A Life With Writers: The Story of Jack McClelland

By James King

Vintage Canada, Paperback, 9780676972986, 464pp.

Publication Date: October 24, 2000


Jack is the intimate, extraordinary story of the gregarious, irascible trailblazer who propelled Canada into a cultural coming of age and changed the business and flavour of book publishing forever. Jack McClelland, credited with bringing Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler, Margaret Laurence, Leonard Cohen, Farley Mowat, and Pierre Berton, among others, to centre stage, became famous as the hard-drinking, chain-smoking publicity hound whose flamboyant stunts, calculated to bring attention to his books, made front-page news. Jack is a vivid window into the lives and habits of this country's writers, and a tribute to the lasting effect of one man's passionate championship of Canada's literature.

About the Author

James King is the author of the novel Faking, and of several highly acclaimed literary biographies, including The Life of Margaret Laurence, Virginia Woolf, The Last Modern: A Life of Herbert Read, and William Blake: His Life. He lives in Dundas, Ontario.

Praise For Jack

"Wonderful." --National Post

"Fascinating--a lucid window on Canadian culture and its politics--. A refreshingly good story, funny and telling and full of surprises." --Quill & Quire

"The only thing more fun than reading a good book is gossip about people who make good books. James King's new biography--kills both birds with a single stone." -Toronto Life

"Well researched, written with flair and gilded with admiration for its subject." -The London Free Press