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Miss Lamp is the strangest book I’ve come across in a while. Quirky, sweet, inventive and grotesque, this literary novel is structured in sharp vignettes around Miss Lamp, a lawyer holed up in the Peachland Hotel. We meet her as a teen (Young Miss Lamp) and as a child (Young Young Miss Lamp). The people around her include Banana Tray Hair, a Safeway employee, Room Service Boy, a keener employee of the hotel, and Delano, a sadistic drunk dentist. Ewart has a poet’s eye for detail, turns a pretty phrase and gives good chuckle. This is a unique offering by a clever, skilled writer. (Zoe Whittall)

by Chris Ewart, $19.95, 176 pgs, Coach House Books, 401 Huron St. (rear) on bpNicol Lane, Toronto, ON, M5S 2G5, chbooks.com

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