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Across Canada by Story: A Coast-to-Coast Literary Adventure

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More adventures from one of Canada’s premier editors and storytellers Canada is a country rich in stories, and few take as much joy as Douglas Gibson in discovering them. As one of the country’s leading editors and publishers for 40 years, he coaxed modern classics out of some of Canada’s finest minds, and then took to telling his own stories in his first memoir, Storie More adventures from one of Canada’s premier editors and storytellers Canada is a country rich in stories, and few take as much joy as Douglas Gibson in discovering them. As one of the country’s leading editors and publishers for 40 years, he coaxed modern classics out of some of Canada’s finest minds, and then took to telling his own stories in his first memoir, Stories About Storytellers. Gibson turned his memoir into a one-man stage show that eventually played almost 100 times, in all ten provinces, from coast to coast. As a literary tourist, he discovered even more about the land and its writers and harvested many more stories, from distant past and recent memory, to share. Now in Across Canada by Story, Gibson brings new stories about Robertson Davies, Jack Hodgins, W.O. Mitchell, Alistair MacLeod, and Alice Munro, and adds lively portraits of Al Purdy, Marshall McLuhan, Margaret Laurence, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Margaret Atwood, Wayne Johnson, Linwood Barclay, Michael Ondaatje, and many, many others. Whether fly fishing in Haida Gwaii or sailing off Labrador, Douglas Gibson is a first-rate ambassador for Canada and the power of great stories.


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More adventures from one of Canada’s premier editors and storytellers Canada is a country rich in stories, and few take as much joy as Douglas Gibson in discovering them. As one of the country’s leading editors and publishers for 40 years, he coaxed modern classics out of some of Canada’s finest minds, and then took to telling his own stories in his first memoir, Storie More adventures from one of Canada’s premier editors and storytellers Canada is a country rich in stories, and few take as much joy as Douglas Gibson in discovering them. As one of the country’s leading editors and publishers for 40 years, he coaxed modern classics out of some of Canada’s finest minds, and then took to telling his own stories in his first memoir, Stories About Storytellers. Gibson turned his memoir into a one-man stage show that eventually played almost 100 times, in all ten provinces, from coast to coast. As a literary tourist, he discovered even more about the land and its writers and harvested many more stories, from distant past and recent memory, to share. Now in Across Canada by Story, Gibson brings new stories about Robertson Davies, Jack Hodgins, W.O. Mitchell, Alistair MacLeod, and Alice Munro, and adds lively portraits of Al Purdy, Marshall McLuhan, Margaret Laurence, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Margaret Atwood, Wayne Johnson, Linwood Barclay, Michael Ondaatje, and many, many others. Whether fly fishing in Haida Gwaii or sailing off Labrador, Douglas Gibson is a first-rate ambassador for Canada and the power of great stories.

30 review for Across Canada by Story: A Coast-to-Coast Literary Adventure

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jana

    Across Canada by Story is Douglas Gibson's second book which relates tales of his travels across that great country, stories about writers he's worked with (and some he hasn't), and his experiences as an editor and publisher for nearly forty years. There are a lot of stories, and a lot of names, and readers can be forgiven for not remembering every single one of them when some authors only receive a few sentences' worth of mention while others nearly have whole chapters devoted to them. This i Across Canada by Story is Douglas Gibson's second book which relates tales of his travels across that great country, stories about writers he's worked with (and some he hasn't), and his experiences as an editor and publisher for nearly forty years. There are a lot of stories, and a lot of names, and readers can be forgiven for not remembering every single one of them when some authors only receive a few sentences' worth of mention while others nearly have whole chapters devoted to them. This is a book written for readers and lovers of Canadian literature, and anyone who is completely unfamiliar with writers like W.O. Mitchell, Al Purdy, or Guy Vanderhaeghe may feel their eyes cross at the truly monumental list of personages featured in these pages. However! I do recommend this book even for those readers, because Gibson's style is charming and friendly (if a little dry at times), and he writes with great warmth for his friends and his adopted homeland. Truly, it seems as though Gibson has never met anyone who did not eventually become his friend, and his enthusiasm for Canada and her writers is infectious. There are the writers I'm familiar with: Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, L. M. Montgomery. There are writers I'm not familiar with, but will be seeking out their work soon: Alistair MacLeod, Linwood Barclay, George Hardy. (Naturally, the book is not completely inclusive of every writer ever to claim Canadian citizenship, nor did I expect it to be.) Somehow Gibson has a humorous anecdote, frequently at his own expense, for almost everyone he writes about. He also makes sure to include stories about the writers which illuminate their individual styles as well as their personal quirks, which prevents Across Canada by Story from ever feeling like a monotonous list of names. Gibson cares about each and every one of these people, and he wants the reader to, as well. Along the way, Gibson writes with clarity and appreciation for the land on which these great writers live. Canada is a country of diversity, with regards to climate, history, geography, politics, and people, and Gibson gives every aspect its due. Anyone who has been to (or is from) Canada knows that it isn't just "America's Quiet Neighbor," but is its own distinct entity. Gibson also makes sure to include a snippet from Canada's participation in the Underground Railroad, which helped escaped American slaves to find freedom, and he does not treat the American side of this subject with kid gloves. I feel that he is as blunt and honest as the topic deserves, and I was glad to see Gibson write as frankly about this period in history as he writes about the treatment of First Peoples by Canadian settlers. For all his fond reminiscences, Gibson is never blindly nostalgic. I very much enjoyed reading Across Canada by Story, and will be sure to seek out Gibson's first memoir, Stories About Storytellers. This would be an excellent resource for non-Canadian readers who are hoping to expand their reading experiences, as it was for me, and I hazard a guess that Canadian readers might have an even greater appreciation for the way in which Gibson writes about their national treasures. I received a free copy of this book as part of a First Reads giveaway on Goodreads. This did not affect my review in any way.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joann

