I was surfing some book blogs this morning and came across this mention of a new Canadian author.
She's just published her first novel called Town House from Harper Collins, and the funny thing is that the movie rights have already been sold - to Ridley Scott.
In a country that tends to sneer at light literature and beach reads — even the globally famous, literary and unabashedly patriotic Douglas Coupland has never won a major CanLit prize — Cohen is a rare and refreshing breed: an unapologetically commercial author. Like the best-selling Canadian thriller writer Joy Fielding, Cohen is a populist with an eye for the lucrative American market.
“I did approach Canadian agents and I didn’t get a single response,” she says. “I did think I’d have a better chance in the U.S. because the book is commercial and in Canada [the book industry] is much more literary and serious.” Taking the advice of her editors, she decided to set the book in Boston because “Americans wouldn’t read a book set in Toronto.”
A Canadian writer cannot even set a novel in Toronto anymore? Thats just so unfair. Why should we have to pander to the audience across the border just because they think their country is better than ours? Or maybe its simply because the reading audience is so much bigger down there - 300 millions against a paltry 30 million - with at least half of all Canadians whose first language is NOT English.
Well when I ever get around to writing the great Canadian novel, I'm going to be setting it in Canada - or England. But then I'm much more likely to be writing historical or non-fiction. I doubt I will be writing popular or contemporary.