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Helping the world to understand our Canadian sensibility

by Susan Alexander, almost 3 years ago

As a Toronto-born writer, I’ve had poetry and short stories published and I wrote a regular column for a Canadian labour magazine in the 1990s.

Two of my current fiction projects are primarily digital and particularly Canadian: The Mammalian Daily and the online literary journal Agnes and True.

I call The Mammalian Daily “satirical fiction in newspaper form.” But to me, it’s much more than that. It’s also a tribute of sorts to the Canadian commitment to multiculturalism and equality. It chronicles the lives of a group of animals who live in and govern their own park. These animals have come from all over the world and most have fled horrible situations. They’ve come to the park seeking refuge, freedom, peace, and prosperity. As they struggle to get along with each other despite their differences and to fight the forces that threaten equality among the different species, they reflect the reality of living in my country of birth.

Two years ago, I co-founded an online literary journal called Agnes and True. The journal’s name honours Agnes Macphail and True Davidson, two women whose lives and work enriched our country.

The journal is dedicated to providing a place for the work of Canadian writers and for fiction that exhibits a Canadian sensibility.

One of the unintended consequences of using the phrase, “Canadian sensibility,” has been the privilege and necessity of discussing its meaning with writers and debating the many ways in which being Canadian and living in Canada inform our fiction and our sense of ourselves. I look forward to having these discussions and realizations for many years to come.

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