July 09, 2011

THIN AIR streeter: Mallory Richard

Mallory Richard was sitting at the Second Cup in Osborne Village when I saw her reading. For future reference, the cool, air-conditioned solace of the coffee shop is a wonderful place to isolate oneself from the summer heat, especially when paired with a good book and caffeine.

She was reading Canadian Labour in Crisis by David Camfield. I was immediately intrigued and wanted to learn more.

What is your favourite genre to read?

“I love reading books that offer insights and perspectives that can change the way I understand and experience the world. For non-fiction, that usually means history, politics, and cultural studies – books that try to explain why things are the way they are. For fiction, it means seeing the world through the eyes of characters whose lives differ from mine, but still resonate.”

Why did you choose that particular book?

“I'd heard about this book because Mondragon was hosting its launch, and I thought I'd give it a try. I really like how Camfield describes the workers' movement in a way that's critical but not defeatist.”

The cover of the book Richard was reading.

Why do you enjoy reading?

“For me, reading means discovery: new ideas, information, pleasures, possibilities. Reading as an "escape" can be wonderful, but my life and experiences affect the reading I do, and I like the reading I do to affect my life and experiences.”

Do you have any final thoughts?

“This book has been especially interesting because its topic is so relevant. During the recent federal election, parties and candidates worked hard to appeal to middle-class Canadian "families,” but Camfield makes the point that even though many Canadians self-identify as middle class, they are members of the working class.

There were also two high-profile strikes very recently, and it's fascinating to hear what Camfield has to say about strikes and other activities meant to advance workers' interests.”

A new THIN AIR streeter takes place right on the streets of Winnipeg every week. Next time, we could be walking up to YOU and asking questions about your book selections. Be ready!   

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