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Alberto Manguel on Packing My Library and the Idiocy of Honesty in Politics

Born in Buenos Aires in 1948, Alberto Manguel grew up in Tel-Aviv, where his father served as the first Argentinian ambassador to Israel. At sixteen, while working at the Pygmalion bookshop in Buenos Aires, he was asked by the blind Jorge Luis Borges to read aloud to him at his home. Manguel left Argentina for Europe before the horrors of the 'disappeared' began, and just after the events of May 1968. During the 1970s he lived a peripatetic life in France, England, Italy, and Tahiti,...


David Moscrop on how to make wise voting decisions during political elections

David Moscrop is a political theorist and SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Communication at the University of Ottawa. He studies democratic deliberation, political decision-making, and digital media, and is a contributing columnist for the Washington Post, and a writer for Maclean's Magazine He also provides regular political commentary for television and radio. His first book Too Dumb for Democracy? Why We Make Bad Political Decisions and How We Can Make Better Ones was...


Mark Abley on why poet Duncan Campbell Scott's reputation is in tatters

Although E.K. Brown, a highly admired literary critic, once called poet and bureaucrat Duncan Campbell Scott "one of the chief masters of Canadian literature," Scott's reputation today lies in tatters. Mark Abley in his fascinating biography Conversations with a Dead Man, The Legacy of Duncan Campbell Scott, explains why. I met with him at his home in Point Claire near Montreal - where the ghost of Scott appeared. We talk, among others things, about boarding schools, Canada's residential...


Charles Foran on Mordecai Richler

Mordecai: The Life and Times has been called the ‘award-winningest’ book in Canadian literary history. I met with its author Charles Foran to talk about its subject Mordecai Richler. The guts, aggression, honesty and pride of the man - a man who did things, who wrote to stimulate conversation, and argument, who was socially engaged, who asked hard, uncomfortable questions. We also discuss Richler’s similarities to Pierre Trudeau. His taking on a whole movement over Quebec’s sign laws; his...


Top Literary Things to do in Buenos Aires

Kit Maude is a Spanish-to-English translator. He received a bachelor’s degree in Comparative American Studies from the University of Warwick. In 2009 he moved to Buenos Aires where he currently lives. His translations have been featured in Granta, the Literary Review, the Short Story Project, and other publications. We met at the Falena bookstore/wine bar in the Chacarita neighbourhood of Buenos Aires to talk literary tourism over a glass. Here's our conversation (the bookstore we...


Sharp talk from Jonathan Rose on the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing

Jonathan Rose is the William R. Kenan Professor of History at Drew University in Madison, NJ. His fields of study are British history, intellectual history and the history of the book (in which he happens to be a giant). His books include The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes and The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor both of which won important prizes. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Cambridge and Princeton University and he reviews books for...


Ana Maria Cabanellas on the Pleasures and Perils of Publishing in Argentina

Ana María Cabanellas began her career as a lawyer, after which she joined the family-owned publishing company Editorial Heliasta as a partner. In 1979, she became President of Editorial Claridad which specializes in legal dictionaries, as well as fiction, philosophy and history. In 2006, Ms Cabanellas founded UnaLuna, which publishes children’s books. Over the years she has been extremely active in industry associations. For example, she is currently Vice- president of CADRA (Centro de...


Liliana Heker on writing under a repressive regime

Series: Biblio File in Buenos Aires Liliana Heker was born in 1943 in Buenos Aires. Her writing career began at age 17 thanks to a letter she wrote Abelardo Castillo requesting a job at a magazine he edited. During Argentina's so called Dirty War in the seventies and eighties, she defiantly wrote and edited several well known left-wing literary journals, subtly protesting her country's violent, repressive regime, while defending the practice of literature. She also famously engaged in...


Guillermo Martinez, acclaimed Argentinian novelist and short story writer, on Mathematics, Borges and Writing

Series: Biblio File in Buenos Aires Guillermo Martínez is an Argentine novelist, detective fiction and short story writer. He earned a PhD in mathematical logic from the University of Buenos Aires, after which he worked for two years in a postdoctoral position at the Mathematical Institute, in Oxford. His most successful novel is Crímenes Imperceptibles known as The Oxford Murders, written in 2003. He was awarded the Planeta Prize for this novel, which was adapted into a film in 2008,...


Canadian Book Designer Tania Craan on her Career, Freelancing and Some Favourite Titles

Tania Craan’s career as an art director and designer spans more than three decades. For the past 25 years, she has run her freelance graphic design studio. She started her career working as a designer at Penguin Books Canada and then went on to McClelland & Stewart where she became art director. In addition to books, she has designed stamps for Canada Post, three Ontario Provincial Government inquiry reports, and annual reports for a variety of corporate clients. She "blends the...


