The Biblio File Hosted by Nigel Beale
Twenty - forty minute interviews with accomplished authors, publishers, biblio people, conducted by an excitable bibliophile.

Jack Rabinovitch 011

Jack Rabinovitch is a philanthropist best known for founding the annual Scotia Bank Giller Prize (named after his late wife, Doris Giller, a former literary columnist and editor at the Toronto Star)for best Canadian novel. Rabinovitch, a reporter and speechwriter who later turned to business, making his fortune in food retailing and real estate,  was an executive with Trizec Corporation where he helped develop close to six million square feet of hotel, commercial and retail space. He was Maclean’s magazine’s man of the year in 1999 and is a recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.

This week his membership in the Order of Canada was upgraded to platinum…he is now an Officer of the Order. Part of the citation for this added honour reads:

"Jack Rabinovitch continues to lend extraordinary energy to the promotion of Canadian literature. Maintaining a very active leadership role in the administration of the Scotiabank Giller Prize, he has negotiated a partnership that has solidified the Giller as Canada’s most lucrative and illustrious literary award. Canadian authors and publishers alike have gained increased sales as a direct result of either a nomination or a win, while the awards have helped to raise the profile of new and lesser-known authors."

We met this morning to talk about the Giller, its contribution to the purchase, reading and discussion of Canadian novels,  the various strengths and weaknesses of literary juries  adjudicating merit, and his choice for ‘best’ Canadian novel of all time.

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Copyright © 2010 by Nigel Beale.

 Please listen here:

Direct download: jack_rabinovitch_800928_01.mp3
Category:Festival Organizer -- posted at: 12:47am EDT

JENNY HOBBS is a novelist and freelance journalist who lives in Franschhoek, South Africa. She is the author of four novels, Thoughts in a Makeshift Mortuary, The Sweet-Smelling Jasmine, The Telling of Angus Quain, and Video Dreams, four non-fiction books, and short stories published and broadcast locally and by the BBC. She reviewed books for many years and has written for and worked on TV book programmes, both as a presenter and interviewer.

She’s also the Literary Director of the Franschhoek Literary Festival, now in its third year. The event has enjoyed success from its opening page. Last year the Commonweath Writer’s Prize chose Franschhoek as the place to announce its winner (Canadian Lawrence Hill). We talk here about how the Festival came about, and what it takes to make it happen.  

Copyright © 2009 by Nigel Beale.

Direct download: Jenny_Hobbs.mp3
Category:Festival Organizer -- posted at: 5:19pm EDT

Dawn Arnold is Chair of the Frye Festival in Moncton, New Brunswick. Jane Urquhart, Wayne Johnston, Neil Smith, Alexandre Jardin and Miriam Toews are among the many authors who will participate in this year’s ten day event.

Dawn and I talk here about the history of the Festival, Northrop Frye’s thoughts on imagination and new worlds, the benefits to children of learning more than one language, how writing affects understanding, Moncton strip clubs, Acadie, French language childrens’ authors, Richard Ford, classroom visits, and inspired students. For more information on this year’s Frye Festival please click here.

Please listen to our conversation here:

Direct download: dawn_arrnold.mp3
Category:Festival Organizer -- posted at: 7:06pm EDT

Neil Wilson is a former journalist/broadcaster, future publisher, current long-distance runner and Founding Director of the Ottawa International Writers Festival. We talk about his love of Irish literature and poetry, his founding of the Festival in 1997, what motivates him to do what he does, and this Spring’s impressive, Beckett-backed line-up which goes on stage April 17, 2006.

Copyright © 2006 by Nigel Beale

Direct download: Neil_Wilson_Ottawa_International_Writers_Festival.mp3
Category:Festival Organizer -- posted at: 3:21pm EDT