Wednesday, July 05, 2006

July 2006 Book Club Selection : Why I Hate Canadians, Will Ferguson

Author Asks: How honest are Canadians with ourselves?

Every year, Canadians open the month of July by celebrating the birth of our country.
So perhaps it is fitting that the book club selection for July is a book that explores the assumptions we Canadians make about ourselves, and questions whether or not they are valid.

Going by title alone, Why I Hate Canadians sounds like it should be some far-right-wing book written by Pat Buchanan (of "soviet canuckistan" fame). The book is actually penned by Katimavik graduate Will Ferguson (don't worry, he explains the relevance of his participation in Katimavik), who wrote the book upon returning to Canada after nearly a decade spent abroad.

Why I Hate Canadians isn't so much a book about Canada, it's a book about Canadians. Likewise, Ferguson doesn't hate Canada -- he hates Canadians. Or, at least he wants to make Canadians face some of the unpleasant truths that come along with all the great things about being Canadian.

Ferguson attacks all the stereotypes -- the "mighty Beaver", the trademarked Canadian tolerance and niceness, and that ever-contentious multiculturalism.
Ferguson seeks first and foremost to force the reader to ask themselves questions: questions about Canada, and about what it means to be Canadian. He revels in all the things about Canada that are great, but forces Canadians to look all their historical and cultural blemishes dead in the eye.

This is a book that all Canadians should read.

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