May 25th, 2017
Douglas Gibson was dubbed “a publishing icon” by the Globe and Mail when he retired in 2007.
“No one has done more for Canadian Literature than this man, Douglas Gibson,” said Alistair MacLeod.
Since Gibson began his Canadian career in publishing 1968, the Scottish-born editor and raconteur has made books in collaboration with three Prime Ministers, as well as fiction writers Hugh MacLennan, Morley Callaghan, W.O. Mitchell, Mavis Gallant, Robertson Davies and someone named Alice Munro.
But, hey, what has the guy done for us lately?
Well, he’s written two books of affectionate memoirs, Stories About Storytellers: Publishing Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, Alistair MacLeod, Pierre Trudeau, and Others (ECW 2011) and Across Canada By Story: A Coast-to-Coast Literary Adventure (ECW 2015).
And those two books—illustrated by Anthony Jenkins—have given rise to 160 performances of his very humorous, one-man shows across Canada, and in Beijing, Shanghai, and in Canada House in London.
Now he’s bringing his latest show, Canada’s Greatest Storytellers 1867-2017, to the downtown campus of Simon Fraser University for one night only, Wednesday, May 31, at 7 pm. (Room 1400)
Decade by decade, he chooses our best storytellers, English and French, and selects their very best books. Each decade begins with a burst of Canadian music from the time. Then a contemporary photo reminds us of the historical setting, and a series of iconic works of art remind us of the wider artistic scene in which our writers worked.
There’s an intermission at 1967, the year Gibson first came to Canada, arriving in Vancouver.
This new, 150-year show has only been seen in Ottawa and during a Toronto book launch in the Lieutenant Governor’s Chambers in Queen’s Park.
After this Vancouver performance, Gibson will be take the show across Canada for the rest of 2017 as his tribute to Canada and its fiction writers. Not surprisingly, it culminates with his praise for, and his reminiscences of working with, Alice Munro. As her long-time editor, Douglas Gibson attended the Nobel Prize ceremony for her in Sweden.
WHERE Simon Fraser Harbour Centre, Room 1400
WHEN Wednesday, May 31, at 7 pm.