Suspend Your Disbelief

Laura Roberts


Laura Roberts is the founder and editor-in-chief ofBlack Heart Magazine, a sex news and views site that is also the home of the dirtiest minds in literature. With a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Concordia University in Montreal, she is fascinated with all things CanLit and seeks to share her take on the Canadian perspective as a literary foreign correspondent. She is currently working on her first novel, which is currently titled Blowjobs for the Soul, and keeps a personal blog on her website. Three books she thinks everyone should read for a healthy juxtaposition of the sacred and profane are Leonard Cohen’s Beautiful Losers, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, and Jeanette Winterson’sOranges Are Not the Only Fruit.


Reviews |

Animals, by Don LePan

In his novel Animals, we follow Don LePan’s characters into a not-too-distant future, where human beings with birth defects are slaughtered as edible products. Readers’ sense of injustice will be roused by LePan’s descriptions of suffering in the feedlots–but can a novel inspire us to stop eating factory-farmed meat? Laura Roberts hopes it can.

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How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead, by Ariel Gore

I haven’t read a book on writing nearly as useful as Ariel Gore’s How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead: Your Words In Print and Your Name in Lights since I bought a copy of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. This is a must-have DIY how-to for any writer interested in success, whether that means starting with homemade zines, jumping straight into big-time publishing, or working part-time on that novel while slaving away at your day job. Gore’s advice will help writers get the word out, get noticed, and get famous—without being a colossal jerk, fame whore, or media spammer.

Shop Talk |

recommended read: Fish Bones by Gillian Sze

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I love Gillian Sze. Not in a “we’re romantically involved” kind of way, but yes, we were classmates at Concordia University for our undergraduate degrees in Creative Writing, and from the first moment I read her work, I knew she was a great writer. So you’ll have to forgive me if I gush over her first book of poetry, Fish Bones (published by DC Books’ Punchy Poetry imprint), because I’ve always had a bit of a girl crush on her. Hopefully that doesn’t sound totally creepy and stalkeresque. I just […]

Reviews |

Stripmalling, by Jon Paul Fiorentino

I love controversial books. Banned books, books by authors with pseudonyms and false identities, fictional books that have been passed off as non-fiction, books that take risks, and even books that play with a reader’s mind. I love these types of books because they push the envelope and help to expand our concepts of what makes something worth reading. They are experimental, and just as in the scientific world, these experiments may bring more questions than insights. Jon Paul Fiorentino’s first novel, Stripmalling, is one such book.

Reviews |

Best Sex Writing 2009, by Rachel Kramer Bussel

With her personal take on the best of sex writing from 2009 (or, rather, 2008; the title is a bit of a misnomer), Rachel Kramer Bussel notes that “You don’t have to look far to find sex, but you do have to get a bit bolder when looking for writing and thinking about sex that doesn’t play to the lowest common denominator.”

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