Reading Writers Reading
Canadian Authors' Reflections
"I am a writer because I was a reader first." Alison Gordon. "Nobody has ever written who never read." Mavis Gallant. ".reading is a connection, at once a way and a goal, a liberating destiny." Robert Kroetsch. Over 160 Canadian writers, in English and French, write about their experiences of reading. With striking photographs of each writer, Reading Writers Reading offers a sublime voyage into the heart of literary creation.
About the Authors
"I have just finished having a wander through Reading Writers Reading. I am at a loss for words... This is such a wonderful, encouraging, uplifting, joyous ode to reading and books. This is a book you want to keep on your coffee table and your night table, a book to have close by when you only have a couple of minutes to read but want to be affirmed in how wonderful the written word can be. Everyone and anyone could take something memorable away from this fantastic book." Dot Middlemass, Kate Walker & Company, September 2006
"Danielle Schaub, a teacher of Canadian fiction and autobiographical writing, has brought together two of her passions in this book: photography and literature. The result is an interesting collection which will appeal to students, to teachers, to book clubs, to anyone who loves to read....Much of the charm of this book comes from the photographs of the individual authors which accompany their words....It is enjoyable to let one's eyes drift from the writing to the photo and back again - almost like having a conversation. Recommended." Ann Ketcheson, CM: Canadian Review of Materials, Volume XIII, No.3
"Reading Writers Reading is a big, heavy coffee-table book with a cherry-red jacket. Inside are black-and-white photos of 166 Canadian writers, all of whom say something about reading." Rebecca Wigod, Vancouver Sun, September 29, 2006.
"Reading Writers Reading: Canadian Authors' Reflections, features such acclaimed authors as Margaret Atwood, Mavis Gallant, Greg Hollingshead, David Bergen and Andrew Pyper. Each writer muses about a personal aspect of reading.... Schaub continues to teach Canadian literature in Israel. Despite the difference in size between the two countries, they have a lot of similarities, she said. Most of the population is along the U.S. border in Canada and along the water in Israel. Canada has English, French and native people, where Israel has Jewish, Palestinian and Bedouin people. And both countries have a lot of immigrants, leading to an increased consciousness of identity and belonging. 'There are masses of writers I wish I could have included,' she said. 'I just hope there'll be a second book.'" Jeffrey Simpson, The Chronicle Herald, Oct. 23/06
"La plupart des auteurs ont évoqué leur première experience de lecture, ou celle qui les a le plus maquès et les a amenés vers la literature....L'insection de la photographie des auteurs à côté de leur réflexion apporte aussi un éclirage particulier à l'ensemble." Jennyfer Collin, La Liberté Loisirs, October 2006.
"From Mavis Gallant to Guy Vanderhaeghe, from Nicole Brossard to George Elliot Clarke, from Régine Robin to Stéphane Despatie, Margaret Atwood to Tomson Highway, each writer, French or English, relates how reading helped shape their lives. These reflections and images represent just a sampling of the authors included in Schaub's book and who, for the most part are unanimous in one thing: Before writing comes reading." The Ottawa Citizen, October 22, 2006.
"The result is a visually beautiful and intellectually inspiring book about the struggles, joys, and discoveries of reading by people who write....The book is not arranged in alphabetical order. Schaub explains: 'I tried to even out gender, language, ethic origins, religion, provinces, literary genres, ages, established writers versus new writers, etc. I am very conscious of the politics involved in such balancing. And the order should be considered as starting anywhere. It is not a book to be read from A to Z, but a book to be opened anywhere, and reading from there..." Kinneret Globerman, Ottawa Jewish Bulletin, October 2006.
"As for the essays, they are inspired by questions on what the author reads. The responses vary from cute little poems on a disagreement with a copy editor (Leon Rooke), to connecting with a heckling audience member at a reading (Andrew Pyper), to losing the ability to read after a stroke (Howard Engel), to 161 more glimpses into the thoughts that inspire and drive these writers..[I]f you keep the book within arms reach-by your bed, or on the coffee table-and flip through it occasionally, you will meet some truly fascinating Canadians." Sarah Gignac, Monday Magazine, November 16. 2006.
"[The book] features such acclaimed authors as Margaret Atwood, Mavis Gallant, Greg Hollingshead, David Bergen, and Andrew Pyper. Each writer muses about a personal aspect of reading. 'There is no writing without reading,' Schaub said. "Reading is what shapes us as writers." Jeffrey Simpson, The Novascotian, Oct 22, 2006.
"This big, heavy book of black-and-white photos of authors as diverse as Mavis Gallant, Tomson Highway and Roo Borson is a testament to the depth of [the authors's] interest and commitment. It's also a great reference book for all who value Canadian literature." Rebecca Wigod, The Vancouver Sun, December 30, 2006
"Here [Canadian writers] tell about their reading: how they came to it, how they learned to love it, what they get from it, and why they still do it..all of these writers can go on in a variety of amazing ways about the power reading has had in their lives." Bill Robertson, The StarPhoenix, April 7, 2007
The jury decided to recognize a collection of intimate, candid, human photographs this year. The deceptively simple, seemingly effortless, unchoreographed images, paired with excellent production and tonal consistency, entice the reader with a glimpse into the subjects' world.
"Canadian authors such as Aritha van Herk, Margaret Atwood, Don Coles, and Michael Crummey share their personal reflections on the transformative experience of reading. Each of the 164 contributions is presented on a single page, with a large b&w candid portrait of the author on the facing page. Photographer and critic Schaub describes her shooting technique and artistic vision in the introduction." Reference and Research Book News, May 2007
"A treasure trove for students of Can Lit, the volume presents 164 Canadian writers from fiction writer Caroline Adderson to poet Jan Zwicky each with a full-page portrait facing a one-page chunk of rumination on reading and writing. The labour of love, both the photography and editing, is the work of Canadian Danielle Schaub, who teaches Canuck fiction and autobiography in Israel." The Toronto Star, June 10, 2007
"This beautifully produced book documents the reflections of 165 Canadian writers on the transformative experience of reading. As Russell Morton Brown comments in his foreword, 'Reading about reading exerts its own fascination and brings its own pleasures.'. The writers are a diverse group: English, French, and First Nations; established and emerging; and originating from practically every region of the country.. Reading Writers Reading offers a revealing glimpse into a nation's collective creative consciousness: no library can afford to be without it." David E. Kemp, Canadian Book Review Annual 2007
"Now Danielle Schaub has given us Reading Writers Reading, a book of her photographs of Canadian authors, accompanied by each writer's thoughts on the subect of reading. Ms. Schaub, who teaches Canadian literature in Israel, has been reading, thinking about, and photographing her subjects for many years. Her dedication shows in the loving care expended on the collection and presentation of these images, many of which are deceptively candid....CanLit scholars will find much to enjoy in these pictures, from Michael Ondaatje's dandelion burst of grey hair to the look of astonishment on Marie-Sissi Labreche's pretty face. But once again it's Atwoord who claims our attention. The veteran novelist, poet, and essayist leans her cheek on one hand and gazes out of frame, appearing at first glance uncharacteristically dreamy. But in fact she is listening to another author read, and Schaub's image seems to capture that experience—the quintessentially human act of perfecting and understanding words — perfectly." Giles Blunt, University of Toronto Quarterly, Winter 2008
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