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Canada re-reads, rehashed

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Because my two cents are just essential. Right?

I don’t entirely agree that the Canada Reads books should all be new; there’s nothing wrong with dredging up something from the vault and suggesting people read it. And I’m not sure that everyone in Canada has read Generation X and Fall on Your Knees; the four or five people who haven’t will certainly benefit from this exercise.

I’m just going to say this: there are two ways to make talking about Canlit obnoxious. The first is to pursue some kind of nationalist/regionalist project that attempts to define Canlit on nationalist grounds, and exclude what doesn’t fit as insufficiently Canadian. The second is to use badges of merit from outside Canada to validate Canadian writing, because we should be past that by now.

I think the presence of an Oprah pick and of Generation X on the Canada Reads list this year can be seen as a case of the latter. Maybe.

What I’d really like to know is, how does the selection process work?

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Categories: canada reads, canlit
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