Transcript: Imprint season 12 episode 12 | Dec 13, 2000

Tina Srebotnjak stands in a studio with pieces of art in red and orange hanging in the background.
She’s in her late thirties, with short chestnut hair and bangs. She’s wearing a long gray coat.

Tina says HELLO, I'M TINA
SREBOTNJAK
INVITING YOU TO WINE AND
DINE WITH US TONIGHT ON
“IMPRINT.”
EXPERIENCE THE GREAT LITERARY DINNER
PARTIES, A GALA EVENING
HOBNOBBING WITH CANADA'S
BEST WRITERS.

Fast clips show fancy dinner parties with people in formal attire.

A man in his fifties says THERE WILL BE A CANADIAN,
LIVING, BREATHING CANADIAN
WRITER, PROBABLY ONE WHO HAS
WRITTEN A BOOK THIS YEAR AT
EVERY TABLE IN THE ROOM.

Now a man in his sixties addresses a small group in a lounge and says I WAITED FOR THE YOUNG,
HIP PERSON BEHIND THE
COUNTER TO REALIZE THAT SHE
HAD AN ICON IN HER MIDST.

Tina says AND MEET AMERICAN
WRITER ARMI STEAD MAUPIN, HE
HAS AN INTRIGUING OPINION
ABOUT GAY RELATIONSHIPS.

In an interview, he says THE REASON THAT GAY MEN
MAKE SUCH THORNY
RELATIONSHIPS, I THINK, NOT
ALWAYS, BUT I THINK IT IS
HARDER FOR US THAN ALMOST
EVERYBODY T IS BECAUSE WE
ARE TWO MEN.
NOT THAT WE ARE GAY BUT IT
LIKE MAN TIMES TWO.

Theme music plays as the opening sequence rolls.
Fast clips show books and maps in hues of orange and red.

Then, Tina reappears and says WE BEGIN TONIGHT
WITH A PARTY, THE 15th
ANNUAL GREAT LITERARY DINNER
PARTY HOSTED BY THE WRITERS
TRUST OF CANADA.
IT IS A GALA EVENING OF
TUXES AND EVENING GOWNS,
WHERE PARTY GUESTS RUB
SHOULDERS WITH CANADA'S TOP
WRITERS.
AND IN KEEPING WITH THE
TRUST'S MANDATE TO NURTURE
CANADIAN AUTHORS, ONE WRITER
TAKES HOME A PRIZE.
THE 10,000 dollar MARIAN ENGALA
WARD IN SUPPORT OF A FEMALE
WRITER IN MID CAREER.
JUST IN CASE YOU WEREN'T ON
THE GUEST LIST THIS YEAR
HERE IS A TASTE OF
THE FESTIVITIES.

(Classical music plays)

Fat clips show formally dressed people attending a fancy dinner party.

A man appears talking.
A caption reads “John Macfarlane. Chair, The Writers’ Trust of Canada.”
John is in his sixties, clean-shaven, with short white hair.

He says THIS DINNER WAS CONCEIVED
15 YEARS AGO AS A
FUND-RAISING EVENT, AS A WAY
OF CELEBRATING CANADIAN
WRITING BY BRINGING A WHOLE
BUNCH OF CANADIAN WRITERS
INTO A ROOM, SITTING THEM AS
TABLES OF PEOPLE WHO MIGHT
NOT ORDINARILY GET TO MEET THEM.
SO A NICE DINNER, THERE WILL
BE A LIVING, BREATHING,
CANADIAN WRITER, PROBABLY
ONE THAT HAS WRITTEN A BOOK
THIS YEAR PROBABLY AT EVERY
TABLE IN THE ROOM.

The caption changes to "Camilla Gibb. Writer."
Camilla is in her thirties, with short straight auburn hair.

She says I'M EXCITED T IS A REAL HONOUR.
APPARENTLY I'M SITTING WITH
A BUNCH OF BANKERS.
I DOUBT THEY READ MY BOOK.

The caption changes to "Linda Frum. Chair, Great Literary Dinner."
Linda is in her forties, with blond hair in a bob.

She says YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE
THAT THE EVENT IS SOLD WELL
AND THERE IS A LOT OF MONEY.
WE THIS YEAR RAISED MORE
MONEY THAN AT ANY OTHER
GREAT LITERARY DINNER IN THE
HISTORY OF THE EVENT SO I'M
VERY THRILLED ABOUT THAT.

The caption changes to "June Callwood. Writer."
June is in her seventies, with wavy white hair.

She says I THINK WRITERS AS -- --
THEY TURN OUT IN PART FOR A
REAL PARTY BUT ALSO TO
AFFIRM THE LINK WE HAVE THAT
WE DON'T MAKE MUCH MONEY AND
ALMOST ALL OF US -- WORRY
ABOUT THE EMPTY PAGE, THE
BLANK COMPUTER.
AND HOW WE WILL FINISH THE
NEXT PAGE.

(music plays)
Clips show the writers taking their seats at round tables.
Then, a woman in her late sixties stands on a stage and addresses the crowd.

She says TONIGHT I'M HONOURED TO
HAVE BEEN ENTRUSTED ON
BEHALF OF A JURY WITH THE
HAPPY TASK OF INTRODUCING TO
YOU THE 15th WINNER OF THE
MARIAN ENGAL PRIZE FOR WOMEN
WRITERS IN MID CAREER.
SHE IS ANITA RAUL BADONNI.

[Applause]

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Sharon Butala. Writer."

