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THE BIBLIO FILE is one of the world's leading podcasts about "the book" and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by Nigel Beale it features wide ranging conversations with authors, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and other certified bibliophiles.
 
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Hermione Lee was President of Wolfson College from 2008 to 2017 and is Emeritus Professor of English Literature in the English Faculty at Oxford University. She is a biographer and critic whose work includes biographies of Virginia Woolf (1996), Edith Wharton (2006) and Penelope Fitzgerald (2013, winner of the 2014 James Tait Black Prize for Biogra…
 
"After working in computer systems analysis for a decade, John Burnside became a full-time writer in 1994. John has published 14 books of poetry, and has won the Geoffrey Faber Prize, the Whitbread Poetry Prize, the Petrarca Preis and, most recently, the Forward and T.S. Eliot Prizes for his poetry. He has also published eight novels and a memoir. …
 
Jaleen Grove is a Canadian artist and art historian whose area of focus is the history of illustration in the US and Canada. She teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design, has written monographs on illustrators Oscar Cahén and Walter Haskell Hinton and has served as associate editor for the Journal of Illustration. She is associate editor of the…
 
Steven Heller is an eminent American graphic designer, art director, art critic and scholar.​ He ​has authored or​ co-authored ​more than 200 ​books which variously trace​ the history of typography, illustration and other subjects related to graphic design.​ I talk with Steve about Paul Rand an American art director and graphic designer best known …
 
Daniel Mendelsohn "is an internationally bestselling author, critic, essayist, and translator. Born in New York City in 1960, he received degrees in Classics from the University of Virginia and Princeton. After completing his Ph.D. he moved to New York City, where he began freelance writing full time; since 1991 he has been a prolific contributor o…
 
Fifteen years ago I interviewed Michael Cader at Book Expo in Toronto. The advice he had for publishers at the time remains remarkably fresh and valuable. Michael is the founder of Publisher's Lunch, the largest book publishing industry publication in the world. Each day it's e-mailed out to more than 45,000 people. We talk about process, and trans…
 
William (Bill) Matthews has been dealing in old & rare books, manuscripts, maps and related material since 1976. He began working for a bookshop in Saskatoon, then opened his own in Vancouver in 1976, and subsequently moved to Toronto in 1980. He was in Ontario until 1996 when he moved to San Francisco / Berkeley and was part of Peter Howard's Sere…
 
Don Stewart is the proprietor of MacLeod’s Books at 455 West Pender Street in downtown Vancouver, a shop famed for its magnificent piles of books, wide selection and narrow aisles. Stewart bought MacLeod's Books in 1973 from Van Andruss who'd bought it from Don MacLeod a few years after it opened in 1964. He moved the business into larger premises …
 
Dr Falk Eisermann is head of the Incunabula Division at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and is considered a world expert in the field. He also heads the Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke (Union catalogue of incunabula), GW for short. Founded in 1904 it's objective is to list all 15th-century items printed from movable type. Today the job is reportedly …
 
Dan Morgan is the proprietor of an antiquarian bookstore in Prague 6 that replicates the feel and function of a living room. Back in the 1990s Dan was invited by his future wife to visit Prague. He never left. In 2008 he 'got into' books thanks to a woman who sold them in his neighbourhood and who introduced him to Czech modernism and Samizdat. Com…
 
Library exhibition catalogues, just like Bookseller catalogues, constitute a damned fine collecting area if you ask me. Beautiful, informative, and cheap - especially when you consider how much money and time, care and attention goes into producing them - they're well worth acquiring, despite not being particularly rare. What better service can I p…
 
Jordi Nadal was born in Barcelona in 1962 and holds a degree in Germanic Studies from the University of Barcelona. In 1998 he took the Stanford Professional Publishing Course and then began his career at Vicens Vives, later moving to Herder (Germany). He has been director of EDHASA, editorial and publications director of Círculo de Lectores, consul…
 
For years Paul Delaney was professor of English at the University of Moncton; prior to this he taught at various institutions in London, England. During his lifetime he has had an ongoing interest in Acadian genealogy, a topic upon which he continues to publish and conduct research. His biography of Charles de Sousy Ricketts (1866-1931), published …
 
Andrew Coyne needs little introduction to Canadian audiences. He writes a weekly column for the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper and is a member of the At Issue panel on CBC TV's The National newscast. He has previously been national editor of Maclean's magazine and a columnist for the National Post newspaper. James Elliott Coyne (1910-2012) was a …
 
Canada has an impressive tradition of producing great printer/trade-publishers. Three of our best are Stan Bevington, Tim Inkster, and Andrew Steeves. Ancient interviews with all three can be found here on The Biblio File website. The one with Andrew took place a dozen years ago, so I figured it was time to clock another. I drove down to Kentville,…
 
Michele K. Troy is professor of English at Hillyer College at the University of Hartford. She studies Anglo-American literary modernism in continental Europe and is the author of Strange Bird: The Albatross Press and the Third Reich, the first book to be written about the Albatross Press, a Penguin precursor, that entered into an uneasy relationshi…
 
