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Linda Svendsen

12 October 2012 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The writer Linda Svendsen discusses her new novel, Sussex Drive (Random House, 2012), the Canadian political events in recent years that inspired the book, teaching creative writing at UBC, and more, with Joseph Planta.

Sussex Drive by Linda Svendsen (Random House, 2012).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Sussex Drive

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver at TheCommentary.ca.

Canadian politics is made more satirical, more fun, and more thoughtful in a new novel, Sussex Drive. Its author Linda Svendsen joins me now. Like any good satire, it takes recent political history and current Canadian political culture, makes up some names and creates fascinating characters that look somewhat familiar, but are completely the genius of the author. I’ve started it and it’s hard to put down. It’s incredibly insightful. The book is an alternate history of recent political events told through the perspective of two strong female characters, Becky Leggatt, the wife of a Conservative prime minister, and her neighbour down the street at Rideau Hall, the governor general, Lise Lavoie. Her Excellency is described as ‘wildly exotic and an unlikely immigrant’ governor general, while the prime minister’s wife is a ‘sublimely capable and manipulative wife.’ I’ll get Ms. Svendsen to tell us about the book, these characters and the political events that inspired all of this. Linda Svendsen is a distinguished writer whose work has been published here in Canada, the United States and Germany. Her collection Marine Life was a critical hit and made into a movie. She co-produced and co-wrote the miniseries Human Cargo which received seven Gemini Awards and a Peabody Award. She is a professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia. The book is published by Random House. [Linda Svendsen will be appearing at two events at the upcoming Vancouver Writers Festival: Friday, 19 October 2012 at 10.00am, and Sunday, 21 October 2012 at 3.30pm.] Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Linda Svendsen; Ms. Svendsen, good morning.