Sharon continues NOW ANITA IS NOT GOING TO
COME UP JUST NOW.
I'M GOING TO TELL YOU A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT HER.
HER FIRST NOVEL PUBLISHED IN
1996 BY VIKING PENGUIN WAS
AN INSTANT INTERNATIONAL HIT
AND BEST-SELLER.
THIS SPRING SHE PUBLISHED
HER SECOND NOVEL, THE HERO'S
WALK.
AND A CRITIC WROTE HER FIRST
NOVEL WAS GOOD, HER SECOND
IS MARVELOUS.
ANITA'S WORK IS PROOF THAT
TALENT LEAPS ACROSS OCEANS
AND STRIDES THE CONTINENTS.
HOW FORTUNATE WE ARE THAT
WHEN SHE AND HER HUSBAND AND
SON DECIDED TO LEAVE INDIA
THEY CHOSE CANADA AS THEIR
NEW HOME SO THAT WE MAY
PROUDLY CLAIM HER AS ONE OF
OUR OWN.
NOW THE MOMENT HAS COME.
WOULD ANITA COME UP PLEASE
AND ACCEPT HER AWARD.

[Applause]

Several people stand up to applaud.

Anita steps onto the stage and stands behind a podium. She’s in her late thirties, with long black hair in a tight ponytail.

She says THANK YOU.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY,
REALLY.
I HAVE THIS BIG SPEECH
WRITTEN UP.
I FEEL SO HONOURED TO BE
HERE TONIGHT AND TO RECEIVE
THE MARIAN ENGAL PRIZE NAMED
FOR A WRITER WHOSE VISION
WAS ORIGINAL AND CHALLENGING.
I'M ALSO THRILLED TO BE IN
THE COMPANY OF WOMEN WHO
HAVE WON THIS PRIZE BEFORE
ME, WRITERS WHOSE WORK I
ADMIRE A GREAT DEAL.
IT MEANS A LOT TO ME TO BE
HERE.
BOOKS HAVE EVER SINCE I CAN
REMEMBER, BEEN THE MOST
IMPORTANT THINGS IN MY LIFE.
AS A CHILD AND A YOUNG ADULT
IN INDIA WE WERE TAUGHT TO
REVER BOOKS, TO DO SO MEANT
TO INVOKE THE AFFECTIONS OF
THE GODDESS OF LEARNING.
SO IF MY FOOT ACCIDENTALLY
TOUCHED A BOOK I HAD TO PICK
IT UP, KISS IT, TOUCH IT TO
MY FOREHEAD AND BEG ITS
PARDON FOR HAVING KICKED IF.
SO YOU CAN SEE HOW I BECAME
A WRITER.
WRITING IS EVERYTHING TO ME.
IT IS MY PASSION AND MY
PROFESSION.

Later, Anita speaks in an interview.
A caption reads “Anita Rau Badami. Writer.”

She says I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT, TO BE HONEST.
I JUST DIDN'T EXPECT TO WIN
A PRIZE.
AND I CERTAINLY DIDN'T
EXPECT TO WIN THE MARIAN
ENGAL AWARD.

Now Sharon speaks in an interview and says
IT IS AN EXTREMELY
PRESTIGIOUS AWARD.
I KNOW ALL SORTS OF WOMEN
WRITERS WHO ARE IN MID
CAREER WHO ARE HERE TONIGHT
WISH VERY MUCH THEY BEEN ONE
OF THE WINNERS.
THERE IS A SUBSTANTIAL CASH
PRIZE WITH IT.
GOODNESS KNOWS WE ALL NEED
THAT.
AS EVERYBODY KNOWS WRITERS
AREN'T WEALTHY.
SO I THINK THAT IT IS REALLY
QUITE A WONDERFUL THING.

The caption changes to "Will Engel. Marian Engel’s son."
Will is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short curly gray hair.”

He says THE AUTHOR THAT WINS,
THERE IS SOME SORT OF
CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN MY
MOTHER AND HER HERE TONIGHT,
ALL OF THE -- EVERYBODY ASK
DRESSED NICE, EVERYBODY IS
COMPETING ON EVEN GROUPED,
YOU KNOW -- SORE EAR, NOT
COMPETING ON EVEN GROUND,
EVERYBODY IS JUST NOT
COMPETING AND IT IS A NICE
LITTLE DRESSY AFFAIR.
WE DON'T GET TO GO OUT TO
THAT MANY.

The clips from the event end. Then, an animated book sitting on railroad tracks reveals fast clips showing car racing books, followed by a book by Armistead Maupin.”

Tina says COMING UP, FORMULA
ONE LITERATURE, ONE READER
TURNS A CHILDHOOD PASSION
INTO A HUGE BOOK COLLECTION.
AND NEXT, FROM TALES OF THE
CITY TO THE NIGHT LISTENER
ARMISTEAD MAUPIN RETURNS.
ARMISTEAD MAUPIN HAS WILL
and GRACE BEAT BY A MILE.
HE IS THE WRITER WHO GAVE US
“TALES OF THE CITY.”
NEWSPAPER COLUMNS THAT
BECAME A SERIES OF BOOKS AND
THAN A POPULAR TV SERIES
ABOUT GAY LIFE IN 1970s SAN
FRANCISCO.
HERE IS A CLIP FROM THE SHOW.

A clip plays on screen with the caption “Courtesy Bravo! New Style Arts Channel.

In the clip a woman in her fifties drives a woman in her twenties and a man in his thirties.

