Sunday, March 16, 2008


I just finished 'CAUSEWAY', a memoir by CBC journalist Linden MacIntyre. The first couple of chapters didn't grab me, but soon I got caught up in the story of the building of the Cape Breton causeway as it wrapped itself around the events of MacIntyre's growing up.

This picture is taken from an old tourist souvenir postcard of the causeway in 1955. Prior to its construction, ferry service was the only way Cape Breton Islanders travelled to the mainland. This umbilcus was supposed to change everything for the people of Cape Breton, and some would argue life has never been the same since.

MacIntyre's beginnings are fascinating -- his grandparent's first language was Gaelic and his paternal grandmother never did learn to speak English. The parallels he draws of the building of the causeway and the end of the rare, very 19thC sort of existence lived by many Cape Bretoners makes a fascinating prospect.

In the end, it was a great read.

When I was doing a little research on Linden MacIntyre (and his son, CBC reporter Darrow MacIntyre) this evening, I discovered for the first time that MacIntyre senior is married to none other than CBC's Carol Off -- a favourite of mine from 'As It Happens', and before that, as a foreign correspondent for the Mother Corps. Apparently, they have been married since 2000. Carol Off's book BITTER CHOCOLATE has been on my tbr list since it came out last year. It's an expose of the cocoa industry, and I'm quite desperate to read it. No dearth of talent in that family!

Speaking of talent, I'm thrilled to have been invited to meet one of my absolute favourite Canuck writers tomorrow. Will reveal all in due course...


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