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
Laws of Flight
by Darren Greer
An imaginative and resonant work of speculative literature from ReLit Award-winning author Darren Greer. Twin brothers, born on an oppressive family farm, discover a miraculous way to escape the dreariness of their lives, charting a course that promises equal measures of wonder and heartbreak.
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
Mike Mike Mike Mike
by Grace O'Connell
After twenty years of running, Betty quietly returns to her hometown of Arbford, thinking it a solid place to finally put down some roots. But the adage 'you can't go home again' proves true, as Betty finds that her mere presence is more than enough to disrupt the stagnant lives of everyone around her.
“In this cautionary suburban fairy tale, a big-city refugee searching for home finds herself in a nest of multiple Mikes and Pyrex-wielding vipers. With enchanting style and snort-causing wit, Grace O’Connell does casserole-studded claustrophobia like nobody’s business.”
— Jessica Westhead, author of And Also Sharks and Pulpy & Midge
Bright Lights on Broadway
by Dave Margoshes
Having lived a long, eventful life, Charlie Weinheimer’s only regret is that he has no one to carry on after him. After a near-death experience, he resolves to find out whether a secret buried in his past is proof he has a legacy after all.
“Margoshes gives us the life of Charlie Weinheimer: quadruple bypass patient, widower whose children all die tragically young, but not a whiner. In his hospital bed at age seventy-seven, he’s seen it all, right? Well, maybe not. Watch as Margoshes calls upon his raconteur skills to thicken the plot.”
— David Carpenter, winner of the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Award for A Hunter’s Confession
by Lana Storey
Some time after the incomprehensible death of his son, Joan Miró has settled into his new job working the overnight shift at a Hasty Market in Toronto. He has plenty of time to think beneath the fluorescent lights of the convenience store: of ghosts and late nights, of downtown living and dying, of customer service and self-preservation, of the beauty of the night sky, and of the attempts people make to connect with one another despite seemingly insurmountable distances. These fragments of life prove as difficult to make sense of as any code—until one night, when an extraordinary series of events suddenly teases a pattern from the dark.
“In this graceful, dark, and nuanced piece, Lana Storey reveals a private man unhinged by grief. These are events—and this a narrative—that will stay in my mind for a long time. Never one to shirk from difficult truths, Lana Storey writes in the tradition of George Saunders: an original, at times disturbing, but ultimately transformative worldview.”
— Carolyn Smart, author of Hooked: Seven Poems and At the End of the Day
“Cross Yourself is Lana Storey’s gorgeous swirling image constellation, a story about a man becoming unhinged from the universe and finding redemption in a downtown Hasty Market convenience store. A vibrant, beating heart of a short fiction, Cross Yourself is a vortex worth being pulled into.”
— Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of the 2005 Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award finalist The Nettle Spinner
by Pauline Holdstock
Inspired by true events, this story by Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominated author Pauline Holdstock tells of the incredible bond between a mother and daughter, and with gut-wrenching poignancy reminds us of the little things that make life worth living.
“Hers is the kind of prose you get lost in.”
— National Post on The Hunter and the Wild Girl
“Holdstock’s writing manages to be both heartbreakingly poetic and densely detailed ... sad passages, ghostlike recollections, written almost from the vantage point of the present, establish the book as a great work of fiction.”
— The Globe and Mail on Into the Heart of the Country, longlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize
“Holdstock, with a few deft strokes, pulls the reader into the tumultuous life of an alluring rabble of characters: painters, sculptors, patrons, fools, and slaves ... In Beyond Measure, she proves herself a master of pacing. Her lively, macabre plot trips lightly along in spite of its dark elements.”
— The Globe and Mail on Beyond Measure, finalist for the 2004 Giller Prize and the 2004 Commonwealth Writers' Prize
by Nancy Branch
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.