Getting Lit with Linda - The Canadian Literature Podcast
Ali Hassan Brings Home the Bacon -- and the Joy
Season 3, Ep. 39
Is there Bacon in Heaven? Maybe – but there’s certainly bacon on earth, Ali Hassan reminds us, and he enjoys it—and he doesn’t mean it simply literally either. In his new book--a memoir titled Is There Bacon in Heaven? (Simon & Schuster) -- he looks at what is good here on earth and how to locate those moments of goodness—in addition to those of humour and comedy and joy. In this interview, Linda and he talk about the fundamentals of his memoir, the boundaries of comedy, and the power of humour—to restore relationships and connect us meaningfully to others.Some of the topics we broach?:9/11 and crossing the border;the purposes of comedy;the difference between writing for the page and for the stage.
Who's on First? Frances Brooke's The History of Emily Montague, with Dr. Kate Ready
Season 3, Ep. 38
Ever wonder what was the "first" book of Canadian literature? How do we even know how to define what that would be? In this episode, Linda chats with eighteenth-century British literature scholar, Dr. Kathryn Ready, about what is sometimes claimed as the first book of Canadian literature--Frances Brooke's The History of Emily Montague. Linda and Dr. Ready may -- or may not -- have tussled over whether this book is British or Canadian, but what they absolutely do is consider the finer aspects of the novel and its global investments.Linda opens with a consideration of "firsts" (referencing Abbott and Costello's comedy routine, "Who's on First?," 1.05) and then turns to Dr. Ready who speaks about the following:epistolary narratives, tradition of letter-writing (4.25; 5.15)Samuel Richardson's Pamela (4.35, 6.30)Frances Brooke (8.25)travel writing (11.25)aesthetic of the sublime and beautiful (11.40)the Seven Years War (12.05)And so much more ....
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.
Night Vigils & Varieties of Looking
Season 3, Ep. 36
Linda opens on a celebratory note: Getting Lit With Linda has received two separate nominations for the Canadian Podcasting Awards, one in the category of Outstanding Educational Series and another in the category of Outstanding Arts Podcast. She also includes a tribute to the late Steven Heighton (2.39), whom she remembers fondly.Linda and Gillian Sze -- the guest for this episode -- chat about her new book, Quiet Night Think (ECW Press) and participate in “quiet thinking” and "looking," especially when there are competing demands on one's time and competing expectations. They discuss other writers, with an emphasis on Li Bai (701-7662 AD; 5.11, 16.27, 24.09) and Emily Dickinson or “Em” (12.28, 16.27, 24.11, 25.11). They also chat about the following:Caregiving, night vigils (19.32; 23.00)Origins, parenting, immigrant parents (25.35, 26.28)Structure and genre of the collection (20.27, 21.39)Learning Mandarin (7.22)Poetry and relationships (8.28 ; her father, 9.45, 27.03)the Chinese generation poem (8.39)Ekphrastic poetry (14.12)looking, and the nature of looking (cosmic, artistic; the flaneur;13.20, 17.30, 18.12)Cezanne (17.50)Fountain pens (18.38)Canlit and questions of gender (25.50)Sitting in the Moon, postpartum care (4.57, 16.45, 33.18)Insomnia (17.00)
Leos, Lovers, Loss - and Lunar Tides
Season 3, Ep. 35
In this loving and lovely interview that took place in Montreal during the lunar eclipse of May 15-16, 2022, Linda interviews Shannon Webb-Campbell (a member of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation) about her new book of poetry, Lunar Tides (Book*hug). The conversation ranges from Montreal as a city for "Leos & lovers" (3.30), to themes of maternal loss and longing (4.45 and 6.15), to the following:1.0 Book*hug, and its other authors, including Shani Mootoo (author of Cane Fire) (1.0)Following Webb Campbell on Instagram (1.50)Lunar Tides (4.30)Her poem, “You were never a visitor to this world" (9.00)Her poem, "Time: A Biography" (5.25, 8.50, 14.35)Birthing poetry (9.50)Webb-Campbell's new novel (12.04)the ACCUTE conference (13.21)Lee Maracle (13.30)Duo Concertante (19.30) and "Ecology of Being"the film based on "Ecology of Being) (21.00)
Indigenous Voices Awards - "Where Your Heart is Leading You"
Season 3, Ep. 34
