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Guy Vanderhaeghe on 'The Last Crossing'

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Guy Vanderhaeghe's 2002 novel The Last Crossing is drawing praise as some of his best work, but it's proof that good writing isn't easy. In this 2002 interview, he reveals how it took six years of work -- including scrapping the whole book and restarting while nearly three quarters-finished -- to produce the critically lauded tale of the 19th-century Canadian West. It gets even tougher from there; when people say you've produced your best work ever, how do you top yourself in the future? Vanderhaeghe appears on CBC Radio's The Sunday Edition to talk about all this and more.
The Last Crossing was the winning selection for Canada Reads 2004. Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy defended the book.

• Guy Vanderhaeghe has the distinction of wining a Governor General's Literary Award for his first book, the 1982 collection of short stories entitled Man Descending. He won a second in 1996 for The Englishman's Boy. Eighty-eight authors have won two or more Governor General's Awards since the prize was first awarded in 1936.

• Other Canada Reads authors with two or more Governor General's Awards are Margaret Atwood, Al Purdy, David Adams Richards, Timothy Findley, Alice Munro and Mordecai Richler. Michael Ondaatje -- whose book In the Skin of a Lion won Canada Reads 2002 -- has won a remarkable five Governor General's Awards, tying him with Hugh MacLennan for most wins overall.

Medium: Radio
Program: The Sunday Edition
Broadcast Date: Nov. 3, 2002
Guest(s): Guy Vanderhaeghe
Host: Michael Enright
Duration: 20:46

Last updated: November 29, 2012

Page consulted on September 17, 2014

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