A very literary market?
From the Globe & Mail, Penguin International CEO says of Canada:
The Canadian reader is very adventurous. The Canadian reader reads widely. This is a very literary market.
Is it true?
Jim Harrison seems to think so. At an event on the Michigan State campus, with Thomas McGuane and Richard Ford, Harrison opined that Canadian readers are more literate than their American counterparts, which observation earned me a poke in the ribs from the guy in the next seat.
But Jim Harrison doesn’t actually live in Canada, and no doubt the impression he gets of our country from his friends here is something of a biased sample.
Cultural subsidies and Canada’s plethora of literary small presses probably create a situation in which we publish more literary fiction per capita than the US, but do people actually read it? Do we have more readers of literary fiction?