Susanna Kearsley: Curating CanLit

Susanna Kearsley, a favorite author of mine, makes interesting points on who makes decisions that form history- teachers pay attention. Your reading lists are more important than you may think.

National Post | Arts

Susanna Kearsley’s novels include Mariana, The Winter Sea, The Rose Garden, and Every Secret Thing, which was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel. Her latest novel, The Firebird, is out this month. Kearsley, who lives near Toronto, will be guest editing The Afterword all this week.  

In the years that I worked in museums, first as a summer student and eventually as a curator, one of the primary lessons I learned was this: History is shaped by the people who seek to preserve it. We, of the present, decide what to keep, what to put on display, what to put into storage, and what to discard.

These choices can be made unconsciously, or they can serve (or subvert) an unspoken agenda. I once walked through an exhibit in a large American museum that displayed First Nations artifacts in old dioramas, with…

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