Get to know Canada Reads panellist Jody Mitic

M.G. Vassanji poses a series of questions to the defender of his novel.

Jody Mitic, an Ottawa city councillor and military veteran defended Nostalgia by M.G. Vassanji on Canada Reads 2017.

Watch M.G. Vassanji get to know his defender a little better by posing a series of personal questions.

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

Where is your favourite place to read?

That would probably be the couch with coffee and the sunlight behind me shining on the book.

Which place would you like to visit in the world?

I really want to go back to New Zealand. I went there for leave from Afghanistan and I almost stayed.

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

I recently described it to someone as the royal rumble of books.

Who, of your friends and family, is the most excited to see you on Canada Reads?

My mom. Mom is a massive Canada Reads fan. She was begging me to tell her the list of books. And she was very upset when her little boy would not tell her in advance. Sorry, Mom.

Describe Canada Reads in one word.

Fun.

What was it about Nostalgia that you connected with?

As someone who has had to reinvent himself, I didn't have a choice. Your characters, you think most of them have a choice, but you realize not everyone has a choice in being reborn in the future. Since I got hurt, I've looked for people who have had to change their lives due to circumstances. Seeing that these people are choosing to come up with new lives and go in new directions made me want to read it. As humans we get stuck in one place. I think that's the cause for a lot of mental angst people go through, because they can't or don't want to adapt to new things in life. That's how you get stuck. That's how depression can set in. Not that I don't get sad. I get sad all the time. It happens.

What is the first book you read that made you love reading?

It was probably a Hardy Boys book. I can see the cover, they both have flashlights, but I can't remember what the story was called. I just remember reading it and I had to see where they went next. I bought all the Hardy Boys books. 

Describe my book in five words.

Future. Past. Rich. Poor. Choices.

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