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KPU author explores Kraft Dinner and other food in ‘Canadian Literary Fare’

It’s a third book for Dr. Shelley Boyd
Book author Dr. Shelley Boyd speaks during an April event at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), where she’s the Faculty of Arts dean. (Submitted photo)

In another book, Dr. Shelley Boyd writes about the deeper meaning of food in Canadian culture, this time with a focus on one kitchen staple: Kraft Dinner.

With Nathalie Cooke and Alexia Moyer, she co-authored the new “Canadian Literary Fare,” a McGill-Queen’s University Press collection that explores why food matters in Canadian fiction, drama and poetry.

The 233 pages tell “quite different narratives than what you might find in a cookbook or in a tourist guide, where we often hear stories about bounty and the great variety of foods that Canadians have access to,” explains Boyd, a White Rock resident and Faculty of Arts dean at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU).

“But Canadian literature actually sheds light on a far more complicated story.”

In her Kraft Dinner chapter, Boyd writes about the many mentions of the boxed macaroni and cheese product.

“Even though Canadians boast about their love of Kraft Dinner, and we have songs about it, what we read when we see Kraft Dinner in a poem or a novel or a play is usually signaling something rather complicated, and not always joyful,” Boyd says in a KPU news release. “It’s about something that’s somehow missing.”

Boyd’s third book, “Canadian Literary Fare” follows 2020’s “Canadian Culinary Imaginations,” a collection of essays, interviews and art by contributors across Canada that spark conversations about food, Canada and cultural identity.

A blog series by Boyd and Cooke inspired the new book. At KPU, Boyd has taught related courses including one leading to her students hosting an exhibition on food and literature in the university library.

RELATED STORY: Surrey art show focuses on ‘Qualia’ of KPU’s fine-arts program graduates.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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