University of Calgary

Canada Reads finalist

February 7, 2011

Alumna is Canada Reads finalist

By Janice Lee

Canada Reads host Jian Ghomeshi alongside The Bone Cage author Angie Abdou and celebrity panelist Georges Laraque. Image courtesy CBC.Canada Reads host Jian Ghomeshi alongside The Bone Cage author Angie Abdou and celebrity panelist Georges Laraque. Image courtesy CBC.During his 12 year career in the National Hockey League, Georges Laraque was one of the toughest competitors on the ice. Now retired from the NHL, he is a committed social activist dedicated to fighting for a number of causes including relief efforts in Haiti.

On Feb. 7, 8 and 9, Laraque will bring his defensive skills to the literary world as a celebrity panelist for Canada Reads, CBC Radio's annual book debate. Laraque will defend The Bone Cage, by Dr. Angie Abdou (PhD’08 English), as the Essential Canadian Novel of the Decade.

The Bone Cage follows two Canadian athletes—Sadie, a speed swimmer, and Digger, a wrestler—as they prepare for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Both athletes train at the University of Calgary and realize this year’s Olympics will be their last.

Laraque chose The Bone Cage from a top 10 list that included Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road, William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition and Yann Martel’s Life of Pi.

“I believe The Bone Cage is the best book of the decade because Canadians love their Olympic athletes and Angie does such an amazing job portraying Sadie and Digger’s journey to the Olympics; what happens before, during and even after,” says Laraque. “As a reader of the book, you really feel what these athletes are going through and what it takes—the pain, the sacrifice, the mental toughness—to make it to the Olympics.”

Written in 2007, The Bone Cage is Abdou’s first novel. The Kootenay Library Federation chose the novel as the official book for the inaugural ‘One Book One Kootenay’ reading series. It is also taught in university-level sport literature courses across the continent and was included on Canadian Literature's “All-Time Top Ten List of Best Canadian Sport Literature.”

"I didn't want the book to end," says Laraque. “I've asked Angie when she's going to write a sequel. I want to know more about what happens to the characters."

The Canada Reads debates will be hosted by Jian Ghomeshi on CBC Radio One on Feb. 7, 8 and 9.

For more information about Canada Reads, go to www.cbc.ca/books/canadareads.

To read UToday’s first story about Angie Abdou’s novel, The Bone Cage, published in November 2010, visit: http://www.ucalgary.ca/news/utoday/november24-2010/canadareads


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