Tag Archives: Michael Ondaatje

Literary landscape

Our northern nabes have launched Project Bookmark Canada with the idea of creating a coast-to-coast “trail of plaques containing literary excerpts of some of this country’s most geographically specific works.” The whole thing was recently launched in Toronto with a plaque bearing a passage from Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion, a novel I haven’t read but which apparently touches on the construction of the Bloor Street Viaduct.

I’d love to see an American equivalent of this project. In fact, I know just the place to start it: the Albany Street Bridge ‘cross the less-than-mighty Raritan River, twixt New Brunswick and Highland Park, which prompted this observation by Junot Diaz in his story collection Drown: “New Brunswick … a nice city, the Raritan so low and silty you don’t have to be Jesus to walk over it.”

Well . . . maybe the town fathers won’t be so keen on that passage. But it would be great to see America hosting more projects like this, or the Ted Hughes Poetry Trail in Devon.

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