The young woman says YOU KNOW WHAT, THIS TRIP
IS GOING TO WORK FOR ME.
I'M GOING TO MEET SOMEBODY,
I KNOW IT.
NOT THAT YOU AREN'T THE BEST
COMPANY IN THE WORLD.

The man says YOU DON'T HAVE EXPLAIN
THAT ONE.
I HAVE THIS DYNAMITE PLAN.
I SAW A GUY LOUNGING OUT,
AND I SAUNTER UP, KIND OF
CASUAL LIKE, ALL TAN AND
THAN I SAY IN MY VERY
BUTCHEST VOICE, HI, GUY.
I'M MICHAEL AND THIS IS MARY
ANN, WHICH ONE OF US WOULD
YOU LIKE.

The older woman says WHAT IF HE DOESN'T WANT
EITHER ONE OF YOU.

The man says WE PUSH HIM OFF THE FIRST
AVAILABLE CLIFF.

The clip ends.

Tina says ARMISTEAD MAUPIN IS
BACK THIS FALL WITH A NEW
NOVEL CALLED “THE NIGHT
LISTENER” ABOUT A GAY MAN IN
THE MIDST OF A FULL-FLEDGED
MIDLIFE CRISIS.
HIS LONG TIME PARTNER HAS
LEFT HIM, HE HAS WRITERS
BLOCK AND DEVELOPS A BIZARRE
TP RELATIONSHIP WAY YOUNG BOY.
THE STORY HAS UNCANNY
PARALLELS WITH THE WRITER'S
REAL LIFE.

Now a clip plays in which Tina interviews Armistead.

She says NOW YOUR BOOK “THE NIGHT
LISTENER” HAS A MAIN
CHARACTER, GABRIEL, A GAY
WRITER IN SAN TSANG WHO HAS
WRITTEN STORIES THAT HAVE A
CULT FOLLOWING.
IS TEMPTED TO THINK IT IS YOU.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Armistead Maupin. The night listener."
Armistead is in his late fifties, with short white hair and a trimmed moustache.

He says GUILTY AS CHARGED.

Tina says THIS IS AN
AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL.

Armistead says EMOTIONALLY
AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL.
I HAVE MADE AN EFFORT TO
REFLECT THE REALITIES OF MY
OWN FEELING WHEN IT COMES TO
CERTAIN MAJOR EVENTS WITH IN
MY LIFE.
THE BREAKUP OF MY PARTNER,
THE DEATH OF MY MOTHER, THE
DEATH OF MY BEST FRIEND
ABOUT SIX YEARS AGO ARE ALL
FEATURED IN THE NOVEL.
AND I THINK THE BEST WAY TO
DESCRIBE IT IS I HAVE TAKEN
MYSELF AND SOME OF THE
PEOPLE I LOVE AND CAST US IN
WHAT I REGARD AS A KIND OF
THRILLER OF THE HEART.
A MYSTERY STORY THAT IS
ABOUT HUMAN EMOTIONS AND A
FRIEND OF MINE SAID THIS IS
NOT A NOVEL WHERE YOU HAVE
TO WARN PEOPLE DON'T REVEAL
THE ENDING.
YOU HAVE TO SAY DON'T REVEAL
THE MIDDLE.
AND I LOVE SETTING THAT UP.
I HAVE BEEN VERY FRUSTRATED
BY SOME OF THE EARLY REVIEWS
WHICH THOUGH THEY HAVE BEEN
GOOD HAVE HAD A TENDENCY TO
TELL THE WHOLE PLOT OF THE
STORY.

Tina says THAT MUST DRIVE YOU MAD.

Armistead says MAKES ME NUTS.
BECAUSE THE THING IS
DESIGNED TO REVEAL ITSELF
GRADUALLY TO THE READER.
AND THAT PART OF THE
PLEASURE.
AND THAT THERE ARE CRITICS
OUT THERE THAT DON'T
UNDERSTAND THAT AND ROB
READERS OF THAT IS AMAZING
TO ME.

Tina says BUT THERE IS ONE OF
THE THEMES OF THE BOOK I
THINK AND I HOPE I DON'T
GIVE ANYTHING AWAY.

Armistead says I WILL STOP YOU IF YOU DO.

Tina says LEAN OVER AND THROW
WATER IN MY FACE.
ONE OF THE THEMES IS THE
THIN LINE BETWEEN WHAT IS
REAL AND WHAT IS NOT REAL.

Armistead says YEAH.

Tina says AND THERE IS AN
INSTANCE OF THAT IN THIS
BOOK.
AND AT ONE POINT THE MAIN
CHARACTER SAYS SOMETHING
LIKE WELL, IT DOESN'T REALLY
MATTER WHAT IS REAL AND WHAT
IT ISN'T REAL.

Armistead says THAT IS WHAT I BELIEVE IN
THE END.

Tina says BUT THAT IS A HARD
CONCEPT.
HOW CAN IT NOT MATTER.

Armistead says BECAUSE I TRUST MY
EMOTION.
IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT I
REALLY TRUST.
I TRUST WHAT I FEEL IN THE
END.
AND SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO DO
THAT.
FACTS CAN BE LAID OUT BEFORE
YOU AND THEY DON'T MAKE
ANYTHING CLEAR TO YOU.
BUT IF YOU TRUST WHAT IS IN
YOUR HEART, WHAT YOU ARE
ACTUALLY FEELING THAN ARE
YOU ALWAYS SAFE.
THE THEME EMERGES IN THE
COURSE OF THE NOVEL ALSO IN
CONNECTION WITH GABRIEL'S
RELATIONSHIP WITH JEFF, HIS
PARTNER.
THIS MAN HAS LEFT HIM.
BUT GRADUALLY HE COMES TO
REALIZE THAT THEY STILL
LOVED HIM AND LOVE EACH
OTHER.

