I didn’t know Graeme Gibson well, and for most of the time I was a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, I didn’t like him very much. Gibson was one of the Union’s founders and in a way, remained, to the end of his life, its primary living role model (the Union’s other role…

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While the world spent the week weeping over once-in-500-year floods, possible apocalypses, and the latest barbarisms of Donald Trump (in short it was a typical Book-of-Revelations end-of-August 7-Days-That-Were kind of week), Canada remained focused on author Margaret Atwood’s backyard. According to the nation’s journal of record, Toronto Life, “Margaret Atwood is really mad about some…

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1989   The National Book Trust administers the Booker Prize in the UK. The organization appears to be networked with everyone, with connections to anything and everything connected to books. Its motto is “inspiring a love of books.” Notice that it’s all about books, not about writers.   As well as the Booker, the Trust…

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It’s February. But in the Booker Trail it’s 1986, and Robertson Davies is almost the winner. Margaret Atwood gets on the shortlist, and neither wins…

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