Happy Canada Day 2011, etc.

It's only coincidence that the last two books I read were by Mennonite writers, both from Winnipeg. This Hidden Thing by Dora Dueck received McNally Robinson's Book of the Year Award and Miriam Toews, well, I always read what she writes.

A friend asked me why the Mennonites are such good writers. Well, I'm no Mennonite, but I was raised as a German Baptist, and the two cultures have a lot in common. My theory is this: both cultures immerse their people in word-study from a very young age. (Of course, the word-study revolves around the Christian bible - but there's an easy transition from the biblical to all literature.) The other thing about being immersed in a religious culture like the Baptists is that you spend an awful lot of time reflecting and introspecting. Maybe there's other reasons, but that's my 2 cents on the matter.

HAPPY CANADA DAY! Let's enjoy our freedom. What a wonderful country. Let's work on keeping it that way.

By the way, Dora Dueck's book was a compelling read and her use of metaphor was simply exquisite! It very much deserved the 2011 Book of the Year Award.


jammanora said...

hello gabrielle yes i understand that the bible has alot of intense reading that one can do and there are so many parables and short stories within larger stories and rich symbolism etc. which helps a person to write

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I loved A Complicated Kindness. I'd never heard of Toews before and I didn't know she'd written anything else but I'll go and have a look for some more. What would you recommend?


Gabriele Goldstone said...

Sorry to be so slow here. Just heard an interview with Miriam Toews on the radio (CBC) this morning.

I'd recommend reading her first novel, 'Summer of my Amazing Luck'. Funny and poignant. I've recently purchased her non-fiction book, Swing Low - about her father's depression (leading to suicide.) Her younger sister recently almost died of the same cause. Heartbreaking stuff.

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