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Russell Smith

September-October 2009

Canada’s an urban nation. Why is our literature still down on the farm?

Darryl WhetterWebsite

CanLit has the literary equivalent of the Y2K bug—it can’t flip over into this century When he delivers public lectures, editor and writer John Metcalf is fond of illustrating CanLit’s paradoxical obsession with tales of the rural past by describing the query letter he once received from a then-unheard-of Russell Smith. Metcalf claims that Smith […] More »
March-April 2009

Let’s Get It On

Darryl WhetterWebsite

Canadian fiction prefers the joinery of farmhouses — not farmhands The preference among Canadian literary awards for historical fiction has created a national literature devoted to burlap sacking instead of life in the sack. The repeat shortlisting of historical fiction, in which a rural or foreign yesterday is somehow more important than today, contributes to […] More »