CBC Books

The home of Canada Writes, The Next Chapter, Writers & Company, Canada Reads, the CBC Literary Prizes and some excellent student writing challenges.

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Episodes

CBC Books Canada Reads 2020: Jesse Thistle on From the Ashes

Métis-Cree writer Jesse Thistle talks about how our own story can emerge from getting the "small fragments of our experience" down on the page. In his memoir, From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way, Thistle describes how he transformed his life — from being homeless and struggling with addiction to winning awards in academia. ...
  • 2020
  • 00:05:57
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/27/2020

CBC Books Canada Reads 2020: Megan Gail Coles on Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club

Megan Gail Coles talks about her novel Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club and explains why she warns the reader, “This might hurt a little. Be brave.” Her novel revolves around a cast of flawed characters connected to a St. John's restaurant called The Hazel. They are implicated in each other's hopes, dreams and pains as they ...
  • 2020
  • 00:07:14
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/26/2020

CBC Books The First Page: Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay reads from the opening of his novel Escape, a sequel to his book Chase. He believes that what makes a good first page is something that grabs you right away: “You’ve got that first page, maybe two, to really grab the reader’s attention.” Download the First Page teacher guide for discussion questions on Barclay's novel, key concepts to writing a ...
  • 2019
  • 00:05:06
  • 9-12
  • Added on: 11/12/2019

CBC Books The First Page: Fonda Lee

Fonda Lee reads from the first page of Exo, her young adult sci-fi novel. She remarks that, when she starts a novel – particularly because she writes science fiction and fantasy – she thinks about presenting something familiar and presenting something strange; the idea being to make the reader feel comfortable while also giving them something to be curious about. She ...
  • 2019
  • 00:06:28
  • 9-12
  • Added on: 11/12/2019

CBC Books Shakespeare Selfie: David Chariandy on getting into your character's head

Novelist David Chariandy (Brother) delves into his writing process, how he gets into a character's head and the importance of the question "what if."
  • 2019
  • 00:02:42
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/26/2019

Teacher Guide(s)

  • Shakespeare Selfie teacher guide

CBC Books Shakespeare Selfie: Reading of 2018 winner (Grades 7 to 9) – The Universe's Greatest Love Story by Cynthia Gan

Cynthia Gan, 14, won the Grades 7 to 9 category of the 2018 Shakespeare Selfie student writing challenge. Her poem on the total solar eclipse of 2017 was inspired by the star cross'd lovers and written from the perspective of Friar Laurence from Romeo & Juliet. Gan attends Richmond Christian Secondary School in Richmond, B.C. The text of her poem can ...
  • 2018
  • 00:02:43
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/26/2019

Teacher Guide(s)

  • Shakespeare Selfie teacher guide

CBC Books Canada Reads 2019: Lindsay Wong on The Woo-Woo

In this video Lindsay Wong discusses The Woo-Woo, her dark, witty and touching memoir that gives an honest account of the impact of mental illness on her family. The Vancouver-based writer delivers a raw and emotional look at whispered secrets, dysfunctional relationships — and how her grandmother, mother, aunt and even herself initially blamed the mythical "woo-woo," Chinese spirits that plague ...
  • 2019
  • 00:03:02
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/27/2019

CBC Books Canada Reads 2019: Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette on Suzanne

In this video Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette discusses Suzanne, an English translation of her celebrated 2015 novel La femme qui fuit. Barbeau-Lavalette’s novel is an imagined account of the life of her estranged grandmother. A novel that blurs the lines between fact and fiction, Suzanne tells the story of more than eight decades of art and political history through its portrait of a conflicted woman and ...
  • 2019
  • 00:05:35
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/27/2019

CBC Books Canada Reads 2019: Max Eisen on By Chance Alone

In this video Max Eisen discusses his deeply moving memoir By Chance Alone. When Eisen was 15 years old he and his family were taken from their home to Auschwitz, where he worked as a slave labourer. He survived the Holocaust and emigrated to Canada in 1949. Eisen has toured the world, educating people about the horrors he survived during the ...
  • 2019
  • 00:04:32
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/27/2019

CBC Books Canada Reads 2019: David Chariandy on Brother

In this video David Chariandy discusses Brother, his novel which takes us inside the lives of the mixed heritage sons of Trinidadian immigrants. Rooted in Chariandy's own experience growing up as a person of colour in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, the novel is a beautiful meditation on discrimination, agency, grief and the power of human relationships.
  • 2019
  • 00:03:38
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 02/27/2019