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Old 10-02-2019, 06:39 PM   #541
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It's kind of amusing, actually. A few of my nominations that have won have been roundly detested by the group.
From memory, the two Club choices you nominated astrangerhere were Never Let Me Go, which I loved, and the Rebanks we have just read, of which I was supportive apart from his writing style.

We had good discussions on both books, so I can’t agree by any means that they were “roundly detested”, as I certainly wasn’t the only member to enjoy them, and to say so.
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:16 PM   #542
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From memory, the two Club choices you nominated astrangerhere were Never Let Me Go, which I loved, and the Rebanks we have just read, of which I was supportive apart from his writing style.

We had good discussions on both books, so I can’t agree by any means that they were “roundly detested”, as I certainly wasn’t the only member to enjoy them, and to say so.
I didn't mean to paint with so broad a brush. I am with issy - good chat is always good, even if the book is disliked by the majority. I'm glad you enjoyed them though!
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:28 PM   #543
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We meandered a bit off topic in the nomination thread, about who the greatest Canadian author was.

If anyone else cares to join in, it would interesting to hear who you regard as your greatest national author (or greatest author of another nationality).
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:40 PM   #544
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Oh, that’s a tough one. You mentioned Alice Munro, and I like her very much indeed. I’m ashamed to say I had never heard of Robertson Davies or Margaret Lawrence, but I intend to rectify that. I do enjoy Margaret Atwood, though some books more than others. I LOVED The Blind Assassin - which would be another excellent candidate for the November theme.

Australians: David Malouf has to be up there with the best. I need to give this some thought!
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:44 PM   #545
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Australians: David Malouf has to be up there with the best. I need to give this some thought!
Not Patrick White? I admit I waded through a few of his novels decades ago and I wouldn't care to have to do it again.
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:47 PM   #546
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We meandered a bit off topic in the nomination thread, about who the greatest Canadian author was.

If anyone else cares to join in, it would interesting to hear who you regard as your greatest national author (or greatest author of another nationality).
Thanks, Victoria; this is a better place for the discussion.

Of your Canadians, the only one I've neither read nor heard of is W.O. Mitchell. Hard to get here, it seems; I had hopes of the local university library, but no joy. And no ebooks, either.

I do like Margaret Lawrence, but Davies seems more "important" to me, if I can make that distinction.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:18 PM   #547
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And then there's Pierre Berton, the Canadian historian and author. Who, besides writing very readable history, has a wicked sense of humour. I'll always remember his skit on the Rick Mercer show where he demonstrated how to roll a joint. (This was long before it would have actually been legal, one might add.)

Charlie.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:37 PM   #548
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We meandered a bit off topic in the nomination thread, about who the greatest Canadian author was.

If anyone else cares to join in, it would interesting to hear who you regard as your greatest national author (or greatest author of another nationality).
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[...] Australians: David Malouf has to be up there with the best. I need to give this some thought!
Malouf got some serious consideration from me for the the current theme, there are several of his I have not yet caught up with.

One difficulty I can think of with Australian authors in particular is a matter of origin or subsequent address. For example, Wikipedia describe Kate Morton as one of Australia's "biggest publishing exports" - the point being that she might have been born here, but she doesn't live here any more. Contrast with Arthur Upfield who wasn't born here but who wrote so many distinctly Australian works.

I suppose, for me, looking for national authors tends to be about looking for authors that offer something distinct to their nationality. For this reason at least, Ion L. Idriess would be right up there for me. (On which grounds I guess Banjo Paterson would have to get a mention too.)


What I'd be most interested in with regard to Canadian authors is who offers the most distinctly Canadian experience.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:46 AM   #549
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I would argue that Mowat is the quintessential Canadian author by those criteria, gmw. Though I suspect that there are those who would argue for pretty much any of those mentioned so far.

For the US, I'd argue for two -- Steinbeck and Twain.
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:33 AM   #550
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Not Patrick White? I admit I waded through a few of his novels decades ago and I wouldn't care to have to do it again.
Waders are definitely needed. I know he’s supposed to be The Greatest, but he does nothing for me at all. (Don’t tell anyone!) My loss, no doubt, but I find him lacking in human warmth I think.
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Old 10-04-2019, 04:32 AM   #551
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I would argue that Mowat is the quintessential Canadian author by those criteria, gmw. Though I suspect that there are those who would argue for pretty much any of those mentioned so far.

For the US, I'd argue for two -- Steinbeck and Twain.
Thanks for that. He must be good! The very few books Kobo AU have are all > AUD$20. It really could be time for me to go digging through our local second-hand book shop (I strongly suspect it has more books than our local library).

Thinking about Steinbeck and Twain - and of my own thoughts of Australian authors - I guess picking quintessential is partly a matter of timing, specific location, and population. Our countries are all large and diverse enough to have more than one distinctive voice.

My idea of quintessentially Australian is strongly influenced by my father, both in himself and in the books he collected and the poetry he would recite. Although, on that latter criteria we might have to consider the English voice of Felicia Dorothea Hemans and my father's unofficial variations of "The boy stood on the burning deck..."
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:46 AM   #552
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I would argue that Mowat is the quintessential Canadian author by those criteria, gmw. Though I suspect that there are those who would argue for pretty much any of those mentioned so far.

For the US, I'd argue for two -- Steinbeck and Twain.
I'd have to argue for Faulkner rather than Twain. But I am biased, I did my thesis on him.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:02 PM   #553
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Australians: David Malouf has to be up there with the best. I need to give this some thought!
Malouf is new to me. I took a look at OverDrive; his Ransom is available and I've been reading a lot of novelizations of classical tales lately. Do you recommend it?
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:24 PM   #554
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Malouf is new to me. I took a look at OverDrive; his Ransom is available and I've been reading a lot of novelizations of classical tales lately. Do you recommend it?
I have only read a couple of his books, and not that one yet. However, I do intend to continue exploring his work, including that book. I think he writes beautifully, and after reading one of his books, I keep on thinking about it in terms of the issues he raises, rather than just the story itself.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:35 PM   #555
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I have only read a couple of his books, and not that one yet. However, I do intend to continue exploring his work, including that book. I think he writes beautifully, and after reading one of his books, I keep on thinking about it in terms of the issues he raises, rather than just the story itself.
I really enjoyed Malouf's Remembering Babylon when we read it in the Literary Club. It was very interesting to learn more about Australia's history and social issues.
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