Transcript: Imprint season 14 episode 15 | Jan 15, 2003

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 striped black and gray jacket over a black turtleneck sweater.

Tina says HELLO THERE, TIME TO HIT
THE BOOKS WITH ANOTHER
EDITION OF "IMPRINT."

A woman buys a book at a bookstore.

Tina says TONIGHT, THE NEW YEAR IN
PUBLISHING.
THE REPORT CARD IN DOLLARS
AND CENTS IN THE CANADIAN
BOOK BIZ.
WHY WRITER GAIL ANDERSON- DARGATZ PROPOSED TO HER
HUSBAND
DRESSES AS A COW!

At an interview, Gail says HE NEVER LOOKED AT
ANOTHER WOMAN EVER BUT WOULD
NEARLY DRIVE OFF THE ROAD
AT THE
MOMENT HE SAW A NICE LOOK
HERD OF COWS.
AND THIS WAS KNOWN
THROUGHOUT OUR FRIENDS AND
HE GOT RIBED A LOT FOR THIS.
I THOUGHT I BETTER COMPETE
WITH MY COMPETITION SO I
RENTED A COW SUIT.
ASKED HIM TO MARRY ME.

Tina says AND OUR PARIS.
SKETCHS FROM MEMORY ATRIBUTE
TO A DYING LOVER AND THE
CITY OF LIGHTS FROM WRITER
EDMUND WHITE.

An old clip shows the city of Paris.

Edmund says I THINK ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT MAKES DYING AND
DEATH ESPECIALLY POIGNANT IN
PARIS IS THE CITY ITSELF IS
ETERNAL.
YOU CAN FEEL THE HEART OF
PARIS HASN'T CHANGED SINCE
THE MID 19th CENTURY.

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
WELL A NEW YEAR ATURN OF
THE PAGE IN THE BOOK
BUSINESS.
2002 WITH A ROCKY TIME IN
CANADIAN PUBLISHING.
STARTER, A MAIN PUBLISHER, WENT BANKRUPT AND
RETAIL INDIGO TOOK SERIOUS
HITS FROM THE COMPETITION.
WILL THE INDUSTRY FARE ANY
BETTER IN 2003?
HERE TO UPDATE US ON THE
HEALTH OF THE PUBLISHING
BUSINESS ARE EDITOR
SCOTT ANDERSON AND SANDRA
MARTIN.
SCOTT SO I JUST SAID IT WAS
A DISMAL YEAR IN 2002.
WAS IT?

Scott and Sandra sit in front of Tina.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Scott Anderson. Quill and Quire." He’s in his late thirties, with short brown hair.

Scott says IT WAS A TERRIBLE YEAR IF
YOU WERE ONE OF THE CANADIAN
PRESSES DISTRIBUTED BY GENERAL, BUT
OVERALL, IT WAS A FINE YEAR,
NO PROBLEMS, SELLS WERE GOOD
AND FOR CANADIAN AUTHORS IT
WAS A FANTASTIC YEAR,
UNPRECEDENTED IN TERMS OF
INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM WITH
THE THREE AUTHORS
BEING NOMINATED FOR PRIZE.
TWO AUTHORS WERE
SELECTED FOR THE OPRAH BOOK
CLUB WHICH WAS FANTASTIC.

Tina says AND THE WAY THOSE
CANADIAN NOVELS JUST KILLED
THAT WHOLE THING, YEAH.

Scott says AND FOR READERS I THINK
THERE IS A GREAT SELECTION
OF BOOKS THIS YEAR SO,
DEPENDS WHO YOU ASK.

Tina says EXACTLY, LET'S LOOK AT
THE BUSINESS SIDE I
MENTIONED STODDARD.
WHAT HAPPENED THERE?

The caption changes to "Sandra Martin. The Globe and the Mail." Sandra is in her fifties, with light blue short hair.

Sandra says IN MANY WAYS IT WAS THE
THUD OF THE OTHER SHOE
DROPING FROM THE EXPANSION
OF CHAPTERS A FEW YEARS AGO
WITH ALL THOSE SUPER STORES
ALL THOSE SHELVES TO FILL
WITH BOOKS AND THERE WAS
JACK WHICH WAS ONE SIDE OF
HIS PUBLISHING EMPIRE EAGER
TO FILL THOSE SHELVES WITH
BOOKS OF CANADIAN
PUBLISHERS.
SO EVERYBODY STARTED
PUBLISHING TOO MANY BOOKS.
HE STARTED VERY GENEROUS
CONTRACTS.
SMALL PUBLISHERS AND TO GET
THOSE BOOKS OUT.
AND IT ALL CAME AWRY WHEN
CHAPERS HAD TO CONSTRICT ITS
BOOK SELLING AND STODDARD
HAD ALL THESE BOOKS COMING
BACK WHICH THE RESULT WAS HE
WENT BANKRUPT AND HERE ALL
THESE LITTLE PUBLISHING
COMPANIES LOOKING FOR NEW
DISTRIBUTERS.
THAT'S THE BUSINESS SIDE.
AND FOR PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO
ARE WRITING, IT WAS REALLY A
PROBLEM OF LOST
OPPORTUNITIES.
THEY DIDN'T GET THEIR BOOKS
OUT.
THEY DIDN'T GET THEM TO
READERS.
FOR READERS THEY COULDN'T
FIND BOOKS THEY WANTED ON
THE BOOK SHELVES.

