The item beside this text is an advertisement

QUILLBLOG

Filed under: Book news , , , ,

Related posts

Yann Martel takes a break from Stephen Harper book project

With his next novel coming out in April, Yann Martel has informed Stephen Harper, his unresponsive book club partner, that he will be taking a break from his biweekly book-sharing project.

Since 2007, Martel has sent Harper 76 book that have “been known to expand stillness.” Today, however, Martel sent the prime minister a book accompanied by a letter explaining that he will take a four-month break from the project to promote his new novel, Beatrice & Virgil. From Martel’s letter:

I’ve decided to invite other Canadian writers to join our literary journey. I’m glad about the decision. This is certainly a case of making a virtue of necessity. After all, why should I be alone in making reading suggestions to you?

Martel also revealed that he recently received a handwritten thank you note from Barack Obama, who had just finished reading Martel’s Life of Pi with his daughter. The president wrote that it was “a lovely book – an elegant proof of God, and the power of storytelling.” Martel told Harper that he would frame the note “for sure,” and still takes it out sometimes to marvel at it:

What amazes me is the gratuity of it. As you would know, there is a large measure of calculation in what public figures do. But here, what does he gain? I’m not a US citizen. In no way can I be of help to President Obama. Clearly he did it for personal reasons, as a reader and as a father. And in two lines, what an insightful analysis of Life of Pi. Bless him, bless him.

  • angel guerra

    What a jackass….

  • Paul

    “What amazes me is the gratuity of it.”

    It amazes me too, the sheer gratuitous self promotion of not only concocting these schemes, but then having the gall to call Obama’s comment

    “an insightful analysis of Life of Pi. Bless him, bless him.”

    He certainly has good reason to bless him, getting a blurb like that. It has to be worth a good many book sales.

  • Poetaster

    Yann Martel . . . the only thing making Stephen Harper look good since Jan. 23, 2006. It is to gag.

  • Graham

    So the Prime Minister receives 76 letters from a Canadian citizen but does not reply to a single one. And the CANADIAN citizen is the jackass or makes one gag?

    How is it the President of the United States can find the time to personally send a note, but our Prime Minister cannot. Perhaps he’s worn out from all those crass Olympic photo-ops.

    Congratulations, Yann! I can’t wait for Beatrice and Virgil.

  • Poetaster

    ‘jackass’ or ‘idiot’–either word would suffice.

  • Graham

    I don’t understand the vicious name calling of a person who has the temerity to express their views to the person we’ve elected to hear them.

  • Paul

    Graham says: “I don’t understand the vicious name calling of a person who has the temerity to express their views to the person we’ve elected to hear them.”

    Maybe you elected that prat Stephen Harpur so that he could waste government time listening to Yann Martel promoting himself, but I know I didn’t.

  • Graham

    We ALL elected the Prime Minister, even those who didn’t vote for him. Part of the job description is to listen to those voters. I think the critics misunderstand the intention behind the book club. Try reading this excellent article in today’s Globe.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/books/review-what-is-stephen-harper-reading-by-yann-martel/article1491383/

  • Poetaster

    From the G&M love letter: “Regardless of the satiric futility in Martel’s gesture of intellectual generosity, one can be grateful that these letters and their moving observations about literature are now part of our culture.” I’m sure we are all grateful to have this grand gesture of satiric futility nestled in our culture.

  • Paul

    Graham says: “We ALL elected the Prime Minister, even those who didn’t vote for him.”

    We didn’t, actually. I elected an opposition member (or at least contributed to his election), and that is who represents me. We don’t vote for prime ministers in this country, not unless we happen to be in their ridings.

    The idea that he got elected and therefore we’re all bound to follow him is one of the fundamental errors put forward by his government, as seen in his portrayal of the opposition as disloyal or treasonous for opposing government policies and for trying to unseat his government. Every PM, of course, is due a certain amount of respect because of his position. But he lost that when he displayed utter contempt for anyone opposing his views, and contempt for the majority of Canadians who didn’t vote for him. Now he is simply a disgrace and and embarrassment, and the sooner he is replaced the better.

The item directly under this text is an advertisement
Book Pictures

Do you have great photos from a recent book event in Canada that you'd like to share with us? Submit them to the Quill & Quire Flickr pool and they'll show up here.

Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Eva Stachniak poses with a copy of her book, Empress of the Night

Tea and snacks inspired by Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Rimma Burashko with author Eva Stachniak

Eva Stachniak talks to the audience about the best and worst of Catherine the Great's favourites

Eva Stachniak smiles as she signs a copy of Empress of the Night for a fan

Fans wait in line to have their copies of Empress of the Night signed by Eva Stachniak

Fans wait in line to have their copies of Empress of the Night signed by Eva Stachniak

Lesley Strutt, Dean Steadman, Amanda Earl, Alastair Larwill and Frances Boyle

Frances Boyle, Dean Steadman, Lesley Strutt and Alastair Larwill

Amanda Earl

Jewel of the Thames launch

The item directly under this text is an advertisement

Recent comments