Tina says REASON HE LEAVES HIM IS
IRONIC, BECAUSE HE IS HIV
POSITIVE BUT HE THINKS HE IS
GETTING HEALTHY AGAIN.
SO HE SEES A FUTURE.
SO HE LEAVES HIM BECAUSE
THERE IS HOPE FOR HIM.

Armistead says YEAH, YEAH.
WELL THIS HAPPENED TO ME.

Tina says BUT HOW IT MUST
HAVE KILLED YOU.

Armistead says IT WAS TOUGH, IT WAS
HUGELY IRONIC.
AND LIKE GABRIEL, I WAS
ASKED TO CELEBRATE THE FACT
THAT HE WAS GOING TO LIVE.
AND I DID FEEL THAT IN MY --
THE PART OF ME, THE BETTER
PART OF ME FELT THAT.
BUT THERE WAS ALSO A LITTLE
VOICE SAYING OH, I GET IT,
NOW THAT YOU CAN LIVE I'M
NOT IMPORTANT ANY MORE.
BUT IT IS FAR MORE
COMPLICATED THAN THAT.
YOU KNOW, SOMEONE WHO HAS
BEEN ON THE VERGE OF DYING
FELT AS IF HE MIGHT BE DEAD
AT ANY MOMENT FOR TEN YEARS
SUDDENLY HAS A MILLION OTHER
OPTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN HE
REALIZES THAT HE IS GOING TO LIVE.

Tina says LET ME ASK YOU
PERSONALLY, DO YOU USE YOUR
WRITING THAN TO SAY THINGS
THAT YOU WOULDN'T SAY IN
REAL LIFE.

Armistead says ABSOLUTELY, ALL THE TIME.

Tina says DO YOU THINK ALL
WRITERS DO THAT.

Armistead says I DON'T KNOW.
THERE MAY BE WRITERS WHO ARE
MORE CONFRONTATIONAL THAN I AM.
BUT I WAS RAISED TO BE A
PEOPLE-PLEASING SOUTHERNER.
AND I TEND TO SOMETIMES KEEP
MY FEELINGS TO MYSELF IF IT
IS GOING TO CAUSE CONFLICT.
AND I LEARNED TO THAT OVER
THE YEARS WITH MY FATHER,
FOR INSTANCE.
I LEARNED THAT HE WAS
EMBARRASSED ABOUT THE
DISPLAY OF EMOTION.
SO I WOULD KEEP THINGS SORT
OF -- ALWAYS SHAKING HANDS,
YOU KNOW.
THE MIRACLE THAT I WAS
ABLE TO SAY THINGS TO MY
FATHER THROUGH THE NIGHT
LISTENER THAT I HAVE NEVER
BEEN ABLE TO SAY TO HIM IN
REAL LIFE.
AND HE CALLED ME TWO MONTHS
AGO TO TELL ME HOW MUCH HE
LOVED THE BOOK AND HOW MUCH
HE LOVED ME.
AND WE HAVE BEEN SO CLOSE
SINCE THEN.
HE CAME TO A READING I DID
IN MY HOME TOWN OF RALLY A
COUPLE NIGHTS AGO.
WHEN SOMEBODY IN THE
AUDIENCE SAID WHAT DOES YOUR
FATHER THINK ABOUT THIS
BOOK.
I SAID WHY DON'T YOU ASK
HIM.
AND HE STOOD UP, THIS
85-YEAR-OLD PATRIARCH AND
SAID MY SON IS A VERY FINE
WRITER OF FICTION.
THEREBY GETTING HIMSELF OFF
THE HOOK.

Tina says YES.

Armistead says BUT BEING ABLE TO
CELEBRATE ME.

Tina says THAT IS WONDERFUL.

Armistead says I ACTUALLY CAME OUT TO MY
PARENTS THROUGH MY WRITER.
I DIDN'T TELL THEM DIRECTLY
I HAD ONE OF MY CHARACTERS
DO IT.
AND THEY FIGURED OUT THAT I
WAS TALKING ABOUT MYSELF.

Tina says THIS IS YOUR
CHARACTER MICHAEL, IN TALES
OF THE CITY.

Armistead says UH-HUH.

Tina says AND HE WRITES A
LETTER, A VERY FAMOUS LETTER
NOW IN WHICH HE TELLS HIS
MOM.
SO YOU DID THAT AND THAT WAS
HOW YOU TOLD YOUR MOM.

Armistead says THAT IS HOW I TOLD THEM.
THEY WERE SUBSCRIBING TO THE
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
WHERE IT WAS SERIALIZED.
WHEN I GOT TO THAT POINT IT
WAS SO PERSONAL THAT THEY
WERE AWARE I WAS TALKING
ABOUT MYSELF.

Tina says WERE THEY SURPRISED.