Tina says THAT HAPPENED TO ME A
COUPLE OF TIMES.
STUCK SOMEWHERE IN A
PIPELINE.

Sandra says I MEAN, ONE EXAMPLE WOULD
BE THE TWO BOOKS NOMINATED
FOR THE GRIFFIN, CHRISTIAN
BOOK, HIS BOOK WAS A BIG
SELLER BE COULDN'T GET THE
BOOK OUT OF THE WAREHOUSE
INTO THE BOOKSTORES.
THE SAME WITH KAREN SAULLY
FROM A SMALL PUBLISHER,
BRICK.
BUT THIS TERMS OF OVERALL
STATE OF PUBLISHING I THINK
SCOTT IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT
THAT THERE WERE A LOT OF
GREAT BOOKS THAT WERE
PUBLISHED IN THE YEAR AND
CERTAINLY CANADIAN BOOKS ARE
REACHING GREAT READERS
OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY, GREAT
ACCLAIM OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY.

Tina says NOW TO GET BACK TO THE
BUSINESS THING FOR A MINUTE
THOUGH, INDIGO YOU MENTIONED
CHAPTERS, INDIGO TOOK OVER
CHAPERS AND HAS HAD A PRETTY
DAUNTING YEAR TRYING TO MAKE
A GO OF IT.

Scott says INDIGO IS A SECOND YEAR
OF A THREE-YEAR WHAT HEATHER
HAS CALLED A THREE-YEAR
TURNAROUND.
THEY'RE FACING A LOT OF KPE
FRITION THE BIG BOX
DISCOUNTERS LIKE WAL-MART
AND COSTCO OFFERING READERS
A LIMITED SELECTION OF BOOKS
BUT REALLY DISCOUNTED PRICES
AND AT THE OTHER END FROM
INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES WHO
HAVE REALLY WRAPPED UP THEIR
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND
OFFERING MUCH MORE
PERSONALIZED YOU WALK INTO
THE STORE, SOMEONE KNOWS YOU,
THEY CAN RECOMMEND A BOOK.
WHICH INDIGO WILL NEVER BE
ABLE TO OFFER.
SO I THINK THEY'RE CAUGHT
BETWEEN THESE TWO SIDES.
THEY'RE ALSO REALLY INVOLVED
IN REVAMPING THEIR SYSTEMS
SO, YOU KNOW THE DATABASES
AND GETTING THE BOOKS FROM
PUBLISHERS TO THE SHELVES.
THE BORING STUFF THAT GOES
ON BEHIND THE SCENES BUT
IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR A
STORE THE SIZE OF INDIGO TO
BE ABLE TO BE PROFITABLE AND
THEY'RE NOT YET.
THEY HAD A HUGE LOSS LAST
YEAR AND THEY WILL PROBABLY
BE LUCKY IF THEY BREAK EVEN
THIS YEAR.

Tina says I READ THAT THEY HAD
ACTUALLY EXPANDED.
HERE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE
DOWNSIZING.
TRYING TO THOSE THESE STORES
AND OPENED UP A FEW MORE
STORES?

Sandra says THEY CAN'T SELL THE ONES
THEY CLOSED DOWN SO THERE IS
A REAL PROBLEM THERE.
BUT THEY'RE COMPETING WITH
AMAZON.CA FOR THE ON-LINE
BUSINESS AND THAT STRIKE
MESS AS A VERY RISKY THING
TO DO BECAUSE AMAZON.CA
DOESN'T HAVE ANY OF THE
OVERHEAD.
THAT INDIGO HAS AND AMAZON
IS OFFERING 40 percent DISCOUNTS
AND SO, INDIGO IS TRYING TO
MATCH THEM.
SO INDIGO IS REALLY FACING A
LOT OF COMPETITION, NOW I
THINK COMPETITION IS VERY
GOOD FOR THEM.
I THINK THAT'S GREAT BECAUSE
THEY ARE THE MAJOR
BOOKSELLER IN THE COUNTRY.

Tina says YOU LIKE AMAZON.CA RIGHT?

Sandra says I DON'T DISLIKE IT.
I MEAN I LIKE IT.

Tina says I MEAN PERSONALLY AS A
SERVICE, DOES IT WORK?
IS IT A GOOD THING?
YOUR BOOKS COME WHEN THEY'RE
SUPPOSED TO COME?

Scott says I THINK THEY DO.
I THINK THEY'RE VERY GOOD AT
WHAT THEY DO, AND I THINK
IT'S BEEN HUGELY BENEFICIAL
FOR CANADIAN BOOK BUYERS
BECAUSE BEFORE AMAZON CAME
IN THE SHIPPING COSTS WHAT
YOU PAID FOR SHIPPING FROM
INDIGO WAS MUCH HIGHER THAN
IT IS NOW AND THEY'RE
OFFERING FAR FEWER DISCOUNTS
ON BOOKS.
SO, AMAZON CAME IN OFFERED
IMMEDIATELY 340 percent OFF AND
INDY GO HAD TO MATCH THAT
AND THEY DID AND I THINK I
WAS SURPRISED BECAUSE I HAD
WRITTEN OFF INDY DO OFFLINE.

