For thousands of Canadians, Margaret Wente is the columnist who makes sense of daily issues and events. Even when they disagree with her conclusions and fire off angry letters in response, most readers of The Globe and Mail still report that her column is the first thing they turn to in the newspaper. When The Economist chose the most influential newspaper columnists in 20 countries, Margaret Wente was the only Canadian journalist to make the list.
As she did so successfully in An Accidental Canadian, Margaret Wente here weaves the story of her life through her observations of the current scene. Wente takes us from the newsroom (where she conveys just what it’s like to have a regular newspaper column) to the mailroom (describing how people react to what she writes). In the book’s eponymous chapter, she recounts the biggest uproars her columns have caused -- from the piece that compared Newfoundland to a deadbeat brother-in-law to another that questioned the notion that First Nations cultures were once as advanced as European societies.
Less controversial are her more personal articles, the ones that get put on fridge doors or pinned to bulletin boards. In these, she tries to make sense of life as a woman, a boomer/mid-lifer dealing with a husband, kids or aging parents. You Can’t Say That in Canada also includes much previously unseen material, carefully crafted into an original, engaging narrative. Here is Margaret Wente at her very best, bringing her trademark candor, warmth and wit to a book with sure-fire appeal for both her existing fans and new readers alikeclose this panel
"She is a writer with a voice all her own, quite possibly the best newspaper columnist in the country." - ROBERT FULFORD ()close this panel