Since 1972, Dr. Steven Lomazow has been building a collection of important American periodicals; it's now considered to be the most extensive in private hands. "The Steven Lomazow Collection of American Periodicals has been curated for the purpose of demonstrating the role of magazines as a reflection of all aspects American popular culture from pr…
 
On this episode of The Biblio File Book Club Heather O'Neill and I discuss one of her favourite novels, Agota Kristof's The Notebook. This dark, fractured fairy tale of a story, told in simple, striking, visual language, describes the devastating impact of war on children and their families. Set in an unknown country during wartime it follows the l…
 
Aimee Peake has been active in the antiquarian book business in Winnipeg for more than 20 years. She got her start as an apprentice to Michael Park, proprietor Greenfield Books. In 2000 she took over as manager of the newly-opened Bison Books, assuming sole proprietorship in 2010. In 2018 she purchased Greenfield and amalgamated it with Bison. You'…
 
Jack David launched the publishing house ECW in 1974 as the journal Essays on Canadian Writing - from which came the E, the C, and the W. For the next ten years the company focused on scholarly projects and occasionally dabbled in more accessible trade books and biographies. The breakthrough came when it decided in the early 90s to publish books ab…
 
Dr. Stephen Enniss is Director of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. He has held previous appointments at the Folger Shakespeare Library and at Emory University’s Rare Book Library. His research interests are in 20th century poetry, and he has written on Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Seamus Heaney, among others. He is the…
 
Meghan Constantinou has been Head Librarian at The Grolier Club since 2011 and a Club member since 2013. Her research interests include the history of private collecting, women’s book ownership, and provenance studies. The Club Library collects, preserves, and makes accessible materials dedicated to the history and art of the book. Strengths of its…
 
One of the best ways to become a successful, fulfilled antiquarian bookseller is to establish close, long-lasting relationships with enthusiastic, committed, ideally well-heeled, collectors. Justin Schiller is a pioneer in the field of rare, collectible children's books. During his career he has developed extraordinary bonds with many passionate bo…
 
Walter Lockhart Gordon (1906 – 1987) was a Canadian accountant, businessman, politician, and economic nationalist. Born in Toronto, he was educated at Upper Canada College and the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario. Upon graduation he joined the family accounting firm of Clarkson, Gordon and Company. During World War II he served…
 
Don Lindgren established Rabelais Books in 2006. The bookshop now operates out of Biddeford, Maine and specializes in Artists’ Books, Cocktails, Cookbooks, Farm and Garden, Gastronomy, History of Food, Rare Periodicals, and Wine. We met years ago when I sought him out in Portland to talk about collecting cookbooks (Listen here). As we parted Don ha…
 
According to his website, "In 1995, Bruce Batchelor rocked the publishing industry when he invented print-on-demand (POD) publishing and triggered a landslide of new books from every country in the world." Did he invent it? You'll have to listen to the podcast to find out. Since 1995, more than 1,000,000 writers, says Bruce, "have seized the opport…
 
"Ursula Nordstrom (1910 - 1988) was publisher and editor-in-chief of juvenile books at Harper & Row from 1940 to 1973. She is credited with presiding over a transformation in children's literature in which morality tales written for adult approval gave way to works that instead appealed to children's imaginations and emotions." She authored the 196…
 
Marion Sinclair has been Chief Executive of Publishing Scotland since 2008, with responsibility for program management, funding bids, policy, the International Publishing Fellowship program, publishing practice issues and reporting to Creative Scotland. She has worked in the book publishing sector for more than 30 years, at Polygon from 1988-97 (aw…
 
Conrad Black - in full, Conrad Moffat Black, Lord Black of Crossharbour - was born in 1944, in Montreal. He is an author, columnist, historian, and businessman who built the third largest newspaper group in the world during the 1980s and 1990s. At its height the organization controlled nearly 250 newspapers including the London Daily Telegraph, the…
 
John Brookshire Thompson is a British sociologist, a professor at the University of Cambridge, and a fellow of Jesus College. His work over the past two decades has focused particularly on the publishing industry. Books in the Digital Age: The Transformation of Academic and Higher Education Publishing in Britain and the United States (Polity, 2005)…
 
Ruth Panofsky is Professor of English at Ryerson University in Toronto. She is a leading scholar of the history of publishing and authorship in Canada and Canadian Jewish literature, an award-winning poet and a Fellow of the Royal Society. We met via Zoom to discuss her most recent book Toronto Trailblazers: Women in Canadian Publishing (2019, U of…
 
Dwight Garner is an American journalist and a longtime writer and editor for the New York Times. In 2008, he was named a book critic for the newspaper. Garner's previous post at The New York Times was as senior editor of The New York Times Book Review, where he worked from 1999 to 2008. He was a founding editor of Salon.com where he worked from 199…
 
Mark Samuels Lasner is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Delaware Library, and one of the world's great book collectors. The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection focuses on British literature and art from 1850 to 1900, with an emphasis on the Pre-Raphaelites and writers and illustrators of the 1890s. It comprises more than 9,500 books, letter…
 
