Issues

June 2011

The Wikileaks phenomenon has brought to the forefront of public debate the shadowy and controversial role that whistleblowers tend to play in modern democracies. How much secrecy is necessary for governments to do their job, and how much is egregious? How much information does the general public “deserve”? How much is it clamouring for? In Canada, not much, according to Suanne Kelman, an esteemed journalist and academic. And that, she writes in her feature essay “Shooting the Messenger,” is a serious problem.

The Roman Catholic Church has come in for its own share of controversy in the past few decades, and now a prominent Canadian broadcaster, Michael Coren, steps up with a ringing defense of the institution, a book provocatively titled Why Catholics Are Right. Our reviewer, Michael Valpy, former senior writer for The Globe and Mail (on religion among many subjects), questions Coren’s stance.

Romance across cultural lines can be difficult and poignant, and is often a thought-provoking subject for fiction. It Is Just That Your House Is So Far Away by Steve Noyes tells the story of Anglo-Canadian Jeff who meets Chinese Bian Fu on the streets of Beijing. Our reviewer, Judy Fong Bates, understands the lovers’ tension better than most. Her own memoir The Year of Finding Memory describes her return to China in search of her family’s past, accompanied by her Anglo-Canadian husband.

Bronwyn Drainie

Editor