The Sunday Magazine

Writers, activists and notables

A sampling of the thousands of conversations Michael has conducted over these many years.

Originally published Dec. 31, 2017.

December 31, 2017, marks a milestone for us — the 1000th program of The Sunday Edition.

We began before 9/11, before Donald Trump, before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We began as the digital age was quietly and irrevocably challenging and changing every aspect of our lives.

It was the goal of the program to provide Canadians with a window on the world which would illuminate, explain, provide context — and in the doing, perhaps move our listeners a bit closer to the contours of understanding. And to have some fun along the way.

In this episode, we dive into the program's archives to bring you a sampling of the thousands of conversations, documentaries and pieces of music we have featured over these many years. 

Excerpts of our interviews with writers, activists and notables include:

  • Michael's famous "Jimmy Carter" April Fool's hoax, with actor Ray Landry.
  • Canadian film director Norman Jewison
  • Actress and activist Jane Fonda, on being in the shadow of men all her life
  • Writer, satirist and former talk-show host Dick Cavett on making an enemy out of Richard Nixon
  • Future Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on the benefits and drawbacks of his famous last name
  • Sister Elaine MacInnes, now 93, who teaches yoga and meditation to prisoners
  • The late activist, writer and broadcaster June Callwood, on setting up Canada's first AIDS hospice
  • Mystery writer P.D. James
  • Social justice advocate, ex-politician and philanthropist Stephen Lewis, on falling in love with Africa
  • Possibly the best-known writer in the English-speaking world, the poet, playwright, novelist, blogger and tweeter, Margaret Atwood

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Nigerian novelist, on our mistaken view of Africa
  • Actor/director Robert Redford, on the fight for justice for Leonard Peltier​
  • Activist and member of the Gitxan First Nation, Cindy Blackstock, on equal access to health care and education for indigenous children
  • Israeli novelist David Grossman, on why peace in Israel and Palestine remains elusive
  • Professor of Peace Studies Paul Rogers on "war from the margins"
  • Margaret Atwood, on why writers are willing to sell their souls for literary fame
  • Historical novelist Hilary Mantel, on a mysterious apparition in her childhood
  • Iranian memoirist Azar Nafisi, on teaching young women in Tehran about sex
  • Crime queen Louise Penny describes confronting alcoholism
  • World War I chronicler Pat Barker, on inspiration from her grandfather
  • Irish writer Nuala O'Faolain on going public with dark family secrets
  • John Cleese on the fun of satirizing religion

To hear excerpts from these interviews, listen to hours 1 and 2 of this week's program.