Transcript: Imprint season 14 episode 1 | Sep 25, 2002

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 light gray blazer.

Tina Srebotnjak says HELLO, I'M
TINA SREBOTNJAK.
WELCOME TO THE SPRG ENCORE
SEASON AT "IMPRINT."
Theme music plays as the opening sequence rolls. A red and orange slate appear with a title that reads "Imprint."

TONIGHT,
"WHY POETSS WEAR BLACK,"
A LABOUR OF LOVE FOR A LOST
BROTHER BY WRITER, MIKE FREEMAN.

A splotchy blue, white, and black background appears on screen with a title that reads "Why Poets Wear Black."

Mike Freeman appears on screen. He is in his thirties, has short, gelled, light brown hair, is clean-shaven, and wears a navy turtle neck.

Mike Freeman says YOU JUST DO
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO, AND WHETHER
IT'S GOING OUT AND GETTING DRUNK
EVERY NIGHT THE WAY THEY DID IN
NEW YORK FOR THE MONTH OF
OCTOBER, OR SITTING DOWN AND
JUST WRITING A POEM.
THAT'S APPROPRIATE IF THAT'S
WHAT GETS YOU THROUGH IT.
[ (music plays) ]

Now Mary Lawson appears on screen at a book signing. She is in her forties, has short, straight, light blond hair cut in the shape of a bob, and wears a black blazer.

Tina Srebotnjak says MARY
LAWSON'S ROAD TO LITERARY
SUCCESS.
BEFORE THE SMASH HIT, "CROW
LAKE," THERE WERE SOME MISSES.

In the interview, Mary Lawson says I THINK IT WAS
THE COMEDIAN STEVE BARTON WHO
SAID, "IF YOU'RE GOING TO TELL A
STORY, IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE
A POINT."
[ laughing ]

Tina Srebotnjak says AND YOU'D
FORGOTTEN THAT PART?

Mary Lawson says I NOW REALIZE
THAT WHAT I WAS LACKING WAS A
POINT.
[ (music plays) ]

Tina Srebotnjak says AND A BOYS
ONLY BOOK CLUB.

Now, a table of little boys appears on screen where they gather around chatting and reading books.

Tina continues MEET A SCARBOROUGH TEACHER WHO'S
FOUND A WAY TO TURN RELUCTANT
READERS INTO BOOK LOVERS.
[ (music plays) ]

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 Srebotnjak says THIS IS THE
TIME OF YEAR WHEN WE BRING YOU
SOME OF THE BEST PROGRAMS FROM
THE PAST BOOK SEASON.
LOTS OF GREAT BOOKS TO KEEP YOU
BUSY DURING THE NICE WEATHER.
WE BEGIN TONIGHT WITH THE STORY
OF A POET WHO'S FOUND COMFORT
FROM HIS DEMONS IN THE SIMPLE
ACT OF WRITING.
MIKE FREEMAN LOST HIS BROTHER
WHEN PAN-AM FLIGHT 103 EXPLODED
OVER LOCKERBIE SCOTLAND IN 1988.
AND WHAT STARTED AS A PAINFUL
TRAGEDY, EVENTUALLY GOT MIKE'S
CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING.

Mike Freeman sits in an empty restaurant with a glass of wine and says THIS IS MY BOOK
CALLED, "WHY POETS WEAR BLACK,"
WHICH IS A REFERENCE TO ANYBODY
WHO'S EVER BEEN TO A POETRY
READING AND NOTICED THE BLACK
ATTIRE OF THE READERS.

Mike holds up the cover of the book. The cover features a splotchy blue, white, and black background with white letters with a title that reads "Why Poets Wear Black."

Mike continues IT'S A COLLECTION THAT LOOKS
BACK OVER MY LIFE AND THE
DIFFERENT PLACES I'VE BEEN, THE
DIFFERENT THINGS I'VE DONE.
I BEGAN WRITING ABOUT 2 WEEKS
AFTER MY BROTHER'S DEATH.

A black and white photo of Paul appears on screen. Paul is in his thirties, has short brown hair, is clean-shaven, and wears a leather jacket.

Mike continues PAUL WAS KILLED IN THE BOMBING
OF PAN-AM FLIGHT 103.
AND IT WAS IN RESPONSE TO THE
GRIEF I WAS GOING THROUGH AT THE
TIME.

A caption reads "Mike Freeman, Why Poets Wear Black."

Mike continues I HAD DISCOVERED THAT HE KEPT A
JOURNAL HIMSELF, OF POETRY,
APHORISMS, LITTLE THOUGHTS THAT
CAME TO HIM, AND I THOUGHT THIS
SEEMED TO BE A GOOD THING TO DO
IN ORDER TO RECORD WHAT I WAS
GOING THROUGH AT THE MOMENT.
"GROUND SEARCH" IS A POEM
WRITTEN SEVERAL WEEKS AFTER MY
BROTHER'S DEATH, WHEN WE
TRAVELLED TO TUNDERGARTH CHURCH
YARD IN LOCKERBIE SCOTLAND.
AND I FOUND MYSELF AT THE CRASH
SITE OF THE NOSE CONE, PICKING
UP SMALL PIECES OF DEBRIS THAT
HAD BEEN LEFT BEHIND BY THE FBI.

Mike reads from the book in the light of a bright window.

Mike says "GROUND SEARCH."
"AIRPLANE PARTS FILL MY POCKETS.
SMITHEREEN RELICS OF MY
PILGRIMAGE,
DON'T ASK MY WHY I'M NICKING ALL
THESE AIRPLANE PARTS, THE
RIVETS, MOULDED TRINKETS,
PLEXIGLASS PAINT FLECKS, PLASTIC
SHARDS AND WASHERS, THE FBI
FORGOT TO CLEAR AWAY.
LIKE KIDS AND CANDY IN A CORNER
STORE, WITH INSTANT GREED AND
GUILT, I STICK THEM QUICKLY IN
MY JACKET.
I'LL TAKE MY BOOTY HOME WITH ME,
IN MY HARROD'S PLASTIC BAG, AND
HIDE IT IN SOME DUSTY NOOK SO
THAT SOON I'LL HAVE FORGOTTEN
ANYTHING WAS THERE.
AND THEN ONE DAY, I'LL QUITE
ACCIDENTALLY THROW THEM OUT.
UNTIL THEN, I'VE GOT AIRPLANE
PARTS, NONE OF WHICH FIT
TOGETHER."

