You’ll note there were no links to the CBC in the news wrap-up below; that’s because there were no articles that weren’t about Canada Reads, the ludicrous reality-tv-like radio show in which anyone, even a dude from Nova Scotia who now dresses like a rodeo clown from Alberta, can vie to direct the course of Canadian fiction sales for the next few months. Normally I ignore the whole maddening affair, in part because it’s a lie — it’s NOT “Canada Reads”, it’s “Canada Reads Prose” — and in part because I always find at least one, more like more than one, of the contestants either vile, facile, or annoying (sometimes all three).
But this year marks an interesting shift — the prize has never gone to a book by a woman that was defended by a woman (because, you know, patriarchy), but this year it will, despite the best efforts of the two guys on the panel. They tried to vote off Megan Gail Coles’ searing and unforgiving book twice now, but were stymied both times by the women — who, I should note, have provided a level of discourse that makes the guys look like they’re comparing cold cut hoagie preferences.
So regardless of who wins this year, it will, FOR THE FIRST TIME, be a book by a woman that was defended by a woman. What a time to be alive.
Even better, two women outside the whole thing — authors Sharon Bala and Jael Richardson — have provided some great post-episode commentary. Richardson has been nailing her analysis daily on Instragram, while Bala went off yesterday on her blog about Bucky McCapgun’s misogynistic “Girls, girls, girls” lament as his book was voted off (presumably, more because people were done listening to him than the book itself). Once again, women of colour for the win when it comes to parsing the shitshow in which we live.