Sandra says BUT STILL NOT A HUGE PART
OF THE BUSINESS.
I MEAN THE REAL BUSINESS OF
SELLING BOOKS IS YOU GOING
IN TO A BOOKSTORE AND BUYING.

Tina says I GATHER IT'S JUST A WAY,
THEY JUST USE IT
TO GET PEOPLE TO THE BOOKSTORE, DON'T ACTUALLY MAKE
MONEY DOING IT.

Scott says NO THEY DON'T MAKE MONEY
BUT I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF
HOPE THAT THIS MARKET WILL
BECOME BIGGER THAN IT IS
NOW.
AND THE YOU DON'T HAVE A
STORE IN A COMMUNITY, HOW DO
YOU REACH THOSE BOOK BUYERS?
ON-LINE.

Tina says WHAT DOES INDIGO NEED TO
DO IN THE FUTURE TO MAKE
ITSELF MORE COMPETITIVE?

Scott says THEY NEED TO GET THESE
SYSTEMS UP AND RUNNING SMOOTHLY,
THEY HAVE A PROBLEM NOW.
THE CHAPERS AND THE INDIGO
STORES AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT
THEY THINK THE DIFFERENCE IS
BETWEEN THE TWO STORES AND I
THINK THEY'VE BEEN TRYING TO
MAKE THE CHAPTER STORES MORE
INTO INDIGO STORES.
THEY OBVIOUS LY NEED TO OFFER
A SMALLER
RANGE OF TITLES THAT SELL
WELL.

Sandra says HOW ABOUT CANDLES?

Sandra laughs.

Scott says I THINK THEY HAVE TO SELL
THE CANDLES BECAUSE THEY'RE
PROBABLY HIGHER MARKUPS THAN
THE BOOKS.

Tina says I LIKE THE CANDLES.
BUT I MAY BE IN A MINORITY.
LET'S TALK ABOUT CHRISTMAS
SEASON, THE BIG BOOK BUYING
SEASON.
WAS IT A GOOD YEAR?

Sandra says IT WAS A VERY FLAT YEAR,
GENERALLY SPEAKING IN THE
RETAIL MARKET AND BOOKS WERE
NO EXCEPTION.
BOOKS THAT DID WELL, LIFE OF
PIE IS AN OLD BOOK FOR
CANADIANS.
NOMINATED FOR THE GOVERNOR
GENERAL'S AWARD A YEAR AGO
AND I THINK IT'S BECAUSE IT
HAD WON THE BESHG AND CAME
OUT AND ALMOST LIKE A NEW
BOOK BECAUSE NOT THAT MANY
PEOPLE CAUGHT IT IN HARD
COVER SO I THINK THAT WAS A
GOOD SELLER.
OTHER BOOKS THAT WERE GOOD
SELLERS WERE MARGARET
McMILLEN'S BOOKS, PARIS 1990,
WON HUGE PRIZES AN FINALLY
ABLE TO CANADIAN READERS
THROUGH AN AMERICAN, IT WAS
DISTRIBUTED BY RANDOM HOUSE
U.S. IN CANADA.
THE BOOKS THE JURORS FORGOT
ABOUT.
"THE LAST CROSSING" A
WONDERFUL NOVEL.
CAROL SHIELDS "UNLESS" WAS A
BIG SELLER BUT THESE ARE NOT
BOOKS THAT WON PRIZES.

Tina says ANY SURPRISE HITS OR
MISSES FOR YOU, SCOTT.

Scott says I THOUGHT IT WAS
INTERESTING THERE WERE A
COUPLE OF SURPRISE MISSES.
NEW STEPHEN KING DID NOT DO
WELL.
AND THERE'S A FEELING I
THINK IN THE INDUSTRY AT
LEAST THAT MAYBE THESE BOOKS,
WELL ,TWO THINGS, MAYBE THEY'VE
BECOME TOO HIGHLY PRICED.
YOU KNOW.

Tina says YEAH, 40 BUCKS IS A LOT.

Scott continues WHEN THEY KNOW IT'S GOING
TO COME OUT IN 12 DOLLAR EDITION
IN THE NEXT YEAR AND THE
FEELING THAT READERS, THE
SMALL GROUP OF READERS ARE
LEFT, WANT SOMETHING A
LITTLE DIFFERENT.
THEY'RE NOT LOOKING FOR THE
A FORMULAIC TYPE READ.
THEY'RE LOOKING FOR
SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
YOU LOOK AT "LOVELY BONES."
THAT HAS DONE PHENOMENALLY
WELL WITH A VERY UNUSUAL
STORY GIVES CREDENCE TO THAT
THEORY THAT PEOPLE ARE LOOK
FOR A DIFFERENT VOICE.

Tina says OKAY, QUICKLY LOOKING
AHEAD TO 2003, THE YEAR THAT
WE'RE IN, WHAT DO YOU SEE
HERE.

Scott says WHAT DO I SEE?

Tina says THERE'S GOT TO BE A
CRYSTAL BALL THERE SCOTT.

He laughs and says WE HAVE A NEW MARGARITE
ATWOOD IN THE NEW
YEAR COME BACK TO HER
SCIENCE FICTION STYLE.
IT'S A NEW BOOK COMING FROM
DAVID ALLAN RICHARDS WHO WON
THE PRIZE AND McDONALD, HER
SECOND AFTER THE HUGE
SUCCESS OF "FALL ON YOUR
KNEES."
JUDGING BY THE
NAMES, IT COULD BE A GOOD
YEAR.

