2010 Massey Lectures: Douglas Coupland's Player One

Download the lectures to listen at your own convenience: CBC Radio

PlayerOne-200.jpgFirst aired on Ideas (11/08/10)

The CBC Massey Lectures began in 1961. Over the years, these broadcasts have become a place where the best minds of our time discuss the issues that face us both as Canadians and as citizens of the world.

This year, for the first time ever, the CBC Massey Lectures are a work of fiction. Douglas Coupland, the 2010 lecturer, presents his novel, Player One: What Is to Become of Us? in five, real-time hours.

In an airport lounge in the very near future, four people are marooned when a kind of apocalypse hits. The price of oil goes through the roof. Thick ash falls from the sky. Cell phones don't work. Sealed in, Karen, Rick, Luke and Rachel can only talk to each other, examine their lives and the meaning of love, and try to confront their own demons.

Through the characters and their experiences, Coupland tackles some of the most urgent questions of our day. What is the essence of being human? What is time? Where, if anywhere, do the modern mind and religious faith intersect? And how does storytelling fit into all of this?

Douglas Coupland is the internationally renowned author of the groundbreaking Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture and a dozen other best-selling novels. He has also published six books of nonfiction, including a biography of Marshall McLuhan and Polaroids from the Dead. In addition, he is a visual artist, a furniture and clothing designer, and a screenwriter.

The Massey Lectures are presented by CBC Radio in collaboration with the University of Toronto's Massey College and House of Anansi Press, which publishes the lectures in book form.

The Massey Lectures will be broadcast on IDEAS Monday, November 8, to Friday, November 12, at 9:05 p.m. on CBC Radio One.

Each lecture will be available to download as a podcast the day after each broadcast. This free podcast will be available up until Sunday, November 14.

You can also listen to streaming audio files which will be posted the day after each broadcast. The streaming files will be available until Sunday, November 21.

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