Toronto Review of Books

Toronto Review of Books launches as online quarterly

The Toronto Review of Books went live earlier today, though the first thing that prospective readers will want to know is that literary affairs will serve as the starting point for the publication rather than as its sole focus. Launched as an online quarterly, the TRB promises to bring a critical sensibility to wide array of cultural productions that catch the eye of its contributors, which based on the first issue will include such things as books, e-books, websites, poetry, film and social media (and I'm quite sure a lot more).

"We're calling ourselves The Toronto Review of Books not simply as a tribute to publications we admire, but also because we're inspired by the diversity, eclecticism, erudition and hopeful ignorance in all libraries, and by the work and conviction that every book represents," explains Editor-in-Chief Jessica Duffin Wolfe in her inaugural editorial. "Sitting alone in a room to write is among the more perverse, heartfelt, and optimistic of human activities. But the same is true of writing code for a beautiful website, or crafting an enthralling meme. These efforts all deserve attention, and reviews."

A first perusal of the publication reveals the type of smart but not overly academic writing that's sure to attract an audience beyond journalists and graduate students. And lest one point out that online publications that lack frequent updates tend to struggle to build a readership, the TRB's blog, Chirograph, will keep the online-pace via posts on Toronto events, interviews, links to podcasts, shorter book reviews and other shorter content the suits the general framework of cultural review.

As major newspapers around the globe scale back their literary coverage, it's not necessary to point out the challenges that face book-oriented publications these days. But with a decidedly open and forward-thinking approach to cultural coverage, the TRB should prove an exciting addition to Toronto's collection of online publications.

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