24 Canadian books to read during Women's History Month

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The Pull of the Stars, set in a war and disease-ravaged Ireland during the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak, tells the story of three women — a nurse, a doctor and a volunteer helper — working on the front lines of the pandemic in an understaffed maternity ward of a hospital, where expectant mothers infected with the virus are quarantined. The timely tale explores how thesewomen change each other's lives in unexpected ways, while witnessing loss and delivering new life.

Emma Donoghue is an Irish Canadian writer. Her books include the novels LandingRoomFrog MusicThe Wonder and the children's book The Lotterys Plus One.

The Pull of the Stars tells the story of three women — a nurse, a doctor and an activist — in war-ravaged Ireland during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. Emma Donoghue spoke with Dr. Brian Goldman, host of White Coat Black Art, about the inspiration for the novel. The book was written well before the outbreak of the coronavirus, and Donoghue was surprised by the way it mirrors our current situation but relishes the opportunity to talk about the role of health-care workers in challenging times. 26:30

How to Pronounce Knife is a collection of idiosyncratic and diverse stories. Capturing the daily lives of immigrants, Souvankham Thammavongsa captures their hopes, disappointments, trauma and acts of defiance. From a young man painting nails in a salon, to a housewife learning English from soap-operas, How to Pronounce Knife navigates tragedy and humour.  

How to Pronounce Knife is on the shortlist for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Thammavongsa is a writer and poet. Her stories have won an O. Henry Award and appeared in Harper'sGrantaThe Paris Review and NOON. She has published four books of poetry, including 2019's Cluster

Thammavongsa is one of three jurors for the 2021 CBC Short Story Prizewhich is open for submissions until Oct. 31.