Getting Lit with Linda - The Canadian Literature Podcast
The Stories Behind the Strike: Kevin Lambert's Querelle of Roberval
In this episode, Linda reflects on a strike in which she was a participant and the real complexities of its participants and affiliated institutions as a way into Kevin Lambert's marvellous new book, Querelle of Roberval (Biblioasis). Invoking the proportions and form of Greek tragedy, Lambert locates the conflict of this book in a small town in Quebec and shows how its participants all have complex motivations for their actions--including hatred, lust, and revenge.
In the Takeaway, Linda highly recommends a column by Casey Plett called "Balls Out: A Column on Being Transgendered" (which appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency.), a poignant and engaging series about the process of transitioning.
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57. Taking Exception to Narratives of Exceptionality - Japanese-Canadian Internment Camps & Canadian Literature34:26In this episode, Linda begins by speaking about the kinds of assumptions made about her because of her Italian-Canadian immigrant background - and then expands that consideration to show how making such assumptions can actually be harmful. Case in point? The Christie-Pitts riot on August 16, 1933. There have been two graphic novels written about this riot: one simply titled Christie Pitts and the other titled The Good Fight.A second case in point is the Japanese-Canadian internment camps during the Second World War. She considers four works of literature in Canada that address this subject:Joy Kogawa's ObasanFrances Itani's RequiemKerri Sakamoto's One Hundred Million HeartsMark Sakamoto's Forgiveness: A Gift from my GrandparentsThen, for the Takeaway, she invites scholar, Jennifer Andrews, who addresses narratives of exceptionality and demonstrates what function they serve (and whose) and why they persist. Using her book, Canada Through American Eyes (published by Palgrave in 2023), Jennifer chats with Linda about how narratives of exceptionality are rehearsed in both the United States and Canada - and why we need to challenge them.
56. Manatees and Magical Thinking - Amy Jones' Novel, Pebble & Dove33:13This episode focuses on Amy Jones (2.13), author of Every Little Piece of Me (2.27), We're All in This Together (2.27), What Boys Like (2.37), and Pebble & Dove (2.45), published by McClelland & Stewart -- and the focus of this episode.We also discussed Amy’s appearance at Word on the Street (.39 and 9.08) and her forthcoming appearance at the Eden Mills Literary Festival (5.12 and 8.53) on September 9th (see this link for tickets to the event).Linda interviews Amy, during which time they chat about Family – what it means (7.56), dysfunctional families (9.46), and family secrets (11.00)Multiple points of view in narrative form (13.25)Motherhood (and templates thereof) (18.45)Balancing family and careers, and the impact of family on art (20.30)Manatees (22.25)Did we say manatees? (22.25 -- or just the entire episode!)If you'd like to know more about how to support manatees and the seagrass programs that are important to their survival, visit the Save the Manatee Program.Hosted by Linda Morra, Co-produced by Linda Morra and Marco Timpano, Music by Raphael Krux, Studio (Concordia University) with James Healey
55. People (Do) Change; (C’mon) People, Change - Vivek Shraya's People Change18:23In this episode, Linda first celebrates with her co-producer, Marco Timpano, that the podcast has been named a Finalist for the People's Choice Podcast Awards. Then she chats about the new Barbie movie around which there has been so much hype. She differentiates between change and transformation in relation to gender, and then applies this to the wonderful literary work of Vivek Shraya, including People Change. If you haven't seen her How to Fail as a Popstar, join the club: Linda wasn't able to get tickets, but she was able to hear her speak about this work at the Vancouver Literary Festival and read it in book form. Linda also makes reference to her song, Showing Up - have a listen here (at the 4.17 mark).In the Takeaway, she connects Shani Mootoo's Cerebus Blooms at Night and Moving Foreward Sideways Like a Crab to the notion of transformation.
54. Morality & Well-Meaning - #BelievingWomen in Erum Shazia Hasan's We Meant Well29:22Erum Shazia Hasan’s We Meant Well (ECW Press) – Linda raves about this debut novel by Erum Shazia Hasan. In this novel, Maya’s colleague, Marc, has been accused of assaulting a local girl in Likanni, and so Maya is called from Los Angeles to deal with the crisis. The pressures are mounting for Maya as she tries to contend with this situation, grapple with her complex past, and grapple with her present personal life, which threatens to collapse.In this interview, Hasan talks about how difficult it is to doubt colleagues or people we like or trust, and who have done noble things – things which stand in contrast to the accusations that have been levelled at them. Linda then probes Hasan’s aesthetic choices about this narrative and discusses the following with her:Origins of the novel in Haiti (2.36)#MeToo and #Believe Women movements (20.45; 22.23)Experience and process of writing this novel (5.32)C. S. Richardson (4.28)Characterization of protagonist, Maya (7.11; 15.27)Home country vs. Home culture (8.20, 17.25)Third-wave feminism and Western feminism (8:59)Role of trauma in decision-making (11.14)Moral question related to boundaries (11.50)Intersectionality (13.43)Personal vs political violences (18.03)Love and desire (19.20)Intentions and “we meant well” (24.03)
53. Wider Circles of Love and Faith - Lisa Moore's This is How We Love31:38Linda and Lisa Moore converse about her most recent novel, This is How We Love (House of Anansi). Their conversation traverses various subjects, including the formal aspects of the novel, the job of the novelist (5.40), questions of genre (6.40), the use of Audible, the importance of editors (with a nod to Melanie Little, Lisa's editor, 10.30)and the complexities of loving. One of the most fascinating turns in this discussion relates to Lisa's point about the democracy of loving and voice (8.40 and 27.23), her understanding that reading literature is an anti-capitalist endeavour (16.20). The interview is a wonderful introduction to a compelling, exquisite novel, in which every page is rich in detail and affective complexity.
