Oct 1, 2008
Margaret Visser is a writer/broadcaster who lives in Toronto, Barcelona, and France. Her subject matter is the history, anthropology, and mythology of everyday life.
Born in South Africa, she attended school in Zambia, Zimbabwe, France (the Sorbonne) and Canada. She taught Greek and Latin at York University for 18 years.
Her books include Much Depends on Dinner, The Rituals of Dinner, The Way We Are, and The Geometry of Love; all have been best sellers. Many have won awards. Her most recent work is called The Gift of Thanks, published by HarperCollins. It asks: What do we really mean by Thank you? What are the implications of gratitude, and why are we so enraged when we meet its opposite?
In this conversation Visser tells us, among other things, that gratitude involves thinking, that gift giving takes the place of war, that apparently simple actions and behavior are in fact surprisingly complex, and that gratitude and gift giving is natural because humans beings are innate imitators. Oh yes. And we also talk about sexual gratification!