    If you are a fan of Canadian literature, this is a great book for you. It's a light read that takes you across Canada, 'hearing' about many Canadian authors and their roots along the way. My mother is an avid reader of Canadian literature and I can't wait to pass this one on to her. Thank you Douglas Gibson and Goodreads for providing me with an ARC. If you are a fan of Canadian literature, this is a great book for you. It's a light read that takes you across Canada, 'hearing' about many Canadian authors and their roots along the way. My mother is an avid reader of Canadian literature and I can't wait to pass this one on to her. Thank you Douglas Gibson and Goodreads for providing me with an ARC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Birgit

    A wonderful book for lovers of Canadian literature. Many interesting details about Canadian authors, places, book festivals, even history. Highly entertaining. I am going to take it with me on my next trip across Canada to compare notes.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nutkin

    While outside of what I normally enjoy reading, this book introduced me to many Canadian authors & locations that were previously unknown to me through engaging and often funny anecdotes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Definitely a book only for people interested in Canadian literature or at least about Canada. As such it's a bit dense in places but provided you're interested in the general subject, it's an interesting view of Canada itself told via the stories of the authors who write about it. The author of the book, a publisher who seems to personally know most of Canadian literature's greatest talents, groups the book into regions and then tells stories of authors and book tours region by region. Mostly th Definitely a book only for people interested in Canadian literature or at least about Canada. As such it's a bit dense in places but provided you're interested in the general subject, it's an interesting view of Canada itself told via the stories of the authors who write about it. The author of the book, a publisher who seems to personally know most of Canadian literature's greatest talents, groups the book into regions and then tells stories of authors and book tours region by region. Mostly the book has made me wish to see more of Canada, and think I should read more Canadian literature.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Doriana Bisegna

    Reading Doug Gibson's latest foray into the literary festivals of Canada was a sublime treat! I learnt so much about our great country and discovered all kinds of hidden towns, cities and villages that harbour our greatest Canadian authors. I honestly could not tear myself away from this delicious compilation of stories about a variety of happenings during Doug Gibson's travels. We are a country that is so rich in literary talent and this book shows that in spades. Reading Doug Gibson's latest foray into the literary festivals of Canada was a sublime treat! I learnt so much about our great country and discovered all kinds of hidden towns, cities and villages that harbour our greatest Canadian authors. I honestly could not tear myself away from this delicious compilation of stories about a variety of happenings during Doug Gibson's travels. We are a country that is so rich in literary talent and this book shows that in spades.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    A list now, a BIG list made of Canadian books to read. Also, realized there were more Bandy Papers books to read than I was aware of - and my library has NOT ONE book of Donald Jack. Shameful. Gibson is one of the few people who can name-drop without it being irksome. My sister highly recommended this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Douglas Gibson loves Canadian writing and Canadian writers. This book is a deliciously gossipy collection of profiles of writers and their communities.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    I won this in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway...thank you...looking forward to reading it!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  11. 4 out of 5

    Specialgen

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katie Pellizzari

  13. 5 out of 5

    Judyp

  14. 5 out of 5

    Isobel Goddard

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susan Brunner

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janet Barclay

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christine Brown

  18. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Erika

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jharper2

  21. 5 out of 5

    Grace Harbour

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Boyle-Taylor

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  26. 4 out of 5

    M Beal

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christine A.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vida

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary-Esther Lee

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary Wilson

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