Words Presents Douglas Gibson

November 5, 2017 at 3:30pm

Join us for a presentation by Canadian literary legend Douglas Gibson. 

               150 YEARS OF GREAT CANADIAN STORYTELLERS…. 1867–2017

                  A new stage performance by DOUGLAS GIBSON

      (author of Stories About Storytellers, and Across Canada By Story)


From coast to coast to coast (Ungava Bay!) former publisher Douglas Gibson has given over 160 performances of the dramatized versions of his first two books. Against the backdrop of the brilliant author caricatures by Anthony Jenkins (of Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, Pierre Trudeau, and many others), he has told behind the scenes stories about the men and women he got to know well.

Internationally, he has taken his show celebrating Canadian authors to London (where he fell off the Canada House stage) to Beijing, to Mexico, and beyond.

Now he has created a new show – again with the help of Anthony Jenkins – to celebrate our greatest storytellers ever since Confederation….English, French, and Indigenous. Staging the show is a fine way to celebrate our Sesquicentennial.

The power-point show follows our history decade by decade. Each decade begins with a burst of Canadian music from the time. On screen we see a familiar photo of the decade (“Ah, yes,that was the time of the Klondike Gold Rush”), and then several iconic pieces of Canadian art, by people like Cornelius Krieghoff, or Lawren Harris, or Mary Pratt.  Then the burst of music stops, and the caricature of the chosen author appears, and fascinating (boiling his moccasins?) stories about the chosen author and his or her best book are excitingly told (in front of a train?)

Usually, in each decade only one novelist in French and one in English will be chosen. This means that the show will be controversial (“How could you leave out X from the 1980s?”) but Doug Gibson will be happy to provoke spirited debate about our best authors. And while the show will be in English, everything on the screen, such as book titles and the names of the translation (“Kamouraska and Kamouraska, you say?”) will be bilingual. We all may learn more about our greatest authors, including the epic Haida storyteller, Skaay. 


READING LIST – 2017

(BOOKS CHOSEN IN DOUGLAS GIBSON’S SHOW CELEBRATING CANADA’S GREATEST STORYTELLERS FROM 1867 TO 2017)

A STORY AS SHARP AS A KNIFE   Robert Bringhurst, Douglas & MacIntyre

LES ANCIENS CANADIENS   Philippe Aubert de Gaspé, Fides, Translated by Jane Brierley, CANADIANS OF OLD, Vehicule

THE GOLDEN DOG    William Kirby, McGill-Queen’s Press

ANGÉLINE de MONTBRUN   Félicité Angers/ Laure Conan,  La Bibliothéque Electronique du Québec

THE IMPERIALIST   Sarah Jeanette Duncan, New Canadian Library/M&S

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES   Lucy Maud Montgomery, Tundra Books /M&S (Other Montgomery titles are also published by Penguin/M&S)

THE MAN FROM GLENGARRY   Charles Gordon/Ralph Connor, New Canadian Library/M&S

MARIA CHAPDELAINE    Louis Hémon, Illustrated by Clarence Gagnon (unillustrated edition published by Boréal)

SUNSHINE SKETCHES OF A LITTLE TOWN   Stephen Leacock, New Canadian Library/ M&S

UN HOMME SE PENCHE SUR SON PASSÉ    Maurice Constantin-Weyer, Presses Universitaires de France

MORE JOY IN HEAVEN   Morley Callaghan, New Canadian Library/M&S

TRENTE ARPENTS   Philippe Panneton/Ringuet Translated as THIRTY ACRES Philippe Panneton/Ringuet, New Canadian Library/M&S

BONHEUR D’OCCASION   Gabrielle Roy, Boréal, Translated as THE TIN FLUTE Gabrielle Roy, New Canadian Library/ M&S

 TWO SOLITUDES   Hugh MacLennan, New Canadian Library/M&S

 LES PLOUFFE   Roger Lemelin, Stanké, Translated as THE PLOUFFE FAMILY, New Canadian Library /M&S

WHO HAS SEEN THE WIND W.O. Mitchell, Illustrated by William Kurelek, M&S (Unillustrated edition also M&S)

FIFTH BUSINESS   Robertson Davies, Penguin

AGAGUK   Yves Thériault, Éditions de l’Homme, Translated as SHADOW OF THE WOLF    M&S

THE DIVINERS   Margaret Laurence, New Canadian Library /M&S

LE CIEL DE QUÉBEC  Jacques Ferron,  VLB Éditeur/ Bibliothéque Québecoise

THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ Mordecai Richler, New Canadian Library/M&S

KAMOURASKA Anne Hébert, Éditions du Seuil, Translated as KAMOURASKA by Norman Shapiro, House of Anansi

THE INVENTION OF THE WORLD Jack Hodgins, M&S and New Canadian Library

ALIAS GRACE Margaret Atwood, M&S/ Vintage

LE MATOU Yves Beauchemin, Fidès, Translated by Sheila Fischman as THE ALLEY CAT         M&S

THE ENGLISH PATIENT Michael Ondaatje, M&S/Vintage

THE STONE DIARIES Carol Shields, Vintage

A FINE BALANCE  Rohinton Mistry, M&S/Vintage

PÉLAGIE –LA- CHARRETTE Antonine Maillet, Leméac / Translated by Philip Stratford  as  PELAGIE, Goose Lane

NO GREAT MISCHIEF Alistair MacLeod, M&S

UNE SAISON DANS LA VIE D’EMMANUEL   Marie-Claire Blais, Boréal Translated as A SEASON IN THE LIFE OF EMMANUEL, Exile Editions

LIFE OF PI   Yann Martel , Vintage

COMMENT FAIRE L’AMOUR AVEC UN NÈGRE….  Dany Laferriere, Le serpent a plumes / Translated by David Homel as HOW TO MAKE LOVE…Douglas & MacIntyre

THE ORENDA Joseph Boyden, Penguin

NIGHTS BELOW STATION STREET David Adams Richards, M & S

THE PROGRESS OF LOVE Alice Munro, Penguin



Authors & Presenters


Douglas Gibson


Editor, writer, and publisher (McClelland Stewart)

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