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A Bird’s Eye 

Cary Fagan (House of Anansi)


This minimalist novella from the iconic Cary Fagan demonstrates the author's talent for making every word count. Like a poet, he curates white space, the silences between words, every fleck of punctuation. The story follows Benjamin, a young Jewish boy growing up in Depression-era Toronto, through a transformative life event: he discovers magic and love at the same time. We're made to bear witness to Benjamin as he hones his craft and encounters his first relationship–both of which are dangerous undertakings: magic goes against reason, religion and science; Bella is black. In less than 200 pages, Fagan is able to cast a spell, weaving an elaborate yet succinct tale gently peppered with metaphor, and often hilarious and endearing coincidence. At its least, this novel is a lesson: if you don't pay attention, you'll miss what's happening right under your nose.

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Vol 26, No 34
January 17, 2019

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