The Sunday Edition for January 20, 2019

Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright.

In praise of British novelist Muriel Spark - Michael's essay

“She was the kind of writer other writers would like to be. Her sentences were short, the grammar was perfect and she never slipped from affection for her characters to mushy sentimentality.”

Why PM Justin Trudeau is feeling the wrath of Alberta, just as his father did

It used to be called “Western alienation.” Now a stalled pipeline, low oil prices, and an economy that's bleeding jobs are contributing once again to a cauldron of fury that's bubbling over in Alberta. There’s even a new groundswell of talk about separation from Canada. Michael’s Alberta guests are: Duane Bratt, professor of political science at Mount Royal University, pollster Janet Brown & Calgary Herald columnist Catherine Ford.

From "silly-ass fad" to luxury status symbol: Inside the billion-dollar men's watch industry

A hundred years ago, the luxury men’s watch industry shifted its sights from the pocket to the wrist. And despite mighty challenges from technology and globalization, the enduring appeal of status, elegance, and testosterone, means billions for the high-end watch business. Ira Basen looks at the business of luxury time in his documentary, “Wrist Wars.”

Meet the woman who writes bedtime stories for grown-ups

Ms. Smith is a storyteller for an online audio app called "Calm Sleep Stories," aimed at lulling busy brains into slumber.

Children learned about the Holocaust from George Brady and Hana's Suitcase

Hana's Suitcase is a story known to children around the world. It tells the story of Hana Brady, who was killed at Auschwitz at the age of thirteen, of Fumiko Ishioka, the Japanese educator who came across her suitcase, and of Hana's brother George, a Holocaust survivor who lived in Canada. George Brady died earlier this week at the age of 90. We re-broadcast Karen Levine’s award-winning documentary from 2001, "Hana's Suitcase", which formed the basis for the best-selling book of the same name.

The Sunday Edition for January 13, 2019

Listen to this week's episode with host, Michael Enright.

Michael's essay: Why did Ultima Thule fail to excite us the way space travel used to?

“Perhaps we have become jaded, taking for granted those things which, in earlier days, would have galvanized our imaginations. Why look to the heavens when we can stare down at our smartphones and play Solitaire?”

How can we stop overtourism from ruining the world's great cities and natural wonders?

From Venice to Mount Everest, hordes of tourists brandishing selfie-sticks are overwhelming infrastructure, littering and crowding out local residents.

In Quebec, family caregivers are demanding real change. They just might get it

One in four Quebecers are caring for a sick spouse, a disabled child, an aging parent or a troubled sibling. The right-leaning CAQ government is promising concrete support, appointing Marguerite Blais as Canada’s first provincial cabinet minister responsible for informal caregivers. David Gutnick’s documentary is called, “What's Love Got to Do with It?"

Why virtuoso violinist Leila Josefowicz champions the music of living composers

Josefowicz, born in Mississauga, Ontario, began violin lessons at the age of three. She performed at Carnegie Hall at the age of 16. Today, she is a much-in-demand soloist who plays with the world’s most prestigious orchestras. The composer John Adams says Josefowicz possesses “an incredible combination of emotional intensity and supreme technical virtuosity, and some extra level of charisma, a kind of electricity onstage.” She joins Michael Enright to talk about her passion for contemporary classical music.

Early risers are not necessarily healthier, wealthier or wiser

Early risers are seen as more dependable, more productive, even as holding the high moral ground. But maybe it’s time to think again. Camilla Kring, says we must abandon our nine-to-five mentality. She consults with organizations around the world about how to accommodate the internal sleep clocks of employees, and why that will improve life for everyone.

Uncovering a family's hidden past

On shiny websites and in musty archives, millions are using their DNA to delve into the past. Anne Letain knew she was taking some risks when she set out to look back, and marched ahead anyway. Her essay is called, “Revisionist History.”

Reading feminist classics in the wake of #MeToo to become a better man

Carl Cederstrom is a Swedish academic who studies self-help movements. In the wake of #MeToo, he decided to read 13 classic books about feminism, all in one month. He tells Michael Enright what he learned about how to be a better man.

January 6, 2019 - The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright

Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright.

Liberals around the world are struggling to define themselves — Michael's essay

"Because our governors seemed confused about everything from Brexit to wall-building to pipelines that went nowhere, the confusion was passed on to the citizenry like utility bills. If 2018 looked like an explosion in a banana factory, 2019 is on course for an equally dreary sequel," writes Michael Enright.

Netanyahu's strategy of long-term conflict with Palestinians may backfire, says biographer

As Israel’s prime minister campaigns against powerful opponents in the run-up to an April election, he must also contend with police allegations of corruption. And he remains at the epicentre of one of the world's most bitter conflicts -- his country’s relationship with the Palestinians. Michael’s guest is Anshel Pfeffer, author of a new biography called Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Personal essay

A cat dies, a community is born: all hail Sir Hamish!

Paula Hudson Lunn’s grief over the death of Sir Hamish, her tough old orange tabby cat, was eased when she discovered he had been much loved by her neighbours and friends as well.

How a Canadian artist captured the vision of a blind piano prodigy

Artist Tony Luciani’s challenge was to make visual the vibrant world of someone who cannot see. He did just that in his painting of a boy giant that’s on the cover of Ethan Loch’s new CD. Alisa Siegel's documentary is called "Inside My Head."

Why we have to forget to remember

As the population ages, a lot of attention is being devoted to memory research. But Oliver Hardt of McGill University says forgetting is not a failure -- it’s our brains working as they were designed. We must forget, in order to remember. Hardt is an assistant professor of psychology at McGill University, specializing in cognitive neuroscience.

Elisapee Ishulutaq's art helped define how the Inuit are seen around the world

Elisapee Ishulutaq’s drawings of men hunting seals, women caring for babies, and polar bears out on a jaunt are simple and striking. In 2014, she received the Order of Canada, and David Gutnick produced this documentary about her work. Ishulutaq died on December 9, 2018 at the age of 93.

'Words are all we have': Samuel Beckett and our times

Suddenly, Beckett is everywhere. His plays are not just being staged, but selling out. He may be the most pertinent writer for our absurd and chaotic post-truth times, as we struggle to find purpose, meaning and reason for hope.

The Sunday Edition - December 30, 2018

It’s a radio millennium! December 31, 2017 marks the 1000th broadcast of the Sunday Edition. To celebrate, we have combed through our archives to bring you excerpts from some of the conversations and documentaries we have put on the radio, over the past 20 years.

Israeli novelist Amos Oz railed against fanaticism for decades

Michael Enright's 2006 interview with Amos Oz, who died on December 29th.

Michael's essay — Why radio remains a vital force in the 21st century

“Radio kills distance. It shrinks time into manageable components. At its core is connection. It puts us in touch with one another. It is personal, it is immediate, it is intimate. It is there to comfort when we hurt or tease and distract when we relax. It is there when we need to know. It is family.”