Everything Is So Political
A Collection of Short Fiction by Canadian Writers
Jumping from a story of life during the war in Northern Ireland to a narrative of a young woman selling her body for a water bottle that she can then exchange for money, and then to a tragedy of a man whose job it is to photograph prisoners about to be executed, you might ask: “Is everything around us really so political? Why does everything have to be political?”
Many of us don’t think of ourselves as political people, because politics is almost a dirty word with a reputation for being duplicitous and ruthless. For this reason we might be compelled to ignore the political aspects of our everyday experiences, which is easy to do if we avoid dealing with the government, laws, and regulations. And when we do come in contact with these things, we accept them as much as an invasive physical exam - necessary but unpleasant.
Nevertheless, the word politics comes from Greek, where politikos means “of, for, or relating to citizens”. In that sense, everything is political. Everything Is So Political - a compilation of short fiction by Canadian authors edited by Sandra McIntyre - is exactly that. This collection is exceptionally Canadian in nature, and highlights one of our nation’s most distinctive aspects - that of culture and identity. It can be easy to take Canadian multiculturalism for granted and not to dissect how it has been shaping the country; it is very difficult to make sure that everyone’s experience is honoured. Everything Is So Political shows how hauntingly distinct the stories that create the fabric of our society can be. The contrast between each individual narrative is as harsh as a slap in the face, and it must be that way if you want to send a message.
–Weird Canada, Nov. 2013