The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Edition for June 30, 2019

Listen to this week's episode with guest host Peter Armstrong.
(Jacquelyn Tierney/Graywolf Press; Submitted by Jaesook Ahn)

A first-person portrait of what it's like to live with the 'collected schizophrenias': Few conditions provoke as much existential dread as schizophrenia. Most of what we hear about it comes from clinicians or caregivers struggling to make sense of an experience they cannot share. But Esmé Weijun Wang's new book, The Collected Schizophrenias, is something valuable and rare: a first-person portrait of life with schizoaffective disorder. She's Armstrong's guest.

A Korean-Canadian opera singer rediscovers her voice in small-town Saskatchewan: Jaesook Ahn helps her husband run a grocery store in Eastend, Sask., population 503. When David Gutnick discovered that Jaesook, now known as Jenny, was once an opera singer in South Korea, he convinced her to let him record a couple of songs in private. But then the neighbours found out. David's documentary is called How Jenny Got Her Voice Back. There were tears.

Donald Trump lacks the character traits of great presidents — Doris Kearns Goodwin: Kearns Goodwin's latest book, Leadership: In Turbulent Times, focuses on four great American presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. As part of our ongoing series, The Swamp, leading up to the U.S. midterm elections, Goodwin tells host Michael Enright about the character traits that made these four men great leaders, and whether the current president shares any of them.

Think cloth bags are better for the environment? Think again: A British government study looked at the environmental impact of the life cycle of various shopping bags. Michael talks to Jonna Meyhoff Fry, senior consultant for product sustainability with Environmental Resources Management in Oxford, England.

Everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask about O Canada: Robert Harris presents a musical biography of our national anthem by delving into its murky and unexpected origins. Here's just one fun fact: composer Calixa Lavallée was originally commissioned to write it by the nationalist Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society.

Music this week by: Ludwig van Beethoven, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt, Charlie Haden, Jimmy Smith, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.