Esi Edugyan and Omar El Akkad books among this year’s Canada Reads lineup


Published January 26, 2022 at 12:10 pm

TORONTO — Books by award-winning authors Esi Edugyan and Omar El Akkad are among the titles set to be debated on CBC’s “Canada Reads.”

The on-air literary contest returns March 28 with Olympic swimmer Mark Tewksbury championing Edugyan’s “Washington Black” and entrepreneur Tareq Hadhad pushing El Akkad’s “What Strange Paradise.”

Meanwhile, journalist Christian Allaire will advocate for Michelle Good’s “Five Little Indians,” actor Malia Baker is set to represent Catherine Hernandez’s “Scarborough,” and ecologist Suzanne Simard will argue for Clayton Thomas-Müller’s “Life in the City of Dirty Water.”

Comedian Ali Hassan, who stars in the CBC comedy “Run the Burbs” and has hosted “Canada Reads” for the previous five years, will return to moderate.

Each day of the competition, one book will be eliminated until the one that best defines this year’s theme of “One Book to Connect Us” is declared.

“Canada Reads” is set to run March 28 to 31, with the daily debates broadcast on CBC Radio One, CBC TV and CBC Gem.

“We know so many of our neighbours are feeling isolated this winter, so the moment feels right to explore stories of community,” Hassan said Wednesday in a statement. 

“This year’s books will remind readers that we’re all connected and that we’re stronger when we come together. We can work through hard things and find the hope we need to keep going.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2022.

Sadaf Ahsan, The Canadian Press

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