The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Edition for April 28, 2019

Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright.
(Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images; Submitted by Guy Vanderhaeghe; New York Review of Books)

The lost art of writing letters — Michael's essay: "Letter writing by hand takes work. In our screen-crazy world, the idea of a refreshing break from the vertiginous onslaught of digital dreck is very appealing."

Canada takes a right turn: The recent spate of provincial elections has changed the political complexion of this country. Why has this happened, and what does it bode for the future of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals? Host Michael Enright's guests are Tonda MacCharles, reporter in the Toronto Star's Ottawa bureau, Jen Gerson, freelance political writer for Maclean's magazine and The Walrus, and John Ibbitson, political writer and columnist for the Globe and Mail.

Your reaction to: Fintan O'Toole on the tragicomedy of Brexit, and the former environmental commissioner for Ontario, Dianne Saxe, on the crisis in recycling.

Newfoundlanders waiting for transplants create a community at Ottawa's Heart Institute: You can't get a heart transplant in Newfoundland, so dozens of patients and family members come to Ottawa to wait — for months, even years — for a heart. People from all walks of life and from all over the island were strangers back home. But in Ottawa, they share medical information, comfort and support. David Gutnick's documentary is called Newfoundland is Everywhere.

Revisiting Sinclair Ross's novel about false fronts and the struggle for authenticity: As For Me and My House explores the interior world of a minister's wife living in a small Saskatchewan town. Her marriage is suffocating, and she hungers for a bigger, freer life. In Episode 5 of The Backlista series about Canadian novels that have fallen out of public memory, Enright speaks to celebrated Canadian writer Guy Vanderhaeghe about the 1941 novel.

What Canadian author Helen Weinzweig taught me about writing and marriage — personal essay: In Episode 2 of The Backlist, Enright spoke to Sarah Weinman about the 1980 novel Basic Black with Pearls. Its author, Helen Weinzweig, grappled with questions of gender, marriage, and ambition. It reminded listener Darlene Madott of the conversations she had with Helen Weinzweig about those very subjects.

The International Criminal Court needs fixing: The ICC is supposed to bring perpetrators of crimes against humanity to justice. But it remains controversial. Some see it as undermining national sovereignty. Others, particularly African nations, claim it's a neocolonial institution. The United States calls it an "illegitimate court," and has refused to co-operate with any attempts to investigate an American. Enright talks to human rights scholar Payam Akhavan about the uncertain future of the ICC.

Commercial fishing and poetry mesh at the 21st gathering of the FisherPoets: Work poetry has a hallowed history, but poetry inspired by commercial fishing is relatively new. In Astoria, Ore., people from all over the Pacific Northwest get together to read, recite and absorb chapter and verse about the hard labour aboard a fishing vessel, their "home on the rolling deep; Where the scattered waters rave, And the winds their revels keep!"

Music this week by: W. A. Mozart, Johannes Brahms, Sir Edward Elgar, Anne Lindsay, the Don Thompson Quartet, Coleman Hawkins and His Orchestra, Ludwig van Beethoven, Antonin Dvorak, composer Laura Barrett and Ashley MacIsaac.