Ampersand News > Raziel Reid is Giving me Goosebumps

Raziel Reid is Giving me Goosebumps

January 29, 2015 | by

9781551525747_WhenEverythingFeels books_gg_awards_20141118


I don’t know about you, but I am loving the controversy surrounding Raziel Reid’s

When Everything Feels Like the Movies. It’s been nominated for the 2014 Governor General’s Literary

Award for Children’s Literature and is going to be featured on CBC’s Canada Reads competition in March.

Just when things were already looking up, the best thing that could happen to a book (or any piece of art)

happened: a public figure deemed it inappropriate for the public to commend. In this case, the public is

our fragile youth. Words like “vulgar” and “values-void” and (the best yet) “petition against” are popping

up in my inbox everyday in relation to this book. The best part of it all is that it’s appearing as publicity


The spark that lit the fire was Barbara Kay’s review in the National Post who says, “the

“authentic” narcissism of queer/transgender identity exempts one from the obligation to mature. I’d not have

wasted tax dollars on this values-void novel.” This led to the petition to revoke the Governor General’s Award

for Literature from Raziel Reid.

In response, Arsenal Pulp Press‘ Brian Lam says, “[Reid’s] book is a painful yet accurate depiction of youth culture

today, and anyone who thinks otherwise is living with his or head in the ground.”

Call me crazy but haven’t we proved over the years that trying to repress art is the quickest way to make it

not only popular but also cherished for years to come?

I’m just praying for the book to get banned somewhere, then we will cement its existence for all eternity.


– Tamara



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