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Getting Lit with Linda - The Canadian Literature Podcast

Learning to love literature together, one book at a time.

Using her expertise as a seasoned literature professor, Linda M. Morra develops provocative, timely insights about books from Canada and elsewhere to show why stories are relevant for all of us. Hosted and written by Lin
11/10/2022

The Baggage of Atlas: Amy Spurway's Crow

Season 3, Ep. 42
** Explicit language in this episodeLinda opens this episode on a celebratory note – the fact that Getting Lit with Linda won in the category of Outstanding Education Series in the Canadian Podcast Awards. We are grateful to our listeners, voters, and guests on the show! (And Linda recommends reaching out to her producer, Marco Timpano, if you want more information about podcasting in general!)In this episode, Linda begins with a reflection on the “weight of Atlas” in relation to Greek mythology (no, not the band “The Weight of Atlas” that did a cover of one of Taylor Swift’s songs) and how we use it in the present. She ties that reflection to the themes of Amy Spurway’s Crow (Goose Lane Books), winner of the "IPPY Award for Best First Book - Fiction and Margaret and John Savage First Book Award for Fiction" and  the subject of this episode. The narrator, also named Crow, has returned back to her home on the East Coast of Canada, where she must learn that adapting to her environment is no longer enough—real transformation is required, which happens when one puts down the weight--our past baggage--that one has been unnecessarily carrying. The episode also involves:Linda's promise to examine other East Coast writers, like Michael Crummey, Lisa Moore, Joel Thomas Hynes, Donna Morrissey, and Alistair MacLeod (5.35); Discussions about Spurway’s Crow (GooseLane Books), with selections from the audiobook, available on Kobo (6.07);references to authors Heather O'Neill and Kevin Lambert and their rendering of class (12.43).In the Takeaway (15.10), Linda discusses with actor and audiobook narrator, Amanda Barker, about what is involved in this kind of work—and especially in relation to Crow, for which she was the reader.
8/19/2022

Bad Boundaries & Good Relationships: Thomas King & Natasha Donovan

Season 3, Ep. 37
In this episode, Linda reflects on why we say boundaries are "bad" and how "good relationships" stand in contrast. Using Thomas King (author of The Inconvenient Indian, Medicine River, Green Grass, Running Water) and Natasha Donovan's graphic novel, Borders (published by Little Brown, 6.55), Linda explores "bad boundaries" -- and bad borders -- in relation to the Blackfoot nation. She also refers to Daniel Rück’s The Laws and the Land (4.00) and Benjamin Hoy’s A Line of Blood and Dirt (5.55) to explain her thinking around boundaries and borders. Some of her musings encompass the following:What are bad boundaries? (2.43; 5.05; 10.40)The Canadian-American Border; Blackfoot territory (8.30; 9.00; 12.19; 14.18; 15.00)Mapping and cartography as expressions of power (8.40)National imagined identities (9.00)Blackfoot culture (9.58)Relationships (between the mother-daughter, mother-narrator in the story, 11.00; 15.25; 16.35)Stories and their importance (15.40)The Takeaway is about Joshua Whitehead's Full Metal Indigiqueer published by Talon Press (17.00), with reference to Making Love to the Land by Penguin Random House. She makes reference to the difference between Transgender and Two Spirit, the former referreing to someone whose gender identity differs from the sex assigned at birth, the latter to an Indigenous person who identifies as possessing both a masculine and a feminine spirit.