Souvenir of Canada by Douglas Coupland, 140 pages
3rd Canadian Book Challenge; Dewey Decimal Challenge: 971
I love the way Coupland writes, I love the way he words things. I love the pop references in his book. I knew I loved the way he put ideas together, and then I saw the collection of still life photographs he fashioned to represent Canadians and Canada, and it was complete. Coupland can do no wrong.
The book is written for Canadians, as we share our cultural history and nod and go hmm mmm, and then remember to say "Good book, eh?" It would provide some insight into Canadians you might know, but I'm not sure how many in-jokes are present. Maybe a lot. Maybe they aren't jokes though. We are different from Americans, even as we share so much of their culture that we feel we know them. Did you know that Canadians can buy their milk in 1L plastic bags, that we put into a milk container and then cut open and pour?
Part of the appeal for me is that Coupland is only a few years older than me, we are the beginning of Generation X, surviving in the shadow of the Baby Boomers, so we share a history of experiences just for growing up in the same time periods.
The book is written in a series of chapters or vignettes, in somewhat alphabetical order, that could be an encyclopedia of Canada. Coupland is not afraid to show his biases, and his perspective on the topics, and they range from the humorous to the serious, how we speak cereal French to the FLQ. Just watch me.
I returned this to the library a while ago, but I jotted down the titles of some chapters to remind me of the book. For you Canadians, can you guess why they were included?