Heather O'Neill on creating 'Criminals'
Since its debut in 2002, CBC Radio's Canada Reads has quickly become a popular and influential show, attracting huge audiences and driving up book sales. Each year, CBC convenes a panel of prominent Canadians to each pick a work of Canadian fiction and argue why their choice should be the book that all of Canada reads. The CBC Digital Archives brings you a collection of the animated and entertaining final debates, winner "reveals" and interviews with the winning authors of Canada Reads.
• Heather O'Neill doesn't pretend her adolescence was as bad as that of her protagonist Baby in Lullabies for Little Criminals, but admits she saw rough times and places. In a 2006 interview with Quill & Quire magazine, she described her public school education in Montreal's Notre-Dame de Grace area as "post-apocalyptic" and recalled one year when the school "had only signed up five kids for Grade 7 - the reputation of the school was so bad they couldn't get any more kids to go there."
• In addition to Canada Reads 2007, Lullabies for Little Criminals also won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, an award the best piece of English fiction by a writer from Quebec. It was also shortlisted for the 2007 Governor General's Literary Awards.
Program: The Arts Tonight
Broadcast Date: Dec. 11, 2006
Guest(s): Heather O'Neill
Host: Nora Young
Photo: Portrait of Heather O'Neill from Harper Collins © Michael Crouser.
Last updated: February 14, 2012
Page consulted on August 21, 2012
All Clips from this Topic
Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion wins Canada Reads 2002.
Hubert Aquin's revolutionary novel Next Episode wins Canada Reads 2003...
Guy Vanderhaeghe's 19th-century western tale is the official pick for ...
Frank Parker Day's 1928 novel Rockbound wins Canada Reads 2005.
Miriam Toews' A Complicated Kindess takes the prize after some heated ...
Lullabies for Little Criminals comes out on top in Canada Reads 2007.
Paul Quarrington's hockey tale 'King Leary' takes the title in 2008.
Author Paul Quarrington and booster Dave Bidini discuss the 2008 Canad...
Lawrence Hill's tale of slavery and suffering wins Canada Reads 2009.
Since its debut in 2002, CBC Radio's Canada Reads has quickly become a...