Why Madeleine Thien keeps coming back to Hannah Arendt's Between Past and Future
Madeleine Thien is a Vancouver-born novelist whose breakout work, the novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
"The book I return to often is a nonfiction work by Hannah Arendt called Between Past and Future. It's a series of essays on thinking about political problems in the modern world. This includes political questions about how we place ourselves as we think through these larger struggles in our public and civic lives."
"It's a book that always profoundly moves me because of the deep commitment she shows to the act of thinking — and what the act of thinking means for how we choose to be or act in the world."
Thein's comments have been edited and condensed.