Thursday, February 03, 2011

Who Is Yann Martel Teasing?

Yann Martel (Life of Pi) has announced that, having sent Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper 100 books over four years, he’s going to discontinue his literary tease. From CBC:
“It was kind of fun to do it,” Martel told CBC News Wednesday. “I enjoyed it. I learned that I lived in a democracy [and] that I can tease my prime minister for four years and not be arrested. That was a good thing to know.”

Martel's book selections included a personal letter. The Booker Prize-winning author of Life of Pi noted his project never elicited a direct response from Harper, although an aide to the prime minister did acknowledge the effort with a polite note.
Though some could argue that, after four years with no response, the project might better have been called What is Stephen Harper Not Reading, you can see the website Martel built around the project here. The CBC piece is here.

And in case you’re thinking Martel might just get a book out of this, never mind: he already did. In late 2009, Vintage Canada published What Is Stephen Harper Reading? which reproduced all of the letters the author had sent his prime minister to that point.


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