Back in the interview, Mike says I SUDDENLY REALIZED, NO MATTER
WHAT EXPERIENCE YOU GO THROUGH,
NO MATTER HOW INTENSE AND HOW
PAINFUL.
IF YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT IT,
YOU'RE RECORDING SOMETHING THAT
YOU CAN LEARN FROM LATER ON.
AND YOU'RE LEARNING LIFE'S
LESSONS IN A WAY THAT WOULD NOT
NORMALLY BE THE CASE IF YOU JUST
WENT THROUGH LIFE NOT OBSERVING
THINGS.
IN MY WRITING, I COME CLOSEST TO
REMEMBERING MY BROTHER PAUL IN
HIS RELENTLESS PURSUIT FOR
CREATING THINGS, AND FOR--
WHETHER IT WAS BUILDING A STUDIO
FOR HIM TO BUILD MAGICAL
ILLUSIONS IN, IN THE BACK,
BECAUSE HE WAS A MAGICIAN WHEN
HE WAS YOUNGER, OR UM...
OR BUILDING HOUSES OR...
OR BEING AN ACTOR AND CREATING A
ROLE.
HE WAS ALWAYS MAKING THINGS.
AND POET MEANS MAKER AND I THINK
THAT, FOR ME, IT'S A PLEASURE TO
BE MAKING THINGS, TO MAKE
SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING AND
THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I LEARNED
FROM HIM, ESSENTIALLY.
I HAD TO RECOUP AND COLLECT
MYSELF BEFORE I BROUGHT OUT THIS
CHAP BOOK.
AND ASK SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT
HOW MUCH OF MY OWN LIFE I WAS
GOING TO GET INTO IN TERMS OF
GOING TO READINGS AND TALKING
ABOUT THE BACKGROUNDS OF THE
POEMS, AND GIVING LITTLE
ANECDOTES.
I LIKE TO LET PEOPLE HAVE THE
CONTEXT OF IT, AND SO IT FELT
RIGHT TO BRING FORWARD SOME OF
THE KEY MOMENTS.

At a literary event, Mike Freeman says THESE ARE MY
POST-IT NOTES.
THESE ARE THE ORDER THAT I'M
GOING IN.
THIS IS JUST IN CASE I GET LOST
ON THE WAY.
IT'S A VERY COMPLICATED SYSTEM I
HAVE, YOU CAN TELL.

The interviewer says WHAT'S NUMBER 4
HERE?

Mike Freeman opens the book and says NUMBER 4 IS
"BREAKING STORY."
THIS IS A POEM ABOUT MY BROTHER
ACTUALLY.
IT WAS THE DAY THAT I OPENED UP
THE TORONTO SUN AND FOUND A
PICTURE OF MY BROTHER WHO HAD
JUST PASSED AWAY, ACTUALLY.

Mike Freeman stands at a podium in front of an audience of 50 people.

Mike says "TODAY, THE
NEWSPAPERS HAVE A FAMILY
PHOTOGRAPH OF YOU, SO GRAINY.
TERRY'S WEDDING, AND YOU'RE
SMILING, GLASS UPRAISED.
AND ABOVE YOU THE HEADLINE
READS, 'WAS IT MURDER? 35
CENTS.'
ONE PAGE STACKED FLAT UPON
ANOTHER, SO MANY BROTHERS
STRAPPED TOGETHER, DROPPED OFF
IN THE STORES, STANDS AND
DOORSTEPS.
RINGED WITH COFFEE CUP HALOES IN
THE RESTAURANTS BY NOON.

Back in the interview, Mike Freeman says I FEEL TO A
CERTAIN EXTENT, THAT WE'VE COME
FULL CIRCLE WITH SOME OF THE
EVENTS THAT HAVE BEEN GOING ON
RECENTLY, WITH SEPTEMBER 11th.
AND IN FACT THERE'S A POEM
INCLUDED IN HERE ABOUT THAT.

The poem appears on screen with a title that reads "one September morning two weeks later."

Mike says I ANTICIPATED VERY EARLY THAT
THERE WOULD BE A LOT OF POEMS
WRITTEN ABOUT THIS KIND OF
THING, A LOT OF WORKS OF ART,
AND WHAT I WAS STRUCK BY, WAS
THE COMPLETE INADEQUACY OF ART
TO REALLY PORTRAY THE FULL
HORROR OF A SITUATION LIKE THIS.
AND WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF ART
IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS?
AND I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION
THAT REALLY, IF NOTHING ELSE,
IT'S SOME WAY OF GETTING THROUGH
THE DAY.
FOR A WRITER TO WRITE A POEM
ABOUT SEPTEMBER 11th OR ABOUT
THE RRIBLE SITUATIONS THAT
HE'S GOING THROUGH, IS A WAY OF
MOVING FORWARD, OF CONTINUING TO
ENGAGE.
AND NO MATTER HOW DESPERATE THE
POEM IS, IT'S AN ACT OF
AFFIRMATION.
AND THERE'S NO--
THERE'S NO WAY OF KNOWING HOW TO
REACT IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS.
MISS MANNERS ISN'T GOING TO TELL
YOU HOW TO GRIEVE.
YOU JUST DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO,
AND WHETHER IT'S GOING OUT AND
GETTING DRUNK EVERY NIGHT YOU
KNOW, THE WAY THEY DID IN NEW
YORK FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER,
OR SITTING DOWN AND JUST WRITING
A POEM.
THAT'S APPROPRIATE IF THAT'S
WHAT GETS YOU THROUGH IT.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, the book appears briefly.

Tina Srebotnjak says "WHY POETS
WEAR BLACK" IS A LIMITED
EDITION, SELF PUBLISHED BOOK BY
MIKE FREEMAN.
IT'S ILLUSTRATED BY SUSAN DeLUE
AND BY MICHAEL'S MOTHER DONNA.
AND IT'S AVAILABLE AT PAGES
BOOKSTORE IN TORONTO.
[ (music plays) ]
Now an animated book sitting on a concrete ledge in a park opens to reveal a clip of Mary Lawson and then a clip of a boys book club.

Back in the studio, Tina says UP NEXT, "CROW LAKE," FIRST
NOVEL SUCCESS FOR EX-PAT
CANADIAN WRITER, MARY LAWSON.
[ (music plays) ]
AND LATER, GUYS READ, A BOYS
ONLY BOOK CLUB.
[ (music plays) ]

Tina Srebotnjak says NOW TO ONE
OF THE MOST TALKED ABOUT BOOKS
LAST YEAR, A NOVEL THAT RODE
HIGH ON THE CANADIAN BEST SELLER
LIST FOR MONTHS.
IT'S CALLED "CROW LAKE," AND
IT'S THE FIRST NOVEL BY EX-PAT
CANADIAN WRITER, MARY LAWSON.
THIS BOOK CAUSED A HUGE BUZZ
WHEN IT HIT BOOKSTORES LAST
SPRING.
[ indistinct conversations ]

Mary appears on screen signing books in a bookstore.

Louise Dennys appears on screen in the bookstore. She is in her forties, has short, reddish hair, and wears a black shirt and a red scarf.

Louise says MARY LAWSON IS
A WRITER WHO WRITES SO
BEAUTIFULLY IN TERMS OF
LANGUAGE, AND AT THE SAME TIME
WITH SUCH A SENSE OF INSIGHT
INTO LOVE AND LOSS, AND WHAT IT
MEANS TO BE HUMAN, THAT I THINK
WHEREVER YOU ARE, WHATEVER
COUNTRY, YOU EMBRACE THIS BOOK.

A caption reads "Louise Dennys, Random House of Canada."

Louise continues WHAT, TO ME, IS ALSO WONDERFUL
IS THAT IT'S SO MUCH ABOUT OUR
LANDSCAPE.

A woman in her forties speaks to Mary and says AND THE NORTHERN
CONNECTION AND THE POND LIFE,
AND HOW THE OLDER BROTHER
INFLUENCED YOU, WONDERFUL.
THANK YOU, MARY.

Mary Lawson says THANK YOU SO
MUCH FOR COMING.
IT'S LOVELY TO SEE YOU.

A man in his fifties says I HAVE READ IT INDEED, A
ONE SITTING READ, 2 SUNDAYS AGO,
AND IT WAS JUST WONDERFUL.

Louise Dennys says I THINK IT'S
COME FULLY FLEDGED AS A CANADIAN
CLASSIC.
SO I WOULD BE VERY, VERY
SURPRISED IF IT WERE NOT A
CONTENDER FOR THE PRIZES IN THE
FALL.

At the bookstore, Heather Reisman stands in front of a large audience and speaks. She is in her forties, has short, blond hair with bangs cut in the shape of a bob and wears a white blazer and a blue shirt.

Heather Reisman says LET ME JUST
SAY IN INTRODUCTION OF MARY,
THAT THIS BOOK JUST BLEW ME
AWAY, IT JUST DID.

A caption reads "Heather Reisman, Indigo Books and Music Inc."

Heather continues AND I NO SOONER FINISHED IT,
THAN I WAS RUNNING AROUND
PREDICTING THAT IT WOULD BE
GILLER NOMINEE, AND I SUSPECT IT
WILL.
AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO'VE COME
TONIGHT, I AM SIMPLY TELLING
YOU, YOU WANT TO READ THIS BOOK.
NOT ONLY IS THE STORY INCREDIBLY
COMPELLING, BUT WHEN YOU FINISH
IT, YOU ACTUALLY GET AN A-HA!
AND IT'S SO RARE, I FIND.
I READ A LOT AS MOST OF YOU
PROBABLY DO IN THE AUDIENCE.
IT IS SO RARE TO READ A BOOK
THAT NOT ONLY HOLDS YOUR
ATTENTION, BUT THAT ACTUALLY
MAKES YOU THINK WHEN YOU'VE
CLOSED THE COVER, IN A WAY THAT
IS SUBTLE BUT ABSOLUTELY
COMPELLING.

Back in the studio, Tina Srebotnjak says THAT WAS THE
SCENE AT THE LAUNCH OF "CROW
LAKE," LAST SPRING.
AS IT TURNED OUT, THE BOOK
DIDN'T GET A GILLER NOD, BUT IT
REMAINED A FAVOURITE WITH
READERS.
"CROW LAKE" TELLS THE STORY OF
THE MORRISON FAMILY.
FOUR CHILDREN IN SMALL TOWN
ONTARIO WHO’S LIVES ARE CHANGED
FOREVER WHEN THEIR PARENTS ARE
SUDDENLY AND TRAGICALLY KILLED.
HERE'S AN EXCERPT FOLLOW BY MY
CONVERSATION WITH MARY LAWSON.

Mary Lawson appears on screen reading from her book and says "THERE'S NO END
TO HOW FAR BACK YOU CAN GO, OF
COURSE, WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO
FIGURE OUT WHERE SOMETHING
STARTED.
THE SEARCH CAN TAKE YOU BACK TO
ADAM AND BEYOND.
BUT FOR OUR FAMILY, THERE WAS AN
EVENT THAT SUMMER, CATASTROPHIC
ENOUGH TO BE THE START OF
PRACTICALLY ANYTHING.
IT TOOK PLACE ON A HOT, STILL
SATURDAY IN JULY WHEN I WAS 7
YEARS OLD, AND BROUGHT NORMAL
MILY LIFE TO AN END.
EVEN NOW, ALMOST 20 YEARS LATER,
I FIND IT HARD TO GET ANY SORT
OF PERSPECTIVE ON IT."

Sitting in a conference room with Mary, Tina Srebotnjak says MARY LAWSON,
IT'S LOVELY TO MEET YOU.

Mary Lawson says IT'S SO LOVELY
OF YOU TO HAVE ME ON THE SHOW.

Tina Srebotnjak says IN THIS
BOOK, EVERYTHING CHANGES IN AN
INSTANT WHEN THE PARENTS ARE
KILLED.
AND THIS BECOMES IN A WAY, THE
CENTRAL FACT OF THE LIVES OF THE
CHILDREN.
IS THIS A BOOK ABOUT DESTINY?

Mary Lawson says I'VE HAD A
NUMBER OF DIFFERENT OPINIONS
FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE READ THE
BOOK.

A caption reads "Mary Lawson, Crow Lake."

Mary continues QUITE A FEW FEEL THAT IT IS
ABOUT THE LOSS OF PARENTS AND
THE LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES OF
THAT LOSS.
TO ME IT IS A BOOK ABOUT A
PARTICULAR RELATIONSHIP, WCH
IS THAT BETWEEN THE NARRATOR,
KATE, IN THIS BOOK AND HER OLDER
BROTHER, AND HER
MISUNDERSTANDING OF WHAT HAPPENS
BETWEEN THE TWO OF THEM IN THAT
RELATIONSHIP.
SO NOT REALLY QUITE ABOUT
DESTINY, IT'S MORE ABOUT, I
THINK, OUR EXPECTATIONS OF EACH
OTHER, AND HERO WORSHIP, YOU
WOULD HAVE TO SAY.
IF THERE'S ONE CENTRAL THEME,
IT'S HERO WORSHIP, AND WHAT
HAPPENS WHEN THE HERO FAILS.

Tina Srebotnjak says WELL HERO
WORSHIP, KATE HAS A SEVERE CASE
OF HERO WORSHIP FOR HER OLDER
BROTHER MATT.

Mary Lawson says SHE DOES.

Tina Srebotnjak says SHE JUST
THINKS THE SUN, YOU KNOW, RISES
AND SETS ON THIS GUY.
AND HE'S THE BRIGHT ONE, HE'S
THE ONE THAT'S SUPPOSED TO GO TO
UNIVERSITY.

Mary Lawson says THAT'S RIGHT.

Tina Srebotnjak says HE'S ALWAYS
BEEN BRILLIANT.
HIS WHOLE LIFE HE'S BEEN MARKED
AS THE BRILLIANT ONE, AND THEN
HE DOESN'T GO TO UNIVERSITY, HE
DOES SOMETHING ELSE.
AND SHE TAKES THIS--
KATE TAKES THIS NOT JUST AS A
DISAPPOINTMENT, BUT ALMOST AS A
BETRAYAL.

Mary Lawson says EXACTLY.
SHE IS SO FOCUSSED ON THIS
BRILLIANT CAREER THAT MATT WAS
SUPPOSED TO HAVE, AND THAT SHE,
IN FACT HAS, THAT SHE CANNOT SEE
OUTSIDE OF THAT.
SHE CANNOT SEE THAT THERE ARE
OTHER WAYS OF HAVING A
SUCCESSFUL LIFE.

Tina Srebotnjak says EDUCATION,
THERE'S A KIND OF LOVE OF
EDUCATION THAT GOES THROUGH THE
BOOK...

Mary Lawson says YES.

Tina Srebotnjak says ... THAT'S
BEEN HANDED DOWN FROM THE GREAT
GRANDMOTHER.
AND THERE'S A WONDERFUL STORY,
WHICH I GATHER IS AT LEAST
PARTIALLY TRUE, BASED ON
SOMETHING IN YOUR OWN LIFE,
ABOUT A SPINNING WHEEL THAT THE
GREAT GRANDMOTHER HAS, AND A
BOOK REST ATTACHED TO IT.

Mary Lawson says THAT'S RIGHT

Tina Srebotnjak says CAN YOU TELL
ME THAT STORY?

Mary Lawson says WELL I START THE
BOOK WITH THAT.
MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER FASTENED A
BOOK REST TO HER SPINNING WHEEL
SO SHE COULD READ WHILE SHE WAS
SPINNING.
SHE WAS--
LIVED ON A FARM ON THE GASPE
PENINSULA.
SHE AND MY GRANDFATHER, OR GREAT
GRANDFATHER WERE SUBSISTENCE
FARMERS, AND THE LAND WAS VERY
POOR, AND THERE WAS NO TIME FOR
READING, FOR ANYTHING APART FROM
THE GRINDING LABOUR.
THERE WAS CERTAINLY NO ROMANCE
ABOUT THE LAND BACK THEN.
AND SHE WAS SO DESPERATE TO
READ, THAT SHE FASTENED THIS
LITTLE BOOK REST TO HER SPINNING
WHEEL.
MOSTLY I WOULD IMAGINE, IT WAS
THE BIBLE THAT SHE WOULD HAVE
READ, BUT ALSO SHE WAS INTENSELY
CURIOUS.
SO HER INFLUENCE, HER LOVE OF
EDUCATION AND HER FEELING THAT
IT WAS THE SALVATION, WAS QUITE
A POWERFUL THREAD IN OUR FAMILY.
AND I THINK IT IS WITHIN CANADA
AS A WHOLE, PROBABLY.
YOU KNOW, WE'RE AN IMMIGRANT
CULTURE, IT'S THE WAY UP.

Tina Srebotnjak says OH, IT'S
ABSOLUTELY AND EVERY PARENT
WANTS WHAT THEY DID NOT HAVE,
FOR THEIR OWN CHILD.

Mary Lawson says YES, THEY DO.

Tina Srebotnjak says AND THAT'S
THE GREAT PUSH FORWARD.
CROW LAKE IS ALSO A CHARACTER IN
THIS BOOK, AND IT'S IN NORTHERN
ONTARIO, I GATHER, BASED ON A
TOWN, ALTHOUGH YOU'RE FROM
SOUTHERN ONTARIO.

Mary Lawson says YES.

Tina Srebotnjak says BUT I GUESS
YOUR TOWN WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE
ISOLATED WHEN YOU WERE GROWING
UP THERE, IS THAT WHAT THE
CONNECTION IS?

Mary Lawson says YES, I GREW UP
IN A LITTLE FARMING COMMUNITY.
CROW LAKE ISN'T REALLY BASED ON
IT.
WHAT I HAVE USED IS THE FEELING
OF COMMUNITY THAT I FELT WHEN I
WAS A CHILD.
BUT IN FACT THE COMMUNITY THAT I
GREW UP IN WAS NOT AS SMALL AND
NOT AS ISOLATED, ALTHOUGH IT WAS
PRETTY REMOTE IN ITS TIME, BUT
IT WAS SOUTHERN ONTARIO.
I TRANSFERRED IT NORTH BECAUSE I
WANTED A FEELING OF ISOLATION
THAT YOU WOULD NOT GET IN THE
SOUTH NOW.
IN FACT I'M NOT ABSOLUTELY SURE
YOU'D GET IT FURTHER NORTH,
BECAUSE NOW, WITH TELEVISION,
NOBODY IS AS CUT OFF AS WE WERE
BACK THEN.

Tina Srebotnjak says BUT IT
REALLY CLICKED FOR YOU, BECAUSE
YOU'VE SPENT MORE THAN HALF YOUR
LIFE IN ENGLAND NOW, RIGHT?

Mary Lawson says UH-HUH.

Tina Srebotnjak says AND THE
OTHER THINGS THAT YOU'VE
WRITTEN, I THINK, WERE NOT BASED
IN CANADA.

Mary Lawson says NO, THAT'S
RIGHT.

Tina Srebotnjak says SO OBVIOUSLY
THERE WAS SOME CONNECTION THAT
WAS RIGHT HERE.

Mary Lawson says YES, I STARTED
OFF WRITING ABOUT LONDON PRESENT
DAY.
I DON'T KNOW WHY I ASSUMED THAT
THAT WAS WHAT I SHOULD DO.
WE'RE TALKING 20 YEARS AGO NOW.
I'VE BEEN WRITING FOR 20 YEARS.
AND I WROTE SHORT STORIES, AND
THEY DID FINE.
BUT THEY DIDN'T REALLY SET ME
ALIGHT, AND THEY DIDN'T SET THE
WORLD ALIGHT EITHER.
AND THEN I DECIDED THAT WHAT I
REALLY WANTED TO DO WAS WRITE A
NOVEL.
SO I SPENT 5 YEARS WRITING A
NOVEL THAT DIDN'T WORK.
AND IT TOOK ME A COUPLE OF YEARS
TO ACCEPT THAT IT WASN'T EVER
GOING TO WORK.
I THINK IT WAS THE COMEDIAN
STEVE BARTON WHO SAID, "IF
YOU'RE GOING TO TELL A STORY,
IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE A
POINT."
[ laughing ]

Tina Srebotnjak says AND YOU'D
FORGOTTEN THAT PART?

Mary Lawson says I NOW REALIZE
THAT WHAT I WAS LACKING WAS A
POINT.
I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT I WAS TRYING
TO SAY.

Tina Srebotnjak says AND DID YOU
REALLY RIP IT UP?

Mary Lawson says I REALLY RIPPED
IT UP.

Tina Srebotnjak says YOU ARE A
BRAVE WOMAN.

Mary Lawson says WELL, NO, NO,
JUST THE CONTRARY.
IF YOU'VE WRITTEN SOMETHING THAT
ISN'T GOOD, YOU DON'T WANT IT
PUBLISHED.
AND SO I RIPPED IT UP.
AND I NEARLY GAVE UP WRITING,
BECAUSE I THOUGHT, "YOU HAVE
DEVOTED ENOUGH TIME TO WASTING
TIME BASICALLY TO DOING
SOMETHING THAT IS GOING NOWHERE.
AND THEN I WROTE A SHORT STORY
ABOUT A LITTLE GIRL WHO HERO-
WORSHIPPED HER BROTHER.
AND THAT STORY DID EXTREMELY
WELL.
PARTLY, I THINK, BECAUSE OF THE
LANDSCAPE.
PARTLY, I THING, BECAUSE I WROTE
WITH MORE AUTHORITY ABOUT THE
AREA THAT I KNEW BEST, REALLY.
AND I THINK YOU KNOW BEST THE
AREA WHERE YOU GREW UP IN.
I THINK YOU'RE RECEPTIVE, AS A
CHILD, IN A WAY THAT YOU AREN'T
LATER.

Tina Srebotnjak says AND I LOVE--
EVERYTHING I'VE READ ABOUT YOU
IN YOUR REVIEWS HAVE BEEN
WONDERFUL, CONGRATULATIONS.

Mary Lawson says OH, THANK YOU.

Tina Srebotnjak says BUT
EVERYTHING I'VE READ ABOUT YOU
TELLS-- YOU KNOW, SAYS, OH,
SHE'S 55, AND AN "OVERNIGHT
SENSATION."
[ laughing ]
AFTER HAVING WRITTEN, OF COURSE,
FOR 2 DECADES.

Mary Lawson says YES.

Tina Srebotnjak says BUT THE
STORY OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT BEING
REJECTED...

Mary Lawson says YES.

Tina Srebotnjak says ... WELL IN
RETROSPECT, MUST SEEM WONDERFUL
TO YOU.
CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED?

Mary Lawson says IT WAS VERY
PAINFUL AT THE TIME.

Tina Srebotnjak says I BET.

Mary Lawson says IN FACT, I DON'T
THINK IT SEEMS WONDERFUL EVEN
NOW.

Tina Srebotnjak says EVEN NOW.

Mary Lawson says YEAH, THE SOUND
OF A REJECTED MANUSCRIPT COMING
THROUGH YOUR LETTERBOX IS
UNIQUELY TERRIBLE, JUST "THUD."
NOTHING ELSE SOUNDS LIKE A
MANUSCRIPT.
AND IT WAS ONLY BECAUSE I HAD A
LOT OF ENCOURAGEMENT FROM MY
FRIENDS AND MY FAMILY THAT I
KEPT ON SENDING IT OUT.
BUT IT WAS OUT FOR--
IT RECEIVED REJECTIONS FOR 2
YEARS, RATHER MORE THAN 2 YEARS
IN FACT, BEFORE IT WAS FINALLY
PICKED UP, AND THEN IT WENT,
BOOM.
I MEAN IT WAS JUST FROM FAILURE
TO SUCCESS ALMOST OVERNIGHT,
WELL, ALMOST LITERALLY
OVERNIGHT.
IT WAS REMARKABLE.

Tina Srebotnjak says SO THEN HOW
DID YOU REACT TO THIS CHANGE?
YOU KNOW, ONE MINUTE NOBODY
WANTED TO TALK TO YOU, THE NEXT
MINUTE, PEOPLE ARE BEGGING YOU,
PLEASE, PLEASE COME AND UH...

Mary Lawson says YES.

Tina Srebotnjak says ... AND TALK
TO US, AND YOUR BOOK IS
PUBLISHED IN WHAT, 13 COUNTRIES
WAS IT?

Mary Lawson says 14 AS OF LAST
WEEK.

Tina Srebotnjak says 14.

Mary Lawson says YES, THAT'S
RIGHT.
UM, NORWAY WAS THE LAST TO COME
ON BOARD, AND BULGARIA BEFORE
THAT.
I WAS SCEPTICAL AND INCREDULOUS
WHEN I WENT TO SEE THE AGENT WHO
FINALLY SAID, "PLEASE, WOULD YOU
COME AND TALK ABOUT THIS."
SHE SAID SHE WOULD LIKE TO
REPRESENT ME, AND I SAID, "DO
YOU THINK YOU'LL BE ABLE TO SELL
IT?"
AND SHE SAID, "I WOULD BE
ASTONISHED IF I HAD ANY
DIFFICULTY SELLING IT."
WELL, JUST A FORTNIGHT BEFORE
THAT, I HAD HAD A VERY NICE
REJECTION LETTER FROM A VERY
SINCERE WOMAN WHO HAD READ THE
BOOK AND SAID IT WAS VERY WELL
WRITTEN, BUT THAT IN THE CURRENT
STATE OF THE COMMERCIAL
PUBLISHING MARKET, NO PUBLISHER
WOULD TOUCH THIS BOOK.

Tina Srebotnjak says AND WHAT DO
YOU SUPPOSE SHE MEANT BY THAT?
WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOUR STORY
THAT IT WOULDN'T HAVE SOLD IN
THE CURRENT STATE, WHATEVER THAT
IS.

Mary Lawson says WELL I GUESS SHE
WANTED SOMETHING MORE
CONTEMPORARY.
I GUESS IT JUST DIDN'T APPEAL TO
HER.
ONE THING IT DID SHOW ME WAS
THAT WHAT MAKES A GOOD BOOK IS A
MATTER OF OPINION.
YOU KNOW, THERE WILL BE PEOPLE
WHO THINK IT IS GOOD, AND OTHER
PEOPLE WITH EQUALLY GOOD
CREDENTIALS WHO THINK IT IS NOT,
AND THERE IS REALLY NO ARGUING
WITH IT, THEY LIKE IT OR THEY
DON'T.
AND I HIT IT UNLUCKY FOR YEARS
AND THEN SUDDENLY HIT IT LUCKY,
AND IT HAS BEEN SO WONDERFUL.

Tina Srebotnjak says WHAT A RIDE.

Mary Lawson says YES, IT'S BEEN A
MARVELLOUS RIDE.

Tina Srebotnjak says I BET.

Mary Lawson says PARTICULARLY THE
FACT THAT IT HAS BEEN TAKEN ON
IN CANADA IN SUCH A BIG WAY.
THAT HAS BEEN--
THAT HAS MEANT SO MUCH TO ME,
BECAUSE IT WAS WRITTEN OUT OF, I
GUESS YOU COULD SAY 34 YEARSF
HOMESICKNESS.
IT WAS--
IT DID MEAN A LOT TO ME, AND I
WAS PARTICULARLY ANXIOUS.
I KNEW THAT CANADIANS WOULD KNOW
IF IT RANG TRUE.
NOBODY ELSE WOULD KNOW IF I'D
REALLY GOT IT RIGHT.
SO I WAS APPREHENSIVE ABOUT ITS
RECEPTION HERE, AND I AM SO
THRILLED.
I AM REALLY THRILLED.

The clip ends.

The book stands on a table and the white cover features a faded black and white photo of a foggy lake with a title that reads "Crow Lake."

Tina Srebotnjak says "CROW LAKE,"
BY MARY LAWSON IS PUBLISHED BY
KNOPF CANADA.

Back in the studio, Tina Srebotnjak says IF THERE'S A LITTLE BOY IN YOUR
FAMILY WHO WON'T SIT STILL LONG
ENOUGH TO READ A BOOK, TAKE
HEART, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
STATISTICS SHOW THAT BOYS TAKE
TO READING MUCH MORE RELUCTANTLY
THAN GIRLS DO.
INSTEAD OF TEARING HER HAIR OUT
IN FRUSTRATION, ONE SCARBOROUGH
TEACHER HAS FOUND A WAY TO GET
HER STUDENTS EXCITED ABOUT
BOOKS.
SHE STARTED, "GUYS READ," AN
AFTER SCHOOL BOOK CLUB FOR BOYS
ONLY.

An elementary school appears on screen with a name that reads "David Lewis Public School."

Vangie Kalanderopoulos appears on school in front of a small classroom of boys under 10 years old.

Vangie is in her thirties, has shoulder-length reddish hair and wear a navy blue blazer and thin necklace.

Vangie says WHEN
I THOUGHT ABOUT PUTTING TOGETHER
A BOYS' BOOK CLUB, I REALLY PUT
FORETHOUGHT INTO IT, BECAUSE
WHAT MY OBJECTIVE WAS, WAS TO
GET BOYS WHO WERE FOR THE MAIN
PART, RELUCTANT READERS TO JOIN.

A caption reads "Vangie Kalanderopoulos, Teacher and Book Club Founder."

Vangie continues SO I KNEW I HAD TO MAKE THIS
INVITING, DEFINITELY NON
THREATENING, AND I MADE IT CLEAR
THAT THIS WAS GOING TO BE A CLUB
FOR ENJOYING READING.
IT WASN'T GOING TO BE ABOUT
LEARNING HOW TO READ.

Vangie Kalanderopoulos speaks to the amused boys sitting on the floor and says AND
HERE'S SOMETHING ELSE THAT I
FOUND.
IT'S CALLED, "RICKY RICCOTTA'S
GIANT ROBOT" AND IT'S WRITTEN BY
DAVE PILKEY.
WHAT OTHER BOOKS DO YOU KNOW
THAT ARE WRITTEN BY HIM, DO YOU
KNOW?
TONY?

Tony raises his hand and says "CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS"?

Vangie Kalanderopoulos says GOOD
OLD CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS.
AND I KNOW YOU ENJOY READING
THOSE BOOKS.
WELL "GIANT ROBOT VS. THE VOODOO
VULTURES FROM VENUS" IS
OBVIOUSLY A HUMOUROUS BOOK.

A boy with short, brown, middle parted, gelled hair, and wearing a blue jersey says I LIKE ADVENTURE AND
ACTION, AND MYSTERY.

A boy with short, shaved, black hair, and a striped shirt says ADVENTURE BOOKS,
HUMOROUS BOOKS, AND MYSTERY
BOOKS.

A boy with short, brown, shaved hair, and a white collared shirt says MYSTERY AND ADVENTURE
AND ACTION.

A boy with short, shaved black hair and a pink T-shirt says I LIKE MYSTERY BOOKS
BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT'S
GOING TO HAPPEN.

Paul Kropp appears on screen. He is in his forties, has short, shaved, balding gray hair with a gray stubble, and wears a blue collared shirt.

Paul says WELL THERE IS
THIS GENERAL PERCEPTION THAT
BOYS READ LESS THAN GIRLS, AND
THAT'S NOT MADE UP, THAT'S JUST
THE TRUTH.

A caption reads "Paul Kropp,, Writer and Reading Advocate."

Paul continues BOYS, IF YOU COUNT THE PHYSICAL
QUANTITY OF BOOKS, THE AVERAGE
BOY READS LESS THAN THE AVERAGE
GIRL.
AND THAT PROBABLY BEGINS THE WAY
MOST OF THESE PHENOMENA BEGIN,
AT GRADE 3 OR GRADE 4, AND THAT
CONTINUES RIGHT ON THROUGH.
IF YOU LOOK AT THOSE PROVINCIAL
ACHIEVEMENT THINGS WE HAVE HERE
IN ONTARIO, WHAT WE FIND IS THAT
THE BOYS ARE JUST NOT ACHIEVING
AT THE SAME LEVEL AS THE GIRLS
JUST IN TERMS OF MEETING THE
BASIC PROVINCIAL REQUIREMENTS IN
GRADE 3 AND GRADE 6, WE FIND THE
NUMBERS OF BOYS ARE DOWN
SIGNIFICANTLY.
I WENT OUT TO A GRADE 3
CLASSROOM, AND I SAID, "OKAY,
THESE ARE THE STATISTICS, BOYS
ARE NOT READING AS WELL IN
ONTARIO.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE PROBLEM
IS?
AND THE NUMBER ONE THING THE
BOYS SAID WAS, "WE CAN'T FIND
BOOKS WE LIKE TO READ."
AND THAT'S BECAUSE THOSE BOOKS
ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN THE
SCHOOLS.
WHAT DO THE BOYS WANT TO READ?
AND THEY WANT TO READ A LOT OF
SCHLOCK.
THEY WANT TO READ ABOUT POKEMAN,
THEY WANT TO READ ABOUT CARD
COLLECTING, THEY WANT BASEBALL
STATISTICS.
THEY WANT THE REAL DUMB BOOKS
THAT WOULD KEEP THEM READING,
BUT WE WON'T PROVIDE THEM IN THE
SCHOOLS.
INSTEAD WE GIVE THEM BOOKS THAT
WE THINK THEY OUGHT TO READ.

Back in the classroom, Vangie Kalanderopoulos says SO
WHO ELSE READ A REALLY GOOD
BOOK.
TONY?

Tony has short black hair and wears a black T-shirt and says UM, "THE SIMPSONS COME
TO THE ROYALE."

Vangie Kalanderopoulos says THE
SIMPSONS.

Tony says IT WAS WRITTEN BY MATT
GROENING, AND I LIKE IT BECAUSE
IT'S VERY HUMOUROUS, AND IT'S
ALSO IN THE GRAPHIC KIND.

Vangie Kalanderopoulos says I
DON'T THINK YOU SHOULD WORRY IF
IT IS GREAT LITERATURE.
I THINK THE KEY IS, IF YOU HAVE
A RELUCTANT READER, IS JUST GET
THEM READING.
SO EVEN IF IT'S IN THE FORM OF A
MAGAZINE OR A COMIC BOOK,
READING IS READING.

The boy with the striped shirt says THIS BOOK IS
"FIREWING," READ IT.

The boy with the blue jersey says WHY DON'T YOU READ IT,
IT'S YOUR BOOK.

Paul Kropp says WE ARE MEN, AND
ONE OF OUR PROBLEMS IS WHAT
TESTOSTERONE DOES TO US.
AND TESTOSTERONE CUTS YOUR
CONCENTRATION, MAKES BOYS LOOK
ANTSY EVEN IF THAT'S JUST A
NORMAL BEHAVIOUR.
YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU SEE KIDS
READING IN A LIBRARY, THE BOYS
ARE WIGGLING ON THE FLOOR AND
THE GIRLS ARE SITTING THERE
PAYING ATTENTION.
AND THE TEACHER IS SAYING, HMM,
THE BOYS ARE NOT PAYING
ATTENTION.
BUT THEY ARE, THEY'RE JUST
PAYING ATTENTION IN A DIFFERENT
WAY, AND OF COURSE WE HAVEN'T
ACCEPTED THAT, BUT THAT'S
TESTOSTERONE.

Vangie Kalanderopoulos says I WAS
BROWSING THE INTERNET, AND I
FOUND JOHN SCIESZKA WHO IS A
VERY WELL KNOWN CHILDREN'S
AUTHOR, HAS A WEBSITE CALLED,
"GUYS READ."
AND ON HIS WEBSITE, HE DISCUSSES
THE IMPORTANCE OF SPARKING AN
INTEREST IN LIFE LONG READING
FOR BOYS.
AND HE ALSO IS STARTING A
PROGRAM CALLED, "GUYS READ," AND
I KNOW THAT HE ALSO FEELS THAT
BOYS DON'T READ ENOUGH AND WE'VE
GOT TO GET THEM READING MORE.
AND SO I LIKED THAT CATCHY
TITLE, "GUYS READ," AND I
THOUGHT THAT WOULD MAKE A GREAT
NAME FOR A BOOK CLUB, SO THAT'S
HOW I STARTED MY OWN BOOK CLUB
NAME, IT'S CALLED THE GUYS READ
BOOK CLUB.

The boy in the blue jersey says I FIND THAT I'M
READING MORE IN THE BOYS BOOK
CLUB, BECAUSE I USED TO READ
CHAPTER BOOKS AND NOW I'M COMING
UP TO BIG HUGE CHAPTER BOOKS.

The boy in the pink T-shirt says I LIKE BEING IN THE
BOOK CLUB BECAUSE I LIKE TO
READ, AND LIKE, I WANT TO FIND,
LIKE MORE GOOD BOOKS.

A boy in a short black hair with a white collared shirt says I'M READING MORE THAN
I USUALLY DO, BECAUSE I JOINED
THE BOOK CLUB.
BUT BEFORE I JOINED THE CLUB, I
READ QUITE A BIT ALREADY.

Paul Kropp says IF WE THINK ABOUT
IT.
IF WE THINK ABOUT GIVING BOYS
THE BOOKS THEY WANT TO READ,
ABOUT VALUING THE DISCUSSION
THAT THEY WANT TO DO, ABOUT
PROVIDING ACTIVITIES THAT THEY
WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN, WE CAN
CLOSE THAT BOY-GIRL GAP IN
READING, NOT WITH TREMENDOUS
AMOUNTS OF MONEY, NOT WITH A BIG
PROGRAM, BUT BY THINKING ABOUT
IT, AND SLOWLY CHANGING
PROCEDURES IN THE CLASSROOM.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Tina Srebotnjak says THAT'S A
WRAP FOR THIS EDITION OF
"IMPRINT" ENCORES.
WE LEAVE YOU TONIGHT WITH OUR
RECOMMENDED READING FEATURE.
TONIGHT'S PICKS COME FROM THE
STAFF AND STUDENTS OF THE
TORONTO SCHOOL OF ART.
GOODNIGHT.
[ (music plays) ]

A slate appears with a title that reads "Recommended Reading from Toronto School of Art."

Clips of people designing bulletin board appear on screen.

Jamie MacRae is in his thirties, has short gray hair, is clean-shaven, and wears a black shirt. Jamie says THE BOOK I
RECOMMEND IS A FINE BALANCE.

A caption reads "A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry."

Jamie continues AND IT'S AN INCREDIBLE TALE OF
THE CASTE SYSTEM IN INDIA, AND
JUST THE AMAZING TRAGEDIES THAT
ARE TAKING PLACE DURING THAT
TIME PERIOD.
I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN, AND THEN
I READ REALLY LATE INTO THE
NIGHT, AND IT WAS ONE OF THE
BEST BOOKS I'VE READ RECENTLY,
SO... MY RECOMMENDATION.

Erinn Thompson is in her thirties, has short, blond, feathery hair, and wears a black tank top.

Erinn says I'M CURRENTLY
READING "POSSESSION" BY A.S. BYATT.
WHICH I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
THE REASON I'M READING IT IS
BECAUSE THE FILM'S COMING OUT IN
A LITTLE BIT, AND I ENJOY BOTH
READING AND GOING TO SEE FILMS,
SO I LIKE TO SORT OF GET THE LEG
UP AND READ THE BOOKS BEFORE THE
FILM COMES OUT, AND BASE MY OWN
OPINION.

Heidi Kellet is in her thirties, has short, straight, black hair with short bangs, and wears a black dress.

Heidi says WELL, I RECOMMEND, AN HISTORIC NOVEL,
"MARY QUEEN OF SCOTLAND AND THE ISLES" BY
MARGARET GEORGE.
I RECOMMEND THIS NOVEL BECAUSE
IT HAS AN IMPRESSIVE
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND THERE ARE A
COUPLE OF MADE UP CHARACTERS BUT
NONETHELESS IT'S PRETTY MUCH
RIGHT ON THE MARK.
SO IF YOU WANT SOME GOOD
HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE, THEN
THAT'S WHAT I SUGGEST.
AND YOU MIGHT EVEN CRY A LITTLE
BIT, BECAUSE I HAVE.

Loratta Fyvie is in her forties, has short gray hair, and wears a brown v-neck.

Loratta says OKAY, THE NAME
OF THE BOOK IS "BEE SEASON."
BY MYLA GOLDBERG.
AND IT'S A RATHER HARROWING TALE
OF A VERY DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY
BUT WITH A DIFFERENT TAKE.
NOT THE STANDARD DYSFUNCTIONAL,
SORT OF A SPIRITUALLY
DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY.
AND IT WAS RECOMMENDED TO ME BY
A TEACHER.
IT WAS DIFFICULT TO READ, BUT
WORTH IT.
Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special thanks Bistro 990, Le Royal Meridien King Edward Hotel, David Lewis Public School, Bonnie Clarke, Karen Peach.

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 2002, The Ontario

Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 14 episode 1