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Nodding off to Canadian fiction

For those with access to the Globe and Mail’s inside edition, a column by Russell Smith discusses the author’s aversion to Canadian historical fiction. Contemplating why he has trouble taking on these dense but theoretically important books, Smith finally determines that many of them sound more like essays than novels. He writes: “I also fear, I suppose, that authors are mining the past out of a fear of the present — a fear that the present is somehow undignified, trivial, not real. But then maybe I myself am all those things — maybe my fixation with the present and the near future makes me superficial. I don’t think so. But it is that doubt that keeps me reading.”

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