Thursday, 17 November 2011

Attention Must Be Paid to Writers--on Front Pages, if Not Ground Floors

There are times when a writer feels absolutely second rate, completely forgotten, totally unnecessary in the scheme of most of society. But then something comes along thatis amazing evidence that somebody cares a lot.

That happened Tuesday when Le Devoir invited a couple of dozen of Quebec writers to write the news. Not just reviews and cultural observations, but the hard stuff including politics and business. For example, novelist Marie Laberge contributed a fascinating article on the presence of immigrants in the construction industry, based on Statistics Canada data. The occasion was the opening of the Salon du livre, a six day book bash that draws more than 100,000 visitors every year.

The high profile attention given to writers is truly encouraging--almost enough to make up for the fact that when I went into the local Renaud-Bray (the Quebec book store chain) I discovered that books had been moved up to the second floor, and candles and Christmas paraphernalia took up most of the first floor space....

You win some, but you also lose an awful lot.

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