The Sunday Magazine with Piya Chattopadhyay


The Sunday Magazine for May 15, 2022

Our political panel takes stock of the federal Conservative leadership race, a former diplomat reflects on the Summit Series, Elamin Abdelmahmoud shares his immigration story in a new memoir, Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison reflect on 40+ years of "Skinnamarink" — plus: the mission to end junk mail in Montreal.

The issues driving the federal Conservative leadership race

Our political panel joins Piya Chattopadhyay to parse the big political stories of the week, including the race to lead the Conservative Party of Canada, and the Ontario provincial election campaign.

Hockey opened the door to Canada-Russia relations 50 years ago… now what?

It’s been 50 years since Canada and the Soviets faced off in The Summit Series, but the diplomatic legacy of those eight hockey games endures. A diplomat who helped organize the event shares his memories.

How Elamin Abdelmahmoud found home in 'elsewhere' as newcomer to Canada

In his new memoir, Elamin Abdelmahmoud chronicles his teenage life as a newcomer to Canada, navigating cultural barriers in Kingston, Ont., trying to carve out his identity, and finding community through wrestling.

Junking junk mail for millions of Montrealers: One man's crusade delivers

Montrealers will soon need to “opt in” if they wish to receive junk mail, potentially saving millions of flyers from the landfill each year. We meet the man who made it happen and share his five-year mission to end junk mail.

The enduring power of 'Skinnamarink'

Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison of the beloved children's group Sharon, Lois and Bram look back on more than four decades of bringing joy to kids and grown-ups alike.

The Sunday Magazine for May 8, 2022

We explore what abortion access could look like in a post-Roe v. Wade U.S., retired Lt.-Col. Alexander Vindman discusses NATO's obligations to Ukraine, we delight in the activist origin story behind Mother's Day, and we dig into the history of book indexes.

What abortion access could look like in a post-Roe v. Wade United States

Activist and writer Robin Marty saw it coming. She suspected reproductive rights in the United States would come under increasing threat as the Supreme Court’s makeup leaned right. Marty speaks with Piya Chattopadhyay about what the future could hold for access to abortion in her country.

Alexander Vindman won't stand down on our obligations to Ukraine

Retired U.S. lieutenant colonel Alexander Vindman stood up to Donald Trump. Now he wants the world to do more to stand up to Vladimir Putin. He tells Piya Chattopadhyay what he’d like to see all NATO countries doing to bring the conflict to an end.

The battle to keep Mother's Day free of politics and profits

Despite what you may suspect, Mother's Day was not invented by greeting card companies. Anna Jarvis established the day in the United States and went toe to toe with flower companies, U.S. presidents and charities to uphold her singular, sentimental vision for the occasion.

Why a good book's story doesn't end at the index

Author Dennis Duncan has published the first ever history of the book index — and you’ll never look at the back of the book the same again. We trace the index's evolution, from its invention by medieval monks to its present life as the backbone of search engines.

Bill Gates says we should treat and prevent pandemics like fires: with a permanent task force

In his latest book, titled How to Prevent the Next Pandemic, the billionaire philanthropist lays out the lessons he's learned from COVID-19 through his work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and possible solutions for the future.

How libraries became a quiet battlefront in the war in Ukraine

Librarian Ksenya Kiebuzinski shares a handpicked selection of rare Ukrainian texts from the University of Toronto's Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

From crosswords to jigsaws, A.J. Jacobs cracks the code on our love affair with puzzles

The Puzzler author A.J. Jacobs argues that the puzzling mindset – one that touts getting curious before getting furious – can help us solve the big issues of our times.

What talking to his online haters taught Dylan Marron about empathy

Online creator and activist Dylan Marron speaks with Piya Chattopadhyay about his book Conversations with People Who Hate Me: 12 Things I Learned from Talking to Internet Strangers.

The Sunday Magazine for May 1, 2022

Bill Gates shares advice for preventing the next pandemic, a librarian takes us inside the effort to preserve Ukrainian rare books, A.J. Jacobs pieces together why we're so drawn to puzzles, and Dylan Marron explains what online haters taught him about empathy.

The upside of feeling down with author Susan Cain

New York Times bestselling author Susan Cain, sits down with The Sunday Magazine's host, Piya Chattopadhyay, to discuss her new book “Bittersweet: How Sorrow And Longing Make Us Whole”. Cain makes the case for putting more value into the darker parts of our emotional states to reap the positive benefits.

How war wounds extend to the environment

The insurmountable human cost of the war in Ukraine is becoming all too clear. And now, experts are warning that the ripple effect of the Russian invasion will also have a devastating environmental cost. Thor Hanson is a conservation biologist who has been studying the relationship between human crises, war and the incredible toll it all takes on this planet.

Tracking the environmental cost of the war in Ukraine

Ukrainian NGO Ecoaction is monitoring and logging alleged environmental war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine, in hopes of pursuing justice at international courts. Ecoaction’s climate department head, Evgenia Zasiadko, explains her greatest concerns when it comes to the environmental cost of the conflict, and what motivates her to keep fighting for her country’s diverse ecological landscape.

A visit to The Candy House with author Jennifer Egan

Never trust a candy house. So goes the advice in Pulitzer-prize winning novelist Jennifer Egan’s new book The Candy House. But can anyone heed it? The book is a companion to Egan’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad. The new book follows a web of characters living through a technological revolution. In this world, memories are external -- and shareable. Jennifer Egan joins Piya to discuss why people can't resist the latest tech, the role of story in a data-driven world, and how the internet has influenced her writing style.

What decades of observing primates taught Frans de Waal about gender

Primatologist Frans de Waal has helped redefine our understanding of both human and animal behaviour. In his best-selling books 'Mama’s Last Hug' and 'Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are', he made the case that when it comes to everything from empathy and emotion to long-term planning and teamwork, primates and humans are closer than we ever thought possible. In his new book, the celebrated Dutch-American primatologist turns his attention to one of the hot-button issues of the day: gender. As usual, he wraps his scientific observations in fascinating anecdotes about the primates he’s met along the way. He joins Piya to talk about his new book, 'Different: Gender Through The Eyes of A Primatologist'.

The Sunday Magazine for April 24, 2022

Conservation biologist Thor Hanson explains how war wounds extend to the environment; Ukrainian NGO Ecoaction tracks environmental toll of the Russian invasion; Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Jennifer Egan takes us on a visit to The Candy House; What decades of observing primates taught Frans de Waal about gender; Best-selling author Susan Cain on the upside of feeling down

Why we need a more accurate narrative of the war in Ukraine

Peace studies professor Paul Rogers tells David Common why he believes the Western narrative of the war in Ukraine needs to be interrogated closely through a global lens.

Iceland's Canadian first lady on why her adopted country leads the world in gender equality

In her book Secrets of the Sprakkar, Eliza Reid shares stories of Icelanders, from politicians to athletes to fishing boat captains, to shed light on the cultural, political and social conditions that make the country one of the best in the world for women and men.

Science is 'imperfect' – and that's a good thing, says physicist Brian Cox

The world-renowned particle physicist and BBC host joins David Common to discuss his work promoting science literacy, his upcoming arena tour delving into the wonders of the universe, and why he’s offering Science 101 courses to U.K. politicians.