CULTURE FAST AND SLOW
IT WAS THE LATE ’80S. I WAS SITTING AT MY DESK, WORKING away, minding my own business. A junior academic living in obscurity. An ink-stained wretch hoping for tenure. Think someone out of Dickens . . . with a Canadian accent, eh. My life was about to change.
The phone rang. It was Amy from Harpo Productions in Chicago. Amy wanted to talk about my work on homeyness. We chatted for a while. And that was that.1
A week or so later, Amy called again. Would I like to come on the show and talk about my work? I said, “Sure, I would.”
Nothing happens in the academic world without the knowledge and approval of the department secretary. I took my news to Barbara.
“Oprah Winfrey?” she asked with reverence.