by Olga Stein
Events in the Middle East continue to dominate the news. One can easily lose sight of the fact that great civilizations grew out of the region's sands and rivers, and that three of the world's major religions were cradled there. It remains a place close to God despite the ungodly tumult, and nowhere is this spiritual constancy-the celebration of beauty, history, romantic and brotherly love-more in evidence than in its literature. As the olive branch that's waved and recognised across all manner of divides, literature reminds us that love, fear, and the pain of losing what's dear are felt everywhere the same.
This issue begins with three books nominated for this year's Giller Prize: The Time In Between, this year's winner (congratulations David Bergen!), Luck, and Alligator. We have interviews with two internationally acclaimed authors, Salman Rushdie and A.B. Yehoshua, and in addition to the cluster of book reviews addressing Middle Eastern novelists and poets, we proudly present Michael Harris's review of The Short Version, the most recent book of Canadian author and intellectual, Stan Persky. Enjoy another edition of Books in Canada with contributions from and about some of Canada's finest!