Tuesday, October 10, 2006
More from Noah Richler
So, since the last time I talked about This is my Country, What's Yours?, I have read two more chapters. I haven't been home long enough today to make it three. I hope to correct that before the day is totally over with.
Anyways, first chapter I read:
Chapter Four: The Circle in the Square
In which the author travels to Inuvik, in the Northwest Territories; to Wanuskewin, Saskatchewan; around the city of Toronto, Ontario; and to France, meets the aboriginal storyteller Louis Bird, the poet Louise Halfe, and the novelists Robert Arthur Alexie, Eden Robinson, Tomson Highway, Joseph Boyden, and Lee Maracle, and discovers that in the hands of people it once helped oppress, the novel defends aboriginal culture and becomes the exponent of a prior, contrary view of life.
This chapter on aboriginals was very interesting. For starters, I have not really read any of these authors, so I have a pretty list of new books to read (there are excerpts included from certain authors in the chapters), and I also learned stuff. When you are in university, you learn lots of things, that's why until recently I wasn't reading a lot of non-fiction.
Chapter Five: House and Garden
In which the author travels to Vancouver and is astonished that the West Coast is such a tense and febrile place, and has taut conversations with the writers Nancy Lee, Timothy Taylor, Eden Robinson, Michael Turner, Lee Henderson, Douglas Coupland, and Zsuzsi Gartner in a city still negotiating terms with Bad Mommy Nature.
This chapter also has authors in it that I have never read before. I am going to now! For example, there is this serial killer that killed women and buried them at his pig farm; Nancy Lee has a short story about it. And then there is a park in the area where two bodies of unidentified children were found, two authors from the list talk about it. It is an inside look at why the authors write about the things that they write about, which appeals to me. I also got an inside look at how Douglas Coupland, one of my favourite authors, thinks. It was a very interesting chapter. And, so far, he has travelled to places that I have never visited, so you learn a lot about new places.
I am enjoying this book so much that I made a list of all the authors that he interviewed. Now, I am going to try and read at least one book by about half of them or so. I would say all of them, but I want to read other things too. I have no time frame, it is just an interesting goal and a way to witness some Canadian authors that I may not have read otherwise. We will see how that goes. All I know is that I am all for a sequel!