The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Edition — December 16, 2018

Listen to this week's show with host Michael Enright.

The agony and the ecstasy of a child's Christmas concert - Michael's essay:"The program says simply, a medley of songs. The conductor gives the upbeat, and they are off. And suddenly the notion of what it must mean to be an eight year old comes through with stunning clarity." Note: Michael first wrote and recorded "A Christmas Concert" 13 years ago and it's a tradition at The Sunday Edition to re-broadcast it every year at this time. Michael's son, who was then in the grade three recorder ensemble, is now a tall, thoughtful young man who has just graduated from university.

Michael Enright confronts his fear of flying by piloting a virtual airliner: For much of his adult life, Michael has suffered from a phobia about flying. He doesn't read on planes, he doesn't watch the movies. What he does do, is fly the plane in his mind. That led him to wonder — what would it really be like to fly a huge airliner? Recently he found out; you're invited along for the ride.

A son's quest to honour his mother's dying wish: Graeme Hunter valued his mother, and he knew where she wanted her ashes to be scattered. But getting them there was a bit of an adventure. His essay is called, "Relic of the Madonna."

Patrick Taylor churns out best-sellers rich with Irish charm, quirky characters and intriguing plot twists: Taylor is a medical doctor and immigrant from Northern Ireland whose books have sold in the millions around the world. He talks to Michael about his much-loved Country Doctor series, and about how being a doctor informs his writing.

The Sunday Edition list of novels to help you navigate family "issues" over the holidays: The Christmas season can shine an unwelcome spotlight on family dysfunction. We ask three writers to recommend books we should turn to if our families don't, shall we say, conform to the Norman Rockwell ideal. Michael's guests are Randy Boyagoda, author of Original Prin, Elizabeth Hay, whose latest book is All Things Consoled, and Sharon Bala, author of The Boat People.