Sandra says A NEW NOVEL FROM BARBARA
GAUDY.
ESPECIALLY IN THE INDUSTRY
ITSELF I THINK IT'S GOING TO
BE A TIME FOR THE CANADIAN
PUBLISHERS TO CONSOLIDATE
TO.
FORGE NEW PARTNERSHIPS AN
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S
REALLY A PROBLEM, IT'S NOT
WITH STODDARD DID REALLY
WELL.
SHIPPED THEM ON ONE INVOICE
WHEREAS NOW BOOK SELLERS
ARE GOING TO HAVE TO GO
BACK TO CALLING INDIVIDUALLY
PUBLISHERS TO GET THE BOOKS
SO ALL OF THAT HAS SLOWED
DOWN QUITE A BIT BUT
CONSOLIDATION I WOULD SAY.

Scott says AND RECOVERY.

Tina says HOW CHEERY IS THAT.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING
IN.

Sandra says THANK YOU.

Now an animated book sitting on a table opens to reveal a book cover, followed by a clip of the streets of Paris.

Tina says UP NEXT, A NEW NOVEL FROM
TWO-TIME GELLER NOMINEE GAIL
ANDERSON.
AND LATER, A LOVELY
POSTCARD TO PARIS FROM
AMERICAN WRITER EDMUND
WHITE.
MOST WRITERS CRINGE WHEN YOU
SUGGEST THEIR FICTION IS
BASED ON REAL LIFE.
HER EXPERIENCE GROWING UP IN
RURAL BRITISH COLUMBIA AND
LATER, LIVING ON A FARM IN
ALBERTA HAVE
FUELLED HER FICTION. TWO OF HER
BOOKS, THE CURE FOR DEATH BY
LIGHTNING AND A RECIPE FOR
BEES HAVE BEEN NOMINATED FOR
THE GILLER PRIZE.
NOW WE HAVE A RYAN STONE
BUTTON.
A QUIRKY NOVEL SET IN
RELIGIOUS RURAL ALBERTA.
FEATURING A CHARACTER NAMED
JOB AND INSPIRED BY GAIL'S
OWN MARRIAGE.

Now a clip plays of Tina interviewing Gail Anderson by a fireplace.

Tina says GAIL
ANDERSON WELCOME TO IMPRINT.

Gail is in her forties, with shoulder-length blond hair.

Gail says THANK YOU.

Tina says YOU SET YOUR MAIN CHARACTER DOWN IN A
PART OF ALBERTA CALLED GOD'S
FINGER.
WHAT ARE YOU GETTING HERE?

Gail says WHAT AM I GETTING AT HERE?
I DON'T KNOW REALLY KNOW.
I THINK BEFORE WRITING THIS
BOOK I HAD MY OWN JOB
EXPERIENCE.
THERE SEEMS TO BE NO REASON
FOR IT.
OFTEN ANGRY AND DEPRESSED
ABOUT IT.
MY HUSBAND HAD BRAIN SURGERY
IN 1994.

The caption changes to "Gail Anderson-Dargatz. A Rhinestone Button."

Gail continues AND WE WERE GOING THROUGH
HELL AND I THINK THAT JOBE
EXPERIENCE SEEMED TO NATURAL
THING TO WRITE ABOUT.

Tina says BECAUSE YOU WERE GOING
THROUGH IT.

Laughing, Gail says PUT THROUGH MY OWN
TESTING I THINK.

Tina says THIS JOBE IS TESTED
SEVERELY ALL MANNER HORRIBLE
PLAGUE AND PHYSICAL
AFFLICTION ARE VISITED ON
HIM, BUT YOUR JOBE HAS WHAT
YOU DESCRIBE AS AN
AFFLICTION BUT SOMETHING
ELSE.
TREMENDOUS BEAUTY WHICH
CAUSES HIM A LOT OF GRIEF.

Gail says YES, WHEN I WAS LIVING IN
ALBERTA, YOU KNOW IT TOOK ME
A WHILE TO GET USED TO THE
CULTURE THERE BECAUSE I WAS
RAISED A B.C. GIRL.
AND MEN ARE STILL MEN AND
WOMEN ARE STILL WOMEN IN
RURAL ALBERTA.
AND, FLOYD AND I HAVE A VERY
DIFFERENT KIND OF
RELATIONSHIP SO WE GOT
COMMENTS ABOUT THE FACT THAT
DIDN'T COOK AND I WAS THE
BREADWINNER AND THIS KIND OF
THING.
I THINK AGAIN IT PROBABLY
EXPLAIN IN THE BOOK BUT JOBE
IS A VERY LOVELY MAN AND
DOESN'T IT IN THAT WORLD.

Tina says NOW FLOYD HAS WHAT IS
ESSENTIALLY UNDIAGNOSED
BRAIN TUMOURS.

Gail says YES, HE DID.

Tina says SO THIS WENT ON FOR YEARS
WHEN YOU WEREN'T SURE WHAT
WAS WRONG WITH HIM AS HE WAS
ACTING STRANGELY, HE WAS
HAVING SEIZURES AND FOR A
WHILE HE BECAME RELIGIOUS,
HE WANTED TO BE CLOSE TO
GOD.