David Frum is a Canadian-American political commentator and a senior editor at The Atlantic. He is the author of ten books, most recently TRUMPOCALYPSE: Restoring American Democracy (HarperCollins, 2020). His first book, Dead Right, won praise from William F. Buckley as “the most refreshing intellectual experience in a generation” and from Frank Ri…
 
Odette Drapeau is a leader, educator and innovator in the practice of fine bookbinding. She founded her bookbinding workshop The Headband in Montreal in 1979. For more than 50 years she has refined her work though the innovative use of materials including fish leathers, high-tech fibres and LED lights. Through her creative use of stunning textures …
 
Only seventeen women have won the Nobel Prize for Literature since it started in 1901. That's 17 out of 119 winners. In order to rectify this imbalance, an important new prize has been established. The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction is "the first English-language literary award to celebrate creativity and excellence in fiction by women writers in …
 
Dan Mozersky enjoyed a long and fruitful career in Canada's retail book industry. As a founding member of Indigo Books & Music's executive team he was instrumental in turning the company's vision into reality. During the 1990s he served as manager of U.S. Operations for Classic Books in New York. Prior to this he founded and owned a chain of retail…
 
Bill Waiser is a western Canadian historian. He has published more than a dozen books– many of them prize-winning. A World We Have Lost: Saskatchewan Before 1905, for example, won the 2016 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction. Bill has been appointed to the Order of Canada, awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, elected a fellow of t…
 
Matt Dorfman is an internationally recognized designer and illustrator. He is the art director of the New York Times Book Review and former art director of the New York Times Op-Ed page. Additionally, he maintains a one-person office specializing in work for publishers, film, theater and various cultural institutions. I talked with Matt recently ab…
 
Novelist, screenwriter and essayist Larry McMurtry is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning 1985 novel Lonesome Dove, a sweeping historical epic that follows ex-Texas Rangers as they drive cattle from the Rio Grande to Montana. (Update: Larry died yesterday, March 25, 2021). He grew up on a ranch outside of Archer City, Texas, which is the mode…
 
Richard Nash is a coach, strategist, and serial entrepreneur. He led partnerships and content at the culture discovery start-up Small Demons and the new media app Byliner. Previously he ran independent publishers Soft Skull Press and Red Lemonade where he published Maggie Nelson, Lynne Tillman, Vanessa Veselka’s Zazen, Alain Mabanckou, and many oth…
 
Will Schwalbe has spent most of his life in publishing: at William Morrow, and then at Hyperion, where he was Editor in Chief. In January 2008 he left Hyperion to found a startup called Cookstr.com and ran that for six years. It’s now part of Macmillan Publishers, where he has worked since 2014. His books include Send: Why People Email So Badly and…
 
Since 2012, Jason Rovito has been working with institutional and private collectors to grow the documentary value of their collections "because the Cloud forgets." Subject strengths include: the avant-garde, design, the human sciences, and visual culture across the full spectrum of Special Collections formats: rare books, ephemera, manuscripts, pho…
 
Marc Côté is President of Cormorant Books, a literary publishing house noted for its discovery and development of Canadian writing talent and the publishing of Quebecois fiction translated into English. He has won Canada's Libris Award for editor of the year twice, and Cormorant has won the Libris Award for small presses three times. At Cormorant M…
 
Richard Ovenden ​has been ​Bodley’s Librarian (the senior executive position of the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford) since 2014. ​He is a ​ Fellow​ at the​ Society of Antiquaries and Royal Society of Arts; ​a ​​member​ of the American Philosophical Society; Treasurer, ​at ​the Consortium of European Research Libraries; ​and ​President​ ​of…
 
Dan Mozersky enjoyed a long and fruitful career in the retail book industry. As a founding member of Indigo Books & Music's executive team he was instrumental in turning the company's vision into reality ( we talk about this in Part ll of our conversation). During the 1990s he served as manager of U.S. Operations for Classic Books in New York. Prio…
 
Mary Newberry is a Toronto-based freelance editor, indexer, and teacher. Her early passion was dancing. The self-discipline she learned from it is today one of her greatest assets. She works mostly with humanities-related texts: academic, government, literary, creative arts and general interest, and lately, in memoir. She has a long-term relationsh…
 
The son of prominent book collector Kenneth E. Hill, Jonathan A. Hill grew up in a house filled with old books. After graduating from university in 1974 he served a classic apprenticeship, working for four leading antiquarian booksellers in San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. In 1978 he started his own company and has specialize…
 
Miriam Borden, a teacher of Yiddish and PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto, is winner of the 2020 Honey and Wax Book Collecting Prize for “Building a Nation of Little Readers: Twentieth-Century Yiddish Primers and Workbooks for Children.” Borden collects twentieth-century Yiddish educational materials. Language primers form the core of her …
 
Martin Latham has been a bookseller for thirty-five years. He has a PhD in Indian history, and taught at Hertfordshire University before turning to bookselling. He is proud to be responsible for the biggest petty-cash claim in Waterstones' history, when he paid for the excavation of a Roman bath-house floor under his bookshop. Martin's books includ…
 
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