Brad Fraser, All the Rage: A Partial Memoir in Two Acts and a Prologue [book review]

Nils Clausson

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University of Regina




In late May, 2021, shortly after the publication earlier in the month of Brad Fraser’s memoir All the Rage, a shocking discovery of 215 unmarked graves of students was made on the grounds of the former Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. Indian residential schools in Canada date from the late nineteenth century and were instituted by the Federal Government and administered by Christian churches, mainly the Roman Catholic Church. Their purpose was to assimilate Indigenous Peoples into Canadian society by wiping out their language and culture and replacing them with English and with European culture. On May 31, a few days after the horrific discovery, Brad Fraser tweeted his response: “Dear Canadian Politicians: Many of the people involved in the residential school system are still alive. When are they going to be prosecuted for manslaughter and murder? Start with the Catholic Church please.” Brad Fraser is descended on his mother’s side of his family from what in Canada are called Métis, people of mixed race descending from Plains Indigenous peoples and Canadians of French descent. He once told an interviewer, “I am a queer mixed-race person from a rough background.” Fraser’s response to the discovery at the Indian Residential School in Kamloops is just what one would expect from the author of All the Rage, whom the Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia has labeled a “maverick gay playwright.”