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Note from the Editor
by Olga Stein

Dear Reader,

We are very pleased to bring you this relaunch edition of Books in Canada.

Canada is a rich, complex, open and diversified society and the literature that we produce reflects this wealth. Our task at Books in Canada is to provide our readers with an overview of this literature and to bring our finest writers, critics, and essayists to bear on the fifty or so books that we select for review each month. With a carefully chosen balance between fiction and non-fiction, and in the range and type of books covered, we aim to bring you a collection of reviews you'll find stimulating and enjoyable. Special attention has been given to the graphics and layout of the magazine to enhance your reading pleasure. In this regard I would like to make special mention of our art director Kasia Gaca, and our cover designer Victor Gad.

Many people have worked hard to make this relaunch possible. W. P. Kinsella will be acting as our first novels editor, continuing BiC's tradition of being the critical arbiter for Canadian first novels. This is one of the most important roles that we play, and through Amazon's sponsorship of our long-running First Novel Award, we will continue to recognize, support and develop outstanding new talent.

In addition, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Carmine Starnino, who is acting as Associate Editor and Poetry Editor. His enthusiasm and talent has helped BiC regain its footing, and has brought about superb contributions from poetry reviewers. David Solway, a prominent poet and critic, also an Associate Editor, has been instrumental in attracting first rate talent from across Canada to write for the magazine. George Fetherling, who has been contributing to the publication almost since its inception, is acting as BiC's Advisory Editor and has been firing helpful suggestions my way from Vancouver. He will continue to write a monthly column. Rory Hinton, a Toronto-based academic, has been diligently pursuing reviewers for non-fiction of serious merit.

Importantly, I would like to thank our new sponsor, Amazon. com. We are delighted that the world's leading e-commerce company, and the world's largest on-line vendor of books, has chosen to support and sponsor Books in Canada. Amazon's assistance has been marked by generous and completely arms-length efforts to assist us in every way possible.

Starting in August, BiC will be proud to feature the translated works of French Canadian poets as well as a column on QuTbTcois fiction and cultural life. David Homel, a journalist, translator and novelist, will be forging this French connection.

The relaunch issue is replete with marvelous reviews submitted by superb writers and reviewers, the majority of which could not be included on the cover due to lack of space. Joel Yanofsky is writing about Philip Roth's latest, The Dying Animal; Kildare Dobbs is reviewing two books, one of which, Time Lord, by Clark Blaise, is the fascinating account of Sir Sanford Fleming's world-transforming success in setting up standard time; Phyllis Grosskurth conveys beautifully Adam Gopnik's experience of living and raising a family for five years in Paris in her review of Paris to the Moon; and Clara Thomas takes a look at Kim Echlin's enchanting new novel, Dagmar's Daughter.

Lastly, I would like to touch on two very sad eventsłthe death, several months ago, of Diana Brebner, an award-winning poet and last year's first novels columnist, and the death of Mordecai Richler, an icon of Canadian literature, on July 2nd. Our condolences to their families.

We hope you enjoy the July issue. Any subscriber to whom magazines are owed will receive them thanks to the wonders of circulation software. Please feel free to send letters to the editor to my attention. We will be happy to print them. Mail them or e-mail them to: olga.stein@sympatico.ca.

Olga Stein


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