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Michael Enright leaving The Sunday Edition to host new CBC Radio program

Award-winning broadcaster Michael Enright is leaving The Sunday Edition after 20 seasons of hosting the current affairs radio show to host a new program on CBC Radio.

The Sunday Edition for May 24, 2020

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

A COVID-19 confinement chronicle: week 10 — Michael's essay

"Nostalgia for the locked down and homebound is a bit like Novocaine; a little bit eases the pain of isolation, too much taken too often freezes every sensation and leaves us stuck in the distant past. We all fall victim to it. Occasionally. Especially when in voluntary isolation."

Anne Enright's latest novel 'Actress' is imbued with mother-daughter dynamics

Set in a post-war America and Dublin in the 1970s, Anne Enright's novel is the story of Irish theatre legend, Katherine O'Dell, as written by her daughter Norah.
Personal Essay

Stream, announce, assign, post, comment: Sam Heffer learns to teach from a distance

Sam Heffer is a prep teacher in a kindergarten to grade five school with about 300 kids and 27 staff. Three times a week, she also teaches a gym class. When she worked in a bricks-and-mortar school, she never spent much time sitting in front of a computer. Now she logs in to visit four Google Classrooms where there are no students visible to her. Here’s her essay, The New School.

To rebuild the economy after COVID-19, we'll need more government, not less: Jim Stanford

One of the biggest dilemmas we face in the post-pandemic world is the state of the economy: What will it mean to return to work? Who will still have a job and who won't? Are there sectors of the economy that will never recover from COVID-19? And will we be living with government deficits for decades to come? Jim Stanford, one of Canada's most progressive economists, sheds light on these questions and more.

Tom Shachtman on the influence of Eric Hoffer and his book 'The True Believer'

Author and documentary filmmaker Tom Shachtman talks about the influence of the late Eric Hoffer and his book The True Believer, which has become a classic. It is almost seven decades old, but it describes the brand of political extremism we see in politics today.

Beauty, death, nature and the soul: Emily Dickinson for the 21st century

Emily Dickinson’s path from unknown hermit to full-blown icon is unique in American poetry. The first word of the first poem that she ever wrote was "awake." Almost two centuries later, Emily Dickinson is still jolting us into consciousness. We reprise our one-hour special, which was produced by Karen Levine.

The Sunday Edition for May 17, 2020

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

A COVID-19 confinement chronicle: week nine — Michael's essay

"Many of us are experiencing the Third Quarter Phenomenon. This refers to a decline in performance and an increase in frustration, anger and sometimes aggressive behaviour as a period of confinement winds down. It has especially been experienced by astronauts, people in Arctic bunkers and submariners."

After COVID-19, we will have 'the mother of all battles' over the future of the planet, says Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor speaks with Michael Enright about some of the big questions the pandemic has raised about the future and the way we live now — and how he finds reasons for hope in the social solidarity Canadians have shown, and the potential for shaking off our old dogmas and routines.
Personal Essay

Pondering invisible prisons while living under lockdown

Day after day in lockdown can feel suffocating — or make a person feel like climbing the walls. But our COVID-19 incarceration inspired Vancouverite Tara McGuire to think about the abundant freedoms she’s taken for granted that others have never enjoyed. Here's her essay, On Living in Captivity.

Worlds apart, yet neighbours, Montreal musicians use song to connect

In mid-March, there was a big Orthodox Jewish wedding in a Montreal hotel. Within days it had led to an outbreak of COVID-19, and the community had become a coronavirus hotspot. This had the potential to further divide them from their neighbours. But then the traditionally insular Hasids began reaching out and some of their neighbours — including singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright — began reaching back. David Gutnick’s documentary is called At The Root of Everyone.

The pandemic has laid bare structural inequalities in our food systems, advocate says

A lot of things are hard to take for granted after two months of pandemic — and one of them is food: what we eat, where it comes from, and how we get it. It's also laid bare how intricate, interwoven and vulnerable to disruption and sudden change our food systems are. Gisèle Yasmeen, Executive Director of Food Secure Canada — a national alliance of organizations and individuals working to improve food security — discusses how the pandemic has revealed the weaknesses of our food systems, on both global and national levels.

A Winnipeg mom on life without the joys of baseball

A Winnipeg mom on life without the joys of baseball: Tracy Turner has always been passionate about softball. She played the game right through to her early 30s and now coaches her teenage daughter’s team, while her teenage son is an ump for younger children. With physical distancing, baseball rules are likely to change she says, but she thinks softball players will be out on dusty ball diamonds once again this year.

1-across and 2-down: The history and mysteries of the crossword puzzle

What do Bill Clinton, Jon Stewart, the Indigo Girls and Sir John Gielgud have in common? They are all cruciverbalists, people who love wordplay and crossword puzzles. Adrienne Raphel is the author of Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can't Live Without Them. It's a passion The Sunday Edition's Michael Enright shares.

Remembering Little Richard, a pop star like no other in the early days of rock and roll

Little Richard, who died on May 9, 2020 at 87, was a chameleon and musical shapeshifter in his long, colourful life. When rock and roll was in its infancy, though, Little Richard was a supernova — magnetic, subversive and explosive. York University musicologist and Grammy Award-winning music writer Rob Bowman talks about the man, his music and the enormous impact he had on popular culture.

The Sunday Edition for May 10, 2020

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

A COVID-19 confinement chronicle: week eight — Michael's essay

People turn to books to relax, to divert attention from the outside world and perhaps to learn something about themselves. I firmly decided at the beginning of the isolation that I would read all of Shakespeare. I began with Hamlet, Act One, Scene One. I got all the way to Act Two, Scene One."

COVID-19 pandemic reveals the risks of relying on private sector for life-saving vaccines, says expert

The search for a vaccine to end the COVID-19 pandemic has started a global race never before seen in the history of medical research. Matthew Herder, the director of the Public Health Law Institute at Dalhousie University, raises questions about the funding model currently in place for vaccine research and development, and about how to ensure equitable access to the vaccine once it’s ready — both within nations and among them. 

For the first time in 53 years, a family-run florist won't be open on Mother's Day

Many mothers might feel a bit of an ache today — receiving hugs only from a distance, bouquets of flowers of the virtual kind. For Francesca LoDico and her mamma in Montreal, there's an added sting because, for over half a century, the family flower store has been the centre of their lives. But for the last seven weeks, Francesca's mother has been alone in her house. This is their story, But For Now We Stay Home.

With the world on pause, the future is uncertain for soon to-be graduates

People in their twenties often are on the cusp of things — making plans, leaving one nest and starting to build another. For those about to graduate from university and college, leaving the ivory tower and getting ready for the so-called real world has taken on a whole new meaning this year — virtual convocations and a virtually unreadable future. Alisa Siegel and David Gutnick collaborated on this week’s documentary, "The Class of 2020."

The long history of solitude as both a blessing and a curse

James Morland, a postdoctoral researcher at Queen Mary’s University in London, explores how people thought about solitude in the 18th century, through the lens of three figures: the poet, the physician and the mourner.
Personal Essay

From a childhood replica to the real thing, Bill Richardson now has a cash register to ring

Never in living memory has the grocery store cashier had more attention, more praise, more love. And never has the work been deemed essential. Bill Richardson deems it to be something quite other than that. But he is reveling in one aspect of his new job, or at least the memory it conjures. Here's his essay, Ding. Ding. Ding.

Newfoundland hair stylist offers empathy and advice during COVID-19

As the lockdown stretches into weeks and months, one indicator of people's housebound state is their hair.