New Star Blogs

Review of reviews :: Kirsch | Bowering | Barman | Walton


Things have been quiet on the surface as 2021 gets underway here at New Star, but behind the scenes we’ve been wrapped up in the final touches of four new books ready to hit shelves this spring.

But we’ve taken some time to come up for air and take stock of what’s happening topside and put together a classic review of reviews.

In the months following our much anticipated virtual launch of The Smallest Objective by Sharon Kirsch – the highlights of which you can watch here – buzz for the memoir continued, with Mike Cohen at The Suburban describing the book as “an intricate memoir about the treasures that the past can bring in the face of a difficult present.”

In an interview for his 12 or 20 series, Rob McLennan speaks with Kirsch on the creative process, literary influences, and the role of the author. Most recently, Sharon was interviewed by Lisa Hasleton, in which Sharon shares an excerpt from the book and notes the necessity of an undisturbed ‘bubble’ in which to write – something we’ve perhaps all had an abundance of.


As we anticipate the forthcoming Soft Zipper by George Bowering, Brian Fawcett ruminates on Bowering’s recent Writing and Reading.

Writing and Reading was like having a conversation with George at a sort-of-formal dinner party. His voice moves at an easy pace in the mostly short essays, and is seldom far from playfulness. But along with that there is also a deeper, ruminative quality to the book that signals that a fine mind is thinking over serious subjects.”

Fawcett also dives into Bowering’s previous Pinboy (2012, Cormorant) and No One (2018, ECW). You can read the full piece over on


We also caught wind of a fascinating article from Diane Selkirk over on BBC Travel which highlights the history of the Gulf Islands and its earliest, often forgotten, Hawaiian settlers. Selkirk speaks with Jean Barman, author of Maria Mahoi of the Islands, originally published in 2004 as the 13th book in the Transmontaus series, with an updated second edition released in 2017. The article touches on some of Mahoi’s life as Selkirk recalls visiting Russell Island where the family had lived from the early 1900’s.


Jean Walton’s Mudflat Dreaming, number 23 in our Transmontanus series, has recently been reviewed by Paloma Pacheco in The Tyee. Pacheco says Mudflat Dreaming is unlike any other book she’s read, here’s a highlight:
Mudflat Dreaming flows like an oral history, as if Walton had sat her readers down around a campfire and opened up a treasure trove of memories, photos and keepsakes that lead her down all manner of absorbing trails in telling her tale.”

On the horizon we have Michael Tregebov’s fourth novel, The Renter. Followed shortly by Sean McCammon’s debut Outside as well as The Wig-Maker, a joint poetry title from Janet Gallant and Sharon Thesen. Rounding out out Spring 2021 list is, of course, Soft Zipper from the inimitable George Bowering.
Covers and previews of these titles are coming very soon.
Sign up to our email newsletter at the bottom of our homepage to stay in the loop.