Book details

Publication date: April 2018
Features: 11 B&W photographs, notes, bibliography, index
Keywords: Letters / Canadian Literature
Subject(s): LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Letters, Literary Studies, Literary Studies / Literary Criticism, Literary Studies, Literary Studies / Canadian Literature, Letters / Canadian Literature, LITERARY CRITICISM / Canadian, LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Canadian, Literature: history & criticism, Letters / Canadian Literature, Canada, Anthologies: general, Canadian Literature
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press
Laura K. Davis is a tenured faculty member who specializes in Canadian literature at Red Deer College, Alberta. Linda M. Morra is Professor of Canadian literature and Canadian Studies at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

"One of the most important writers at McClelland & Stewart in the house's heyday, [Margaret] Laurence formed a bond with flamboyant publisher Jack McClelland. The 400 or so letters that passed between them show a deep mutual respect and offer up many insights into writing and publishing in Canada.... [The book] exposes a great deal about Laurence's craft, her difficulties with censorship, and McClelland's commercial ups and downs.... The letters themselves are revealing and frequently fascinating."

George Fetherling, Quill & Quire

"[Margaret Laurence and Jack McClelland, Letters] documents the era through the warm, nostalgic filter of private letters between one of the country’s most acclaimed novelists and her publisher. It is a sweet book, funny and angry by turn, and a delight to read." [Full review at]

Holly Doan, Blacklock's Reporter

"For scholars, this volume offers a wealth of insight into Canadian publishing history and into Laurence’s creative practice. The annotations and introduction, though of somewhat uneven quality, are nevertheless thoughtful and richly informative. These entertaining letters tell an absorbing story about the development of Canadian literary culture, as well as about the relationship of two extraordinary individuals."

Faye Hammill, The Times Literary Supplement

"Few epistolary volumes have as strong a claim to true importance as Margaret Laurence and Jack McClelland.... More than that, though, the book captures several generations, offering a broad look at copyright, the changing technology of publishers, political discontent in Canada, the burgeoning national literary scene, general readers’ and reviewers’ conservatism,... and writers’ creative process.... [A] major achievement of this book is its insight into Laurence as a major cog in the wheels of Canada’s publishing and arts scenes...."

Jeffrey Aaron Weingarten, Canadian Literature

"The letters themselves are superb....What is perhaps most compelling in the Laurence-McClelland correspondence is their ability to get furiously angry at each other—and then use that anger to affirm their loyalty and appreciation of each other's passionate commitment to Canadian literature."

Frances W. Kaye, Western Literature Association

"A glimpse into a warm friendship and mutually beneficial business relationship."

Sarah Murdoch, Toronto Star

“This often intense and affectionate correspondence between one of the country’s great writers and its most aggressive and nationalistic (not to mention deftly cordial) publisher makes for interesting reading and provides an important roadmap through the complex terrain of Canadian writing and culture in the latter half of the twentieth century.”

Michael Peterman, Trent Professor Emeritus

“A great narrative of the development of a friendship (with significant ‘bickership’) between two very well known Canadians during a very important phase in the development, funding, and dissemination of Canadian literature (1950s to 1980s).”

Donna Palmateer Pennee, Professor, Department of English, Western University

I | Beginnings, 1959–1969
II | Challenges and Successes, 1970–1979
III | A Legacy, 1980–1986
ISBNs: 9781772123357 978-1-77212-335-7 Title: margaret laurence and jack mcclelland letters ISBNs: 9781772123944 978-1-77212-394-4 Title: margaret laurence and jack mcclelland letters ISBNs: 9781772123937 978-1-77212-393-7 Title: margaret laurence and jack mcclelland letters ISBNs: 9781772123951 978-1-77212-395-1 Title: margaret laurence and jack mcclelland letters