Gail says THE TUMOUR MAY HAVE BEEN
SINCE CHILDHOOD.
THERE'S NO WAY TO KNOW BUT
CERTAINLY IN HIS LATE TEENS
BEGAN HAVING THOSE MYSTICAL
EXPERIENCES AN AGAIN HE
WOULD FEEL A PROFOUND AWE IN
MYSTERY AND FEEL AS IF HE
HAD BEEN GIVE AN DIVINE
MESSAGE.
THE CLASSIC MYSTICAL
EXPERIENCE.
CAN'T BE ARTICULATED WITH
WORDS AND HE HAD THOSE
EXPERIENCES INTO
HIS 20s,
IT TOOK HIM DEEPER INTO HIS
FAITH.
HE WAS RACED A BAPTIST.
EVEN TO THE POINT WHERE HE
WENT TO TEXAS TO TRAIN TO BE
A MISSIONARY.

Tina says REALLY?

Gail says AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT
OFTEN HAPPENS WITH PEOPLE
WHO HAVE EPILEPSY OR TUMOUR
IN THE TEMPORAL LOBE THEY
BECOME HYPER RELIGIOUS, THEY
DIVE INTO WHATEVER RELIGIOUS
CULTURE THEY WERE RAISED IN.

Tina says NOW IN THE BOOK, THERE'S
A LOT OF RELIGION IN THE
BOOK, A BAPTIST COMMUNITY
AND PEOPLE TAKE RELIGION
VERY SERIOUSLY, WAS THAT
YOUR EXPERIENCE WHEN YOU
LIVED IN SMALL TOWN ALBERTA?

Gail says IT WAS, WE WERE LIVING IN A
VERY RURAL COMMUNITY.
MOST OF THE PEOPLE WE WERE
IN CONTACT WITH HAD LIVED
THERE ALL THEIR LIVES AND I
THINK ARISE FROM THE
LANDSCAPE IN WHICH YOU LIVE
IN, AND AS EVERYONE KNOWS,
IT'S A VERY DIFFICULT PLACE
TO FARM, A VERY JUDGING,
VERY UNFORGIVING, AND KIND
OF A RELIGIOUS SENSE GROWING
OUT OF THAT THAT'S YOU KNOW
GOD CAN BE VERY JUDGING AND
YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO TOE THE
LINE AND THAT COMES FROM
THAT EXPERIENCE.
AND PEOPLE HOLD ON THAT
THEIR RELIGION VERY HARD
BECAUSE THEY NEED TO.
YES, IT WAS VERY STRONG
RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY.

Tina says YOU TALK ABOUT THE WAY
PEOPLE SPEAK AND WHO LIVE
THESE, YOU KNOW, VERY ATTACHED
TO THE LAND LIVES.
AND THEY SPEAK AND
ABSOLUTELY STRAIGHT AHEAD
TERMS.
HOW THE CROPS DID.
WHO IS GOING BANKRUPT.
WHO KILLED THEMSELVES BY
HANGING THEMSELVES AND OFF
THEIR BARN ROOF.

Gail smiles.

Tina continues AND I GUESS THIS IS THE
THAT'S NOSE LIVE THIS PART
OF LIFE.

Gail says I COME FROM A FARM FAMILY
AS WELL.
ON THE ONE HAND THEY WILL
NEVER SOUND HOPEFUL.
THEY'LL TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY
TALK ABOUT.
I THINK TIMES THEY DON'T
WANT TO TEST FATE OR GOD.
THEY DON'T WANT TO SAY
THINGS ARE GOING TO GO WELL
BECAUSE THAT WILL SOMEHOW
JINX, BUT ON THE OTHER HAND
THEY'RE HOPEFUL PEOPLE, THEY
JUST KEEP ON GOING YEAR
AFTER YEAR AGAINST
INCREDIBLE ODDS.
AND, THEY FIND A WAY TO DO
IT.
ON THE ONE HAND THEY
TALK LIKE THEY HAVE NO HOPE
AND ON THE OTHER HAND
ACT AS IF THEY HAVE ALL
THE HOPE IN THE WORLD.

Tina says IN THIS LANDSCAPE WHERE
YOU HAVE THESE STOIC PEOPLE,
YOU DO MANAGE I GUESS IN
TYPICAL ANDERSON FASHION TO
THROW IN A LITTLE MAGIC
REALISM.
AND WE'VE GOT A DEAD DUCK,
THERE WERE THESE BIBLICAL
TORNADOES THAT HAPPEN
THROUGH BOOK.
YOU LOVE PUTTING MAGIC
INTO A NORMAL LANDSCAPE.

