Red River College Library

Featured Item Archives

A list of the past entries in our "Featured Item" feature:

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The red word

A smart, dark, and take-no-prisoners look at rape culture and the extremes to which ideology can go, The Red Word is a campus novel like no other. As her sophomore year begins, Karen enters into the back-to-school revelry — particularly at Gamma Beta Chi. When she wakes up one morning on the lawn of Raghurst, a house of radical feminists, she gets a crash course in the state of feminist activism on campus. The frat known as GBC is notorious, she learns, nicknamed “Gang Bang Central” and a prominent contributor to a list of rapists compiled by female students. Despite continuing to party there and dating one of the brothers, Karen is equally seduced by the intellectual stimulation and indomitable spirit of the Raghurst women, who surprise her by wanting her as a housemate and recruiting her into the upper-level class of a charismatic feminist mythology scholar they all adore.
Governor General's Award for Fiction, 2018.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Women talking

Based on actual events that happened between 2005 and 2009 in a remote Mennonite community where more than 100 girls and women were drugged unconscious and assaulted in the night by what they were told (by the men of the colony) were "ghosts" or "demons," Miriam Toews' bold and affecting novel Women Talking is an imagined response to these real events. The novel takes place over forty-eight hours, as eight women gather in secret in a neighbour's barn while the men are in a nearby town posting bail for the attackers. They have come together to debate, on behalf of all the women and children in the community, whether to stay or leave before the men return.
Governor General's Fiction shortlist, 2018

Monday, December 17, 2018

Beirut Hellfire Society : a novel

Beirut Hellfire Society follows Pavlov, the twenty-something son of an undertaker, who, after his father's death, is approached by a member of the mysterious Hellfire Society--an anti-religious sect that, among their many rebellious and often salacious activities, arrange secret burial for those who have been denied it because the deceased was homosexual, atheist, or otherwise outcast and abandoned by their family, church, and state. Pavlov agrees to take up his father's work for the Society, and over the course of the novel acts as survivor-chronicler of his torn and fading community, bearing witness to both its enduring rituals and its inevitable decline.
Governor General's Fiction shortlist, 2018

Friday, December 14, 2018

Washington Black

Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave who knows no other life than the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born. When his master's eccentric brother chooses him to be his manservant, Wash is terrified of the cruelties he is certain await him. But Christopher Wilde, or "Titch," is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor, and abolitionist. He initiates Wash into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky; where two people, separated by an impossible divide, might begin to see each other as human; and where a boy born in chains can embrace a life of dignity and meaning. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, Titch abandons everything to save him. What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic, where Wash, left on his own, must invent another new life, one which will propel him further across the globe.
Giller Prize, 2018
Man Booker shortlist, 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Jonny Appleseed

Off the reserve and trying to find ways to live and love in the big city, Jonny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, becomes a cybersex worker who fetishizes himself in order to make a living. Jonny's world is a series of breakages, appendages, and linkages - and as he goes through the motions of preparing to return home for his step-father's funeral, he learns how to put together the pieces of his life. Jonny Appleseed is a unique, shattering vision of Indigenous life, full of grit, glitter, and dreams.
Governor General's Award for Fiction shortlist, 2018

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

An ocean of minutes : a novel

For readers of The Time Traveler's Wife and Station Eleven, an unforgettable literary love story about two people who are at once mere weeks and many years apart. America is in the grip of a deadly flu pandemic. When Frank catches the virus, his girlfriend Polly will do whatever it takes to save him, even if it means risking everything. She agrees to a radical plan--time travel has been invented in the future to thwart the virus. If she signs up for a one-way trip into the future to work as a bonded labourer, the company will pay for the life-saving treatment Frank needs. Polly promises to meet Frank again in Galveston, Texas, where she will arrive in twelve years. But when Polly is re-routed an extra five years into the future, Frank is nowhere to be found.
Shortlisted for Giller Prize, 2018

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Motherhood

After the tumult of her 20s, the narrator of Sheila Heti's new novel finds herself living a life into which she could bring a child. She's with a man who has promised his support if she decides she wants to be a mother, "but you have to be sure." Motherhood chronicles her struggle, under pressure from friends, culture and time, and seeking answers from family, strangers, mysticism and chance, to make a wise and moral choice, and to truly understand what is gained, and what is lost, when a woman becomes a mother.
Giller Prize shortlist, 2018

Monday, December 10, 2018

The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction

One of the most important works of cultural theory ever written, Walter Benjamin's groundbreaking essay explores how the age of mass media means audiences can listen to or see a work of art repeatedly – and what the troubling social and political implications of this are.

Friday, December 7, 2018

The prime of life : a history of modern adulthood

The Prime of Life puts today’s challenges into new perspective by exploring how past generations navigated the passage to maturity, achieved intimacy and connection, raised children, sought meaning in work, and responded to loss. Coming of age has never been easy or predictable, Steven Mintz shows, and the process has always been shaped by gender and class. But whereas adulthood once meant culturally-prescribed roles and relationships, the social and economic convulsions of the last sixty years have transformed it fundamentally, tearing up these shared scripts and leaving adults to fashion meaning and coherence in an increasingly individualistic culture.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Age, gender and sexuality through the life course : the girl in time

Age, Gender and Sexuality through the Life Course argues that the gendered structure of temporality (defined in the dual sense of everyday time as well as age and stage of life) is a key factor underpinning the stalling of the gender revolution. Taking as its central focus the idealised young woman who serves as the mascot of contemporary success, this book demonstrates how the celebration of the Girl is (i) representative of social mobility, educational and professional achievement; (ii) possesses diligence, docility and emotional intelligence, and (iii) displays a reassuring sexuality and youthfulness – but is constructed from the outset to have a fleetingly short life span.

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