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Yann Martel sends Yann Martel to Stephen Harper

The first rule one learns in today’s publishing climate is that an opportunity to promote one’s own book should never, ever be passed up. Crank letter writer Renowned author Yann Martel demonstrates this truth with the 66th pick in his unilateral book club. This week, Martel is sending Stephen Harper … What Is Stephen Harper Reading? by Yann Martel.

The book’s accompanying letter is mostly a lot of musing about the wonderful thing that is a book, and how lasting. It’s fairly boilerplate book-thumping, with a few thoroughly Martelesque stylistic and ideological quirks. For example, he says that his book “will last because it will find protection in all the homes and libraries that shelter it,” suggesting that the tome is a kind of literary refugee. Martel also refers to Harper’s recent performance of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” as singing “poetry to the Canadian people.”

Interestingly, Martel notes that “eventually, there will be a complete edition” of WISHR? “When it comes out,” he writes, “how many letters it will contain “ that all depends on [Harper].”