Gail says THE ALBERTA LANDSCAPE WAS
MAGIC FOR ME.
I THINK IN PART BECAUSE WE
CARRY MAPS INSIDE OURSELVES OF
THE LANDSCAPE WE GREW UP
WITH, WHETHER WE ARE AWARE
OF IT WE COMPARE ANY
LANDSCAPE TO THAT.
MINE WAS THE SHOE SWAP, VERY ROLLING
AND LOTS OF TREES.
VERY SECRETIVE LANDSCAPE.
ALBERTA, YOU'VE GOT THE
STRAIGHT LINE, THE CLOUDS
ARE GOING FOREVER.
STARTLING BLUE SKY.
HOUSES ARE LIKE CHILD'S
HOUSES.
JUST VERY STRAIGHT LINES.
IT JUST FELT LIKE A MONTY
PYTHON CARTOON LANDSCAPE AND
I EXPECTED THIS BIG FOOT TO
COME DOWN ANY MINUTE,
JUST HAD THAT SURREAL FEEL
TO IT.
I LIVED WITH A WEIRD MAGICAL
SENSE LIKE I WAS IN THIS
SURREALISTIC LANDSCAPE SO IT WAS
FULL OF MAGIC FOR ME AND
THINGS KEPT HAPPENING LIKE
THE DUCK, WHERE DID THE DUCK
COME FROM?
WE RENTED OUT THIS LITTLE
FARMHOUSE AND IT WAS SET UP
SO THAT THE CHIMNEY WOULD
COME DOWN AND THEN GO INTO
SERIES OF VENTS AND WHAT NOT
AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN,
DUCKS WOULD LAND ON THE LOOF
GO TO THE CHIMNEY, FALL DOWN
AND END UP IN OUR BASEMENT.
UNHARMED.
ONE MORNING I WOKE UP AND
GOT OUT OF THE SHOWER AND
DIDN'T HAVE MY GLASS ON,
JUST SAW THIS BLACK THING, I
ACTUALLY SHRIEKED AND
THERE'S A DUCK THERE.
WE PICK HIM UP.
TAKE IT OUT, FLEW AWAY.
IT'S HAPPENED OVER AND OVER
AGAIN.

Tina says THERE'S ALSO A GREAT SCENE
THAT INVOLVES COURTING AND
COWS WHICH I GATHER IS ALSO
AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL, IS T?

Gail says YES, THERE'S ALWAYS SO
MANY WAYS YOU CAN COURT A
GAL IN RURAL ALBERTA.

Tina says ABSOLUTELY.

Gail says THERE'S NOT EVEN COFFEE
SHOP IN THIS PLACE SO YOU
KNOW, FLOYD AND I WENT TO
VISIT THE FAMILY AND YOU
KNOW FLOYD TOOK ME OUT TO
THE FIELD, THE COW PASTURE,
AND SHOWING ME THE SIGHTS
AND HE SAID I'VE GOT
SOMETHING TO SHOW YOU, HE
LAID ME DOWN ON THE COW
PASTURE, I THOUGHT, UH-HUH.

Tina chuckles.

Gail contineus PICKED A NICE SPOT AND THEN
YOU KNOW WE JUST WAITED AND
I SAID WHAT ARE WE WAITING
FOR, HE SAID JUST WAIT AND
THE COWS CAME AND THEY
CIRCLED US, SO WE'RE LOOKING
UP AT THESE COWS YOU KNOW,
AND HEARING THEM URINATE AND
YOU KNOW THE CALFS SUCKING
AND VERY TACTILE EXPERIENCE
I SAID OKAY, WHAT ARE WE
WAITING FOR NOW.
HE SAID BOO!
AND THEY JUST WENT AWAY.
I SAID THAT WASN'T VERY
NICE.
HE SAID JUST WAIT, THEY CAME
BACK AGAIN AND THEY DID THIS
SEVERAL TIMES.
HE SAYS THEY'RE SUCH CURIOUS
CREATURES THEY HAVE TO KNOW
WHAT'S IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT.

Now, Gail appears on split screens with a cow.

Gail reads THE COWS MOVED FORWARD
UNTIL THEY WERE COMPLETELY
SURROUNDED BY A CIRCLE OF
CAUSE.
FROM THIS ANGLE WITH THEIR
BODIES AGAINST BLUE SKY THE
COWS WERE GIANTS.
EACH OF THEM PAUL BUN YN'S
OX.

Back at the interview, Tina says SO WAS THIS WHAT
INSPIRED YOU PROPOSE TO HIM
WEARING A COW SUIT?

Gail says THERE WERE MANY THINGS
THAT INSPIRED KNOW PROPOSE
TO HIM IN A COW SUIT.
WHEN WE WERE GOING TO
UNIVERSITY.

Tina laughs and says YOU SAY THAT AS IF IT WAS
THE MOST NORMAL THING IN THE
WORLD.
YOU KNOW.

Gail says DOESN'T EVERYBODY?
NO.
HE'S JUST A WONDERFUL
CREATURE.
HE NEVER LOOKED AT ANOTHER
WOMAN THIS GUY.
EVER.
BUT HE WOULD NEARLY DRIVE
OFF THE ROAD IF HE SAW A
FINE LOOKING HERD OF COWS.
AND THIS WAS KNOWN
THROUGHOUT OUR FRIENDS AND
HE GOT RIBED A LOT FOR THIS
AND I THOUGHT WELL I'D
BETTER COMPETE WITH MY
COMPETITION HERE SO I RENTED
OUT A COW SOOT.
GOT DOWN ON MY HOOVES, ASKED
HIM TO MARRY ME.

Tina chuckles and asks WAS HE STUNNED?

Gail replies WELL, YES!
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO, A
COW ASKS YOU TO MARRY YOU,
YOU SAY YES, RIGHT?