Armistead says MY MOTHER HAD KNOWN FOR A
NUMBER OF YEARS, ACTUALLY.
RIGHT IN THE NIGHT LISTENER
I TELL HOW SHE FOUND OUT.
HI A GIRLFRIEND REALLY JUST
A FRIEND BUT SHE APPARENTLY
WAS HOLDING OUT SOME HOPE
THAT THERE WAS A ROMANCE
THERE, WHO CAME OUT TO SEE
ME IN THE EARLY '70s IN SAN
FRANCISCO.
AND I REALLY JUST WANTED
SOMEBODY TO LISTEN TO ME AND
TO HEAR ABOUT MY NEW LIFE.
AND SO I TOLD HER ABOUT THIS
HAND STOCK LAWYER I HAD MET.
AND SHE SORT OF OPENED HER
PURSE AND PULLED OUT A
VALIUM AND ATE IT LIKE AND
AFTER DINNER MINT IN FRONT
OF ME.
AND I REALIZED -- THAT MY
BIG MOMENT OF JOY WAS NOT
HER BIG MOMENT OF JOY.

Tina says NO, NO.

Armistead says AND SHE WENT HOME AND
CALLED MY MOTHER.
SHE WAS FRIENDS WITH MY
MOTHER.
SO MY MOTHER KNEW FOR ABOUT
TWO YEARS BEFORE I KNEW THAT
SHE KNEW.

Tina says AND YOUR DAD.

Armistead says HE DIDN'T KNOW UNTIL I
CAME OUT BY WAY OF THE
LETTER.
TYPICALLY MY MOTHER WAS
TRYING TO PROTECT HIM, TO
SHIELD HIM FROM THE NEWS
WHICH WAS NOT THE RIGHT WAY
TO GO ABOUT IT.
BUT IT WASN'T RIGHT OF ME TO
LEAVE THAT BURDEN ON HER
EITHER.
I SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE
COURAGEOUS ABOUT IT EARLY ON.

Tina says THERE IS A LINE IN THE
BOOK THAT I LOVED AND STRUCK
ME AS ABSOLUTELY TRUE
GABRIELLE SAYS THAT AS A
YOUNG GAY PERSON YOU LEARN
TO HIDE THINGS IT, IT IS YOU
LEARN TO CAMOUFLAGE THINGS
WHEN YOU ARE A BABY HOW
MANYO.

Armistead says YOU GET VERY, VERY GOOD
AT IT I THINK THAT IS WHY A
LOT OF GAY PEOPLE GO INTO
THE ARTS, BECOME WRITERS
BECAUSE WE LEARN THAT
CREATIVE INSTINCT VERY EARLY
ON IS HOW TO VENT AND WEAR
MASKS AND POSE AND SEEM TO
BE SOMETHING THAT WE ARE
NOT.
I MEAN I GROUP UP FEELING
THAT I WAS LESS THAN OTHER
BOYS AND MORE THAN OTHER
BOYS AT THE SAME TIME
BECAUSE I HAD THIS SECRET.
I FELT SUPERIOR TO THEM IN A
WAY BECAUSE I COULD FOOL
THEM.
YOU PARTICIPATE IN THIS SORT
OF ACT OF CONCERTED
DETACHMENT THAT YOU CAN
BUILD A CERTAIN PRIDE ABOUT.
AND I THINK THAT IS WAY MOST
GAY PEOPLE HAVE THAT,
ESPECIALLY IF THEY'VE COME
THROUGH THE WHOLE PROCESS
OKAYnd ARE FINALLY OUT OF
THE CLOSET.
YOU THINK I CAN DO ANYTHING
NOW.
I WENT THROUGH THAT AND I
CAN -- YOU KNOW, I CAN
SURVIVE ANYTHING.

Tina says YOU KNOW, WHEN I
LOOK AT YOUR LIFE YOU HAD
OBVIOUSLY THAT WAS A HUGE
PART BUT YOU ALSO DID
SOMETHING THAT WAS JUST
SEEMED REMARKABLE TO ME.
YOU STARTED WRITING A COLUMN,
OF FICTION REALLY, IN A
NEWSPAPER WHICH JUST SEEMS
SO EXTRAORDINARY.
IT WASN'T A COLUMN ABOUT
CITY HALL.
IT WAS A COLUMN THAT HAD
CHARACTERS IN IT AND THAN IT
JUST TOOK OFF TO BE THIS
SPECTACULAR SERIES OF BOOK,
TALES OF THE CITY.
DID THAT EVER SURPRISE YOU.
I MEAN DO YOU SOMETIMES
THINK I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS
IS HAPPENING TO ME.

Armistead says OH, ABSOLUTELY.
I THINK THAT ALL THE TIME.
I THOUGHT THAT THIS SUMMER
UP IN MONTREAL WHEN WE WERE
SHOOTING A NUDE SCENE
BETWEEN BILLY CAMPBELL AND
PAUL HOPKINS, THE TWO GAY
LOVERS AND BILLY CAMPBELL
WHO MUST BE THE HANDSOMEST
MAN IN HOLLYWOOD LOOKED UP
AT ME AND SAID DOES MY ASS
LOOK BIG IN THIS SHOT,
ARMISTEAD.
AND I THOUGHT PINCH ME, YOU
KNOW, I'M DREAMING.
THIS IS A HALLUCINATION.

Tina says THE QUESTION YOU
HAVE BEEN WAITING TO HEAR
YOUR WHOLE LIFE.

Armistead says IT WAS AMAZING.
AND NO, HI NO IDEA WHEN I
STARTED WRITING THAT LITTLE
SERIAL IN THE CHRONICLE THAT
IT WOULD GO AS FAR AS IT
DID.
I THOUGHT I ACQUIRED STARDOM
BECAUSE I HAD A COLUMN IN
THE CHRONICLE.
AND I WAS THRILLED ABOUT
THAT.
BUT I REALLY THOUGHT I WAS
WRITING A KIND OF PRIVATE
JOKE ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO
THAT NOBODY ELSE WOULD GET.
NOW THE REST OF THE WORLD
KNOWS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO
HAVE THAT KIND OF EXTENDED
FAMILY AND TO FEEL CONNECTED
WITH ALL SORTS OF DIFFERENT
KINDS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE
HAPPY TO CELEBRATE THEIR
DIFFERENCES AND HAPPY TO BE
WITH EACH OTHER.

