Con­trib­u­tors’ Notes

The Walrus - - CONTENTS - il­lus­tra­tions by elena v il­tovskaia

ka­t­rina on­stad “Class Di­vide,” p. 26

“When you’re a par­ent think­ing about where to send your kid to school, the first ques­tion is, What’s the best thing for my kid? And the last ques­tion is, What’s the best thing for ev­ery­body? We all want what’s best for our chil­dren, but the re­sult is an ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that’s in­creas­ingly strat­i­fied. In that way, sadly, I guess it’s a re­flec­tion of where we’re at as a so­ci­ety.” Ka­t­rina On­stad is a Toronto-based jour­nal­ist and nov­el­ist. Her most re­cent book, The Week­end Ef­fect, was re­leased last year.

Ka­gan mcleod Il­lus­tra­tion for “Views Feed,” p. 16

“It was a chal­lenge to il­lus­trate an ar­ti­cle about the po­lit­i­cal Face­book group On­tario Proud, so I fo­cused on the group’s memes. On­line vi­su­als are hard to present in other con­texts, but I thought the memes could be shown as a mod­ern ver­sion of stand­ing out on a street cor­ner with a The End is Nigh sign.” Ka­gan Mcleod’s work has been pub­lished in the Wash­ing­ton Post and the Wall Street Jour­nal. He is work­ing on his next book, Draw­ing Peo­ple Ev­ery Day.

Patti son­ntag “The Cat Who Ate Like a Lion,” p. 66

“Writ­ing about my par­ents’ cat, Heidi, was a way for me to process what was a tu­mul­tuous time for my fam­ily and me (I was mov­ing from New York City to Mon­treal). It helped me come to the con­clu­sion that the only way to pre­pare for an un­cer­tain fu­ture is to fos­ter the bonds we have with each other.” Patti Son­ntag is the direc­tor of the In­sti­tute for In­ves­tiga­tive Jour­nal­ism at Con­cor­dia Univer­sity.

Donna bailey nurse “Out of Bounds,” p. 58

“In Esi Edugyan’s lat­est novel, Wash­ing­ton Black, we see the ti­tle char­ac­ter com­ing out of slav­ery, head­ing to the Arc­tic to meet up with an ex­pe­di­tion, and later trav­el­ling to Lon­don, Am­s­ter­dam, and Morocco. Or­di­nar­ily, lit­er­a­ture does not show us that black peo­ple were and are every­where. But that’s some­thing Edugyan al­ways brings to her work: the re­al­ity that black peo­ple are not rel­e­gated to one place, and we’re not rel­e­gated to one cor­ner of lit­er­a­ture.” Donna Bailey Nurse is a colum­nist for the cbc’s The Next Chap­ter. Her book of es­says, Black Girls: Women of African De­scent Write Their World, will be re­leased later this year.

casey plett “A Time to Speak,” p. 63

“I’ve seen dis­cus­sions about Women Talk­ing, Miriam Toews’s lat­est novel, be­ing re­lated to the #Metoo move­ment, but I think that’s only half ac­cu­rate. One of the most pow­er­ful things #Metoo has done is bring men to ac­count, but in Women Talk­ing, which is set in a Men­non­ite com­mu­nity, that pos­si­bil­ity is not there. My fam­ily is from a Men­non­ite back­ground, so I have more of a win­dow into where the women in the story are com­ing from than the av­er­age reader. The thought process I had while read­ing the book was, ‘If there are good things in your life that you be­lieve in and that are hurt­ing you, how do you deal with that?’ That felt like the wider con­ver­sa­tion Toews was com­ing to.” Casey Plett is the au­thor of the novel Lit­tle Fish and the short­story col­lec­tion A Safe Girl to Love and an ed­i­tor of the sci-fi and fan­tasy col­lec­tion Mean­while, Else­where.

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