In this episode, while I am away in Germany, I reflect upon the upcoming Indigenous Voices Awards, which is set to take place on June 21st (and this occasions an early release of the episode!).After a quick opening teaser with the most extraordinary Dene storyteller and writer -- and the MC of this year's IVAs -- Richard van Camp, I then hold a brief interview with Cree-Metis scholar/professor and co-organizer of the IVAS, Deanna Reder (2.50) who explains the history of the awards and talks about this year's event.I also had the opportunity to speak to two dynamite short-listed writers:Tenille Campbell (13.15), the Dene-Metis author of Nedi Nazu who elegantly discusses how women need to give themselves permission to love themselves.Lisa Boivin (18.14), a member of the Deninu Kue, who speaks about her children's book, We Dream Medicine Dreams, and her departure from scholarly work to write children’s literature. And last (and certainly not least!), I speak with the magnificent Haisla/Heltsuk writer, Eden Robinson (22.13), one of this year's jurors for the IVAs, about the responsibilities of being a juror (and yes, you will hear her contagious laugh!)
The Robot Keepers - Part 2 of an Interview with Terri Favro
Season 3, Ep. 33
This is the second part of Linda's interview with Terri Favro, who opens this part with her thoughts about gender and the genre of science fiction, making reference to Ursula LeGuin (1.05) Doris Lessing (2.45)Margaret Atwood (2.45)Linda and she then turn their attention to the challenges of writing a trilogy (3.45) and the effects of the pandemic on writing her last instalment, The Sisters Sputnik (ECW). The two consider the Spanish Flu (9.35, 10.45, 12.23) and Sacco and Vanzetti (12.07), early Italian immigrants who were accused of theft and murder -- and explain the kind of anti-Italian sentiment that had a bearing on Favro's family (and many Italian immigrants). She speaks about how, first, she learned how stories were important to la bella figura (16.34) -- an Italian expression that captures the idea of holding a respectable outward form to the world (even if one's private life was a mess!), and, second, how her father was a source of inspiration as a "robot keeper" (19.37). That robot, incidentally, she adds, made an appearance on Johnny Carson (the "unimate," 25 and 29.12).
There's Motive For You, Part 2 - An Interview with Marissa Stapley
Season 3, Ep. 32
In this second part of this episode, Linda chats with Marissa Stapley, whose book Lucky (published by Simon & Schuster and available on Audible) was just picked up as the first Canadian book on Reese's Book Club picks. Linda has a personal response to this book, which she references as she speaks about Stapley's interview with Shelagh Rogers on The Next Chapter. She also asks Stapley about the kind of research she undertakes to write this kind of book, and the characters about whom she writes. If you'd like to hear Stapley live -- or learn from her -- she is speaking and giving a master class (insert: Linda wishes she could be in Toronto for this!) at MOTIVE, on June 3 to June 5, at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.
There's Motive For You - An Interview with Roland Gulliver
Season 3, Ep. 31
If you love crime and mystery writing, you will love MOTIVE - the Crime & Mystery Festival slated to take place between June 3 and June 5, 2022 at the Harborfront Centre in Toronto. The line-up of authors either speaking or giving workshops is nothing short of impressive: it features writers from Canada, of the ilk of Thomas King (who will be interviewed by CBC's Shelagh Rogers), but also international writers like Gunnar Staalesen, Thomas Enger,and Ilaria Tuti. I had the opportunity to chat with Roland Gulliver, the Director of The International Festival of Authors, of which Motive is an offshoot. We spoke about the fact that this is the first time since 2020 (any clues why?) that the event will be held onsite -- although there will be some hybrid events as well. I asked him about some of the writers being featured -- and he had a hard time whittling the list down, but he did happen to mention the following writers:Kathy ReichsShari LapenaMark BillinghamFuminori NakamuraAnd many more.I've bought my tickets already (for online, hybrid events)! Don't miss out on MOTIVE!