33 personal stories that redefine how Canadians see themselves.
We are more than just landscapes, polar bears, Mounties, and canoes. More than just “thank yous,” “sorrys,” hot prime ministers, and doughnut shops. We are also tattoo artists who have discovered the secret to cheating death. Designers hell-bent on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Super soldiers who take “live vests” off suicide bombers. Freethinkers who refuse to be tamed. We are global-village visionaries, world record setters, ambassadors of the imagination, and conquerors of the Rockies. We are Canadian. We are whoever we dream ourselves to be. Meet the glorious and free.
Profits from each book sale will be donated to PEN Canada in support of its efforts to defend freedom of expression. Why? Because living glorious and free involves challenging, exploring, and imagining a better world — and being whoever we dream ourselves to be. And freedom of expression protects our right to do all of that.
Rita is a Dutch-Kenyan new Canadian and former prosecutor and public defender in Kenya. After moving to Toronto in 2004, she founded Kenya’s first turnkey school library model and has now built twenty-seven libraries. She is currently in the process of drafting new legislation with the Kenya Law Reform Commission to ensure that all school-aged children have access to libraries and the knowledge they need to shape their future.Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, Kim is active in numerous art and social causes. A former co-chair of the Canadian Art Foundation, she currently serves on the board of the National Arts Centre and is also a member of the Sotheby’s Advisory Board. Kim was also part of the group that helped bring Volt Hockey—a version of the sport that enables kids with physical disabilities to play by using a specially designed chair—to Canada.
Frank Viva is an award-winning illustrator and designer living and working in Toronto. His first picture book, Along a Long Road, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and was named one of The New York Times’ 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books. His other books for children include Sea Change, which was a New York Times Editor’s Choice selection, Outstanding in the Rain and Young Frank, Architect. His art has appeared in the New York Times and on the cover of the New Yorker. He is a reviewer for the New York Times Book Review.
Yann Martel is the author of Life of Pi, the global bestseller that won the 2002 Man Booker Prize (among other honours) and was adapted to the screen in the Oscar-winning film by Ang Lee. He is also the author of the short story collection The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, the novels Self and Beatrice and Virgil, and the nonfiction work 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. Born in Spain in 1963, Martel studied philosophy at Trent University, worked at odd jobs — tree planter, dishwasher, security guard — and travelled widely before turning to writing. He lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, with the writer Alice Kuipers and their four children.
PRAISE FOR GLORIOUS & FREE
“Glorious & Free is a timely snapshot, a sort of voyeuristic look into the lives and spaces of some forward-thinkers working in Canada today.” — Globe and Mail
“With interpretive illustration throughout by bestselling author (and frequent New Yorker cover artist) Frank Viva and with a foreword by Booker Prize–winning novelist Yann Martel, [Glorious & Free is] a refreshing prismatic view of innovative Canadians through interviews and personal photographs that reflect on what Canada means and how it continues to inspire.” — Zoomer
“Love letter to the country” — National Post
“I think books of this nature act as little time capsules of a time and place.” — Nolan Bryant, Globe and Mail