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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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An interesting book filled with amusing tales of bravado CanLit publisher Jack McClelland and his publishing empire during the height of colonial literature in Canada. For me it became a good book about how NOT to run a publishing business in Canada. I wanted to rewrite the final paragraph of the book so that is said that Jack changed the face of Canadian culture because of his love of debt, and we will all be forever in his books. I do think it is funny that the final word of the book as it was ...more
Jun 17, 2010 Theryn Fleming rated it liked it · 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.
Nov 24, 2013 Karin rated it liked it · 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...