Douglas Gibson on being Hugh MacLennan

The National Post books blog, The Afterword, featured a piece by Doug on his experience being Hugh MacLennan for Canada Reads this year.

It all began with a very tentative email from a nice woman at CBC Radio in November. She explained that the five books that would be finalists for Canada Reads had been selected. The publicity leading up to the week of on-air debates in February would begin soon, involving not only the advocate for the book on the jury, but also the author.

But they had a problem. One of the books was Two Solitudes, by Hugh MacLennan. And Hugh had passed away in 1990 (a sad fact that I knew all too well, since I had spoken at his funeral). Would I, just possibly, she wondered, be willing to step in to speak on Hugh’s behalf, if that wouldn’t be too much trouble?

Read the rest on The Afterword.

Doug’s Two Solitudes Playlist


In his role as official representative of Hugh MacLennan for this year’s Canada Reads competition, Doug has created a playlist he thinks complements Two Solitudes. You can listen to the songs and hear him talk about his selections on Shift with Tom Allen here.

Canada reads Hugh MacLennan

CBC’s annual Battle of the Books Canada Reads announced their 2013 selections and panelists today at a reception in the broadcaster’s atrium. The books and champions are

  • February by Lisa Moore, championed by comedian Trent McClellan
  • Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, championed by Olympic wrestler Carol Huynh
  • Away by Jane Urquhart,  championed by author Charlotte Gray
  • Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan, championed by actor Jay Baruchel
  • The Age of Hope by David Bergen, championed by broadcaster Ron MacLean

Since Hugh isn’t around anymore to represent his book as author, CBC has asked Doug to stand-in for Hugh and lend his special insight into Hugh’s work and Two Solitudes. Follow along at CBC Books!

Doug’s thoughts on the “Turf Wars” of Canada Reads

The theme this year for Canada Reads is “Turf Wars,” pitting one region of Canada against another. The CBC designated five regions, and readers across the country voted on which books should represent each region. Recently CBC Books announced the top 10 books for each region, and asked Doug to comment on those selections. You can read this thoughts on the top 10 list at CBC Books.