Aug 152009

With response to Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s lack of support for literacy, Canadian authors, and the arts much has to be said about the creative ways people are bringing his attention to their importance.

Today I learned of Canadian author, Yann Martel’s creative way of doing something and, although I love the idea I can’t help but think it can be improved. In response to his sending a piece of his own literary choosing Yann Martel has established a website to document his efforts. What is Stephen Harper Reading? has his complete list, thus far, of books that Martel has sent to the Canadian Prime Minister as well as a record of the governments response to each – if there is one.

With books such as The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror, by Michael Ignatieff, The Dragonfly of Chicoutimi, by Larry Tremblay and The Island Means Minago, by Milton Acorn, Yann Martel’s collection includes some great Canadian authors but they are too difficult to establish. With the list filled with international authors I have to wonder why it’s not focused on the many Canadian greats of our time and before.

With the lack of support within our own country, in particular from our government, I find it difficult to understand why a fellow Canadian author wouldn’t focus his attention, thus the governments attention, on authors such as Robert Munsch, Margaret Atwood, Roo Borson, Jane Urquhart, Sheree Fitch and the list goes on. I was able to easily find a well established listing of Canadian authors online simply by Googling “Canadian authors” and am sure it’s just as easy to order these books and have them mailed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

I was nothing less than disturbed to see Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen, stories and pictures by Maurice Sendak as Martel’s most recent mailings. With all due respect, Where the Wild Things Are will always be remembered as one of my favourite childhood books but just recently I lost respect for the work when reading In the Night Kitchen. It’s books like this one that have me wondering why my own work, with the best of intentions and wholesome story line and pictures, isn’t sought after for schools and libraries.

After hunting for Yann Martel’s email or mailing address to include my own book and letter explaining this I came up competely empty handed. I’m amazed that such a great selling author doesn’t have his own website or seem want support from his fans and followers. If someone is able to get in touch with him please pass on my website to him and maybe someday soon, before Prime Minister Stephen Harper is replaced by someone who does support our country, he’ll contact me for my book and support.

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