Tania’s Take on the Canada Reads 2015 Panelists – do you agree?:
Martha – the poet. It’s tough to match the language of her passionate defense.
Lainey – the activist. Sorry, Craig. Lainey is coming out as the stronger activist voice. She also seems to be capturing Wab’s eye, or is that just me?
Craig – the moderator. Sorry, Wab. Craig’s well-reasoned, balanced voice is keeping this debate going. Also, Craig you shine far above Stephen Lewis – who I wanted to punch several times during last year’s debate – as a Canada Reads panelist
Kristin – the surprise. Every year, Canada Reads picks someone that I think isn’t going to add much to the debate. Kristin proved me very wrong and I’m so very glad she did.
Cameron – the convincer. I don’t think I’d really love Ru, but dammit if I’m not hanging on Cameron’s every word – he should write a book about the immigrant experience. His whole speech about how the immigrant hope is to feel okay with feeling constantly in between, constantly both, was just brilliant.
Some great questions have been raised about the nature of breaking barriers, such as Lainey’s idea that a hammer is needed to really break barriers, and Cameron’s defense that a lullaby can be just as useful. There has also been some debate about whether satire/humour is useful in breaking barriers, which has driven me a little nuts as I am currently the lone defender of the satire in the Green Grass, Running Water discussion over at CBC goodreads. Satire is a thing, people! Laughter can make you think, the smile that hides a knife is a powerful and ominous tool, and a sense of humour is what gets us through the darkest hours.
Ahem, but moving on, Canada Reads hasn’t really brought up the question that I would like discussed: Can fiction break barriers better than non-fiction? *
How Poetry Saved My Life (our current read) starts with a quote from Jeanette Winterson.
“A tough life needs a tough language – and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers – a language powerful enough to say how it is. It isn’t a hiding place. It is a finding place.” – Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
The first two books voted off the debate were the non-fiction books. This kinda makes sense to me as I find that non-fiction doesn’t hit me in the heart the way that fiction does. It doesn’t stay with me. It also doesn’t resonate over generations quite as well as fiction does. Fiction offers up so many different types of language to deal with the tough situations, and somehow I don’t feel non-fiction does…though Amber Dawn may very well prove me wrong in this month’s read.
So, I put the question to you, would you choose non-fiction or fiction as your tool to break a barrier down and keep it down?
* This may have been brought up in the Q & A discussions, but I haven’t watched them yet.