Transcript: Imprint season 12 episode 25 | Mar 21, 2001

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 glasses and a long gray blazer.

Tina says HELLO THERE, I'M
TINA SREBOTNJAK, WELCOME TO
ANOTHER EDITION OF
“IMPRINT.”
TONIGHT...

In a clip a woman in her twenties says I FEEL SORRY
FOR GIRLS IN HIGH SCHOOL OR
EVEN YOUNGER NOW BECAUSE
BEING A TEEN AGER SUCKS.

A book appears on screen.

Tina says 13 CAUTIONARY tales
FROM OTTAWA WRITER NICHOLE McGILL.

Now clips show young people reading.

Tina continues RECOMMENDED READING FOR
YOUNG ADULTS, INCLUDING
PICKS FROM SOME WELL-READ
GRADE SEVENS AND EIGHTS.

A teenage girl says MY READING LORD OF THE
FLIES BY WILLIAM GOLDING.
AND I DON'T REALLY LIKE IT I
FIND IT KIND OF DISTURBING.

Another teenage girl says THIS IS TOMORROW TINKS BY
CLARA BELL.

A third teenage girl says I'M READING A BOOK IT IS
ABOUT A GIRL WHO IS LOOKING
AT HOW HER LIFE ASK.

Now an old picture shows a man in his forties.

Tina says AND GEORGE ORWELL,
NEW INSIGHTS INTO THE WRITER
WHO BROUGHT US “ANIMAL FARM” AND “1984.”

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

Back in the studio, Tina says THINK KIDS IN GRADE SEVEN
AND EIGHT ARE TOO BUSY
DOWNLOADING MUSIC FROM THE
NET TO CARE ABOUT BOOKS.
NOT SO THE YOUNG ADULT
MARKETS IN PUBLISHING HAS
GROWN TO A WHOPPING 1.5
BILLION BUSINESS.
WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT THE
EXPLODING POPULARITY OF TEEN
LITERATURE IN THE MINUTE.
FIRST TO THE STUDENTS AT
WINONA DRIVE PUBLIC SCHOOL
IN TORONTO TO SEE WHAT BOOKS
THEY HAVE ON THE GO.

A clip shows teenagers reading in a library.

A teenage girl says I'M READING A BOOK, THE
AUTHOR IS ANONYMOUS, ABOUT A
GIRL WHO IS TAKING -- ON HOW
HER LIFE IS.

Now a teenage boy says THE ISLAND OF ADVENTURE
ABOUT FOUR KIDS WHO ARE
STAYING AT THEIR AUNT'S
HOUSE AND THEY SEE AN ISLAND
IN THE MYTH SO THEY WANT TO
GO EXPLORE IT IS ALL ABOUT
THAT.
AND THEY GET CAUGHT UP IN A
NOTORIOUS CRIME GANG.
IT IS REALLY INTERESTING.
HAS LOTS OF VIOLENCE.

A girl around 14 shows a book and says THIS IS TOMORROW SINKS
BY -- TOMORROW STINKS BY
CLARA BELL WHAT I REALLY
LIKE ABOUT IT IS THE MAIN
CHARACTER WHO IS A -- SHE
TRIES GOING THROUGH A
JOURNEY TO FIND OUT WHO SHE
IS I REALLY LIKE THAT ABOUT HER.
SHE IS A VERY STRONG CHARACTER.

A girl about 13 says I'M READING BREAKING
WORLD BY ALBERT HUXLEY.
IT IS ABOUT THE WORLD IN THE
FUTURE AND -- BRAVE NEW WORLD.
AND EVERYBODY IS
CONTROLLED AND EVERYTHING IS
CONTROLLED.
AND IT IS REALLY INTERESTING
BECAUSE IT GIVES YOU A
PERSPECTIVE OF WHAT LIFE
WILL BE LIKE IF THERE
WEREN'T RELIGION AND THERE
WASN'T PLAYS OR ANY -- DLRB
WAS NO CREATIVITY OR
ANYTHING LIKE THAT.
AND THAT IS WHAT IT IS
ABOUT.

A girl around 16 says I'M READING LORD OF THE
FLY ITS BY WILLIAM GOLDING.
AND I DON'T REALLY LIKE IT I
FIND IT KIND OF DISTURBING
BECAUSE THESE BOYS ARE ON
THIS ISLAND AND THEY TRY AND
SURVIVE BUT AT THE SAME TIME
THEY ARE ALL TURNING INTO
SAVAGES.
AND THEY JUST KILL
EVERYTHING THEY SEE.
AND THEY DON'T REALLY, LIKE,
THEY HAVE NO SENSE OF
ANYBODY ELSE AROUND THEM
EXCEPT THEMSELVES.
IT IS LIKE THEY DON'T TRY
AND HELP EACH OTHER.
AND THEY JUST TURN INTO --
THEY GET OLD TOO FAST.
AND IT MAKES THEM BITTER PEOPLE.

Back in the studio, Tina says SO THERE YOU GO.
A TASTE OF WHAT SOME YOUNG
TEENAGERS ARE READING THESE DAYS.
NOW A LOOK AT TRENDS IN
YOUNG ADULT FICTION WITH TWO
EXPERTS IN THE FIELD.
HADLEY DIER WITH THE
CANADIAN CHILDREN'S BOOK
CENTRE AND WENDY LEWIS OF
QUILL AND QUIRE.
BOTH HAVE BROUGHT ALONG SOME
OF THEIR YA PICKS TODAY.
HADLEY, TELL ME ABOUT THIS.
BECAUSE WE DO HAVE THIS IDEA
THAT KIDS THAT AGE AREN'T
INTERESTED IN READING.
THEY HAVE TOO MANY OTHER
DIVERSIONS, THE COMPUTER
GAMES, BUT THE NEWS IS GOOD.

