less beef because of it.”
Yes, my father really talks like that. But actually, I’m not sure he said all of that. I got the gist of it, but may have confused some of his ideas with my own. I don’t think I was a teenager yet when we had this conversation.
I think I remember.
I was so young, how can I possibly remember?
Maybe I’m confusing memory with stories and pictures. But I feel like I remember . . .
I’m having a hard time sitting still in the boat. My sister is so much more patient than me. The sun’s out and I want to play. Nothing’s happened in a long time. I tug at my life jacket, squirming away from it, trying to get it off my sticky back.
“I have one! Get the net!”
My sister and I rush to watch my father reel in while my mother stands ready. My brother smiles from his seat, calmly looking on. Or maybe he’s not even there; maybe he wasn’t born yet.
“Oh, boy, it’s a tough one! Get ready, it’s coming!”
“Wow, Dad! Is that a monster?” Any one of us kids could have said that, if any one of us did say it in the first place.
Working together, my parents get the pike aboard. It’s huge, thrashing on the bottom of the boat. My father works over it to remove the hook, blocking my view.
“Argh! Shit! Shit, shit, shit!”
Once our dad starts, so do we.
“Dad, you’re bleeding!”
My brother starts to cry. Right?
“It bit me! Get me a towel.”
“Daddyyyyy!” We’re all crying by then.
“It’s okay. You’re dad’s gonna be fine,” my mom tries to soothe us.
We continue to snivel the whole way back to shore, the whole drive back to the village. My parents drop us off at my grandparents’ house and leave.
Hours later, they return.
“Daddy! Daddyyyyy! Daddy!”
We jump around him, our hero threatened.
“Look, stitches! Isn’t that cool? Let’s count them.”
The next day we eat the pike and it’s delicious.
about the author
JULIE DUPUIS holds an M.A. in English literature from the University of Toronto and did post-graduate work in Creative Book Publishing at Humber College. She is an avid hiker and traveller, and has been working as a writer since 2006. Her website is www.JulieDupuis-NaturalNomad.com.
from the library
After an unexpected malfunction, the technology which enables humanity to cross vast distances has separated an interstellar traveler from the love of her life — not in space, but in time. Now, while her companions remain in stasis, she must endure the loneliness of the journey until the moment her lover wakes.
Winner of the 2015 Friends of Merril Short Story Contest, When I'm Old, When I'm Grey imagines the strange — and strangely familiar — forms that fear and longing can take, as we venture forth into the unknown of the future.
by Jack Bootle
On an isolated English beach a man looks back on his school days, recalling the joy and torment of a secret love affair with a boy full of strange ideas, a boy obsessed with the language of the King James Bible. Moments from their relationship return to him: the hidden meetings on the beach, the first attempts at sex, the boredom of a school assembly in summertime, the cruelty of a young English teacher. But most of all he remembers the boy’s words. They’re words that, years later, will haunt him as he tries to come to terms with the person he has become.
“Psalm 77 is the type of story that one wants to read over and over, searching for meanings previously unseen. It is laced with the hidden, the secret, the sacred. From the sand dunes and their private longings in school to the verses, the imagery, and the final paragraphs, there is so much to uncover . . ." (Read full review)
— Amanda Miller from shortsundone.ca
Eleven Miles There,
Twelve Miles Back
by Meghan Rose Allen
Deep in the heart of Ontario cottage country, Izza Ingram’s biological family disintegrates when her parents become trapped in a moment Izza can barely remember. Lost to their parents, she and her sister Paulie form an unlikely family unit under the guidance of their parents’ friend Doug. In this trio of their own making, Izza, Paulie, and Doug try to navigate the differences between the families we are born into versus the families we choose.
Saxophonist Metche Hufu and his band are the talk of Addis Ababa, filling nightclubs and packing dance floors. But the precarious existence of this golden age of culture depends on an emperor’s benevolence - and when his power begins to wane, Metche Hufu's music threatens to be silenced by the sounds of a country torn apart.
“How do you give voice to a sax player silenced by the politics of his country? If you’re a jazz singer like Kurt Elling, you take Dexter Gordon’s solo on ‘Body and Soul’ from his Homecoming album and you turn it into vocalese. If your name is Andrew Forbes and your tenor sax player is Ethiopian and it is Addis Ababa 1973 and his musical idol is King Curtis, you write The Expansiveness of My Sound and what you write is wider, more straight-ahead, stronger with political fervour, sadder than Elling but every bit as smart. Forbes is doing it solo and you have to imagine the quartet behind him. Read it with your fingers tapping and you’ll catch the beat. Read it with your ears open and you’ll hear Metche Hufu’s body and soul. Dig it!”
— T. F. Rigelhof, author of Hooked on Canadian Books: The Good, the Better, and the Best Canadian Novels Since 1984
In the rugged Nepisiguit River region of northern New Brunswick, two hunters face off. One is local sports lodge employee Danny Knockwood, a Mi’gmaw guide with a withered hand. The other is Mui’n, a one-eared black bear battling his inexorable hunger. When Danny is charged by the lodge owner to hunt down the bear that is frightening guests at the salmon pools, his personal values come into sharp conflict with his commitment to the task. The resulting confrontation tests both his physical strength and his beliefs, as Danny begins to recognize a kindred spirit within the fiercely determined bear.
A man in the throes of a breakup is selling all of his possessions on Kijiji and Craigslist. Greg’s couch, his VHS tapes, obsolete desktop computer, and cow-shaped clock – it all must go. Between pot smoking, pizza eating, and watching Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope, he meets with would-be buyers, taking his old life apart piece by discount piece in order to figure out what went wrong.
by Don McLellan
Father Michael, in his final assignment, has been asked by his Order to help facilitate recovery of an Asian country blighted by war. On the long odyssey into the interior, his driver and translator Trang tells him a story set in a once-famed traveller’s refuge known as the Inn of Tender Embraces. What starts as a simple tale of ill-fated lovers becomes, for Father Michael, a familiar beacon that guides him through the mists of an exotic landscape.
“Don McLellan is the kind of wise, well-travelled writer we don’t see much of these days. With Angels Passing he earns the right to be included in the exotic tradition of Hemingway, Maugham, and Graham Greene. Like all memorable writing, his story takes us to another world and holds us there. As spare and subtle as it is powerful, Angels Passing will linger in your mind long after the last page.”
— John Lekich, Governor General’s Award Finalist for The Losers’ Club
by Kayt Burgess
When Blanche first began singing, she was humble, eager, willing to work, willing to learn. Now she is headstrong, condescending, unprofessional, and just a tiny bit full of herself. She is also the closest to genius that Antoinette, her accompanist, may ever have a chance to work with.