Tina says IT'S A GREAT STORY.
NOW, AUTOBIOGRAPHY, IT’S AN
INTERESTING THING BECAUSE
SOME WRITERS SHY AWAY OR AT
LEAST DON'T WANT TO SAY THAT
THEY'RE THEIR BOOKS ARE
BASED ON WHAT'S HAPPENED TO
THEM.
YOU ON THE OTHER HAND SEEM
TO IMBRACE THIS.
SO MUCH OF YOUR OWN LIFE I'M
THINKING PARTICULARFULLY A
RECIPE FOR BEES, WHICH TOLD
THE STORY OF HOW YOUR MOTHER,
A FARM WIFE HAD HAD YOU
ESSENTIALLY A BABY, WITH
ANOTHER MAN.
AND IT'S AN AMAZING STORY
YOU'RE QUITE HAPPEN TOY USE
THAT IN YOUR BOOK.

Gail says I THINK ALL DO THIS, THEY
JUST DON'T ALL TALK ABOUT IT
AND I MAKE SURE THAT WHEN I USE
FAMILY STORIES, I MAKE SURE EVERYONE
IS OKAY WITH THAT.
BUT, EVERY WRITER DOES IT
AND THE FACT FOR ME IS THAT
IF YOU'RE GOING TO PUT THAT
MUCH ENERGY AND TIME THE
NOVEL TAKES FOUR OR FIVE
YEARS TO WRITE YOU HAVE TO BE
ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH YOUR
MATERIAL.
YOU HAVE TO BE PASSIONATE
ABOUT IT.
AND MOST OF US ARE
IMPASSIONED ABOUT THE
FAMILIAR, CERTAINLY THERE'S
LOTS OF AUTHORS WHO WRITE
HISTORICAL NOVELS, BUT AGAIN THEY'RE
IMPASSIONED ABOUT THEIR
SUBJECT MATTER. IN MY CASE
I'M PASSIONED ABOUT THE
PEOPLE I LOVE AND THE
LANDSCAPE I LOVE, THE
LANDSCAPES I LOVE BECAUSE
NOW IT'S VANCOUVER ISLAND.

Tina says NOW YOU HAVE HAD A BABY, A
LITTLE GRAHAM. THERE IS NO
PICTURES, I CAN'T BELIEVE
YOU'RE SHOWING THEM IN FRONT
OF THE CAMERA, BUT I KNOW
YOU WROTE A PIECE ABOUT
MOTHERHOOD AND WHAT YOU'VE
BEEN WARNED ABOUT AHEAD OF
TIME HOW IT WOULD CHANGE
YOUR WRITING, HOW HAVE YOU
FOUND IT HAS CHANGED YOUR
WRITING.

Gail says I THOUGHT IT WOULD MAKE
THINGS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT,
AND FOR MOST OCCUPATIONS IT
REALLY DOES.
BUT SURPRISINGLY IT MADE
WRITING THAT MUCH EASIER.
I THINK IN LARGE PART
BECAUSE USUALLY TAKES ME
ABOUT TWO HOURS TO DIVE INTO
THAT FUZZY SPACE THAT'S
REQUIRED FOR WRITING, AND
YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU'VE GOT A
YOUNG CHILD IN THE HOUSE AND
YOU'RE BREAST-FEEDING YOU'RE
IN THAT FUZZY SPACE ALL THE
TIME.

Tina says SO HOW ARE YOU SURVIVING
THE BOOK TOUR WITHOUT YOUR
LITTLE GUY?

Gail says I MISS HIM SO MUCH.

Tina says AWE.

Gail says IT'S JUST ABOUT WE'RE
GETTING THROUGH, YEAH.

Tina says YOU'LL BE HOME SOON.

Gail says I'LL BE HOME SOON.

Tina says IT WAS LOVELY TO MEET
YOU.
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW
MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY.

Gail says THANK YOU.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, the book appears briefly. The light blue cover features buttons falling around.

Tina says A RHINESTONE BUTTON
BY GAIL ANDERSON-DARGATZ.
PARIS NEVER CEASES TO
CAPTIVATE WRITERS.
EDMUND WHITE IS ONE OF A LONG
LINE OF AUTHORS INSPIRED BY
THE CITY OF LIGHTS.
WHITE LIVED IN PARIS
NEIGHBOURHOOD FOR 16 YEARS
AND SHORTLY BEFORE LEAVING
FOR GOOD, HE WROTE "OUR
PARIS" SKETCHS FROM MEMORY.
A PERSONAL TRIBUTE TO HIS
BELOVED CITY AND ONE
ILLUSTRATED BY THE MAN HE
LOVED.
EDMUND WHITE APPEARED AT
TORONTO'S INTERNATIONAL
FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS.

(violin music plays)
Edmund sits in a restaurant. He’s in his fifties, with gray hair and clean-shaven.

Edmund says OUR PARIS IS A BOOK
THAT I DID WITH MY LATE
LOVER, AND HE HAD BEEN AN
ARCHITECT THEN HE GOT AIDS,
HE WAS RATHER ILL.
HE COULDN'T WORK ANYMORE AS
AN ARCHITECT AND HE WANTED
TO BE AN ILLUSTRATER.

A black and white picture of two men having coffee appears.

Edmund continues I THOUGHT I'LL WRITE THE
TEXT AND HE CAN ILLUSTRATE
AND WE'LL PUT TOGETHER A
LITTLE BOOK LIKE THAT.
I THOUGHT AS LONG AS HE WAS
INVOLVED WITH THE BOOK,
THAT HE WOULD GO ON LIVING AND
HE WAS VERY, VERY ILL
TOWARDS THE END.

