By now everyone knows that Madeleine Thien has won the prestigious 2017 Giller Prize! Congratulations!
I have been privileged to meet this writer of beautiful prose twice and when I sit down to read Do Not Say We Have Nothing I will hear her quiet, gentle voice as I read the words on the pages. Thien has now written 3 novels and a short-story collection (here is a review of Certainty which I read this summer).
Thien shares her craft through teaching yet admits to learning so much from her students. She describes working with other writers as “taking an imaginary leap into their work” and appreciates this privilege.
I love hearing about the inspiration that author’s find to write. Thien knew that she “wanted to find joy” following her previous book about Cambodia’s Genocide. While listening to Glen Gould’s early recordings realized that the path to “safeguard joy” was through music since it has “a range of emotions from which we have no words”. The music made space for joy. Following Between the Pages, I have learned that Thien is combining readings with the music of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra on December 6th at Hamilton Place. I am sure that this will be a wonderful event!
Thien admitted that she has “a book I would like to remove from the world” and worries that a person reading it will not want to read any of her other books. I think after her Giller Prize win, she will not have to worry about this!! This book has been a huge topic of discussion in the Canadian Content Goodreads group and will continue to be enjoyed!