Longlisted for the Charles Taylor Prize and selected as a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book
Globe and Mail columnist Sandra Martin honours the lives of Canada's famous, infamous, and unsung heroes in this unique collection of obituaries of the first decade of the twenty-first century. Here are Canadian icons such as Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, economist John Kenneth Galbraith, social activist June Callwood, and urban theorist Jane Jacobs. Here are builders such as feminist and editor Doris Anderson, and businessman and famed art collector Ken Thomson. Here are our rogues, rascals, and romantics; our service men and women; and here are those private citizens whose lives have had an undeniable public impact. Finally, Martin interweaves these elegant and eloquent biographies with the autobiography of the obit writer, offering an exclusive and intimate view of life on the dead beat.
Beautifully written, compelling, and vivid, Working the Dead Beat is a tribute to those individuals who, each on their own and as a collective, tell the story of our country, and to the life of the obit writer who chronicles their extraordinary lives.close this panel
Sandra Martin is a journalist at the Globe and Mail . She has won writing prizes from the Society of Professional Obituary Writers, gold and silver National Magazine Awards, the Atkinson and William Southam Journalism Fellowships, and the Harvey Southam Lecturership at the University of Victoria. The co-author of three books, including Rupert Brooke in Canada and Card Tricks: Bankers, Boomers, and the Explosion of Plastic Credit, which was shortlisted for the Canadian Business Book Award, she is the editor of the bestselling and critically acclaimed collection, The First Man in My Life: Daughters Write about Their Fathers. She lives in Toronto with her husband, historian Roger Hall, and is the mother of two children.close this panel
Martin's is a select history of Canada told through extended obituaries of both the known and the unknown, researched energetically and written graciously by one of the country's leading journalists.
... a dizzying, dazzling, ultimately affirming collection ... stirring and heartbreaking.
Working the Dead Beat is the most engaging and enlivening book about Canada that I've come across this year.
... wonderful ... recent public life in Canada has included many fascinating and worthwhile characters.