Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Everything changes. Nothing changes. (part one)

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How things change, yet somehow, at heart, remain the same.

To make my point, this will be a roundabout story.

Years ago, in the sixties, I was the books editor at the Toronto Telegram... a rambunctious paper, the third largest in the country, in fierce competition with the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail. I wrote a long piece almost every week; I hired Mordecai Richler, Irving Layton, my father Morley, James T. Farrell, Kingsley Amis, Arthur Koestler, John Fowles, along with a regular stable of local reviewers; I published Margaret Avison, Margaret Atwood, Marie Claire Blais, John Montague, Yehuda Amichai; the illustrators were David Annesley and the legendary Tomi Ungerer; and we covered not just English Canada and Quebec, but the radical upheavals in American literature and society, the middle east and the Soviet Union and France... and our writers were pretty forthright... I called Norman Mailer the Mario Lanza of American letters, Fowles treated Mcluhan as if he were snake oil salesman, John Curran dismissed Pierre Berton as "a soft lad," local nationalist writers like Al Purdy were asked to stop "mooning " America, Margaret Laurence was not treated as the den mother of Can Lit... in other words, wise, witty or witless, there was a lot going on in the old Tely, bastion of conservative and zionist politics....

To be continued.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Barry Callaghan

Barry Callaghan is an award-winning author, poet, editor and publisher. He is one of Canada’s most preeminent men of letters. His most recent collection of short stories, Between Trains, was published by McArthur & Company in 2007.

Go to Barry Callaghan’s Author Page