Arrival by Nick Mount

I originally got my hands on a copy of this book through NetGalley, but after I reviewed it on Goodreads, Nick Mount asked if he could send me a real-life copy. Isn’t that nice?

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This book has gotten a lot of flack for not being as inclusive as it could be, and for focusing on the same old faces you’d expect: Margaret Atwood, Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, etc, etc. But I enjoyed it all the same; I found that Mount complicated these golden figures of CanLit at least a little, and that’s a pretty good start. The 60s boom in CanLit was a weird and sexist and cliquey time, full of weird and sexist and cliquey people. It didn’t believe in itself then – Canada Council grants were originally intended to pay for flights overseas to expose Canadian writers to “real” culture in Europe – and to be honest, it doesn’t necessarily believe in itself now. And maybe that’s a good thing.

Anyway, it’s a pretty book, and it’s an interesting book, even if it ought to be taken with a grain or two of salt.

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