The Calgary Herald announced one of the most depressing stats I’ve seen in a long time [even in this economic swirl of depression] — apparently, ’50 per cent of Canadians surveyed do not know the name of any Canadian authors, and of those who do, only four were mentioned by more than four per cent of them.’

The four that apparently we [that is the collective we, not the me-we by any means] can name are Margaret Atwood, Pierre Berton, Farley Mowat and Michel Tremblay. That’s it. Seriously.

What happened to Michael Ondaatje? Elizabeth Hay? Ann-Marie MacDonald? Alice Munro? Timothy Findley? Or some other, perhaps less well-known [if that is possible, according to this poll!] like Madeleine Thien? Camilla Gibb? Ami McKay? It’s incredible to me that we don’t know or recognize so many wonderful authors. Do we need more Canadiana in the schools? More contemporary titles? Do we all just need to read more?

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