Bill Gladstone

The City Man: Fine novel of ’30s Toronto

Howard Akler has made an auspicious literary debut with his first novel, The City Man (Coach House Books), a crisply written tale that conjures up the look and feel of Toronto in the ‘30s. The story focuses on Toronto Star reporter Eli Morenz who, freshly returned from a convalescence in the country, writes a riveting…

Consolation: New Glimpses of Old Toronto

If you’re a Toronto lover like me, you’re bound to enjoy and marvel over Michael Redhill’s novel Consolation (Anchor Canada), which delivers a gripping human story, elegantly and poetically told, and a grittily realistic literary portrait of 1850s Toronto that is so well executed that it shines. In alternating chapters, Consolation artfully knits together two…

Gluckel’s ‘Seven Little Books’

If, as historian Jacob Shatzky once observed, catastrophe of one sort or another has been the usual impetus for the bulk of Jewish autobiographical writing, the celebrated chronicles left to us by Gluckel of Hamelyn (1646-1724) under the title The Memoirs of Gluckel of Hamelyn are no exception. The pious Gluckel took up her quill…