Register Monday | September 26 | 2022

The Fall 2022 Book Room

Reviews of new work by Kate Beaton, Leah Mol, Adebe DeRango-Adem, Saeed Teebi, John Leroux and Emma Hassencahl-Perley

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands

The Alberta oil sands are an isolated, insular place. It’s the kind of environment that can bring out the worst in people—but not always. Kate Beaton’s graphic novel and memoir Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands (Drawn & Quarterly) is both a coming-of-age story and an insider’s look into one of Canada’s most contentious industries. As a young, fidgety university graduate, Beaton needed a way to pay off her student debt, and fast. The story follows her as she leaves her home in Cape Breton and spends two years living and working in Fort McMurray. Once there, she’s confronted with corporate greed and environmental disaster. Overt sexual harassment is omnipresent. However, she also often runs into other Atlantic Canadians whose dinner invitations and small gestures of care keep her afloat. Beaton’s illustrations masterfully capture the imprecise ...

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