Catherine Bush

October 25, 2013

Accusation and Canada Reads

Accusation has just made it onto the Top 40 list. Yes, it’s a popularity contest but also a way to reach new readers. You can vote now on which novels will be the Top Ten.

The theme of the current Canada Reads is What is the one novel that could change Canada?

Accusation examines the effects that accusations have on all of us, whether they are true or false, and asks us to examine our own judgments and prejudices while telling a gripping story that links a journalist in Canada to a children’s circus in Africa and a group of asylum seekers in Australia. Sara Wheeler attempts to uncover the truth of accusations made against the Canadian founder of the circus only to find truth difficult to discern even as her own actions alter the story. This is a novel about the lives that accusations have regardless of truth and the difficulty of figuring out how to do the right thing. It brings lives in Canada into relation with lives in other parts of the world and probes questions of how we judge across race and culture, and how we attempt to see each other across the unknowable zones between us. It invites the reader to turn a lens upon herself and to navigate the complexity of lived truth.

There are such important conversations to be had about accusations both in a private and public context. We’ve all been accused, accuser, and witness to accusations against others. And so many situations are not black and white, and it’s important to bring people imaginatively into these in-between and more difficult zones in the way that good fiction can do.

Individual readers can make a difference. Please consider Accusation for your Canada Reads vote. You can vote for up to ten books and there are some fantastic novels on the list.

“Fairy tales are almost always the stories of the powerless, of youngest sons, abandoned children, orphans.... Fairy tales are children's stories not in who they were made for but in their focus on the early stages of life, when others have power over you and you have power over no one.”

— Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby