Meet Canada Reads panelist Arlene Dickinson

Arlene Dickinson will be a force to be reckoned with during this year's Canada Reads debates. After spending five seasons in the CBC's Dragons' Den, fending off her fellow entrepreneurs to score the best blockbuster business deals, she knows how to get what she wants. And what she wants now is the Canada Reads 2012 title.


Canada Reads host Jian Ghomeshi with author Marina Nemat and 2012 panelist Arlene Dickinson (Tanja-Tiziana Burdi/CBC)

Arlene is defending Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat, a harrowing tale of survival and, ultimately, affirmation. After being arrested and imprisoned at the age of 16, Marina eventually was freed and fled to Canada, where she and her family began a new life. By sharing her story with the world, she has touched thousands of lives and is now an internationally renowned activist and public speaker.

Arlene argues that Prisoner of Tehran is the "quintessential story of a woman who has left behind torture for a new life in Canada" and is "representative of what many immigrants do and why many Canadians come to this country."

Arlene shares her passion for this book and for true stories in the video below the jump. Watch and the decide for yourself if the other panelists should be worried about this fighter with a head for business and a heart for compassion.

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Want to get started on Prisoner of Tehran? Check out this excerpt!

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