Tina says WELL, YOU WERE SO
AHEAD OF THE WAY TOO, WHEN
YOU THINK NOW, WELL, WHAT DO
YOU THINK OF THE STUFF THEY
HAVE ON TV NOW, WILL and
GRACE.

Armistead says I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR
WILL and GRACE, FOR INSTANCE.

Tina says GOOD FOR YOU.

Armistead says IT WAS 25 YEARS AGO I WAS
SAYING ONE OF THE MOST
INTERESTING RELATIONSHIPS
THERE IS IS BETWEEN STRAIGHT
WOMEN AND GAY MEN T IS
FASCINATING AND FULL OF
COMIC POSSIBILITIES BECAUSE,
YOU KNOW, ARE BOTH AFTER THE
SAME THING.
AND THE MAN, THE GAY MAN
BECOMES A KIND OF REFERENCE
POINT TO THE WOMAN.
IT IS LIKE HER TOUR GUIDE
NOT MYSTERIOUS WORLD OF MEN
BECAUSE THEY CAN DESCRIBE
HOW MEN REACT.
THE REASON GAY MEN MAKE SUCH
THORNY RELATIONSHIPS, I
THINK, NOT ALWAYS, BUT I
THINK IT IS HARDER FOR US
THAN ALMOST ANYBODY IS
BECAUSE WE ARE TWO MEN.
NOT THAT WE ARE GAY, IT IS
LIKE MAN TIMES TWO.

Tina says SO THAT IS THE
PROBLEM, OF COURSE.

Armistead says WELL, THINK ABOUT IT.

Tina says NOW THAT I THINK
ABOUT IT.

Armistead says EVERYTHING THAT A WOMAN
COMPLAINS ABOUT IN A MAN, A
MAN HAS TO COMPLAIN ABOUT
TOO, BUT YOU CAN'T BLAME IT
ON HIM BEING A MAN IS
BECAUSE YOU ARE ONE TOO.
YOU CAN'T SAY ISN'T THAT
LIKE A MAN IN A GAY
RELATIONSHIP.

Tina says I WANT TO ASK YOU
ABOUT WRITING.
GABRIELLE SAYS ABOUT HIMSELF
HE WRITES STORIES THAT ARE
READ ON THE RADIO HE SAYS IT
IS WONDERFUL PEOPLE LOVE
THEM AND FEELS GRATIFIED AS
A STORY TELLER BUT FEELS IN
A WAY I THINK YOUR LINE IS
THAT HE HAS BROKEN INTO THE
TEMP ELF LITERATURE IN THE
BACK DOOR.
IS THAT A FEELING THAT YOU
HAVE EVER HAD.

Armistead says YES, I HAVE HAD THAT
FEELING.
EVERY WRITER I KNOW THINKS
THAT HE OR SHE IS NOT A REAL
WRITER.
THEY HAVE SOME OTHER
DEFINITION OF WHAT A REAL
WRITER IS.
WE ARE HIDEOUSLY INSECURE
CREATURES.
I THINK THAT IS WHY A LOT OF
US WRITE.
SO WE WILL FIND WAYS TO
PUNISH OURSELVES.

Tina says AND DOES IT GET
HARDER TO WRITE.
BECAUSE I THINK I READ THAT
YOU SAID SOMEWHERE THAT YOU
GET MORE CRITICAL OF
YOURSELF AS YOU WRITE.

Armistead says OH, YEAH, MUCH HARDER.

Tina says SO THEN YOU WRITE
SOMETHING AND THAN SAY NO,
THAT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Armistead says I WRITE VERY, VERY SLOWLY.
I WRITE ABOUT TWO PAGES A
DAY ON A VERY GOOD DAY.
SOMETIMES I WILL SPEND TWO
DAYS ON A PARAGRAPH.

Tina says WOW!.

Armistead says I HAVE TO HAVE EVERYTHING
RIGHT ABOUT IT.
IT HAS TO HAVE EXACTLY THE
RIGHT INFORMATION.
THERE HAS TO BE A CERTAIN
MUSICAL FLOW TO THE LANGUAGE.
AND IT IS ALL TOWARDS MAKING
IT AN EASY READ.
THAT IS THE FRUSTRATING PART
ABOUT IT.
PEOPLE ASSUME THAT AN EASY
READ IS AN EASY WRITE.
BUT IT ISN'T.
IN FACT, I THINK IT IS
HARDER BECAUSE TO BE ALWAYS
THINKING ABOUT YOUR READER
AND HAVE THIS SORT OF FLOW
SO THAT THE READER CAN MAKE
IT ALL INTO ONE SEAMLESS
DREAM, THAT MAKES TIME.
IT TAKES A LOT MORE TIME TO
WRITE A GRACEFUL SPARE
PARAGRAPH THAN IT DOES TO
WRITE A BIG CLUNKY HARD TO
READ FACT-LADEN PARAGRAPH.

Tina says JUST LOOK AT E-MAIL.
NOT ENOUGH THOUGHT GOES INTO
E-MAILS IF YOU ASK ME.
THEY ARE INCOMPREHENSIBLE.