52. Bleed - The Unmasking of the Medical System in Endo-Patient Care33:41As a fellow endo-patient, Linda makes herself vulnerable in this episode, talking frankly with the author, Tracey Lindeman, by whom she was so inspired. Lindeman, who authored Bleed: Destroying Myths and Misogyny in Endometriosis Care (published by ECW Press in 2023), uses personal experience, interviews, and research to take a deep dive into the healthcare system and the medical treatment (or lack thereof) of endo-patients.Some of the topics covered include:medical gaslightingsupport and advice for endo-patientsadvice for medical doctors
51. It Really is All About Our Mothers21:19In this episode, in honour of Mother’s Day, Linda considers four different books that feature discussions about mothers, in whatever form they assume. She tackles four different genres -- non-fiction, the short story, poetry, and a novel/thriller -- to consider how loving and caring actions are given and received - or withheld. The four works include:Hannah McGregor, A Sentimental Education (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 4.45)Margaret Atwood, Old Babes in the Wood (McClelland & Stewart, 11.04)Jenny Boychuk Antonyms for Daughter (Signal, 13.53)Charlene Carr’s Hold My Girl (Harper Collins, 16.23)In the Takeaway, she recommends Kim Thúy's Secrets from my Vietnamese Kitchen: Simple Recipes from my Many Mothers (Penguin Random House, 19.05) – or really, anything by her!Linda also references the Almodóvar film, All About My Mother (2.05) and Italian novelist, Alessandro Baricco, and one of his books, Silk (19.47)
50. "And the Oscar Goes to ..." - Film Adaptation of Canadian and Indigenous Novels43:58Her guest, Bil Antoniou - Toronto theatre actor and podcast host of Bad Gay Movies and My Criterions - discusses with Linda a series of Canadian and Indigenous novels that have been adapted to the screen, including the most recent Oscar award-winning movie, Women Talking, directed by Sarah Polley (original novel by Miriam Toews).They also discuss the following:Yann Martel's Life of Pi (Knopf)Jane Rule's The Desert of the Heart (Talon)Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient (Penguin Random House)and Mordecai Richler's Barney Version (Penguin Random House)The winner of the adaptation award? Listen to find out!
49. She Shoots, She Soars - Changing the Face of Hockey & Its Representation in Literature40:24Linda begins by taking up The Hockey Jersey (1.48; 3.15; 3.22) by Jael Richardson (1.58; 4.45; 26.17; 28.38), whom she interviews in this episode.The Hockey Jersey is a kind of response to The Hockey Sweater by Quebecois writer, Roch Carrier (4.18; 10.15; 14.55). Written in collaboration with the Toronto-based hockey player, Eva Perron (31.37), and with illustrations by Chelsea Charles (6.18), this book was the source of discussion between Linda and Richardson for this episode and how this children’s book, commissioned and supported by Scotiabank (3.20; 4.07, 5.42, 7.22), is directed toward changing the face of hockey.Linda includes two other voices -- those of settler scholars, Jamie Dopp (9.51) and Sam McKegney (14.55), who also contribute to the vibrant discussion about the history of hockey in literature, both in settler and Indigenous communities.Some other highlights?:Illustrations by Chelsea Charles (6.18)The politics of representation (7.35; 26.17; 28.38)The Indigenous Hockey Research Network (14.30; 24.19)Decolonizing Sport and Indigenous communities (22.28)the Habs hockey player, Maurice Richard (4.22; 14.53; 17.17)the origins and history of hockey in literature, including Ralph Connor's Glengarry School Days (19.50; 21.18) and Hugh McLennan's Two Solitudes (19.58; 21.23) The episode didn’t quite make it to include a very interesting discussion with Dr. McKegney about Beardy’s Blackhawks, so check out this page for more about that. She includes other remarks by McKegney (36.15) and Dopp (33.09) about other literary books that invoke the sport of hockey, including Indian Horse by Anishnaabe novelist, Richard Wagamese (36.15).Written & Hosted by Linda MorraCo-produced by Linda Morra & Marco TimpanoMusic by Raphael Krux