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[with apologies for cross-posting]

CLA President Margaret Law encourages libraries across the country to participate in CBC Radio's project "Canada Reads" and to help Canadians to read one book together.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO FIND A SINGLE BOOK THAT CAPTURES THE IMAGINATION OF AN ENTIRE COUNTRY?

CANADA READS is a new project of CBC Radio that will choose one book for the nation to read together.

During the week of April 15th on CBC Radio, host Mary Walsh will lead five panelists on a competitive quest.  They are former prime minister Kim Campbell, actor Megan Follows, musician Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies and writers Leon Rooke and Nalo Hopkinson.  Each will defend their choice of one work of Canadian fiction as the title all Canadians should read.  Day by day they will vote a book off the list until only one remains.  The winning title will be unveiled on April 23rd, Canada Book Day.  That will be the book CANADA READS.

"The one book idea comes from projects based in a single city," says senior producer Peter Kavanagh.  "But this, as far as we know, is the first time it's been tried for an entire country.  Of course, the biggest question is the one we can't answer yet:  'What's the book?'  Well, there isn't a perfect book and there isn't a perfect way to pick the right book, but we've come up with a plan that is fun, engaging and more than a little bit surprising."

The shortlist of books is:

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - chosen by Kim Campbell

Whylah Falls by George Elliott Clarke - chosen by Nalo Hopkinson

The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence - chosen by Leon Rooke

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry - chosen by Megan Follows

In The Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje - chosen by Steven Page

CBC Radio will broadcast the panel discussion twice daily from April 15th to 19th.  On Radio One, it will be heard during the first half-hour of THIS MORNING, 9 a.m. (9:30 NT), and the last half-hour of AS IT HAPPENS, 7:30 p.m. (8 NT).

For more details, go to www.cbc.ca/canadareads. Special features of the Web site include a 'People's Choice' vote and profiles of each book and author.

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For further information, contact:

David Barnard
CBC Radio Communications
(416) 205-5913
[log in to unmask]                                                                                         March 12, 2002



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