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.

More Episodes


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.