The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Edition for December 1, 2019

Listen to this week's episode.

A former crown prosecutor makes the case for Indigenous justice: Harold Johnson is a Cree man from Saskatchewan. He's a Harvard law graduate, and he's a former crown prosecutor. He walked away from his career in law because he became convinced the justice system is only doing harm to Indigenous people. Michael Enright speaks with him about his life, how the killing of Colten Boushie and the Gerald Stanley case shook him to the core, and his new book: Peace and Good Order: the Case for Indigenous Justice in Canada.

Thirty years after the Montreal Massacre: Marc Lepine's murderous rampage on Dec. 6, 1989 left 14 women dead, 14 more people injured and a nation shocked and traumatized. Lepine had a hit list of 19 other women he wanted to murder. Journalist and prominent feminist Francine Pelletier learned that she was one of them — and not surprisingly, that awful day has affected her deeply over the past 30 years. 

The promise of egg freezing is 'very real.' So are the pitfalls, say experts: It used to be that reproductive technology was a tool for women who couldn't get pregnant. But young women — mostly in their 30s — are increasingly using it in a very different way. They're freezing their eggs — storing them for a chance to become pregnant later in life. Donya Ziaee looks at how egg freezing is responding to the needs, hopes and anxieties of a generation of women facing new economic realities and drowning in options. Her documentary is called "The Big Freeze."

This forester says it's better for the environment to cut down a real tree at Christmas than to buy an artificial one:  People tend to believe artificial Christmas trees are more environmentally friendly than real trees because, after all, killing trees is bad. However, Marie-Paule Godin, a forester with the non-profit group Tree Canada, says that needs a rethink. 

Celebrating George Eliot's 200th birthday -- and the greatest novel of all time? George Eliot's vast, intricate masterpiece, Middlemarch, shows up over and over at the top of lists of the greatest novels in English. Other readers, though — Michael included — have found it a tough slog. Rohan Maitzen, who teaches English at Dalhousie University in Halifax, has read the novel dozens of times and tells Michael about Eliot's enduring importance and the new treasures to be found in with each reading of Middlemarch

Remembering Clive James and Jonathan Miller: The world lost two polymaths of surpassing wit, erudition and wide-ranging intellect this week. Clive James — a poet, novelist, memoirist, television host and one of the world's greatest cultural critics — died on Sunday at the age of 80. Jonathan Miller — an actor, writer, satirist, co-founder of Beyond the Fringe and a trained neurologist — died on Wednesday at the age of 85. We'll pay tribute with Michael's 2014 interview with Clive James and some vintage drollery from Jonathan Miller.

Mail: The changing world of editing

Music this week by: The Delme Quartet, Tanya Tagaq, Patrick Watson, Don Thompson Quartet, Canadian Brass, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Vince Guaraldi Trio, Alain Trudel, Oliver Jone and Duke Ellington