Posted by: Ian Bruk | April 19, 2007

I have to hand it to Yann Martel



Following is taken from CBC Radio One’s “As It Happens” website:

Yann Martel has a few choice words for Stephen Harper. And he vows to be forthright every fortnight with the prime minister, for the rest of Mr. Harper’s time in office.

Martel, Canadian author of 2002’s Man Booker Prize-winning “Life of Pi”, wants to instill a greater sense of “stillness” in our busy leader. So earlier this week, he pledged to send Harper a new book suggestion every two weeks. Martel has just begun to make good on that promise. Yesterday, he mailed a copy of Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” to the Prime Minister’s office, along with a letter explaining the reasons for his selection.

We reached Yann Martel in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

I would highly recommend reading what Mr. Martel has to say (though I wish he would have contacted us at Before Consulting on his web site title – it is plainly wrong) and listening to this interview.

Here’s a snippet from Martell’s site:

I know you’re very busy, Mr. Harper. We’re all busy. Meditating monks in their cells are busy. That’s adult life, filled to the ceiling with things that need doing. (It seems only children and the elderly aren’t plagued by lack of time—and notice how they enjoy their books, how their lives fill their eyes.) But every person has a space next to where they sleep, whether a patch of pavement or a fine bedside table. In that space, at night, a book can glow.

Though the interviewer was a little antagonistic in my mind, I really enjoyed listening to Mr. Martel. This is a great move on his part – very simple and very poignant.


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