Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

CBC Canada Reads Interview Series: Carol Huynh

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Carol Huynh

We've talked to the CBC Canada Reads authors, and now we will hear from their champions — the panellists who will debate until one book emerges victorious.

Our first panellist is Olympic wrestler (and gold medallist) Carol Huynh, who will go to bat for Richard Wagamese's Indian Horse (Douglas & McIntyre).

Carol tells us about her first encounter with Indian Horse, how she's going to best the competition and what makes the B.C. and Yukon region an engine for vibrant books and stories.

Hosted by popular CBC personality and author Jian Ghomeshi, Canada Reads pits five fantastic Canadian books against one another in a (mostly) friendly competition, with each book championed by a Canadian celebrity in a series of broadcast debates. For more information about CBC Canada Reads, please visit their website. The 2013 debates run from February 11-14.

Stay tuned to Open Book: Toronto for interviews with more of the Canada Reads panellists this week!

Open Book:

Tell us three things that make your selected book the best on the list.

Carol Huynh:

Indian Horse is the best book on the list because of how compelling and heartfelt it is. It is definitely character driven and the author does a wonderful job of creating an emotional connection to the main character, Saul. As a reader, you find that he is lovable, tragic and inspiring and you’re rooting for him the whole way! This book has so much of what defines Canada as a nation: the beautiful and formidable landscape, the Aboriginal peoples and the great sport of hockey.


What makes you particularly qualified to defend this title?


I grew up in B.C. where First Nations culture is proudly present: in the people, culture, food, art, politics and care for the environment. I’m also an athlete that loves competition, whether it's wrestling, hockey or debate.


Where were you the first time you read your selected book?


I was at home in Calgary. As I read it (I couldn’t put it down and finished it in 2 days), I found it very easy to picture myself in the wilds of Canada because of my experience canoeing in B.C. and living in Northern B.C.

Wagamese’s ability to convey the physical, mental and emotional aspects of hockey put me right there on the ice with a hockey stick in hand (and I’ve never played ice hockey before!). I was transported in every sense of the word by the story of this unlikely hero.


How would you describe the literary culture of the region you're defending?


I’m not sure how qualified I am to comment on this question, but considering the top 10 books selected by BC/Yukon, I’d say that readers’ interest is influenced very much by the outdoors, multiculturalism and the love of great characters.


If your writer wins the competition, how will you celebrate?


Probably a couple drinks and a couple days of not reading anything! (Well, I can do the drinks for sure, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop myself from reading!)

Carol Huynh is a Canadian freestyle wrestler. Huynh was the first gold medallist for Canada in women's wrestling and was the first gold medallist for Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She is also the current reigning Commonwealth Games and two time Pan American Games champion. Huynh has also totalled one silver and three bronze medals at the world championships and is an eleven time national champion.

For more information about Indian Horse please visit the Douglas & McIntyre website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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