This is the 58th of a series of titles selected by writer Yann Martel to provide to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to encourage an appreciation of the arts and literature in particular in the PM, and to also help him with his stillness and thoughtfulness. Martel has regularly sent books from a wide range of literary traditions to Harper. Martel has devoted a Web site to the reading list and his kind and considered covering letters with each volume.
Martel has only recently started receiving acknowledgements from Harper's staff. A link to a Globe and Mail article about the responses is also added to this reading list. However, as Martel remarks in the covering letter to a previous submission: "I get the sense that L.A. Lavell, another of your executive correspondence officers, didn’t spend much time on the book. Will you ever write to me?"
What is touching about this Alice Munro recommendation is that Martel recalls how he received a call from then-PM Jean Chretien when he won the Booker Prize. He asks if Harper has called Munro to congratulate her on her recent International Booker Prize recognition ...
Martel also provided this book in both traditional and audiobook formats, which is particularly thoughtful.
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