Winner of 2017 Giller Prize

Winner of 2017 Giller Prize
Michael Redhill for his novel Bellevue Square

Friday, April 19, 2013

Joan M. Baril's Pick of the Week

We owe so much to Nellie McClung. When Charlotte Gray came to Canada in 1979, she noticed that Canadian women seemed different from women in the UK. Canadian women, she thought, displayed "a robust self confidence."
 
She writes "It seemed to me that (Canadian Women) had more confidence in their own opinions and they were more self-assured about expressing them. They took themselves seriously and they expected to be taken seriously... My new female friends shared a conviction that the roles they played were as important in themselves as men's.What's more, the Canadian men I met often seemed to share the same view.
 
How did this come about? Charlotte gives a lot of credit to Nelly McClung. 
 
At one time Our Nell was known world wide. She was feisty and funny, a dynamite speaker and hard worker not only for female suffrage and the recognition of Canadian women as persons but for equal rights for women in the church. She spoke out against racism and discrimination.
 
Charlotte Gray's book Nellie McClung is part of the Extraordinary Canadians Series edited by John Ralston Saul. It's a small book, not quite 200 pages but it reads so smoothly because of Gray's prose. Gray writes the way Gordie Howe played hockey: it looks effortless but it whistles along.
 
 

 

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