27 April 2009
Literary Masterpieces in Canada...aka...why I feel like the village idiot.
Selecting a book to read in Canada is like shopping for cream at the grocery store. You could go buy the mediocre american made cream. Or you can spend a fortune for the fresh cream milked straight from the cows teet, the cow having rested in a bed of clouds and fed only the finest grain of the land.
That's kind of like books. You could buy the mediocre American books full of frivolty and chick lit. Or you can truly aspire to read books of the sophisticae elite and read Canadian Literature.
Our authors win stuff. Lots of stuff. If there is a literary book prize, our authors are usually on the short list with a high chance of winning.
Canada is blessed with the likes of Mordechai Richler, Margaret Atwood, Rohinton Minstry, Micheal Ondaatje and company.
I read Chatelaine's annual summer book list "must -reads" and there are always a handful of Canadian books listed. There is the CBC's website which lists all these great books. And when viewers can comment, they always list books by Canadian authors with the smug knowledge that not only have they read them, but that all the other readers who comment on that book on are "in the know".
Then there is me. I can't pretend anymore. I have not read many Canadian books. I feel ashamed to admit this, but I shop for generic cream. I have these great intentions of reading these literary masterpieces, but 9 times out of 10, I reach for a romance or something equally low brow.
Here we are, in the land of talent. And while I can identify who is a Canadain author, I cannot admit ot having read many Canadian books. I yearn for the expensive cream so that I can be 'in the know', but I opt for the cheap stuff each time.
This summer, it will be different.....I am going to read ever "must -read" can-lit book so that I can join the ranks of smug book snobs. I am up for the challenge.
This year, excluding whatever books are in my book club, I am going to ready 50 Canadian Books. Operation Dani wants to be a Can-Lit Book Snob commences!