Everybody’s Face but Their Own

Satire in an age of surrender

Fear, in the Canadian literary world, is something few people want to talk about, at least openly. When writers gather in private, however, the topic of what they can and cannot say or write in the public sphere is always simmering just under the surface. These days, they are justifiably afraid of putting a foot wrong (for a sample of the reasons why, see Lydia Perovic’s “Cut It Out,” published last month in these pages). It’s a situation that has created some interesting moments for me as I pitch my latest novel, My Camino, to the unsuspecting. When asked what my book is all about, I describe it as a satire of the art world, identity politics, and the culture of political correctness. It’s really about three friends: an African American man, a transgender woman, and an Irish immigrant who strike it big in the New York art scene. The dream quickly sours and the trio, in full retreat, decide to bike the Camino...