In conversation with Laura Bast, Molly Peacock tries to define the "Canadianness" of her new book Alphabetique:
MP: Why would you call this book “Canadian”? Other than the fact that it was written in Canada. I think you could call it Canadian because of the contract with the reader. There’s a certain faith on the part of Canadians that the writer is going to lead the reader somewhere. This is opposed to the quick culture in the United States. In the quick culture, if you don’t see what the author intends immediately, you don’t have time to stop and find out. A reader’s reaction can almost be anger at that.
LB: Where do you think that difference comes from?
MP: How about an ice cream analogy? In New York, the number of brands and flavours of ice cream in a supermarket will be extravagant. Here, the economy doesn’t support the terrifying multiplicity of that variety. A person doesn’t have so much pressure on the choice button. So what has really interested me is that the reviewers of Alphabetique got it right away. Because there isn’t the same kind of pressure, because they had time to process this unusual, beautifully illustrated abecedarian book for adults.
(Painting by Wayne Thiebaud.)