The CBC's Canada Reads is trying to choose a book that all Canadians should read. Their choice for last year was Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion, which is something of a precursor to his more famous The English Patient although I think I like it more of the two. I just find it interesting because I know that until I started actually listening to the CBC on the radio, I would have scoffed at the idea of CBC being all that influential--because really, who listens to public radio? And yet, and yet...once Ondaatje's novel was chosen as the novel that Canada should read, it went right on to the bestseller's list.
I'm still trying to figure out which books and authors I think a Canadian lit course should look at. It isn't so much that I have quibbles with what we are studying, but there are still a lot of thing I wish that we would study: Robertson Davies, Ann Marie MacDonald, Farley Mowat, Gabrielle Roy, to name only a very few.
My pick for the novel all Canadians should read? Either The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood or Fifth Business by Robertson Davies.