Oct 1, 2018
This from Simon and Schuster: "Anna Porter was born in Budapest, Hungary, during the Second World War and escaped with her mother at the end of the 1956 revolution to New Zealand, where she graduated with an MA from Christchurch University. Like so many young Kiwis, after graduation she travelled to London, England, where she had her first taste of publishing. In 1968, she arrived in Canada, and was soon swept up in the cultural explosion of the 1970s. At McClelland & Stewart, run by the flamboyant Jack McClelland, she quickly found herself at the heart of Canadian publishing. In 1982, she founded Key Porter Books and published such national figures as Farley Mowat, Jean Chrétien, Conrad Black, and Allan Fotheringham. She went on to write both fiction and nonfiction works, including the award-winning Kasztner’s Train and The Ghosts of Europe, and has published four mystery novels."
We met at the Kingston Writers Festival to talk about her new book, In Other Words, In so doing we touched on blessed lives, absent fathers, grandfathers' stories, Transylvanian dragons, broad swords, New Zealand, education and intense boredom, Collier MacMillan, Robert Graves, communist engineers, Frank Newfeld, Jack McClelland, caring about writers, Canadian culture, colourful language, editors at sales conferences, gimmicks, publishing 100 books a year, mini-skirts and go-go boots, the Canadian establishment, meeting fascinating writers, The Temptation of Big Bear, typos, Bob Fulford, Al Purdy, Margaret Atwood, Conrad Black and Allan Fotheringham; collectible books, Persia, and Iran, Elements of Destiny.