Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rick Groen Saves the Globe and Mail

When the Globe and Mail dropped its separate Books section on weekends and rolled it into a hybrid called Focus & Books I concluded all was lost: the weekend edition might just as well be called shopping for dummies. Now I'm just slightly less certain - not hopeful, mind - but slightly less certain that the weekend paper is the sinkhole of vacuity I once supposed.

Why? Rick Groen. Long one of the best writers and reviewers at the Globe - and among Toronto media generally - Groen's intelligent, well-written front page piece in the Saturday, March 20 Review section, "Are we throwing complexity in the trash?" on novels, the justification for novels, reality and much more was a fine read. One might quibble with his view that Zadie Smith is an "established novelist", but beyond that there'll be no complaint from this section of the cheap seats. Let's hope Groen, his editor and the Front Street brains trust keep this tiny bit of momentum going.

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