The caption changes to "Edmund White. Our Paris."

Edmund continues BUT, HE DID MANAGE TO FINISH
THE LAST PICTURE AND THEN HE
DIED TWO WEEKS LATER.
IN MOROCCO.
AND HE DIED THERE.
I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT MAKES DYING AND DEATH
ESPECIALLY POIGNANT IN PARIS
IS THAT THE CITY ITSELF IS
ETERNAL.
YOU CAN FEEL THAT THE HEART
OF PARIS HASN'T CHANGED
SINCE THE MID 19th CENTURY.
HE LOVED PARIS AND THAT WAS
FOR HIM, THE ETERNAL CITY.
PARIS IS REALLY LIKE A
CHARACTER IN OUR LIVES IN
THE SENSE THAT WE WERE ABLE
TO TOUCH SOME OF THE OLD
PARIS, FOR INSTANCE THE
CONCIERGE IN OUR BUILDING
WAS A GENUINE OLD FASHIONED
FRENCH CONCIERGE, MOST
BUILDINGS DON'T HAVE
CONCIERGE ANYMORE.

An old clip shows the Eiffel Tower.

He continues BUT, WE HAD ONE WHO WAS FROM
THE NORTH OF FRANCE WHICH IS
WHERE THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO BE
FROM AND WHO WAS ACTUALLY
QUITE NOSY IN THE SENSE THAT
SHE KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON,
BUT SHE WAS VERY DISCRETE AT
THE SAME TIME.
AND, ONE TIME SHE SAID TO ME,
I KNOW THAT YOUR BOYFRIEND
IS ILL BUT WE WON'T TALK
ABOUT IT BUT CAN I DO
ANYTHING FOR YOU, CAN I GO
SHOPPING FOR YOU.
THIS IS A WOMAN THAT
COULDN'T WALK MORE THAN TEN
PACES.

Holding his book, Edmund reads OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD IS
CHARACTERLESS BY DAY, MORE
CORRIDOR BETWEEN THE SHOPS
AND RESTAURANTS.
AND THE BOUTIQUE AND
BISTROS
THAN A PROPER PLACE OF ITS
OWN.
I OFTEN WRITE AT THE CAFE
WHICH STRIKES THE ENGLISH
WHO LOVE CROWDED SMOKY PUBS
AS DISAGREEABLY AUSTERE NEW.
BUT WHICH I FIND AIRY AND
CALM.
ALTHOUGH THERE'S ALWAYS
SOMETHING TO SEE.

Back at the interview, he says I THINK I'VE ALWAYS USED
WRITING AS A WAY OF STAYING
SANE AMONG OTHER THINGS AND
CERTAINLY WHEN I WAS AN
ADOLESCENT AND FIRST BATTLING
WITH THE IDEA OF BEING
GAY I WOULD WRITE, TO SORT
OF KEEP MY HEAD JUST ABOVE
THE SURFACE OF THESE
ENGULFING WATERS AND WHEN HE
DIED, I HAD BROUGHT HIM TO
THIS CLINIC AFTER A HELLISH
DAY OF TRAVELING FROM A
REMOTE PART OF THE DESERT,
TO WHERE THERE WAS A PROPER
CLINIC.
WE WENT INTO THE CLINIC, WE
WERE PUT IN THE SAME ROOM.
HE WAS HOOKED UP, I WOKE UP
IN THE MORNING AND THE
BUBBLES WEREN'T MOVING IN
THE IV, AND I COULD TELL
FROM HIS FACE HE WAS DEAD.
AND THE NURSES CAME RUNNING
IN, THE BODY WAS REMOVED,
AND SUDDENLY, I WAS ALONE.
WITH HIS BAG, MY BAG, AND
NOBODY THERE.
SO, THERE WAS NO PAPER, I
HAD NO PEN, I FINALLY FOUND
A XEROX MACHINE THAT HAD
SOME PAPER I BOUGHT FROM THE
MED.
I SAT DOWN AND WHERE WROTE
THE AFTERWARD OF THIS BOOK.

Edmund reads MY LOVER WHO DIED JUST
TWO HOURS AGO WAS AN
ARCHITECT WHO TURNED HIMSELF
INTO AN ILLUSTRATER WITH A
REMARKABLE PATIENCE AND
DILIGENCE AND ABOVE ALL WITH
WITH A FLAIR FOR
CAPITALIZING ON HIS TALENTS
AND PICTORIAL DISCOVERIES.

At the restaurant, he continues THIS BOOK IS SOMETHING
THAT I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW
WOULD EVER GET PUBLISHED OR
NOT.
I JUST WANTED HIM TO STAY
HAPPY AND BUSY.
AND, WELL IT'S REALLY A LOVE
LETTER TO HEBERT.

Tina says OUR PARIS BY EDMUND WHITE
AND ILLUSTRATED BY HEBERT
IS PUBLISED BY ECO PRESS.
AND THAT'S A WRAP FOR THIS
EDITION OF IMPRINT.
I’M TINA SREBOTNJAK, SEE YOU NEXT TIME.

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special thanks International Festival of Authors. Montana Restaurant-Bar. Opus.

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

E-mail: imprint@tvo.org.

Website: www.tvo.org

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2003, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 14 episode 15