Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Podcast: Elspeth Cameron on Hugh MacLennan (1981)

Author  Hugh MacLennan in 1984.

From 1981 to 1989, I was assistant producer and co-host of the radio show On the Arts, at CJRT-FM (today Jazz 91.1) in Toronto. With the late Tom Fulton, who was the show's prime host and producer, we did a half-hour interview program where we talked to writers and artists from all fields. In 1981, I sat down with Canadian biographer and poet Elspeth Cameron, whose biography of author Hugh MacLennan had just been published.

Cameron would go on to make a career of writing about Canadian literary figures, and Hugh MacLennan: A Writer's Life was her first book. (The biography was nominated for a Governor General's Award that same year.) She followed it up with, among others, biographies of Irving Layton (1985), Robertson Davies (1991), and Earle Birney (1994). In 1997, her memoir No Previous Experience: A Memoir of Love and Change won a W. O. Mitchell Literary Prize.

– Kevin Courrier.

Here is the full interview with Elspeth Cameron as it aired on CJRT-FM in 1981.

 Kevin Courrier is a freelance writer/broadcaster, film critic and author (Dangerous Kitchen: The Subversive World of Zappa, Randy Newman's American Dreams33 1/3 Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask ReplicaArtificial Paradise: The Dark Side of The Beatles Utopian Dream). Courrier teaches part-time film courses to seniors through the LIFE Institute at Ryerson University in Toronto and other venues. His forthcoming book is Talking Out of Turn: A Collection of Reviews, Interviews and Remembrances currently being assembled on Blogger. 

Tom Fulton was the host and producer of On the Arts for CJRT-FM in Toronto for 23 years, beginning in 1975.

1 comment:

  1. I recently purchased the book 'Earl Birney A Life' by Elspeth Cameron, and surprised to find that there was no mention of the 15 year correspondence and friendship Mr. Birney had with the notorious Herbert Emerson Wilson, King of The Safecrackers. Mr. Wilson authored 17 works during his twelve year incarceration at San Quentin Prison, and was looking for someone to expand and edit these works for publication. This very interesting correspondence took place from 1950 to 1965. Unfortunately, after all those years, Mr. Birney was of no help in the publication of Mr. Wilson's autobiography, 'I Stole $16,000,000'. This best seller was the product of and credited to the Pulp Fiction writer Thomas P. Kelley.