Coupland's name on U.S. author list


From The Globe and Mail (February 18, 1996)

by Val Ross

"Where is Doug Coupland?" Paris bookseller Brian Spence wondered last week after scanning the guest list for Belles Etrangeres, a salute to English- Canadian literature that the French are throwing in May. The answer is now clear: Coupland (Microserfs, Generation X), Canadian-born and living in Vancouver, has been designated an American author. From March 21 to 27, the Salon du livre de Paris is celebrating U.S. authors, and Coupland's name appears on the list of invited guests - along with Richard Ford, Louise Erdrich, Toni Morrison, John Updike and Nobel laureate Saul Bellow, a U.S. citizen who was born in Lachine, Que.

Coupland has declined the invitation, according to his friend, John Fraser, master of Massey College at the University of Toronto. "Doug was amused and chagrined and vaguely flattered," Fraser said. "But visiting Paris did not fit into his plans. He's teaching."

L'affaire Coupland may put more Canadian literary noses out of joint, following the revelation that Belles Etrangeres Canada will be held without two major writers who are known to be practicing, card-carrying Canadians: Mordecai Richler and Margaret Atwood. Atwood can't make it and, in any case, is against France's nuclear testing policy. And Richler, to the horror of his fellow writers, has not been invited by the French. His colleagues believe it is because of the provocative things Richler says about Quebec separatists