'Tis summer! 'Tis Canada Day! INTERN is aflood with fond reminiscences of her literary homeland, and wistfulness at her increasing americanization. The Canadian literary scene, which once felt so urgent and intimate to INTERN, feels like that highschool best friend she hasn't spoken to in years. Yet the longer she lives in the big, bad USA, she feels less and less like a Canadian and more and more like an amorphous blob of North Americanness, unmoored and still finding her place.
INTERN knows that approximately six people who read this blog are Canadian. This post is dedicated to them.
You know you are a Can-Lit brat when:
...the most memorable book of your childhood was Le Chandail de Hockey by Roch Carrier.
...you sent your first unsolicited manuscripts to Annick, Coach House, and Arsenal Pulp Press, and got at least one nice hand-written note back as a rejection letter.
...the first literary journals you read/published in were subTerrain, Contemporary Verse II, and West Coast Line.
...you read The Globe and Mail every day for years and got irrationally upset when they changed their font.
...you get irrationally upset when people mistakenly assume a Canadian author is actually American.
...you are aware of Margaret Atwood's doings the way some people are aware of Lady Gaga's—she's just permanently on your radar.
...the characters in your stories write cheques and visit their neighbours.
...you get irrationally upset when blogger underlines the word "neighbours" in red to indicate a spelling error.
...you looked forward to the Word on the Street festival more fervently than you looked forward to Christmas.
...you can rattle off the names of Canadian authors like some sort of catechism: bill bissett, Guy Gavriel Kay, Jane Urquhart...
...when you go to a reading by a Canadian author (almost any Canadian author), and the reading is in the US, and go up and talk to her afterwards, it will turn out that you have at least a dozen Canadian writer-friends in common, and she will invite you out for a post-reading beer or three.
...the literary scene in the US seems so enormous and unwieldly in comparison that you despair of ever getting a grasp on it. Whereas in Canada, you feel like you can actually keep up on all things literary—or many things, anyway.
...your mom still bugs you to apply for a residency at the Berton House. Yes, it's in the Yukon. Does your mother really want you to get eaten alive by bears in the Yukon while toiling over the Great Canadian Novel? Yes, yes she does.
INTERN invites Canadian and ex-Canadian readers to add to this list in the comments.