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The book that reminds Mark Kingwell of the Manitoba prairies

The author of Fail Better: Why Baseball Matters explains why he thinks W.O. Mitchell's Jake and the Kid best represents his part of Canada.
Author Mark Kingwell discusses why he thinks W.O. Mitchell's Jake and the Kid represents the prairies. (The Varsity)

Mark Kingwell is the author of Fail Better: Why Baseball Matters. He was born in Toronto, but grew up on air force bases across Canada and went to high school in Manitoba. Here's why he thinks W.O. Mitchell's Jake and the Kid represents the his part of Canada.

The book that best represents where I grew up in Canada, the prairies in Manitoba, is Jake and the Kid by W.O. Mitchell, which I read in junior high. It's a classic story of a relationship that's a little bit unconventional. It's written in a way that is completely accessible to a young adult audience.

What I recall the most was that Mitchell came to my school and did an amazing performance of acting, reading and cracking jokes in a way that made me start to think that it's pretty wonderful to be a writer and to be able to communicate with people that way.

Mark Kingwell's comments have been edited and condensed.

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