Hadley and Wendy sit in the studio with Tina. Hadley is in her thirties, with straight blond hair in a short bob. Wendy is also in her thirties, with short wavy blond hair.

Hadley says THE NEWS IS VERY GOOD.
KIDS ARE READING.
THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN
READING.
I THINK THE MISCONCEPTION
COMES FROM THE FACT THAT
THERE IS NOW E-MAIL AND THE
INTERNET COMPETING FOR THEIR
TIME IN ADDITION TO FILM AND
TELEVISION.
BUT THIS ARE A LOT OF
EDUCATORS WHO SAY THAT IN
FACT THE INTERNET IS PUTTING
KIDS MORE IN TOUCH WITH THE
WRITTEN WORD, THAT HE THEY
ARE MORE AND MORE
COMFORTABLE READING AND
WRITING.
SO THIS IS REALLY GOOD NEWS
FOR THE BOOK INDUSTRY.

Tina says THAT'S GREAT.
AND WENDY, YOU WRITE FOR
THESE YOUNG ADULTS AS WE
CALL THEM WHICH GOES FROM
WHAT, 12 TO 18.
SO WHEN YOU WRITE
FOR THAT AGE GROUP HOW IS IT
DIFFERENT THAN WRITING FOR
ADULTS, SAY.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Wendy Lewis. Writer, reviewer."

Wendy says WELL, PRIMARILY WHATEVER
GENRE THEY ARE READING,
WHATEVER I HAPPEN TO BE
WRITING, I THINK THEY WANT A
GREAT STORY WITH CHARACTERS
THEY CAN BELIEVE IN AND CARE
ABOUT.
I THINK THEY -- I THINK THEY
LIKE THE VICARIOUS THRILL OF
READING ABOUT EXPERIENCES
THEY MAY NOT HAVE HAD YET.
OR MAY NOT CHOOSE TO HAVE
BUT WOULD LIKE TO READ
ABOUT.
BUT I DO KNOW THAT THEY LOVE
REALITY-BASED FICTION, THESE
ARE THE TEENS THAT I HAVE
HEARD FROM WHO HAVE READ
GRAVE Y5RD GIRL, MY BOOK.
AND THEY TELL ME THAT THEIR
FAVOURITE ITEES IN THE BOOK
ARE THE ONES WITH THE THE
CHARACTERS THAT THEY MOST
IDENTIFY WITH.
SO THEY ARE LOOKING FOR THAT
SIMILARITY.

The caption changes to "Hadley Dyer. Canadian Children’s Book Store."

Tina says NOW WHEN YOU ARE LOOKING
AS AN ADULT TO BUY BOOKS FOR
KIDS THIS AGE WHAT SHOULD
YOU LOOK FOR, WHAT MAKES A
GOOD LITERARY BOOK WITH SOME
LITERARY MERIT.

Hadley says WELL, THERE ARE A LOT OF
CONVENTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH
YA LITERATURE AS WITH ALL
CHILDREN'S LITERATURE.
THEY TEND TO BE -- YOU
INTRODUCE THE CONFLICTS
EARLIER, THE YOUNG
PROTAGONIST IS USUALLY VERY
ACTIVE IN MOVING THE PLOT
FORWARD BUT BASICALLY IT IS
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER WHAT
YOU LIKE IN ANY PIECE OF
GOOD FICTION.
CHARACTERS THAT YOU CAN CARE
ABOUT, A COMPELLING STORY.
SO IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR
BOOKS TO BUY FOR YOUR
TEENAGER, WHY NOT GO TO THE
SHELF AND FAMILIARIZED
YOURSELF WITH THOSE AUTHORS
IT IS NOT A CHORE.
I'M SURE WILL YOU FIND
AUTHORS THAT YOU WILL
CONTINUE TO ENJOY LONG AFTER
YOUR KIDS HAVE OFFICIALLY
OUTGROWN.

Tina says I READ SEVERAL OF
THESE BOOKS AND AS AN ADULT
I THOUGHT THEY WERE
WONDERFUL.
YOU REVIEWER AS WELL AS AN
AUTHOR.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT
READING THESE BOOKS.

Wendy says I READ THEM FOR pleasure as WELL.
I LIKE THE EMOTIONAL
DIRECTNESS THAT YOU FIND IN
YA FICTION.
WHEREAS SOME ADULT FICTION I
FIND TENDS TO DISTANCE THE
READER, IT MAY TAKE A LONG
TIME TO GET INTO THE STORY,
I LOVE READING ABOUT I'M
TALKING ABOUT THE OLDER END
OF YA RIGHT NOW BUT THE
WHOLE TEEN EXPERIENCE OF THE
AWAKENING OF EMOTIONS AND
THE INTENSE HIGHS AND LOWS
AND EXPERIENCING THINGS FOR
THE FIRST TIME T IS FRESH
AND EXCITING AND FUN TO READ
ABOUT.

Tina says IT IS A HORMONE
RUSH.
LET'S GO THROUGH SOME PICKS.
WHAT HAVE YOU BROUGHT.

