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Stories About Storytellers: Publishing Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, Alistair MacLeod, Pierre Trudeau, and Others Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 1, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, October 1, 2011
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Editorial Reviews


"This is the ultimate CanLit cocktail party book." —Quill & Quire (September 1, 2011)

"Gibson's delightful, behind-the-scenes look at some of Canada's most prominent writers is a remarkable, four-decade romp through the back rooms of publishing." —Toronto Sun (December 18, 2011)

"This is a delightful book. I have fallen in love with it. . . . Gibson provides insightful and amusing anecdotes. . . . It's all fascinating reading." —Waterloo Region Record (November 19, 2011)

"Gibson is a gossip of the first order, the kind who tells all, or at least enough, about his subjects' foibles, but always in a way that delights in their eccentricities. He writes with charming exuberance." —The Walrus  (December 1, 2011)

"Gibson is an engaging and on the whole a modest figure and a very fine raconteur. He, too, has had a hell of an interesting life. His book makes for good reading, and he makes his life in publishing sound like great fun." —Globe and Mail (October 29, 2011)

About the Author

Doug Gibson worked as an editor and publisher from 1968 until he retired from McClelland & Stewart in 2009. His Douglas Gibson Books was Canada’s first editorial imprint, and lives on. Gibson lives in Toronto, ON.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770410686
  • ASIN: B007HWNC8G
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,555,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Anyone who thinks Canadians are all dull, lackluster and very, very polite, needs to read this book. In fact, if you're the slightest bit interested in Canadian literature, the publishing business or even just bizarre stories (such as publisher Douglas Gibson's deadpan description of witnessing Farley Mowat, on his hands and knees, in a kilt, crawling along a table top at a dinner; or hearing Roddy Doyle, at a conference at the Banff Centre, spotting seasonal warnings about not getting in the way of elks rutting, that the dangers facing a touring writer had never before included "being f**** by an elk", with the relevant Irish accent to the asterisked word...) you'll want to insist your library buys a copy or beg, borrow or steal one for your own personal collection.

At its core, this gem of a book is a literary memoir by one of the deans of Canadian publishing, shaped around chapters devoted to some of the notable authors Gibson has worked with over many decades. You won't find Margaret Atwood here, but you will learn more about Robertson Davies, Alic Munro and Mavis Gallant. Gibson also writes about his relationship with authors who have fallen from the public eye, including Hugh MacLennan, Morley Callaghan (a friend of Hemingway's from their days in Toronto and Paris) and Barry Broadfoot. (The latter, Gibson writes, typed a history of Canada's Depression years on paper Gibson hypothesizes could have come from a Russian tractor factory, making the manuscript "arguably the ugliest ever submitted in the history of Canadian publishing", although it smelled good as it was shipped in apple carton boxes!) Some authors, like Peter Newman or Peter Gzowski, are likely to be unfamiliar to non-Canadians, but that doesn't make the glimpses of the editing process any less intriguing.
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