The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Magazine for September 25, 2022

We unpack how to better prepare for disasters following post-tropical storm Fiona, Comedian Ali Hassan charts his struggle to belong, David A. Robertson explores the role of storytelling in reconciliation, we honor Glenn Gould's legacy, and Joshua Knelman reveals secrets of the tobacco industry.
Piya Chattopadhyay is host of The Sunday Magazine. (CBC)

This week on The Sunday Magazine with Piya Chattopadhyay:

Picking up the pieces after Fiona

As Atlantic Canada grapples with the wrath of post-tropical storm Fiona, we hear from Canadians in affected regions about how they're contemplating recovery in the days and weeks ahead. Then, Chattopadhyay speaks with reporter James Murray, who's been covering the impact of Fiona for CBC from Nova Scotia. Severe weather events like Fiona are occurring more frequently across the country – and their effects are exacerbated by climate change. Chattopadhyay speaks with Jason Thistlethwaite, a professor at the University of Waterloo's School of Environment, Enterprise and Development in Ontario and an expert in climate change risk and adaptation about how well-prepared we were for Fiona and what we've learned about weathering future storms. 

Ali Hassan's journey to belonging

Ali Hassan has long entertained us as a comedian and actor on stage, in films and of course on CBC Radio and TV shows including Laugh Out Loud, Canada Reads and Run the Burbs. Now, Hassan is sharing a more personal side of his life in a new memoir called Is There Bacon in Heaven? — which charts his upbringing in Montreal as a second- generation Canadian in the 1980s, his struggle to belong and understand who he is in relation to his Muslim-Pakistani heritage and his complicated love affair with pork. He joins Chattopadhyay to reflect on identity, the trials of fatherhood and the role of comedy in his life.

Finding home, through a father-daughter adventure story 

Winnipeg's David A. Robertson is best known for his acclaimed kids' books that tell stories related to the history of residential schools in Canada. But now, the award-winning Indigenous writer is releasing a work of adult literary fiction inspired by his own life story, called The Theory of Crows. He joins Chattopadhyay ahead of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to talk about the value of personal histories and why storytelling is so important on the journey to reconciliation.

Sharing Glenn Gould's story with a new generation

Decades after his death, the famed Canadian pianist is still celebrated for his musical achievements. On what would have been his 90th birthday, comes a new book that shares the story of one the most iconic pianists and beloved artists of the 20th century, with children. As Glenn as Can Be embraces Gould's incredible talent and his famous eccentricities. Children's book author Sarah Ellis and illustrator Nancy Vo share their insights on Glenn as a child, and how he might inspire kids today to follow their own path.

The secrets behind the smoke of 'big tobacco'

How did an addictive, poisonous, disease-causing substance become so ingrained in our culture, and ubiquitous on our store shelves despite science and better judgement? To get answers, writer Joshua Knelman tells the story of a young lawyer whose job it is to market cigarettes around the world, even as growing health concerns, government regulations and anti-smoking campaigns would seem to signal the demise of the product he's hawking. In his new book Firebrand: A Tobacco Lawyer's Journey Knelman takes us inside the global tobacco industry to explore why and how the tobacco trade thrives as much, if not more, than it ever has. 

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