Hadley says THE FIRST BOOK I PICKED
WAS HOLD FAST BY KEVIN MAJOR,
THIS WAS IMPORTANT TO ME
COMING FROM THE BOOK CENTRE
BECAUSE THIS WAS CANADA'S
FIRST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL IT
CAME OUT IN 1978.
IT IS SET IN AN OUTPORT IN
NEWFOUNDLAND AT A TIME WHEN
THERE WEREN'T A LOT OF OF
STORIES SET IN AN OUTPORTS
IN NEW FOUNLAND AND
ELSEWHERE.
THE BOOK GOT IN LITTLE
TROUBLE SENDING KEVIN MAJOR
ON TOUR DURING CANADIAN
CHILDREN'S BOOK WEEK BECAUSE
IT WAS CONSIDERED TO HAVE
VERY MAJEURE -- MATURE
CONTENT.
IT WAS RACEY AT THE TIME.
WE LOOK AT IT AS A CLASSIC.
IT IS THE STORY OF
14-YEAR-OLD MICHAEL WHO
LOSES HIS PARENTS SUDDENLY
AND IS SENT TO LIVE WITH
RELATIVES WITH WHOM HE DOES
NOT GET ALONG.
MEANWHILE, HE IS STARTING TO
BECOME AWARE OF HIMSELF AS A
SEXUAL BEING.
THERE IS CONFLICT ALL AROUND
HIM AND HE RUNS AWAY.

Tina says KEVIN MAJ CERTIFICATE A
GREAT WRITER.
WENDY YOUR FIRST PICK.

Wendy says MY FIRST PICK IS A LITTLE
BIT RACEY AND SHOCKING TOO.
IT IS A BRITISH BOOK BY
MELVIN BURGESS AND IT TOO
HAS TWO RUN AWAY, A TEENAGE
BOY AND GIRL.
AND THEY END UP DEVELOPING
HEROIN ADDICTION.
IT IS CONTROVERSIAL AND THE
TYPE OF BOOK THAT SOMETIMES
GETS BANNED.
AND IT ABSOLUTELY SHOULDN'T.
NO ONE WILL PICK UP THIS
BOOK AND WANT TO DEVELOP A
HEROIN ADDICTION.
AND I THINK IT IS A GREAT
BOOK FOR BOTH PARENTS AND
YOUNG PEOPLE TO READ AND --

Tina says AND TALK ABOUT.

Wendy says IT IS A WONDERFUL SAFE
ENVIRONMENT, ESPECIALLY THIS
ISSUE.

Tina says CAN WE STRESS --
WHAT IS YOUR SECRETARY PICK.

Hadley says MY SECOND PICK IS BOOK
FROM RED DEER PRESS CALLED
CLOSE-UP, THAT STORY -- IT
SEDITIED BY PETER CARVER WHO,
THEY CHILDREN'S BOOK EDITOR
BUT A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE
CHILDREN'S BOOK CENTRE, HE
KNOWS HIS STUFF.
HES HAD PULLED TOGETHER SOME
OF THE BEST SHORT FICTION
PERIOD THAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN
FOR YOUNG ADULTS IN CANADA.
SO THERE ARE
GOVERNOR-GENERAL AWARD
WINNERS, SHORT STORY AWARD
WINNERS IN HERE.
AND EVERYONE, IN YOU DON'T
KNOW CANADIAN YA AUTHORS
THIS IS THE PLACE TO MEET
EVERYONE.
MARTHA BROOKS AMONG MANY,
MANY OTHERS AND A FEW NEW
VOICES AS WELL.
SO IF YOU ARE NOT SURE WHO
THE GOOD ONES ARE, START
HERE, IT IS A WONDERFUL
PLACE AND THAN YOU CAN MOVE
ON, MANY ARE NOVELISTS.

Tina says I LIKE IT.
WENDY WHAT IS YOUR SECOND CHOICE.

Wendy says THIS IS A CANADIAN BOOK,
TO DANCE AT THE ROYAL BY
JANET McNOTON, THE ANTIDOTE
TO THE GRITTY FICTION WE
HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT SO FAR.
IT IS A WONDERFUL STORY
ABOUT A SCOTTISH TEENAGER
WHO IMMIGRANTS TO TORONTO TO
WORK AS A DOMESTIC AND EARN
ENOUGH MONEY TO BRING HER
FAMILY HERE.
AND IT IS A GENTLER STORY
PERHAPS THAN THE OTHERS AND
TOLD IN A MORE TRADITIONAL WAY.

Tina says SOUNDS WONDERFUL.
NOW, CLASSICS THERE ARE
ALWAYS CLASSICS OUT THERE.
SOME OF THE KIDS IN THERE
WERE TALKING IN THE PAST,
J.D. SALINGER.

Wendy says THE ALL TIME ANGST
ADOLESCENT BOOK.

Hadley says CATCHER IN THE RYE, 50th
ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR.
AND I BROUGHT IT IN BECAUSE
THIS IS A BOOK THAT REALLY
RESONATED WITH ME AS A
TEENAGER AND IT IS ONLY
ARGUABLY A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
ANYWAY WHICH WAS FIRST A
SHORT STORY IN “THE NEW
YORKER.”
IT DIDN'T HAVE TEENAGERS IN
MIND WHEN IT WAS BEING
WRITTEN BUT I THINK IT IS
REALLY TELLING THAT NOT JUST
MYSELF BUT THOUSANDS OF
PEOPLE GO BACK TO THIS BOOK
AS GIVING THE -- PACKING THE
BIGGEST EMOTIONAL WALLOP OF
ANY BOOK THEY READ INTO
THEIR ADULT LIVES AND I
THOUGHT ISN'T THAT TELLING
ABOUT THE IMPACT BOOKS CAN
HAVE ON US AND PEOPLE.

Hadley says THEY FORM GENERATIONS.
WHENY ONE LAST CLASSIC.

Wendy says YES, THE CLASSIC I
BROUGHT IS THE CHRISTMAS BY
JOHN WINDHAM.
IT IS A FANTASY SET SEVERAL
CENTURIES IN THE FUTURE
AFTER WHAT SEEMS TO BE A
NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST AND THE
LINGERING RADIATION CAUSES
PATIENT -- IN PEOPLE, PLANT
LIFE AND ANIMALS IT IS A
WONDERFUL STORY AND I THINK
TOO IT OPENS UP DISCUSSIONS
ABOUT DISCRIMINATION AND
MINORITIES AND SEARCHING FOR
ACCEPTANCE IN THEIR STANDING
WITHIN A COMMUNITY.

Tina says WONDERFUL OLD BOOKS,
WONDERFUL NEW BOOKS.
WE LOVE YOUNG ADULT
LITERATURE.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR
COMING IN.

Both guests says THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Now an animated book sitting in a bowling alley reveals a book by George Orwell and a book titled “13 cautionary tales.”

Tina says COMING UP, A NEW
BIOGRAPHY OF GEORGE ORWELL.
AND UP NEXT, 13 CAUTION AIR
TALES FROM OTTAWA WRITER
NICHOLE McGILL.
13 STORIES, 12 DWIRL, ONE
GUY, UNQUESTIONABLY URBAN.
THAT IS THE PUBLISHER'S
DESCRIPTION FOR THIS BOOK.
13 CAUTIONARY TALES BY
OTTAWA WRITER NICHOLE McGILL,
HER FIRST COLLECTION OF
FICTION AFTER WORKING AS A
COLUMNIST FOR VARIOUS
CANADIAN NEWSPAPERS.
McGILL'S STORIES INSPIRED AN
ARTIST NAMED BRIDGET FARR TO
CREATE A SERIES OF PHOTOS
WITH THE SAME GRITTY FEEL AS
THE BOOK.
WE'RE GOING TO SAMPLE THE
WORDS AND PICTURES STARTING
WITH NICHOLE READING FROM A
STORY CALLED STILL ETO.

Nichole appears reading from the book. She’s in her twenties, with long wavy blond and red hair.

She says I ORIGINALLY DID IT FOR A
PAIR OF SHOES, NOT JUST ANY
PAIR, STILL ETOES.
TRANSLUCENT AND RASPBERRY
HUGHED WITH NEBULOS WHITE
AND YELLOW SHOT THROUGH.
THEY WERE SPOT LITTON THE
SHOP WRAPPED IN CHEAP VELURE
LIKE A PRECHRISTMAS PRESENT.

Now in an interview, she appears with the caption “Nichole McGill. 13 Cautionary Tales.”

She says IN SOME WAYS THE TRANSITION
HASN'T BEEN THAT HARD FROM
WRITING COLUMNS FOR
ALTERNATIVE WEEKLIES TO
WRITING FICTION BECAUSE THE
FIRST COLUMN I DID WRITE WAS
A SEXUALITY CALL UP --
COLUMN AND IT WAS FICTIONAL
ACCOUNTS AND IT HAD
CHARACTERS AND A LITTLE BIT
OF STORY, STORY DEVELOPMENT
AND THAT SORT OF THING.
THAT MADE IT EASY.

The caption changes to "Sam Hiyate. Publisher, Gutter Press."
Sam is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short black hair.

He says THE THING IT ATTRACTED ME
THE MOST TO NICHOLE'S
WRITING WAS THE FACT THAT IT
HAD THIS KIND OF EDGY URBAN
SENSIBILITY WHICH
CONSIDERING SHE WAS FROM
OTTAWA RATHER SURPRISED ME.
I HAD BEEN PUBLISHING
SIMILAR BOOKS BY IT WRITERS
AND YOU KNOW, SHE HAS GOT
THIS GREAT SHALL THE VERY
YOUNG AND HIP STYLE, ABOUT
HER FRIENDS AND ABOUT HER
MILIEU, THE FACT THAT IT WAS
IN OTTAWA WAS THE SURPRISING
PART.
I FOUND IT VERY -- IT IS
ALSO -- IT IS BEAUTIFUL
WRITING, JUST VERY SIMPLE
AND AN ELEGANCE TO THAT
SIMPLICITY.

Nichole says BEING A JOURNALIST YOU
LEARN TO WATCH PEOPLE AND
YOU -- AND ALSO YOU ARE VERY
AWARE OF DIFFERENT
ENVIRONMENTS.
AND YOU ALSO ARE AWARE OF
DIFFERENT TRENDS THAT ARE
HAPPENING IN THE CITY OR
DIFFERENT SUBCULTURES.
AND THAT'S BASICALLY WHAT I
DID WRITE FOR THE OTTAWA
CITIZEN.
I WAS THE YOUNG REPORTER AND
I WOULD WRITE ABOUT RAVES
APP I WOULD WRITE ABOUT ALL
THE DIFFERENT EVENTS THAT
WERE HAPPENING.
SO IT TEACHES YOU TO OBSERVE
AND TO TAKE IN AND DRINK IN
FULL SCENE.
AND I THINK IN A LOT OF MY
STORIES I REPRODUCE THOSE
SCENES.
AND USE THAT AS A BACKDROP
FOR MY CHARACTERS.

A clip shows her walking down a city sidewalk.

Nichole continues I GREW UP IN THE SUBURBS
AND I STILL HAVE THOSE SCARS,
EMOTIONAL SCARS.
AND I'VE ALWAYS BEEN
ATTRACTED TO THE URBAN
CENTRE.
BUT IT ALWAYS MADE SENSE TO
ME.
YOU JUST GET TO SEE ALL
WALKS OF LIFE.
WHICH IS VERY EASY FOR YOU
WHEN ARE YOU A WRITE BECAUSE
IT IS ALL THERE.
AND YOU CAN -- YOU CAN DRINK
FROM EACH TYPE.

Now pop-art style pictures of Nichole flash by.
Then, another woman in her twenties is interviewed.

A caption reads “Bridget Farr. Photographer.”
Bridget has very short blond hair.

She says I MET NICHOLE LAST SUMMER
AND SHE APPROACHED ME
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO DO
PROMOTIONAL FOR HER BOOK
LAUNCH.
AND SHE OR THE -- WE SORT OF
THOUGHT WE WOULD DO
SOMETHING AT THE SHOW LIVE
BUT IT WAS A BIT CHAOTIC SO
WE DECIDED TO DO A SERIES OF
PHOTOGRAPHS, ONE PHOTOGRAPH
FOR EACH STORY.
BASED ON THE TEXT THAT I
SELECTED.

Nichole says IT WAS AN INTERESTING
EXERCISE TO SEE MY WORK
REALIZED, RECONTEXT URLALIZE
WITH DIFFERENT IMAGES.
IN SOME CASES IT STRENINGED
THE STORY OR EXPANDED UPON
THE STORY IN MY MIND.
AND WITH OTHERS IT JUST
BROUGHT IT INTO A DIFFERENT
DIRECTION SO IT WAS REALLY
INTRIGUING FOR ME.
AND ALSO, FROM SOME PEOPLE
WHO HAVE READ THE BOOKS
FIRST AND THAN HAVE SEEN THE
IMAGES, THEY HAVE HAD
DIFFERENT REACTIONS TO IT AS
WELL IN HOW THEY SAW THE
STORY.
AND IT'S CREATED THIS REALLY
INTERESTING DIALOGUE BETWEEN
ME AND READERS OF MY
STORIES.
AND MANY PEOPLE HAVE SAID
THAT MY WRITING IS VERY
VISUAL SO IT MADE SENSE TOO
HAVE IT VISUALLY REPRESENTED
SOMEHOW, INTERPRETED.

Standing next to Nichole, Bridget says BECAUSE IT WAS SO VISUAL,
IT WAS VERY EASY FOR AM IT
TAKE TEXT AND DO AN IMAGE
BASED ON THAT.

In her interview, Bridget says
A LOT OF MY WORK TENDS TO
BE A LITTLE DARK SO THAT IS
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT DREW
ME TO THE PROJECT.
BECAUSE I KNEW HER WRITING
WAS FAIRLY DARK AND SEXUALLY
CHARGED.
SO I THOUGHT THAT WOULD BE
EXCITING TO DO.

Nichole says IT IS FUNNY, SOME PEOPLE
COMMENT THAT IT IS DARK, AND
OTHER PEOPLE SAY I JUST FIND
IT IS LIKE REAL LIFE T IS
REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES.
I HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT
ABORTION, I HAVE WRITTEN
ABOUT MISCARRIAGES, POSSIBLE
RAPES BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT
HAPPENS TO PEOPLE, THAT IS
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUNG GIRLS
AND THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED TO
A LOT OF MY FEMALE FRIENDS
IT IS JUST PART OF THE
REALITY OF BEING A YOUNG
WOMAN, YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH
THESE THINGS.
AND WE CALL IT DARK AND
MYSTERIOUS OR THAT SORT OF
THING BUT IT IS REALLY JUST
A PART OF LIFE.
AND THAT'S WHY I WITH ABOUT
THOSE TOPICS.

Now Nichole reads
I'M DOING A SLOW PAN OF
THE SLEEPLESS LOT.
NOW PAST THE NONDESCRIPT
SUIT TO THE FLY GIRL WHO
STOPPED DINING ON HER FLESH.
HE TAKES A NOTEPAD AND TUBE
OF LIPSTICK OUT OF HER
SCHOOL BAG.
SHE STARTS WRITING CRAZY
GIRL.
THAN PINS ME WITH A GAZE.
SHE TURNS HER NOTEPAD AROUND
AND WITH A SMILE THAT STARTS
MY PALM SWEATING I ALMOST
LOSE THE CAMERA.
SKRARLED INSINK PINK ARE THE
WORD, I SEE YOU.

In her interview, she says IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR ME
TO SHOW FEMALE CHARACTERS
WHO ARE STRONG, WHO ARE
DEFIANT.
AND WHO ARE TRYING TO FIGURE
THINGS OUT FOR THEMSELVES.
THE CHARACTERS ON THE COVER
ARE VERY DEFIANT IN THEIR
SEXUALITIES UP FRONT BUT IF
YOU NOTICE THERE ARE TWO
GIRLS AND ONE IS VERY
DEFIANT AND THE OTHER ONE IS
A LITTLE, I DON'T FEEL
COMFORTABLE IN THIS, I DON'T
FEEL COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN
SKIN AND THE ONE IS SORT OF
HER PROTECTOR IN A WAY.
SO THEY ARE DEFIANT BUT THEY
ARE VERY VULNERABLE.
AND I THINK THAT IS HOW I
FELT AS A TEEN GIRL, YOU
KNOW, A YOUNG WOMAN.
THAT IS THE WAY I WANTED MY
CHARACTERS TO BE.
THEY ARE DEFIANT, THEY ARE
NAKED IN THEIR VULNERABILITY,
THEY ARE SHOWING THEIR
VULNERABILITY, YET THEY ARE
WORKING THROUGH IT AND THEY
ARE WORKING THROUGH IT IN A
STRONG WAY.
I FEEL SORRY FOR GIRLS IN
HIGH SCHOOL OR EVEN YOUNGER
NOW BECAUSE BEING A TEEN I
BELIEVEARY SUCKED.
I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF
PERSONALLY THIS BOOK COULD
FEED THE NEEDS OF GIRLS IN
HIGH SCHOOL.
BUT I KNOW WHEN I WAS A GIRL
IN HIGH SCHOOL, THERE WAS
VERY LITTLE THAT I RELATED
TO IN TERMS OF LITERATURE
AND IN TERMS OF POP CULTURE,
IN TERMS OF ANYTHING.
AND I THINK GIRL TODAY HAVE
A BETTER CHANCE AT FINDING
THAT WHETHER IT IS THROUGH
WEB SITES OR BBSes THROUGH
THE INTERNET.
BUT IN TERMS OF LIT TAUR OR
TV SHOWS OR ANY OTHER TYPE
OF POP CULTURE, THERE STILL
IS A DEARTH OF REALLY GOOD
MATERIAL FOR THEM TO
IDENTIFY WITH.
BUT I WOULD LIKE TEENAGE
GERLS TO SEE THIS AND SEE
THEMSELVES IN IT A LITTLE
BIT AND BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY
WITH THE CHARACTERS AND WITH --

Back in the studio, Tina says 13 CAUTIONARY TALES BY
234I67 OHL McGILL IS
PUBLISHED BY GUTTER PRESS.
AND NOW A BOOK ABOUT
GEORGE ORWELL, ONE OF THE
MOST INFLUENTIAL WRITERS OF
THE 20th CENTURY.
HIS FUTURISTIC NOVELS 1948
AND ANIMAL FARM WERE WRITTEN
DECADES AGO BUT ARE STILL
REQUIRED READING IN HIGH
SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD.
GEORGE ORWELL HIMSELF HAS
BEEN STUDIED ENDLESSLY SINCE
HIS DEATH FROM TUBERCULOSIS
50 YEARS AGO.
AND NOW RENOWNED BIOGRAPHER
JEFFREY MEYERS HAS GIVEN US
HIS TAKE ON THE MAN AND HIS
LIFE.
HIS BOOK IS CALLED “ORWELL:
WENTRY CONSCIENCE OF A
GENERATION” “IMPRINT.”
ANTANAS SILEIKA ASKED
Mr. MEYERS WHY ORWELL.

A clip plays of Antanas Sileika interviewing Jeffrey Meyers.
Antanas is in his forties, with short gray hair and a full beard.
Jeffrey is in his late fifties, bald, with a moustache.

Antanas says WHAT IS THE FASCINATION
WITH THIS MAN.

Jeffrey says I HAVE BEEN DOING --
WRITING ABOUT ORWELL,
TEACHING HIM SINCE THE
1960s.
IT HAS BEEN A LIFELONG
CONCERN OF MINE THIS IS MY
FOURTH BOOK ON ORWELL.

Antanas says YOUR FOURTH BOOK.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Jeffrey Meyers. Orwell: Wintry conscience of a generation."

Jeffrey says AND MY FIRST BIOGRAPHY OF HIM.
SO THE CHALLENGE WAS HOW YOU
CAN FIND OUT SOMETHING NEW
ABOUT SOMEBODY WHO HAS BEEN
SO THOROUGHLY RESEARCHERED.
AND I THINK I WAS LUCKY AND
MAYBE SKILLFUL AND I THINK I
DID TURN UP QUITE A LOT OF
NEW STAFF.

Antanas says LET'S GO BACK A LITTLE BIT.
LET'S LOOK AT THE BEGINNING
OF HIS ADULT LIFE AND I WANT
TO QUOTE SOMETHING THAT YOU
SAY IN THE BOOK.
YOU SAY RIGHT AT THE
BEGINNING THAT GEORGE ORWELL
WAS BURDENED FROM BIRTH BY
COLONIAL GUILT.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT.

Jeffrey says WELL, IT GOES BACK TO HIS FATHER.
HE USED THIS EXPRESSION “I
DID THE DIRTY WORK OF EMPIRE.”
BY WHICH HE MEANT AS FAR AS
HE WAS CONCERNED, THAT HE
DID NOT GO TO BURMA IN THE
1920s FOR FIVE YEARS AS A
MISSIONARY OR A DOCTOR, HE
WENT AS A POLICEMAN.
SO HE WAS PERSONALLY
INVOLVED IN THE EXECUTION OF
CRIMINALS WHICH HE WROTE
ABOUT IN A HANGING.
AND HE SAW PEOPLE NOTHINGED
AND TORTURED AND
BRUTALLIZED.
HE EVEN LATER REGRETTED VERY
MUCH THAT HE HAD KICKED HIS
PERSONAL VERSANT -- SERVANT,
THEY DIDN'T MOVE FAST ENOUGH,
OLDER BURM EASE MEN.

Antanas says HE HAD A VIOLENT SIDE.

Jeffrey says HE DID.
THAT IS ANOTHER THIS THAT
CAME OUT THAT PEOPLE NEVER
SAW IN ORWELL THAT WAS NEVER
EMPHASIZED AS I DID.
BUT HIS FATHER HAD ALSO BEEN
INVOLVED IN THE DIRTIER WORK
OF EMPIRE.
ORWELL WAS ENFORCING THE LAW,
BUT HIS FATHER WORKED FOR
THE OPIUM DEPARTMENT OF THE
INDIAN GOVERNMENT WHICH WAS
RESPONSIBLE TORE GROWING AND
EXPORTING TO CHINA, IT WAS
ILLEGAL IN INDIA, FOR THE
PURPOSE OF RAISING REVENUE
FORCE THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT,
THIS HUGE GROUP OF SHALL
DID -- CROP OF OPIUM.

Antanas says BOTH HE AND HIS FATHER
ARE WERE IMPLICIT IN EMPIRE.

Old black and white pictures of Orwell and his father flash by.

Jeffrey says OTHER PEOPLE WOULD SAY
THEY WERE JUST DOING THEIR JOB.
HE FEELS GUILTY, HE GOES TO
ENGLAND, IS LOOKING FOR
LITERARY MATERIAL, DOESN'T
HAVE ANYTHING TO WRITE
ABOUT.
HE COULDN'T WRITE ABOUT
BURMA RIGHT AWAY.
HE NEEDED SOME TIME.
I SUPPOSE THOSE FIVE YEARS
BETWEEN 27Y AND SAY 32Y OR
33Y WHEN HE WROTE BURM EASE
DAYS TO TAKE IN THAT
EXPERIENCE.
SO HE BECOMES A BUM, A TRAMP,
A HOBO, A WANDERER IN RAGS
LIVING PARTLY BY THEFT.
HE JUST HAD TO LIVE THIS
WAY.
ON THE OTHER HAND IF HE WAS
TAKEN OUT BY POSH FRIENDS IN
LONDON HE COULD ENJOY GOING
TOY A GOOD RESTAURANT OR
SOMEPLACE IF HE HAD -- BUT
HE WOULD JUST AS SOON EAT IN
THE BBC CAMP, EAT TURN IS
AND BOILED FISH, HE ONCE ATE
EELS THAT EILEEN HAD SENT TO
THE CAT.
IT WAS ALL THE SAME TO HIM.

Antanas says BUT THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT
HIM AS WELL IT IS NOT JUST
THAT HE BECOMES A LEGEND OF
THINGS TO OTHER PEOPLE, HE
KIND OF CONTRIBUTES TO HIS
OWN LEGEND.
HE GETS THOSE TERRIBLE
HAIRCUTS.
HE WEARS TERRIBLE CLOTHES.
AS YOU SAY HE EATS BAD FOOD.
WHAT IS GOING ON HERE.
IT IS NOT EVEN HIS REAL NAME,
THAT IS ERIC BLAIR SO, HE
KIND OF TURNS HIMSELF INTO A
LEGEND.

Jeffrey says I THINK THERE IS A BIT OF
THAT SELF-CONSTRUCT.
HE REFUSED TO ACCEPT
LITERARY FAME WHEN “ANIMAL
FARM” BECAME A SUCCESS AND
AS MOST PEOPLE WOULD DO,
CERTAINLY I WOULD HAVE DONE
IN HIS PLACE, BECOME A BIT
OF A LITERARY LION IN LONDON
AND ACCEPT THIS ACCLAIM HE
HAD BEEN WORKING SO HARD FOR
SINCE THE LATE 20s.
INSTEAD HE GOES WHERE NOBODY
CAN GET EVEN REMOTELY NEAR
HIM.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE PHOTO ON
THE COVER OF THIS BOOK, YOU
REQUEST TELL A LOT ABOUT
ORWELL.

Antanas says WHAT A HAIRCUT.

Jeffrey says THERE IS THE HAIRCUT VERY
DELIB RACHLT HE WENT TO A CP
BARBER WHO CUT HIS SIDES
VERY SHORT AND PERHAPS MOST
SIGNIFICANTLY THIS HANKER
CHIV WHICH LOOKS LIKE A BIT
OF A DANDYISH AFFECT BUT IN
FACT WAS ESSENTIAL PRACTICAL
TOOL FOR HIS COUGHING AND
SPITTING, SOMETIMES EVEN
BLOOD.

Antanas says YOU SAY THAT ORWELL IS
THE MOST POPULAR PART IRIN
ENGLISH LANGUAGE WRITER
THERE ARE MORE THAN 40
MILLION COPIES OF ANIMAL
FARM AND 1984 IN PRINT.
WHAT DOES ORWELL HAVE TO SAY
THAT CONTINUES TO SPEAK TO US.

Jeffrey says FIRST OF ALL IT IS CALLED
STYLE WHICH IS WALLED BY
ANYBODY FOR CLARITY, HONESTY,
WHICH I DO THINK REFLECTS
HIS OWN MIND-SET.
HE IS HONEST, DECENT, EASE'S
IDEALISTIC, COMMITTED, NOBLE
AND HE HAS A REALLY
ADMIRABLE CHARACTER.
AND MOST WRITERS AREN'T
PARTICULARLY NICE GUYS AND
THE MORE YOU LEARN ABOUT
THEM, THE LESS PLEASANT THEY
WILL PERHAPS OR INTERESTING
THEY BECOME.

Antanas says NOW YOU'VE WRITTEN NOT ONLY
ABOUT LITERARY FIGURES, DH
LAWRENCE AND HEMMINGWAY AND
F SCOTT FITZGERALD BUT YOU
HAVE ALSO WRITTEN ABOUT
HOLLYWOOD STAR, ABOUT
HUMPHREY BOGART.
WHAT IS THIS, WHAT IS THE
QUESTION.

Jeffrey says IT WAS FALLING OUT OF
FASHION A BIT, LOSING ITS
READERS AND PUBLISHERS
WEREN'T PAYING AS MUCH.
AND I THOUGHT I WOULD DO A
FILM, I DID GARY COOPER AS
WELL, TO TRY TO ATTRACT A
WIDER OR DIFFERENT SET OF
AUDIENCE.
IT IS MUCH HARDER DOING IF
BIOGRAPHIES BUT I'M DOING
ONE NOW.

Antanas says WHY ARE THEY HARDER.

Jeffrey says OBVIOUSLY EDMOND WILSON
AND ROBERT FROST WROTE ABOUT
3,000 LETTERS EACH.
COOPER AND BOGART WROTE
ABOUT 20.
SO THERE IS A LOT OF THINGS
YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THAT
YOU JUST DON'T KNOW BECAUSE
THERE IS NO RECORD OF IT.
WHEN I WRITE TO FRIENDS OF
WRITERS, THEY KNOW WHO I AM
AND WHAT I'M DOING AND THEY
RESPECT THE WORK AND
COOPERATE, 98 percent OF THE TIME.
WHEN YOU WRITE TO FILM
ACTORS AND ASK FOR
INTERVIEWS, THEY SPENT THEIR
WHOLE LIFE AVOIDING THE
PRESS, THEY DON'T REALLY
DISTINGUISH BETWEEN ME AND
SAY LIEU ELLA PARSONS.
THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT
SOMEBODY DOING DIRT ON THEM.
BOGARTS WITH UNPOPULAR WITH
A LOT OF PEOPLE AND FAMOUS
ACTORS DIDN'T WANT TO GO ON
RECORD WHAT A BASTARD HE WAS.

Antanas says WHAT IS THE BIOGRAPHER'S
DUTY WHEN IT COMES TO A
SUBJECT WHO DOESN'T WANT HIS
BIOGRAPHY WRITTEN.
ORWELL DIDN'T WANT ONE

Jeffrey says I THINK IF THEY ARE DEAD IT IS
DIFFERENT.
HIS WITH WAS SOMEWHAT
OBSTRUCTIVE, T.S. ELIOT'S
WIDOW WAS OBSTRUCTIVE YET
THESE BIOGRAPHIES GET
WRITTEN AND PROBABLY THE
OBSTRUCTION IS NOT SERVING
THE WRITER.
BECAUSE YOU JUST WEAKEN THE
BIOGRAPHY WHICH COULD HAVE
BEEN BET FERR MORE MATERIAL
HAD BEEN AVAILABLE.
THE REAL PROBLEM COMES UP
WHEN YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT A
LIVING WRITER.
A COUPLE OF TIMES I HAVE
STARTED TO DO BIOGRAPHIES OF
LIVING WRITERS WITH THEIR
KIND OF TENTATIVE HESITANT
PERMISSION.
SAYING YOU GO AHEAD AND DO
IT I'M NOT GOING TO HELP YOU
OR OBSTRUCT IT I STARTED
WITH JOHN LECARRE WHO I
THOUGHT WOULD BE A GREAT
SUBJECT AND -- PAUL, IN BOTH
CASES, JUST TWO OR THREE
MONTHS, YOU CAN DISCOVER AN
ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF MATERIAL
IN THAT TIME, THEY GOT WIND
OF HOW THINGS WERE GOING AND
WHAT I WAS FINDING OUT AND
REVELATIONS I WOULD BE
MAKING AND THEIR LACK OF
CONTROL OVER ME, AND MADE IT
VERY CLEAR THAT THEY DIDN'T
WANT ME TO PROCEED AND THERE
WERE LEGAL THISES AND PEOPLE
CALLING ME UP AND AGENTS.
AND PUBLISHERS AND EDITORS
AND LAWYERS, AND
ACCOUNTANTS.
IT BECAME UNPLEASANT AND TOO
DIFFICULT TO DO.
I DIDN'T REALLY WANT TO
OPPOSE THEM IF THEY DIDN'T
WANT ME TO DO IT SO I GAVE
IT UP.
TWO VERY PROMISING SUBJECTS.

Antanas says BUT IF THE SUBJECT IS
DEAD YOU FIGURE HE IS OPEN GAME.

Jeffrey says YES, ABSOLUTELY.

Antanas says IS IT EVER THE CASE THAT
A WORK OF LITERATURE SHOULD
JUST STAND ON ITS OWN WHERE
IT DOESN'T NEED TO HAVE
LITERARY BIOGRAPHY AT WORK
AS WELL

Jeffrey says I THINK ANY CAN
OF ANY MERIT.
I THINK THE BIOGRAPHY
ENHANCES IT YOU DON'T NEED
THE BIOGRAPHY, YOU CAN READ
THE LITERARY BUT IF YOU READ
THE LITERARY WORKnd THAN THE
BIOGRAPHY YOUR UNDERSTANDING
OF IT WILL BE INCREASED
BECAUSE THE BIOGRAPHER
BRINGS TO BRAER ON IT SO
MUCH MATERIAL THAT THE
ORDINARY READER WOULDN'T
KNOW ABOUT.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Tina says ORWELL, WENTRY CONSCIENCE
OF A GENERATION BY JEFFREY
MEYERS IS PUBLISHED BY
WWW.NORTON COMPANY.
TIME TO CLOSE THE BOOK ON
TONIGHT'S PROGRAMME.
NEXT WEEK JANISH HART THE
CELEBRATED AUTHOR OF A WAY
AND UNDERPAINTER HAS A NEW
BOOK COMING OUT THIS SPRING
CALLED 9 STONE CARVERS, A
WONDERFUL TALE OF THE
BUILDING OF THE A MONUMENT.

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special thanks, International Festival of Authors, Winona Drive Public School, Photos courtesy Bridget Farr, The Manx Pub (Ottawa), The Social (Ottawa).

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 2001, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 12 episode 25