Issues

September 2014

As the grey tsunami threatens to inundate Canada’s healthcare, we are in serious need of the best forward thinking we can find on how to keep the system afloat. Michael Decter, one of the sharpest and most experienced minds on this file in the country, outlines a focused approach that relieves pressure on our hospital networks, saves money and provides the kind of patient-centred treatment all Canadians want. Read “Saving Medicare” to get your own thoughts flowing on this critically important subject.

If you follow contemporary Canadian fiction, you’ll have noticed how many young writers these days are the product of Masters of Fine Arts programs in Creative Writing at universities from coast to coast. The question posed by Darryl Whetter, author and teacher of CW courses at four universities, in his provocative essay, “Can’t Lit,” is whether places that study literature are also good places to encourage the writing of literature . . . or not.

Psychiatry goes under the microscope in Edward Shorter‘s challenging review of Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness by brothers Joel and Ian Gold (the former a psychiatrist, the latter a psychologist), a book that explores the meaning of delusions and places them squarely within their environmental context. As Shorter says, the brothers are “part of a movement to drag psychiatry away from neuro-chemical thinking and to restore a place for social causation of illness.” Sigmund Freud would undoubtedly be pleased.

We’re also including in our online offerings this month a review by the gifted Toronto Star columnist Joe Fiorito of a quirky and fascinating Toronto memoir. Titled Davy the Punk, it comes from the pen of Stringband founder Bob Bossin. But the book is not about Bob: it’s about his father Davy, a racetrack man who “rubbed elbows with mobsters,” providing a seldom-viewed angle on Toronto the Good.

Enjoy your autumn reading.

Bronwyn Drainie

Editor