Armistead says WE HAVE TO START CLEANING
UP THAT LANGUAGE PRETTY SOON.
I'M SURPRISED HOW MANY
PEOPLE THINK IT MEANS OUT
THE DOOR WITH PUNCTUATION
AND GRAMMAR.

Tina says OH, YEAH,
COMPLETELY.
WELL, YOU ARE A WONDERFUL
WRITER.
SO NICE TALKING TO YOU.

Armistead says THANK YOU, TINA.
APPRECIATE IT.

The clip ends. Back in the studio, the book appears briefly on screen. The cover is black and yellow.

Tina says THE NIGHT LISTENER
BY ARMISTEAD MAUPIN IS
PUBLISHED BY HARPER COLLINS.
AS YOU CAN IMAGINE ARMISTEAD
MAUPIN IS A BIG CELEBRITY IN
SAN FRANCISCO PARTICULARLY
IN THE GAY DISTRICT KNOWN AS
CASTRO.
HERE IS THE WRITER TELLING A
TORONTO CROWD ABOUT LIFE IN
THE HOOD.

Armistead addresses a small audience.

He says I LOVE GOING INTO TOWN
BECAUSE IT IS MY LITTLE
VILLAGE AND I CAN WALK
AROUND AND GET MY PORK CHOPS
AND PORN TAPES AND GO HOME.
AND SOMETIMES I'M STOPPED BY
THIS WOMAN WHO HAS A TOUR
GUIDE, A TOUR SERVICE DOWN
THERE CALLED CRUISING THE
CASTRO IN WHICH SHE IS
SHOWING PEOPLE THE LIFE IN
THE CASTRO OF WHICH I'M ONE.
SO SHE SEES ME ON THE STREET
SHE PULLS ME OVER AND MAKES
ME DO A LITTLE SONG AND
DANCE FOR THESE PEOPLE FROM
GERMANY AND HOLLAND OR
SOMETHING.
AND ONE DAY I WAS DOWN THERE
HAVING JUST ESCAPED HER AND
I WALKED INTO A NUDE JUICE
BAR AND THEY HAD CREATED A
SORT OF THEME IN THE JUICE
BAR OF GAY CELEBRITY ITS.
ICONS, WHATEVER.
ALSO A MURAL THAT RAN ACROSS
THE TOP OF THE BAR OF THESE
NAMES.
AND YEAH, I LOOK CAUTIOUSLY
AND TO MY GREAT DELIGHT
THERE I WAS BETWEEN OSCAR
WALDE AND MARTINA
NAVRATILOVA.

Back in the studio, Tina says THE SEASON IM -- THIS
SEASON “IMPRINT” GERALD LEC
YEE AIR HAS -- TONIGHT WE
MEET PETER DICK, A GUY WHOSE
CHILDHOOD INTEREST IN RACE
CARS DEVELOPED INTO A
PASSION AND A ROOM FULL OF BOOKS.

Gerald L’Ecuyer walks up to the front door of a house and says HELLO.

Gerald is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair.

A man in his early forties walks out. He’s clean-shaven and has short black hair.

He says HI.
PETER.

Gerald says YES, IT IS GERALD FROM
“IMPRINT.”
HI.
WE ARE HERE TO KIND OF SNOOP
AND LOOK AT YOUR COLLECTION
OF FORMULA ONE RACING CAR
BOOKS.

Peter says YOU ARE WELCOME TO SNOOP.

They walk inside. Gerald examines several bookshelves with dozens of books and magazines.

He says I DON'T KNOW ANYONE WHO
ELSE HAS A COLLECTION LIKE
THIS, DO YOU.

Peter says THERE ARE PROBABLY OTHER
PEOPLE, THEY HAVE A LOT OF
BOOKS BUT I PROBABLY HAVE A
BIGGER ONE.
I HAVE BEEN COLLECTING FOR
30 YEARS.

Gerald says FIRST OF ALL LET ME JUST
SAY THAT THIS FEELS LIKE A
CHILD'S PARADISE OR
SOMETHING.
DID YOU HAVE TROUBLE KEEP --
TROUBLE KEEPING YOUR BOYS
OUT OF THIS.

Peter says THERE HAVE BEEN SOME
PROBLEMS IN THE PAST.
THEY HAD TO GET TO AN AGE
THAT I WAS ABLE TO EXPLAIN
TO THEM THAT YOU DON'T TOUCH THESE.

Gerald says WE WILL GET TO THE CARS
IN THE MINUTE BUT THIS IS
THE COLLECTION.
THIS IS THE COLLECTION.
I HAVE NEVER SEEN A SERIES
DOWN THERE, WHAT IS THAT ABOUT.

Peter says PROBABLY THE CORNERSTONE
OF THE LIBRARY, A BRITISH
ANNUAL CALLED AUTO COURSE
THAT COMES OUT EVERY YEAR IN
CHRISTMAS AND COVERS THAT
YEAR'S FORMULA ONE SEASON IN
GREAT DETAIL.

In animation, several editions of “Autocourse” magazine stack up on screen.

Gerald says OKAY, WHAT IS IT ABOUT
FORMULA ONE CARS AND THE
WORLD OF FORMULA ONES THAT
IS OF PARTICULAR INTEREST TO
YOU.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Peter Dick. Book Collector."

