Saturday, 11 April 2009

Great Canadian Read

Finished April 7
Payback: debt and the shadow side of wealth by Margaret Atwood
This book has been billed as a look at the literary side of side, but it is much more than that. It does indeed look at how debt has appeared in literature, including both financial debt and social debt, but it also looks at the history and meaning of debt itself. Atwood talks repeatedly about the balance that is a natural part of debt: for every debtor a creditor. She talks about historical practices around debt forgiveness and what that meant to society. She talks about the debt we owe the environment for what we have taken from it without giving back and how that debt is now being called in. Throughout this book she shows a wonderful sense of humour, dry and witty that had me laughing out loud.
This book is an important one, not just because of the times we are in, but because of the message it has for humanity and the way that the role of debt is explained clearly for even the financially illiterate to understand.
This book is part of the CBC Massey Lecture series and is a finalist for the OLA Evergreen Award. Read it.

1 comment:

  1. Noted that National Film Board of Canada will be making a documentary based on this book. Jennifer Baichwal will be doing it. I'm curious as to what that will look like.