Tell me it isn't so!
I fear it is so, though. And even worse, 'still'. I'm referring to Jeffrey Simpson's column in the Globe & Mail on Saturday, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/jeffrey-simpson/so-much-more-than-a-nose-on-our-currency/article2266173/. If you don't have time to read it, the short version is that Canadian writers 'get no respect'.
In Simpson's column he's focusing on Richard Gwynn's historical works about John A. Macdonald in particular. If these were published in the U.S., and about American statesmen, they would be best sellers. Not so, here in Canada. The less we know about our history, the better it seems. So, publish away. The sales will be to those history buffs who probably already know most of the story.
Ottawa crime writer C.B. Forrest wrote one of 177 comments posted to that column. He pointed out that this malady is one suffered by most Canadian authors, except for those household names, Atwood and Ondaatje ...you know the list, I'm sure. And then there's the lowly crime writer. If you're Robinson or Bowen, your name commands instant recognition with the mystery lover reader. But what about with mainstream readers?
That could be because Canadian crime novels seldom appear on the books pages of our newspapers and magazines. What an amazing feat then that Elizabeth Duncan's latest
Margaret Canon, Don Graves and a few others are still able to give prominence to Canadian crime and mystery books in their columns. Remember the days when there were double that number?
I keep coming back to this every few blogs or so...the message needs to get out there and it's up to the readers and writers to make sure that happens. I urge you to use your blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitters accounts to herald the fact that we have some excellent Canadian mystery and crime writers. Go ahead -- name names! Point the finger! Be a snitch.
And after you've read all those wonderful Canadian books you'll (hopefully) receive for Christmas, go on-line and post reviews. We can make this happen. And maybe next year at this time, I won't be blogging about this topic again!
Any suggestions as to what we can do?
Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime