Transcript: Imprint season 13 episode 3 | Oct 03, 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.

She says Tonight Hiroshima 1945.

A clip shows a nuclear explosion.

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

Now back in the studio, Tina says
First let’s go back to August 6 1945 and the aftermath of that dark moment in history.

A black and white clip plays of the explosion of the bomb.

A male announcer says A GLARING LIGHT APPEARED IN THE SKY.
IN SECONDS, THOUSANDS OF
PEOPLE WERE SCORCHED BY A WAVE
OF SEARING HEAT.
MANY WERE KILLED INSTANTLY.
OTHERS LAY ON THE GROUND,
SCREAMING.
BY EVENING THE FIRE BEGAN TO
DIE DOWN.
THEN IT WENT OUT.
THERE WAS NOTHING LEFT TO
BURN.
HIROSHIMA HAD CEASED TO EXIST.

Now a clip plays of Tina interviewing a man in a restaurant.

Tina says YOU HAVE TAKEN ON BIG
THINGS BEFORE, THE SECOND
WORLD WAR.
AND NOW IN THE ASH GARDEN.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE SECOND
WORLD WAR AND THESE GRAND
THEMES THAT IS APPEALING TO YOU?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Dennis Bock. The ash garden."
Dennis is in his late thirties, clean-shaven, with receding blond hair.

He says PROBABLY THE FIRST THING
THAT PUSHED ME IN THE
DIRECTION OF THE WAR WAS RIGHT
AFTER MY FINISHED BY FIRST
BOOK, OLYMPIA.
I WANTED TO WRITE SOMETHING I
WAS INTERESTED IN BUT HAD NO
IDEA ABOUT.
MY FIRST BOOK WAS -- WELL IT
RESEMBLES ME IN CERTAIN WAYS.
I WANTED TO SET MYSELF UP FOR
A GREATER CHALLENGE.
SO I THOUGHT I'M GOING TO
WRITE A BOOK IN THE VOICE OF A
JAPANESE WOMAN AND IN THE
VOICE OF A VERY OLD GERMAN
SCIENTISTS, NEITHER OF WHICH I
RESEMBLE.
I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A
FABULOUS CHALLENGE THAT WOULD
KEEP ME GOING FOR A LONG TIME.
THE WAR IS A NATURAL SUBJECT
FOR NOVELIST BECAUSE IT'S THE
WHAT TED SHED EVENT OF THE
20th CENTURY.

Tina says SO YOU MAY THINK
THAT WOULD BE INTIMIDATED.
FOR ONE THING YOU ARE TAKING
ON A SMALL TOPIC, THE DROPPING
OF A BOMB AND DOING IT IN A
VOICE THAT ISN'T YOUR OWN.

Dennis says I DON'T THINK I WOULD HAVE
BEEN INTERESTED ENOUGH
OTHERWISE.
IF YOU CHOOSE A SUBJECT MATTER
YOU ARE COMFORTABLE, THE FINAL
BOOK WOULD REFLECT THAT.
YOU HAVE CERTAIN OPINIONS
ABOUT WHATEVER YOUR SUBJECT IS.
IF IT'S NOT DIFFICULT, YOU ARE
GOING TO GLIDE THROUGH IT.
THE EXACT OPPOSITE IS TRUE
WITH MY RELATIONSHIP WITH THIS
BOOK.
IT WAS MURDEROUS.
IT WAS A TERRIBLY DIFFICULT
BOOK TO WRITE BECAUSE I HAVE
NO REAL TRUE UNDERSTANDING OF
WHAT IT IS TO LIVE THROUGH A
WAR.
SO, IT WAS A SUSTAINED IMAGINE
NAIR FLIGHT.

Tina says I THINK YOUR
EDITOR SAID YOU HAD AN OLD
BRAIN IN A YOUNG BODY.
IS THAT TRUE?

Dennis says I DON'T KNOW.
IT'S THE ONLY BRAIN I HAVE.
IT MAY BE CENTURIES OLD.
I CAN'T TELL.
I'M MOVED BY REALLY BIG,
IMPORTANT BOOKS.
I WOULD NOT CLAIK THAT THIS IS
ONE BUT THAT IS THE KIND OF
BOOK THAT I LIKE.
I MEAN, I STARTED READING
FAIRLY LATE, YOU KNOW, READING
WITH AN EYE TO WRITING.
I MEAN PROBABLY WHEN I WAS 15
OR SO.
SO I KIND OF WENT FROM REALLY
NOT A LOT OF READING
WHATSOEVER AS A KID TO THE BIG
BOOKS IMMEDIATELY.
SO I DNGT HAVE A SORT OF RAMP
UP BETWEEN THE YOUNG ADULT
FICTION TO T TOLLSTER.
I WENT TO THE BIG ENOUGH.

Tina says NOT A BAD WAY TO START?

Dennis says YEAH.

Tina says RIGHT TO THE BIG
GUYS.
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE
CHARACTERS IN THE BOOK.
ANTON IS THE OLD GERMAN
SCIENTISTS.
HE DEFECTED FROM GERMANY, WENT
TO AMERICA, WORKED ON THE
BOMB.
WHAT KIND OF MAN IS HE?

Dennis says HE IS A DEEPLY CONFUSED,
TROUBLED MAN.
HE IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS
GREAT BIG CONTRADICTION, WHICH
IS YOU HAVE TO KILL PEOPLE IN
ORDER TO SAVE PEOPLE.
SO, HE LIVES WITH THE BURDEN
OF HAVING HELPED IN THE
CONSTRUCTION OF THE BOMB FOR
55 YEARS AFTER THE FACT.
MOST OF HIS INTERIOR LIFE IS
TAKEN UP WITH THE STRUGGLE OF
WHERE HE STANDS.
HE SPENDS MOST OF HIS TIME TRY
TO GO JUSTIFY WHAT HE DID,
EXPLAINING HIS POSITION TO THE
WORLD, AND TO HIMSELF.

He now reads from the book and says
I DO HAVE SCARS ON MY FACE.
I DO NOT DENY THE PAIN CAUSED
THAT DAY AND EVERY DAY AFTER
THAT.
FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE,
EVERYONE'S LIFE WHO WAS THERE,
I AM NOT AN ANIMAL.
NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND
WOULD SAY ANYTHING DIFFERENT.
BUT I KNOW THE WORLD REQUIRES
A CERTAIN PAYMENT FROM US ALL,
PAIN, SUFFERING, HUNGER,
SOLITUDE FOR THE FREEDOMS WE
ENJOY, WE HAVE ALL PAID OR WILL.
IT IS NOT RIGHT OR WRONG TO
HAVE USED THE BOMB, BUT IT WAS
NECESSARY.

Tina says HE SAYS THERE IS
A CERTAIN PAYMENT REQUIRED
FROM US ALL.
WHAT DO YOU THINK HIS PAYMENT
IS?
IS IT TO RE -- THINK ABOUT
THIS?

Dennis says I THINK IT'S A TROUBLED
CONSCIOUS, IN HIS CASE.
IN THAT SCENE, HE IS TALKING
ABOUT EMIKO'S PAYMENT AS WELL.
HERS WAS PHYSICAL PAIN AND
SUFFERING.
SHE WAS ON THE RECEIVING END
OF THE BOMB.
SO, IN THAT STATEMENT, HE IS
TRYING TO MAKE A CONNECTION
BETWEEN HIMSELF AND HER.

Tina says EMIKO IS THE
CHARACTER, THE GIRL WHO WAS
SCARRED IN THE DROPPING OF THE
BOMB.
HER LITTLE BROTHER IN THAT
BEAUTIFUL OPENING SCENE THAT
YOU WRITE, HER BROTHER DIES
LAETTNER THE HOSPITAL.
SHE SAYS SILENCE WAS HER ONLY
WEAPON.
WHAT DOES SHE MEAN?

Dennis says WELL, THE MOST BASIC LEVEL
OF COURSE, SHE WAS UNABLE TO
EXPRESS HIRS IN AMERICA.
SHE DOESN'T HAVE THE LANGUAGE.
THE ONLY WAY SHE COULD PROTECT
HERSELF WAS TO CREATE A SHELL
AROUND HERSELF.
AS A YOUNG CHILD SHE IS
ABSOLUTELY EXPOSE TODD THE
WORLD.
HER PARENTS ARE DEAD, HER
GRANDFATHER DIES, HER BROTHER
IS DEAD.
SHE IS ALONE.
THE ONLY WAY SHE CAN DEAL WITH
IT IS TO WITHDRAW.

Tina says THERE IS A
QUESTION OF OTHERNESS, WHICH
SHE TALKS ABOUT FEELING.
SO MANY LEVELS, SHE IS AN
IMMIGRANT, GONE THROUGH THIS
EXPERIENCE.
OTHERNESS STRUCK WE AS
SOMETHING THAT ALL THE
CHARACTERS FELT.
ANTON FEELS THE SENSE AND HIS
WIFE, SO FI WAS A HOLOCAUST
SURVIVOR.
DO THEY ALL FEEL THAT SENSE?

Dennis says YEAH.
THEY ARE ALL FROM OTHER
PLACES.
THEY ALL FEEL THAT THEY DON'T
REALLY BELONG WHERE THEY'VE
ENDED UP.
THEY HAVE ALL MADE COMPROMISES
IN LEAVING THEIR COUNTRIES,
JAPAN, GERMANY.
SO I THINK THEY DO SUFFER THAT
SENSE OF MANY IMMIGRANTS DO
FEEL.
THAT IS MAYBE ONE OF THE
LITTLE GLIMMERS OF AUTO
BIOGRAPHY BECAUSE I HAVE FELT
THAT.
I HAVE BEEN A BOARD FOR FIVE
YEARS.

Tina says IN SPAIN.
YEAH.

Dennis says YEAH.
THAT SENSE OF OTHERNESS IS
REALLY, REALLY POWERFUL.
WHEN YOU'RE SORT OF RUNNING
OUT OF ENERGY AT THE END OF
THE DAY, IT REALLY CATCHES UP
TO YOU AND HITS YOU OVER THE
HEAD.
YOU THINK, MY GOD, I AM SO
DIFFERENT FROM EVERYBODY ELSE
HERE.
I WILL ALWAYS BE THE CANADIAN
IN MADRID, OR WHATEVER.
SO, IT'S A VERY POWERFUL
FEELING, THIS DISORIENTATION
AND ALIEN ASIAN THAT THE
CHARACTERS FEEL.

Tina says YEAH.
NOW, THE BOOK HAS HAD GREAT
REVIEWS.
THE ASH GARDEN, SAY THE NAME
AGAIN.
THERE WAS A BIT OF A BUZZ -- A
BIG BUZZ BEFORE IT WAS
PUBLISHED BECAUSE THE STORY
WAS THE PUBLISHER READ THE
FIRST PAGE OR FIRST TWO PAGES
AND SAID I HAVE TO HAVE THIS
BOOK.
YOU GOT A BIG ADVANCE,
250,000 U.S. dollars.
WHAT WAS THAT LIKE AS AN
EXPERIENCE?
HOW DID THAT SIT WITH YOU?

Dennis says IT SAT PRETTY WELL.
[LAUGHTER]
IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE.
I GOT THE PHONE CALL FROM MY
AGENT.
SHE SAID, YOU KNOW, GARY WANTS
IT.
THIS IS WHAT HE IS GOING TO
PAY FOR IT.
I BURST INTO LAUGHTER BECAUSE
I THOUGHT THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN.
THERE IS NO WAY.
UP TO THAT POINT I WAS JUST
LIKE -- I AM STILL BUT I WAS
VERY POOR.
HAPPILY SO, WORKING WHAT I
LOVE TO DO.
SO, IT WAS VERY UNEXPECTED,
VERY WELCOME AT THE SAME TIME.

Tina says WELL, LET ME SAY
AGAIN I THINK IT'S A WONDERFUL
BOOK.
YOU WERE GOING TO BE A MARINE
BIOLOGIST?

Dennis says I AT FIRST WAS GOING TO BE
A FIREMAN.

Tina says WHEN YOU ARE FIVE.
BUT YOU DIDN'T -- IT'S NOT
LIKE YOU WERE DIE TO GO BE A
WRITER?

Dennis says RIGHT.
WE DIDN'T HAVE A LOT OF BOOKS
IN MY HOUSE WHEN I WAS GROWING
UP.
IT'S NOT SOMETHING I THOUGHT
ABOUT A LOT.
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED
BY WATER AND BY FISH.
AS A 10-YEAR-OLD, I THOUGHT IT
COULD BE COOL TO GO SCUBA
DIVING EV RAY DAY FOR A
LIVING.
BUT I DIDN'T PURSUE IT.
THAT WAS A CHILDHOOD FAN TA SI
MORE THAN ANYTHING.
I STARTED WRITING WHEN I WAS
16 OR SOMETHING.
BUT OBVIOUSLY JUST, YOU KNOW,
SCRIBBLING.

Tina says WHAT HOOKED YOU;
DO YOU REMEMBER?

Dennis says IN WRITING?
I REMEMBER, ACTUALLY.
I READ GULLIVER'S TRAVELS
WHEN I WAS 16.
IT WAS THE FIRST BOOK I READ
WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT -- THE
REALIZATION THAT SOMEBODY
ACTUALLY PUT ALL THESE WORDS
TOGETHER.
I DON'T KNOW WHY IT OCCURRED
TO ME AFTER READING THAT NOVEL,
BUT IT DID AND HIT ME LIKE A
TON OF BRICKS.
FASCINATING, INCREDIBLE ONE
PERSON COULD MAKE THESE
STORIES.
SO, I JUST FELT, I WILL GIVE
IT A SHOT MISS, SEE WHAT
FLIES.

Tina says WHAT A GREAT BOOK.
SUCH A FEAT OF IMAGINATION.

Dennis says YES.
THAT IS IT.
UNBELIEVABLY SMART AND FUNNY
AND UNBELIEVABLE.
IT JUST CAPTURED ME.
AND DEMANDED THAT I TRY TO DO
THE SAME.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, the book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a blurry picture of a young Japanese woman seen from behind.

Tina says THE ASH GARDEN,
BY DENNIS BOCK, PUBLISHED BY
HARPER, CANADA.

(music plays)
Now an animated book sitting in a garden reveals a clip of a woman in her fifties flipping through pages, followed by a gathering of young people.

Tina says NEXT, MEET DEDENISE BOCK.
LATER, WRITERS HELPING WRITERS.
WHY GO IT ALONE WHEN YOU CAN
SHARE WITH OTHERS?
SO, HOW DO WRITERS GET BIG
BUCKS FOR THEIR NOVEL?
THEY HIRE A GOOD AGENT.
OUR Literary SLEUTH IS HERE
WITH THE SCOOP.
DENISE BUCK, TELL ME ABOUT HER.

Gerald L’Ecuyer sits in the studio with Tina. He’s in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair.

He says SHE IS DENNIS BOCK'S AGENT,
KNOWN FOR DEVELOPING NEW
TALENT, FINDING NEW WRITERS,
BRINGING THOSE TO THE
PUBLISHERS.
SHE IS FEISTY, MAERN AL.
SHE IS A CHARACTER.

Tina says SHE IS
CONTROVERSIAL.
WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?

Gerald says BECAUSE SHE DOES TWO THINGS.
SHE TALKS MONEY A WORLD WHICH
HASN'T DISCUSSED MONEY.
SHE IS ALSO REALLY MAERN ALLEY
PROTECTIVE OF HER CHILDREN,
HER WRITERS.
SHE WILL SAY AND DO THINGS TO
GET THE BEST DEAL.
SHE IS KNOWN FOR IT.
I THINK THAT PUSHES PEOPLE'S
BUTTONS.

Tina says SOUNDS MORE LIKE
HOLLYWOOD THAN WHAT WE THINK
OF THE CANADIAN READING
ESTABLISHMENT.
I GUESS ACTORS HAVE AGENTS TO
GET THEM BIG BUCKS.
WRITERS NEED AGENTS TOO.

Gerald says YES.
EVEN THE BIG DEALS SHE IS
GETTING THEM ARE NOT THAT
GREAT WHEN YOU BREAK IT DOWN
OVER THE NUMBER OF YEARS A
WRITER HAS TO WRITE.
IF YOU NEED AN ABOUT, IT'S AS
IMPORTANT TO HAVE AN AGENT AS
IT IS TO GET A PUBLISHER.
SHE IS A REALLY IMPORTANT PART
OF THE GAME.

Tina says LET'S MEET DENISE BUCK.

A clip shows Denise Buck walking past a door with golden lettering that reads “The Bukowski Agency.”
Inside, Gerald interviews her.
Denise is in her late fifties, with short chestnut hair.

Gerald says DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DO AS AN AGENT.

Denise says THE WAY I DESCRIBE IT IS
I'M LIKE A REAL ESTATE AGENT,
I SELL PROPERTY FOR A
COMMISSION.
IN THIS CASE, I SELL
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY TO
PUBLISHERS ON BEHALF OF
WRITERS.

Gerald says IF I WERE TO ASK
YOU HOW CUT THROAT IS THIS
BUSINESS, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Denise Bukowski. Literary Agent."

Denise says MUCH MORE THAN IT USED TO
BE WHEN I STARTED 30 YEARS AGO.
I THINK IT'S A MAJOR CHANGE.
IT USED TO BE MADE UP OF
PEOPLE WHO BELIEVED IN
CANADIAN CULTURE AND WOULD DO
ANYTHING FOR IT.
EVRPG WAS ON THE HONOR SYSTEM.
NOW IT'S MORE CUT THROAT THAN
IT USED TO BE 30 YEARS AGO.
BETTER GET IT DOWN ON PAPER
BEFORE SOMEBODY SAYS THEY
DIDN'T SAY IT.
SO, YEAH, IT'S RUN LIKE OTHER
BUSINESSES.
NO LONGER A GENTLEMAN'S GAME.

Gerald says WHAT IS THE
PRIMARY THING YOU MUST DO FOR
YOUR WRITERS?

Denise says IT'S DIFFERENT FOR EACH ONE.
IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THEY WANT.
I ASK THEM WHAT THEY EXPECT.
THE THING I HAVE DONE FOR MY
CLIENT SINCE SHE WAS 16 IS BE
THE ONE CONSISTENT FIGURE IN
HER LIFE.
THE NON-JUDGMENT AL FIGURE WHO
IS JUST THERE.

Now another woman speaks.
A caption reads “Evelyn Lau. Author.”
Evelyn is in her late thirties, with tousled black hair.

She says DENISE AND I HAVE KNOWN
EACH OTHER SINCE I WAS 16 AND
SHOWED UP ON HER DOOR STEP
WITH A MANUSCRIPT.
IT'S BEEN FASCINATING.
I'M SURE.
SHE CAN TELL STORIES ABOUT THE
VARIOUS PHASES, YOU KNOW, I
HAVE GONE THROUGH.

At a conference, Evelyn says SHE IS A FAST TATING LISTENER.
ALSO TOUGH.

Now another woman speaks.
A caption reads “Catherine Bush. Author.”
Catherine is in her late thirties, with long wavy auburn hair.

She says YOU KNOW I FIND HER VERY
GENEROUS, WHICH IS WONDERFUL.
I FEEL LIKE IMPART OF A
EXTENDED FAMILY.
I HAVE GONE ON VACATION WITH
DENISE WHICH IS NOT SOMETHING
I COULD SAY ABOUT ANYTHING
OTHER ABOUT.
WE HAVE GONE TO MEXICO
TOGETHER TWICE.

Now Denise shows Gerald a cloth figurine and says
THIS LITTLE GUY HERE I
PICKED UP IN A MEXICAN MARKET.
THE INDIANS OF MEXICO SELL
THEM IN THEIR MARKETS.
HE IS THE MAN WHO LED THE
INDIANS INTO THE STREETS OF
MEXICO CITY AND IS A LEADER OF
THE INDIAN MOVEMENT OF MEXICO.
LEADER OF THE OH PRESSED; THAT
IS THE WAY I LIKE TO THINK OF
MYSELF.

Gerald says A LEADER?
A MARTYR?

Denise says NO, NOT A MARTYR.
HE HAS A GOOD TIME DOING WHAT
HE DOES.
BUT I THINK THAT IS NOT THE
WAY THE WORLD SEES ME.
SOME PEOPLE I WOULD SAY THINK
THIS IS MORE APPROPRIATE OVER
HERE.

She points at a poster on a wall and continues
THAT IS DEVIL GIRL FROM MARS.
I HAVE THAT UP THERE BECAUSE I
HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR ABOUT
MYSELF.

As she points at several other posters, she continues
THESE -- THIS IS THE GILLER
PRIZE POSTER.
THIS IS FROM THE KMONT WEALTH
PRIZES.
THAT WAS 1999.

Gerald says ARE YOU MORE
COMFORTABLE TALKING ABOUT THE
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF WRITERS
THAN YOURSELF?

Denise says DEFINITELY.
THAT IS MY JOB.

Gerald says TALK ABOUT THAT.

Denise says I AM VERY GOOD AT
NEGOTIATING ON BEHALF OF OTHER
PEOPLE BUT TERRIBLE ON
NEGOTIATING FOR MYSELF.

Dennis says SHE HAS A FABULOUS EYE.
SHE DOESN'T GET WRITERS IN
THEIR ESTABLISHED STAGE.
SHE FINDS NEW WRITERS AN
BRINGS THEM UP.
SHE HAS A FANTASTIC REPUTATION
FOR FINDING THE UNKNOWN
WRITERS WHO EVENTUALLY BECOME
IMPORTANT.

Now Gerald talks to Denise at a pub at night.

Gerald says ARE YOU WORKING
OR HAVING FUN?

Denise says WORKING.
I CONSIDER PARTIES WORK.
YEAH, YEAH.
I HAVE A JOB TO DO.
I'M NOT HERE TO GET DRUNK, I'M
HERE TO GET A JOB.

[LAUGHTER]

Gerald says WHAT IS THE JOB?

Denise says TO MAKE SURE THE AUTHORS
ARE HAVING A GOOD TIME AND
THAT THE PARTY IS SUCCESSFUL.
I DO WHATEVER I CAN TO HELP.

At the party, a man in his late fifties speaks.
A caption reads “Martin Levin. Books Editor, The Globe and Mail.”
Martin is clean-shaven, with sparse white hair.

He says DENISE IS ONE OF THE MORE
IMPORTANT AGENTS, SUCCESSFUL.
SHE PAVES THE WAY FOR OTHER
AGENTS WITH LARGE AND USEFUL
CONTRACTS TO THE WRITERS.
POW WERE TO THE AGENTS.

Back in the interview, Gerald says
WHEN I CALLED YOU
UP TO ASK YOU TO BE PART OF
THIS PROFILE, YOU WERE
WORRIED.
YOU SAID ---I'M NOT SURE, I'M
NOT SURE I WILL BE ABLE TO
KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT.
[LAUGHTER]
WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY THAT?
HAVE YOU IN THE PAST BEEN MORE
OUT SPOKEN THAN YOU WOULD LIKE TO?

Denise says OFTEN I'M HONEST TO A
FAULT.
IT'ST NOT IN MY BEST INTEREST
SO I LIKE TO TAKE DUCT TAPE
WITH ME.

Gerald says THERE WAS -- IT'S
OLD NEWS NOW, BUT A YEAR AND A
HALF AGO.
M AND S TOOK OUT AN ADD SAYING
WE WON'T WORK WITH YOU.
IT AS TON ISSUED THE INDUSTRY.
HOW DO YOU LOOK BACK ON THAT?

Denise says WHO DO YOU THINK LOOKED THE
WORST FOR THAT ADD?

She shrugs.

Gerald says EXPLAIN HOW IT
CAME ABOUT.

Denise says I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW IT
CAME ABOUT.
THAT IS PRIVATE BUSINESS.
[LAUGHTER]
YOU HAVE TO TALK TO THE PERSON
WHO PLACED THE AD.
I DON'T KNOW WHY THEY PLACED
THE AD.
WHO DO YOU THINK CAME
OUTLOOKING WORST?
THE INDUSTRY IN CANADA IS A
LOT YOUNGER AND THEY DO THINGS
THAT YOU WOULD NEVER SEE DONE
IN NEW YORK OR LONDON.
I'M WAITING FOR THEM TO GROW
UP, WHICH IS WHAT THEY ARE
DOING.

Gerald says WHY DO YOU THINK
YOU ARE GOOD AT BEING AN AGENT?

Denise says FIRST OF ALL I THINK
PUBLISHERS WHO HAVE HAD SAID
SOMETHING GOOD TO SAY WOULD
SAY THAT I HAVE A GOOD EYE, IF
THEY GET A NOVEL FROM ME THAT
IT'S GOING TO BE GOOD, WHICH
THEY MAY NOT SAY ABOUT OTHER
AGENTS.
I'M GOOD AT BEING ANOTHER
PERSON'S ADVOCATE.
I DON'T REALLY CARE IF PEOPLE
ARE MAD AT ME OR IF THEY DON'T
LIKE ME.
I WANT TO BE LOVED BUT NOT
EVERYBODY HAS TO LOVE ME.
IF I KNOW I'M RIGHT, I DON'T
CARE IF YOU DON'T LOVE ME.
I KNOW I'M DOING THE RIGHT
THING.

The clip ends.

Tina says WHAT WAS THAT ADD ABOUT?

Gerald says I KNOW.
I TRIED TO FIND OUT EXACTLY
WHAT PROMPTED M AND S TO TAKE
OUT THAT AD.
NO ONE WOULD TALK, OF COURSE.
NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT.
IT WAS MORE FUN TO SPECULATE.
BUT IT WAS PROBABLY PART OF
THE COLLISION BETWEEN AGENTS
AND THE PUBLISHING WORLD AND
MONEY.
I DID SPEAK TO ELLEN AND M AND S.
THE CONVERSATION WAS GOING
GREAT UNTIL I MENTIONED THE ADD.
THEY PREPARED A STATEMENT
WHICH I WOULD LIKE TO READ TO YOU.

He reads
WE FELT IT WAS TIME TO MOVE ON
AND NOT DWELL ON THE PAST.
WE ARE DEFINITELY IN BUSINESS
WITH HER AGENCY, HAVING
ACQUIRED BOOKS BY SEVERAL
WRITERS.

He continues
THEY HAVE OBVIOUSLY MADE UP
AND ARE WORKING TOGETHER.

Tina says THAT IS THE WAY
LIFE IS.
WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON DENISE?
DO YOU LIKE HER?

Gerald says SHE IS ONE OF THE BEST
AGENTS OUT THERE NOW.
IF I WAS A YOUNG WRITER, I
WOULD DO EVERYTHING I COULD TO
BECOME HER FRIEND.

Tina says OKAY.
THANKS, GERALD.

Gerald says YOU ARE WELCOME.

(music plays)
After a transition, Tina reappears alone.

She says IF YOU WANT TO
WRITE BUT CAN'T BEAR THE
SOLITARY LIFE, HOW ABOUT
JOINING A WRITING GROUP?
A PLACE TO SHARE YOUR WORK
WITH OTHER AS PRIORING AH
AUTHORS.
WE WILL CHECK OUT A FEW GROUPS,
TARTING TONIGHT WITH WOMEN WHO
CALL THEMSELVES THE STERN
WRITING MISTRESSES.

A black slate reads “The Stern Writing Mistresses. A queer women’s writing group. Started 6 years ago. Meet bi-weekly.”

Music plays.
Fast clips show several women in their twenties and thirties sitting on couches in a living room and writing. A coffee table holds some food, beer, coffee and ashtrays.

At a gathering, a blond woman in her twenties says
I WANTED TO WRITE A PO EM
THAT SORT OF TALKS ABOUT JUST
HOW -- I WANTED.
[LAUGHTER]
THE MODERN MUFF DIVER RELATIONSHIP.

[OVERLAPPING VOICES].

In a private interview, the woman appears with the caption “Kathryn Payne.”
Kathryn has short blond hair.

She says WE MET AN DRANK AND TALKED.
WE DECIDED TO BE MORE STERN,
DISCIPLINED.
WHOEVER WAS IN CHARGE HAD TO
BE IN CHARGE.
SO THEN WE STARTED TALKING
ABOUT BEING STERN WRITING
MISTRESSES.
THAT BECAME THE NAME.

At the gathering, she reads
AND HEARD WITH
HALF-LISTENING LOVE, LOCKING
THE DOOR, CLIMBING THE STAIRS,
SPOONING TO SLEEP.

Another woman in her twenties says
THERE IS SOMETHING REALLY
NICE ABOUT THE LAST THREE
LINES, LOCKING THE DOOR,
SPOONING OFF TO SLEEP.

Now a third member is interviewed.
A caption reads “Marlene Ziobrowski.”
Marlene has long chestnut hair in a tight ponytail.

She says I JOINED THIS WRITING GROUP
FOR OBVIOUS REASONS, IN THAT I
WAS WRITING ON MY OWN, I HAD A
BIG TRUNKFUL OF HALF-FINISHED
PIECES.
I WAS LOOKING FOR AN AUDIENCE.
I WITH WAS LOOKING FOR PEOPLE
TO TALK TO ME ABOUT WHAT I
MIGHT DO WITH ALL THIS STUFF.

The caption changes to "Caitlin Fisher."
Caitlin is in her early thirties, with shoulder-length dark brown hair and bangs.

She says WE ARE A GROUP THAT LIKES
TO KEEP DEADLINES.
THERE ARE A LOT OF TIMES WHEN
I WOULD NOT HAVE PRODUCED
WRITING IF WE HADN'T HAD THE
HEADLINE.

At the gathering, Marlene says I PICKEDDED THE LAST AS
SIRNMENT YOU GAVE, WHICH WAS
TO WRIGHT ABOUT DESIRE WITHOUT
USING THE NORMAL TERMS, WELL,
TRYING NOT TO.
[LAUGHTER]

Another member is interviewed.
A caption reads “Rebecca Raby.”
Rebecca has very short brown hair.

She says IT'S A GREAT EXPERIENCE.
I SHIFTED FROM POINT OF
FEELING THEY ARE SO GOOD, I
CAN'T WRITE LIKE THAT, TO THIS
MOMENT THAT I IT WAS I WILL
NEVER WRITE LIKE SUSAN,
KAITLIN WITH THE PERFECT
PIECES.
I WILL NEVER WRITE LIKE THEM
BUT I HAVE MY OWN VOICE.
THAT HAS BEEN EXCELLENT.

Caitlin says I THINK IT'S AN IMPORTANT
PART OF MY LIFE.
IT'S A PART I HAVE CARVED OUT
TO SIGNAL THAT I TAKE MY
WRITING SERIOUSLY BY PEOPLE
WHOSE WORKS I ADMIRE.
I FEEL GRATEFUL TO MEET WITH THEM.

At the gathering, another member reads
YOU TOUCH ME LIKE A BRICK
HITTING FATHER, THINKING FAST.

Kathryn says WE DIDN'T SET PARAMETERS
THAT WE WERE ONLY GOING TO LET
QUEER FEMALES IN.
I THINK WE HAVE HAD STRAIGHT
WOMEN BUT NEVER A GUY.
THAT IS BECAUSE OF OUR
NETWORKS AND THE NATURE OF THE
MATERIAL WE SHARE.
WE KNOW EACH OTHER WELL ENOUGH
THAT SHARING THING THAT IS ARE
FRESH AND RAW AND VULNERABLE
IS NOT DIFFICULT IN THIS SETTING.

Now another member is interviewed.
A caption reads “Susan Goldberg.”
Susan is in her twenties, with short red hair.

She says I THINK IT'S A TANGIBLE
REMINDER THAT I AM A CREATIVE WRILTER.
THAT IS IMPORTANT ON THE DAYS
WHEN YOU HAVE WRITTEN ALL DAY
OR SOMETHING.

At the gathering, she reads
HAVE I BECOME TOO PRACTICAL?
I ASK BECAUSE MY PLEASE SHURS
SEEM TO SMALL.
IS IT BECAUSE MY LIFE IS TOO
DULL THAT I REJOYCE IN PLANTS?
FRESH BREAD?
THE CAT?

Kathryn says THE REASON WE KEEP COMING
BACK TOGETHER ISN'T JUST
BECAUSE WE WRITE WELL AS A
GROUP BUT WE ENJOY EACH
OTHER'S COMPANIES E COMPANY,
VALUE EACH OTHER'S OPINIONS.
AND THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES WHEN
IT'S FAR MORE SOCIAL THAN SORT
OF STERN.
THOSE TIMES HAVE BEEN JUST AS
VALUABLE AS THE TIMES WHEN
IT'S STERN AND WE GET A GREAT
DEAL WRITTEN.

Another member is interviewed.
A caption reads “Chloe Brushwood Rose.”
Chloe has very short straight black hair.

She says I LOVE THAT I SEE THIS
GROUP EVERY TWO WEEKS FOR SIX YEARS.
WE HAVE SEEN EACH OTHER
THROUGH RELATIONSHIPS,
BREAKUPS, MOVES.
ALL SORTS OF THINGS.
YEAH, OBVIOUSLY IT'S HIGHLY
SOCIAL ACTIVITY.

[LAUGHTER]

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Tina says LOOKS LIKE FUN.
THAT IS A WRAP FOR THIS
EDITION OF Imprint.
THANKS FOR WATCHING.
GOOD NIGHT.

(music plays)

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special thanks, Fieramosca, Ba-Ba-Lu’u Restaurant.

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 13 episode 3