As everybody knows, a certain amount of anti-American feeling is abroad in the land, and some of the things being said about our Big Neighbor to the south are not entirely flattering. Recently that famous and hot-tempered novelist, Morley Callaghan, of Toronto, had his ears bent by a succession of people sounding off against the U. S. The criticism struck him as unwarranted and irresponsible so he told us we could expect an article from him blasting Canadians for blasting Americans.
We planned to print this article in our contentious “For the sake of argument” column, which ordinarily occupies this space. But by pure coincidence another famous and hot-tempered novelist, Farley Mowat, of Palgrave, Ont., was at the typewriter at the same time Callaghan was, pounding out an angry article that took a stand exactly opposite to Callaghan’s. Mowat’s manuscript, completely unheralded, reached us in the same mail as Callaghan’s, and, since they examined two sides of an important question in a lively fashion, we’re running them in tandem, starting on page 13.
And, opening on page 16, you’ll find an article on Barrington Street, Halifax, written by a third distinguished novelist, Thomas H. Raddall. Callaghan, Mowat and Raddall are towering figures in Canadian literature.
Callaghan, a lawyer who turned to writing, has gained inter-
national recognition with six novels and two volumes of short stories. He’s also a playwright and a TV and radio panelist. Before settling down in Toronto, his birthplace, he spent years in Paris and New York. A new anthology of his short stories is to be brought out this fall and The Man with the Coat, which won a $5,000 Maclean’s Novel Award in 1955, is scheduled to be published between hard covers next spring.
Mowat, a bearded stubby young man who lives'in a log cabin he built himself, has had dozens of short stories and five books published. His fourth book. The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, was a best seller both here and in the U. S.; his fifth has just been published. Mowat has traveled among and written about Canada’s Eskimos. A war veteran, he spent six years in the army.
Raddall, soft-spoken and scholarly, now lives at Liverpool. N.S. He went to sea at the age of fifteen, serving in naval transports and as a wireless officer on merchant ships, before becoming a landlubber and an author. He has a dozen books to his credit—six novels, four collections of short stories and two histories—and is now writing an historical novel.
We’re happy to be able to offer you Callaghan, Mowat and Raddall in a single issue, because, in any list of the ten greatest Canadian authors, their names would be near the top.
Tom Raddall requires a second round of applause in this issue; it has been announced that his latest book, The Path of Destiny, has won the Governor-General’s award for academic non-fiction. A portion of this stirring work of Canadian history received its first publication in Maclean’s last September under the title, How George Washington Lost Canada.
Maclean’s also had the privilege of introducing, before book publication, some of the liveliest and most readable excerpts of tw'o other Governor-General's medal winners for 1957. One was Gabrielle Roy’s delightful novel, Street of Riches; we published a
long chapter under the book’s original French title, Rue Deschambault, last August.
And Bruce Hutchison’s Canada: Tomorrow's Giant, which won the Governor-General’s award for creative non-fiction, was actually an outgrowth and slight expansion of Hutchison’s fifteen-part series that ran in Maclean’s in 1955 and 1956. The title we used was Bruce Hutchison Rediscovers the Unknown Country.
Thus, Maclean's readers were present at the unveiling of all three of the most highly honored Canadian books — exclusive of poetry and juveniles — that were published during 1957.
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