O Canada

3 Nov

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What a wonderful country Canada is. Being exceptional us nordamericanos most certainly take other nordamericanos for granted. But what can one think about a country that elects Gary Trudeau it’s prime minister but only the rosiest thoughts. And they even have a (winning) baseball team and one of its key players (Russell Martin ) is even Canadian.

Daddy Lenin and Other Stories by Guy Vanderhaeghe

Daddy Lenin and Other Stories by Guy Vanderhaeghe

And while I am at it, extolling the US’s northern neighbors it should not go unsaid that news has reached me that Guy Vanderhaeghe, a writer whose books I have enjoyed immensely has won one of Canada’s major awards(of which they appear to have many), Governor Generals-Literary-Award for fiction for Daddy Lenin and Other Stories, his first story collection is twenty years

Quartet for the End of Time by Johanna Skibsrud

Quartet for the End of Time
by Johanna Skibsrud


And actually while Canadian writers occupy my and your attention, former Giller Prize Winner Johanna Skibsrud’s Quartet for the End of Time (the soft cover edition) is now in bookstores. The title refers to Oliver Messiean’s famous composition, which as everyone knows, was composed in a Nazi concentration camp

It is, of course, one of the marvels of literature how this novel skillfully transports us from the 1930s Bonus Army riots to the Siberian Expedition of World War I to the underground world of Soviet espionage in the 1920s and 1930s to the occultist circle of P. D. Ouspensky and London during the Blitz and finally to the Nazi concentration camp where Messiaen composed and performed his famous Quartet for the End of Time.

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