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Letters From Montreal documents the experiences of Montrealers past and present, creating a portrait of the storied city unlike any other. Drawn from the celebrated column in Maisonneuve magazine, this anthology features writers documenting a quintessential part of local life. Narrated with the intimacy of journal entries, each letter bridges the playful and profound. In early dispatches, Melissa Bull ditches a boyfriend over pétanque in Parc Laurier; Sean Michaels watches Arcade Fire lose Battle of the Bands; Deborah Ostrovsky frets over the sublime sophistication of the Plateau’s French children. More recently, Ziya Jones spends a summer herding sheep through Parc du Pélican; Eva Crocker performs in a “fake orgasm choir” at the Rialto Theatre; and André Picard takes a pause from the pandemic by running up Mount Royal. Edited by Maisonneuve editor in chief Madi Haslam, these letters buzz with a sense of possibility, surprise, and transformation. They remind us that a city can’t quite be defined, that every person inside it interprets it anew. Together, they explore how we make meaning in the place we call home—how our surroundings shape us, and how we shape them in return.
About the Author
Madi Haslam is the Editor-in-Chief of Maisonneuve magazine. Her reporting has appeared in This magazine, The Walrus, Briarpatch, Policy Options, and GUTS Magazine. She has received two Canadian Online Publishing Awards and a CAJ nomination, and she holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of King's College. She lives in Montreal.