Get to know Canada Reads panellist Candy Palmater

Katherena Vermette poses a series of questions to the defender of her novel.

Comedian and former lawyer Candy Palmater  defended The Break by Katherena Vermette in Canada Reads 2017. Wath her get to know her defender a little better in this rapid-fire Q&A round.

Canada Reads took place March 27–30. 2017. Check out all the details and get to know the contenders here.

Where's your favourite place to read?

My favourite place to read is in bed.

How do you describe Canada Reads to people who don't know what it is?

I basically say it's the WWE of the literary world.

Describe my book in five words.

Feminist. Indigenous. Multi-perspective. Tender. And tragic.

Where is your favourite place to visit in Canada?

My mother's house. The food is always great and I'm always the star of the show.

Describe Canada Reads in one word.


What's the first book you read that made you love reading?

The Trixie Belden books. Nancy Drew, to me, was like some rich, white girl from the city. I didn't relate to her driving around in her daddy's car and doing her sleuth work. But Trixie Belden was a rough-and-tumble gal from the country, just stumbling into adventures with her best friend Honey. In my mind, they were gay and they were together; that wasn't written in. But I could not wait until the next Trixie Belden book came out.

What was it about my book that you connected with?

The story itself was amazing. A lot of writers would have written that story and made the perpetrator the villain. But you let us see the back story of the perpetrator, which was so incredible because then you had empathy.

Also, the way all these characters' lives connected was wild. In Indigenous communities, that's always the way it is. Everyone's got a connection somewhere. The same family has a connection to the victim and the perpetrator. That's the reality of life. And at the end, you gave me a feeling of hope and survival, instead of leaving me bummed out, which I thought was just master-crafting.

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