Jack: A Life With Writers: The Story of Jack McClelland
by James King
Jack is the intimate, extraordinary story of the gregarious, irascible trailblazer who propelled Canada into a cultural coming of age and changed the business and flavour of book publishing forever. Jack McClelland, credited with bringing Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler, Margaret Laurence, Leonard Cohen, Farley Mowat, and Pierre Berton, among others, to centre stage, bec...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published October 24th 2000 by Vintage Canada
(first published 1999)
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Jul 03, 2010 Theryn Fleming rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Jack is a biography of Jack McClelland, who ran McClelland & Stewart (Canadian publisher that his father founded) for many years (1950s – 80s). McClelland championed Canadian literature and started the New Canadian Library series. As biographies go, this is a pretty entertaining one. You learn (if you didn't already know!) how close to bankruptcy publishing firms have always operated as well as all sorts of gossip about famous Canadian writers. Be prepared for the usual sexism of the era.
Dec 05, 2013 Karin rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
The best part of this book is getting an inside look at some great Canadian authors. The rest of it was often frustrating - either because of the company's bad luck when a deal didn't work out, or because of Jack's approach to the business. Not to say he didn't care or take it seriously, but that sometimes his decisions seem bizarre or ill-advised in light of today's market.
James King is the author of four previous novels: Faking (1999), Blue Moon (2000), Transformations (2003), and Pure Inventions (2006). He is also the author of eight works of biography, the subjects of which include William Blake, Margaret Laurence, Jack McClelland, and Farley Mowat. His biography of Herbert Read, The Last Modern, was nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award. James King...moreMore about James King...