Jay Baruchel defends Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan


Jay Baruchel is an actor, writer and producer known for his work in films like Knocked UpMillion Dollar Baby and Goon.

Hugh MacLennan was the first major English-speaking Canadian writer to attempt to portray the country's national character in fiction.

First published in 1945, Two Solitudes instantly became a symbol for one of Canada's most challenging dichotomies: the divide between French and English. The Tallard family stands in for the entirety of Canada: Athanase Tallard is born of an aristocratic French-Canadian tradition, while his beautiful wife Kathleen is of Irish heritage. Their son Paul, meanwhile, must reconcile the conflicting interests in his blood -- he is at home speaking both French and English, but feels alienated from both cultures...and he is struggling to write a novel that will help define his Canadian identity. Two Solitudes won the Governor General's Award for fiction when it was published in 1945, and went on to become a classic work about Canadian identity.

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