Peter says WELL, IT IS THE
PERSONALITIES MORE THAN THE
MACHINERY FOR ME, IT IS THE
DRIVERS AND THE TEAM
MANAGERS AND THE
PERSONALITIES AND HOW THEIR
PERSONALITIES MANIFEST
THEMSELVES IN WHAT THEY DO
ON THE TRACK.
WHEN YOU KNOW ABOUT THE
DRIVERS AND WHO THEY ARE YOU
CAN SEE HOW WHAT THEY DO ON
THE TRACK AND THE WAY THEY
WIN THEIR RACES OR DON'T WIN
THEM IS A DIRECT REFLECTION
OF THE PERSONALITY.

Gerald says I'M LOOKING AT STORIES,
THESE ARE STORIES OF THE
ACTUAL PEOPLE.

Peter takes out a red book and says THESE ARE BIOGRAPHIES.
LIKE THIS, FOR INSTANCE IS
ONE OF MY FAVOURITE BOOKS.
IT HAS BEEN OUT OF PRINT FOR
ABOUT 40 YEARS, ABOUT AN
ITALIAN WHO DROVE IN THE
1930s AND GENERALLY REGARDED
AS THE GREATEST DRIVER OF
ALL TIME.
BUT YOU CAN'T GET A BOOK
LIKE THIS ANY MORE.

Gerald says WHAT MARKED HIM AS ONE OF
THE GREATS.

Peter says NO RACE WAS EVER LOST AS
LONG AS HIS CAR WAS STILL ON
THE ROAD.
HE COULD HAVE FALLEN OFF THE
ROAD, HAD A TIRE PROBLEM AND
BEEN LIKE TWO LAPS BEHIND,
HE WOULD GET BACK IN THE CAR
AND NOTHING IT TO DEATH AND
OFTEN WIN.

Later, Peter plays a racing game on a computer and says
THIS IS WATKINS GLEN NEW
YORK AS IT WAS IN 1967.
THIS IS THE LAST CORNER
COMING ON TO THE START AND
THE STRAIGHT.
ARE YOU IN A REFCO NOT TOO
BAD OF A CAR FOR HANDLING.

Gerald says DRIVEN BY WHO.

Peter says -- NOW COMING INTO THE Ss.
THESE ARE VERY FAST, VERY
CHALLENGING.

Gerald says IT IS A LITTLE HARD TO
BELIEVE THAT A SPORT THAT IS
SO EXCITING COULD ACTUALLY
BE CAPTURED ON THE PAGE, IN
OTHER WORDS, THAT THERE ARE
BOOKS, I'M SURPRISED THAT
THERE IS NOT ONLY A SERIES
OF BOOKS ABOUT THE SUBJECT
BUT THAT AN ENTIRE
COLLECTION EXISTS.

Peter says WELL, DEPENDS ON THE
WRITER, THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITES.

He shows Gerald a book titled “Grand Prix Greats” and continues
HE BRIGHTS FOR AUTO SPORT
AND MAGAZINE IN ENGLAND.
HE HAS DONE SOME BOOKS.
HE HAS SUCH A PASSION FOR
FORMULA ONE AND A LONG
HISTORY WITHIN THE SPORT.
THAT WHEN HE WRITES ABOUT A
DRIVER YOU REALLY FEEL, YOU
REALLY UNDERSTAND.
IT IS THE BOOK OF PROFILES,
HIS OWN PERSONAL PEN
PORTRAITS OF 25 DRIVERS THAT
MEAN A LOT TO HIM AND WHY.
AND HE GIVES A PORTRAIT OF
THEM AND USES ANECDOTES AND
TALKS ABOUT THINGS DE IN
THEIR CAREER THAT HE WOULD
BE AWARE OF BUT THAT WE MAY
NOT AND REALLY MAKES YOU
UNDERSTAND WHERE THE MAGIC IS.
A GOOD REQUIRE WHO KNOWS
ABOUT THE SPORT AND HAS SOME
PASSION WILL CON PAY --
CONVEY THAT ON THE PAGE.

Now Gerald plays the racing game on the computer.

Peter says SO ARE YOU GOING
BACKWARDS NOW.

Gerald says I'M GOING BACKWARDS, --
THERE IS A PART OF YOU THAT
HAS DONE A REALLY GOOD JOB
OF SOMETHING WE ALL HAVE TO
DO AND THAT IS STAYING A KID,
WOULD YOU SAY.

Peter says MY WIFE WOULD AGREE.

Gerald says WHAT DOES SHE SAY.

Peter says NO, BUT YOU ARE RIGHT.
IT HAS BEEN A CHILDHOOD
PASSION.
I PICK APPROXIMATED UP ON IT
WHEN I WAS 8 OR 9 AND IT HAS
NEVER WANED.

Back in the studio, Tina says GERALD WAS PRETTY
IMPRESSIVE AT THE CONTROLS.
DON'T YOU THINK HAD.
THAT IS OUR PROGRAMME.
THANKS FOR WATCHING.
NEXT TIME JOIN US FOR A
FESTIVE TWIST ON Shakespeare.
TURNS OUT HE WAS A BIT OF A foodie.
AND MARION THE MISTRESS
THE -- ALL MANNER OF SINFUL
DELIGHTS NEXT WEEK ON
“IMPRINT.”

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special thanks, Hart House Library Committee, The Writers’ Trust of Canada, Belinda Benko.

Imprint. C/O TVOntario. P.O. Box 200. Station Q, Toronto, Ontario. M4T 2T1.

Fax: 416-484-2780.

E-mail: imprint@tvo.org.

Website: www.tvo.org/imprint

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2000, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 12 episode 12