This Is My Country, What's Yours?: A Literary Atlas Of Canada

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This Is My Country, What's Yours?: A Literary Atlas Of Canada

by Noah Richler

McClelland & Stewart | May 29, 2007 | Trade Paperback

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Winner of the 2007 B.C. Award for Canadian Non-fiction
A Globe and Mail Best 100 Book (2006)
National Post Best Books (2006)

A bold cultural portrait of contemporary Canada through the work of its most celebrated novelists, short story writers, and storytellers.

Stories are the surest way to know a place, and at a time when the fabric of the country seems daily more uncertain, Noah Richler looks to our authors for evidence of the true nature of Canada. He argues why fiction matters and seeks to discover - in the extra-ordinary diversity of communities these writers represent - what stories, if any, bind us as a nation.

Over two years, Richler has criss-crossed the country and interviewed close to one hundred authors - a who's who of Canadian literature, including Wayne Johnston, Michael Crummey, Alistair MacLeod, Gil Courtemanche, Jane Urquhart, Joseph Boyden, Miriam Toews, Yann Martel, Fred Stenson, Douglas Coupland, and Rohinton Mistry - about the places and ideas that are most meaningful to their work. The result is a journey through the reality of Canada and its imagination at a critical point in the country's evolution. Within thematic chapters he exposes our "Myths of Disappointment" and considers the stories of our native peoples, the rise of the city, and how our history as a colony shapes our society and politics even today.

This Is My Country, What''s Yours? is an impassioned literary travelogue and a vivid portrayal of our society, the work of Canadian authors, and the idea of writing itself.

This Is My Country, What''s Yours? is based on Noah Richler's ten-part documentary of the same name originally broadcast on CBC Radio's flagship Ideas program in spring 2005.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 496 pages, 3.52 × 2.49 × 0.5 in

Published: May 29, 2007

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771075375

ISBN - 13: 9780771075377

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– More About This Product –

This Is My Country, What's Yours?: A Literary Atlas Of Canada

by Noah Richler

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 496 pages, 3.52 × 2.49 × 0.5 in

Published: May 29, 2007

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771075375

ISBN - 13: 9780771075377

Read from the Book

Knowing too much about writers and their lives, about who they are and who their friends are, can get in the way of a story that is fiction, after all, if only because the events in it have been edited and selectively arranged. Even doing only that takes skill. Do it well enough and fiction can seem like fact again, with the result that readers and friends sometimes confuse characters with people whom they know. Even writers and their families are not immune to making such mistakes themselves, but it was a surprise to learn that this category of error had been made by the luminaries of Burning Rock. At a Larry Mathews class that I attended at Memorial, Lisa Moore had been the invited guest. "In my first collection of stories," Moore told the table of graduate students, "there’s a story of a woman who is pregnant, and while she’s pregnant, her husband has an affair. Michael Winter is a very good friend of mine and because he lived here at that time I would speak to him every day on the telephone. Often we exchanged pages, sent them back and forth — not by email, because he lived just up the street. I would send him four or five pages, and he would send four or five pages down. So we were in very close contact, but somehow Michael hadn’t read this one story of mine that won an award. I had moved to Toronto, and Michael had to phone me and tell me that I’d won. Now I don’t know why he was the person that was phoning me, but he s
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From the Publisher

Winner of the 2007 B.C. Award for Canadian Non-fiction
A Globe and Mail Best 100 Book (2006)
National Post Best Books (2006)

A bold cultural portrait of contemporary Canada through the work of its most celebrated novelists, short story writers, and storytellers.

Stories are the surest way to know a place, and at a time when the fabric of the country seems daily more uncertain, Noah Richler looks to our authors for evidence of the true nature of Canada. He argues why fiction matters and seeks to discover - in the extra-ordinary diversity of communities these writers represent - what stories, if any, bind us as a nation.

Over two years, Richler has criss-crossed the country and interviewed close to one hundred authors - a who's who of Canadian literature, including Wayne Johnston, Michael Crummey, Alistair MacLeod, Gil Courtemanche, Jane Urquhart, Joseph Boyden, Miriam Toews, Yann Martel, Fred Stenson, Douglas Coupland, and Rohinton Mistry - about the places and ideas that are most meaningful to their work. The result is a journey through the reality of Canada and its imagination at a critical point in the country's evolution. Within thematic chapters he exposes our "Myths of Disappointment" and considers the stories of our native peoples, the rise of the city, and how our history as a colony shapes our society and politics even today.

This Is My Country, What''s Yours? is an impassioned literary travelogue and a vivid portrayal of our society, the work of Canadian authors, and the idea of writing itself.

This Is My Country, What''s Yours? is based on Noah Richler's ten-part documentary of the same name originally broadcast on CBC Radio's flagship Ideas program in spring 2005.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Noah Richler made documentaries and features for BBC Radio for fourteen years before returning to Canada in 1998. He was the books editor and then the literary columnist for the National Post, and has contributed to numerous publications in Britain, including the Guardian, Punch, the Daily Telegraph, and in Canada to The Walrus, Maisonneuve, Saturday Night, the Toronto Star, and the Globe and Mail. A Literary Atlas of Canada is his first book. He lives in Toronto.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

" This Is My Country is a long-overdue interruption in our country’s cultural conversation. Most important, it is genuine and sophisticated, funny, poignant and wise….Richler’s piercing observations … are precisely conceived and eloquently expressed….His wit is delicious. He is that genuine article, of which there are so few, a public intellectual unafraid of discussion and disagreement. … The book is quite simply wonderful, exquisitely structured and fabulously written. This “atlas” is the work of a genius magpie, an eclectic reader, a passionate traveller." — Globe and Mail "Noah Richler is a rarity in the modern age: a true man of ideas. You can count such men on one hand, our own David Warren and Mark Steyn being two more fingers. Richler''s broad survey of Canadian literature vibrates with a love of our country, including a refreshing admiration for the West." — The Western Standard (Ezra Levant''s Publisher''s Pick, November 2006.) "This is a writer who is fond of people and their quirks and who cares deeply about our country ... Richler has brought us up to date. He documents the fact that we have not only survived — we have thrived." — Literary Review of Canada "The most compelling analysis of Canadian stories since Margaret Atwood’s book Survival ." — Ottawa Citizen "Immensely thought-provoking — and, at times, simply provoking…
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