Lynn Coady, winner of the 2013 Giller Prize for her short story collection Hellgoing, explains the value of her English degree from Carleton:
My time at Carleton studying for a double major in English and Philosophy was essential to my development as a writer. After a year of underachieving in a “practical” program which I thought would train me for a job, it became clear that what I really craved and needed was to gain a baseline sense of the texts, stories and ideas that had shaped Western culture up to that point. This was the first time in my life I felt granted the time and permission to think deeply about literature and I still remember the mental electrification I experienced in my Shakespeare and Milton classes. Similarly, I still think about and revisit the books from my Literature of Existentialism class, where we read everything from Sartre’s Nausea to Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra to Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being. These courses have stayed with me even to this day and I’ll always be grateful for the thrill that I discovered in those texts.