Irish Novelist Eimear McBride on her work and getting it published

Eimear McBride is an Irish novelist whose debut novel, A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, won the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize in 2013 and the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. She wrote the book in six months, but it took nine years to get it published. Galley Beggar Press of Norwich finally picked it up in 2013. The novel is written in a stream of consciousness-like style and tells the story of a young woman's complex relationship with her family. McBride's second novel The Lesser...


Sandra Campbell on Lorne Pierce, one of Canada's greatest publishers

Sandra Campbell, a graduate of Carleton and Ottawa Universities, specializes in Canadian and Caribbean (Bermuda) women’s writing, in particular for the period 1880-1940. She has a particular interest in women’s autobiography as well as gender, and the publishing industry. Professor Campbell has taught at Carleton, the University of Ottawa and McGill University, and as a Visiting Lecturer at Bermuda College. She is the author of numerous articles and co-editor of three anthologies of short...


David Robinson on copyright, book publishing and fair dealing in Canada

David Robinson is executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. He has been with CAUT since 1999, when he was first hired as director of communications. Prior to joining CAUT, Robinson was the senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Canada’s leading pro­gressive think-tank. He has also been a lecturer at Simon Fraser University, and Carleton University in Ottawa. He is the author of numerous articles, reviews, and reports on higher...


Interview with Ken Lopez on Vietnam, Book Collecting and Author Archives

Ken Lopez is a renowned antiquarian bookseller who deals in rare books, specializing in modern literary first editions. He regularly issues catalogs of Modern Literature and less regularly issues catalogs of Native American Literature, the Literature of the Vietnam War and the 1960s, and Nature Writing. He also has an established record of placing authors' archives in institutional collections. Ken is a former President of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America. He operates...


Barry Moser, renowned print maker, book illustrator/Designer on his books

In 1967 Barry Moser moved from Tennessee to New England to teach at The Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts. He was soon introduced to Leonard Baskin with whom he studied at Baskin's Gehenna Press. In the spring of 1969 Moser was commissioned to illustrate a trade book, The Flowering Plants of Massachusetts (it wasn't published until 1979). He became fascinated with plants and plant lore and as a result named his press Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium). It produced a small number...


Carey Cranston on the American Writers Museum in Chicago

Carey Cranston took on the role of President of the American Writers Museum in September of 2016. Prior to that Carey served for 12 years as President of Fox College, a private career college in Chicago, and prior to that he was a Vice President at Hill & Knowlton, a global PR firm, where he led the digital and web services division We met at the Museum, and talked about, among other things, the Museum's mission, Frederick Douglass, The Great Gatsby, writing as a concept writ large, the...


David McKnight on Collecting Canadian Little Magazines and Small Presses

David McKnight is an accomplished librarian and book collector, "imbued with remarkable passion and resolve." As Director of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML), at the University of Pennsylvania David is responsible for insuring stewardship, management, discovery, and preservation of the collection and for maintaining the visibility of RBML within and outside of the Penn community. At the Penn Libraries, he has also served as Curator of the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and...


Levi Stahl on marketing books and how authors can best use social media

Levi Stahl is the marketing director of the University of Chicago Press and the editor of The Getaway Car: A Donald E. Westlake Nonfiction Miscellany. We met in Chicago to discuss the role of the book marketer, getting books out into the world and bought, helping the sales department, Thoreau, content and numbers, advertising and the price point of books, print on demand and short runs, shelf and display space, disseminating scholarship, advances, authenticity, and advice for authors on how...


Wayson Choy on his novel All That Matters and the Immigrant Experience in Canada

Wayson Choy was born in Vancouver in 1939. He spent his childhood in the city's Chinatown and subsequently attended the University of British Columbia where he studied creative writing. He moved to Toronto in 1962, and taught at Humber College from 1967 to 2004. His novel The Jade Peony (1995) won the Trillium Book Award and the City of Vancouver Book Award. His novel All That Matters, was published in 2004. I interviewed him about it some years later in Ottawa. Our conversation was among...


James Pollock on Honest Reviewing, Anthologies and the Power of Poetry

James Pollock is the author of Sailing to Babylon, which was a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award in Poetry, and You Are Here: Essays on the Art of Poetry in Canada, a finalist for the ForeWord Review's Book of the Year Award for a collection of essays. He is also the editor of The Essential Daryl Hine, which made The Partisan's list of the best books of 2015. His poems have been published in The Paris Review, AGNI, Poetry Daily, the National...