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.