The Perilous Trade

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9781551990736: The Perilous Trade

A book that will fascinate and inform readers who love Canadian writing

Publishing Canadian books has always been an experiment. Like the great experiments of building a transcontinental railway and a national broadcasting system, it constitutes one of the nation’s defining acts. Publishing, after all, is a people’s way of telling its story to itself.
–from the Introduction

Part cultural history, part personal memoir, this accomplished, sweeping, yet intimate book demonstrates that the story of Canadian publishing is one of the cornerstones of our literary history.

In The Perilous Trade, former publisher, literary journalist, and industry insider Roy MacSkimming chronicles the extraordinary journey of English-language publishing from the Second World War to the present. During a period of unparalleled transformation, Canada grew from a cultural colony fed on the literary offerings of London and New York to a mature nation whose writers are celebrated around the world. Crucial to that evolution were three generations of book publishers – mavericks, gamblers, entrepreneurs, political activists, and true believers – sharing a conviction that Canadians need books of their own.

Canadian publishing has long made headlines -be it Jack McClelland’s outrageous publicity stunts, American takeovers, the collapse of venerable imprints, or bold political moves to ensure the industry’s survival. Roy MacSkimming takes us behind the headlines to draw memorable portraits of the men and women who built Canada’s literary renaissance. With a novelist’s eye for character and incident, he weaves their tangled relationships with authors, agents, booksellers and each other into a lively narrative rich in anecdote and revealing personal recollection. Canadian publishers large and small have nurtured a literature of extraordinary diversity and breadth, MacSkimming argues, giving us English Canada’s greatest cultural achievement.

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From the Back Cover:

“Masterful....This book should be compulsory reading for anyone entering the book trade, toiling in it now or in an occupation, such as politics, constantly brushing against the business.... The Perilous Trade unobtrusively, quite fetchingly, conveys a massive amount of research, yet also manages to be a brilliantly seductive cultural history of Canada.”
–Greg Gatenby, The Globe and Mail

About the Author:

Roy MacSkimming is a professional writer and a published novelist. He has been literary editor of The Toronto Star and is now director of the Association of Canadian Publishers. Roy MacSkimming and his wife, Suzette, have lived in Europe and raised two sons.

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MacSkimming, Roy
Published by Macfarlane Walter & Ross (2003)
ISBN 10: 1551990733 ISBN 13: 9781551990736
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Book Description Macfarlane Walter & Ross, 2003. Book Condition: Good. 1St Edition. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP90332419

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MacSkimming, Roy
Published by McClelland and Stewart Limited, Toronto, ON, Canada (2003)
ISBN 10: 1551990733 ISBN 13: 9781551990736
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Book Description McClelland and Stewart Limited, Toronto, ON, Canada, 2003. Hardcover. 1st Edition. Brown boards with gilt letters. FIRST EDITION. There are several pages of illustrations. The DJ is crisp and covered in mylar. 464 pages. Very Good Plus in Very Good Plus DJ. Bookseller Inventory # 5828

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MacSkimming, Roy
Published by McC Lelland & Stewart Ltd., Toronto (2003)
ISBN 10: 1551990733 ISBN 13: 9781551990736
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Book Description McC Lelland & Stewart Ltd., Toronto, 2003. Book Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. Number line: 1 2 3 4 5 07 06 05 04 03. This, " is the first book to relate how Canadian publishers large and small succeeded in nurturing a literature of remarkable brilliance and diversity." (front flap). 405 pp. plus: Chronology Canadian Book Publishing 1946 to May 2003, Sources, Acknowledgments, Index. 464 pp. in toto. Bookseller's inventory # 160253. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall True First Canadian Edition, 1st Printin. Bookseller Inventory # 000253

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