What It Takes to Be Human

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Maia, 2007 - Fiction - 316 pages
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The day after World War II is declared in Canada, Sandy Grey's father, a fundamentalist preacher, won't give him permission to fight. When Sandy's attempt to oppose his father and his upbringing turns violent, he is incarcerated in an asylum for the criminally insane. There he meets Karl, a German; Winchell, a veteran of the Spanish Civil War; Bob, a homosexual who is singled out for favours by a brutal asylum attendant; along with Russians, Chinese and a few hated Japanese. Unsure how to convince his doctor that he is sane, or of how he fits into the world within a world that is the asylum, Sandy is determined to uncover an historical miscarriage of justice in the hope that it will, by analogy, prove his innocence. "What It Takes To Be Human" exposes the acute parallels between those who are incarcerated and those whose lives are being torn apart by distant conflict.

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About the author (2007)

Marilyn Bowering was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and grew up in Victoria, B.C. She completed her M.A. degree in 1973. She has worked as a University instructor, editor, a writer-in-residence at Memorial University of Newfoundland and in communications. Her first book of poetry, The Liberation of Newfoundland, was published in 1973. Since then her poetry, drama, and fiction have been published, broadcast, and/or performed in North America, the U.K., Australia, and Japan. She won the Malahat Review Long Poem Prize in 1994, the National Magazine Award, for poetry in 1978 and 1988. She was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award, for poetry, for The Sunday Before Winter. She was also shortlisted for the W.H. Smith First Novel Award, for To All Appearances A Lady and the Sony Award and the Prix Italia for radio drama.

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