On March 28, Yaan Martel (Life of Pi) and 49 other Canadian artists attended a special tribute to the arts in Parliament and was somewhat dismayed to find that the Prime Minister made not the slightest attempt to engage with, or even acknowledge, these famous Canadians or their achievements. So he has decided to send Stephen Harper – a man who he says “cares not a jot for the arts” – a classic piece of literature and an accompanying letter every two weeks for as long as he continues to be Prime Minister. The first book, The Death of Ivan Ilych, was sent today, April 16.
Martel is posting the name of the book, the letter, and the response (if any) from the Prime Minister on his web site: http://www.whatisstephenharperreading.com. Aside from the obvious mischief factor and the interest in seeing what, if any, response he gets, the site will be of interest to all who do enjoy reading because it will give us a recognized author's view of what constitutes a good read and why.
Who knows, there may even be a hockey book in there one day if the classics get no response.