UPDATE: Something Fierce was announced as the 2012 Canada Reads Winner today! Even more reason to pick it up
The first Canada Reads debate aired on CBC on Monday. Here’s how Wiki describe Canada Reads:
“During Canada Reads, five personalities champion five different books, each champion extolling the merits of one of the titles. The debate is broadcast over a series of five programs. At the end of each episode, the panelists vote one title out of the competition until only one book remains. This book is then billed as the book that all of Canada should read.”
The fact that Canada uses public dollars to fund something like this is actually pretty awesome – and well, pretty hilarious. Let’s just say CBC is not known for providing fast, action-packed TV programming.
This year, Canada Reads featured non-fiction titles and the one that really stood out to me was Carmen Aguirre’s Something Fierce. It’s about the author’s life growing up with South American revolutionary parents and later joining the revolution herself to fight Pinochet’s corrupt Chilean regime. I awoke to find out that one of the panelists, Anne-France Goldwater (nicknamed the “Judge Judy of Quebec”), called the author a terrorist and questions why she was let into the country.
I don’t know about you but now I really want to read it.
The same panelist accused another Canada Reads nominee, Marina Nemet, author of Prisoner of Tehran, of falsifying her story. Nemet is mega-pissed and wants Goldwater to apologize. Meanwhile, Prisoner of Tehran – possible the bestknown title on the list - was the first to be eliminated from the competition. But a lot of people are saying that Goldwater should be removed for slander and that the competition has become a farce.
But hasn’t it always been that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter?
Here’s the synopsis for Something Fierce:
New in paperback, a gripping, darkly comic memoir of a young underground revolutionary during the Pinochet dictatorship in 1980s Chile. This dramatic, darkly funny narrative, which covers the decade from 1979 to 1989, takes the reader inside war-ridden Peru, dictatorship-run Bolivia, post-Malvinas Argentina and Pinochet’s Chile. Writing with passion and deep personal insight, Carmen Aguirre captures her constant struggle to reconcile her commitment to the resistance movement with the desires of her youth and her budding sexuality. Something Fierce is a gripping story of love, war and resistance and a rare first-hand account of revolutionary life.
Photo credits: flickr.com