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Greg Gatenby

Previous Books by Greg Gatenby

Collage of Paperback Books by Greg Gatenby
Collage of Paperback Books by Greg Gatenby

Most of Greg Gatenby’s previous books have been concerned with cultural history and with the magnificence of whales and dolphins.

All of these books have received extremely positive reviews and coverage in major international media.

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Short Descriptions

Toronto A Literary Guide

Toronto A Literary Guide, is a fascinating showcase of the many Canadian and foreign authors who have lived in the city or who made important professional appearances in Toronto.

Replete with meticulous research, the book provides rich detail about the lives of both literary legends and unknown professional authors who called Toronto their home—including Margaret Atwood, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Willa Cather, Michael Ondaatje, Stephen Leacock, and Carol Shields among hundreds of other celebrated names. The book, available in paperback only, is organized around 58 annotated and illustrated walking tours.

The Wild is Always There

The Wild is Always There is the first volume in a series of anthologies, edited by Greg Gatenby, documenting how distinguished foreign creative authors over the centuries have written about Canada and Canadians.

The book explores how authors as diverse as Voltaire, William Faulkner, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Ernest Hemingway have described the second biggest country (and its residents) in the world.

 

“A fascinating literary tour of Canada past and present…the perfect gift for lovers of cultural arcana…I can’t imagine a reader so erudite that he or she wouldn’t learn a good deal about Canada and the writers themselves from this collection.  And anyone with some interest in culture would surely find it fun.  As incidental benefits, Gatenby has opened up a whole new field of literary scholarship for future Canadian doctoral candidates.”

Toronto Star

The Very Richness of That Past

The Very Richness of that Past, is the second volume of the series, edited by Greg Gatenby, showing how eminent foreign authors wrote about Canadians and their country.

This volume has excerpts by writers as notable as Nobel Laureates John Galsworthy and Sinclair Lewis as well as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Rudyard Kipling, Harriet Martineau, Kushwant Singh, and Raymond Chandler among many others.  

Gatenby is not an academic [by profession] but rather a kind of independent scholar. In his new book, The Very Richness of that Past, he has left no avenues of research unexplored and has produced a book with all the necessary apparatus of annotation.  But his prose, while careful, is informal.  Without being—again in the pejorative sense, journalistic—it nonetheless manages to rattle right along for Gatenby writes not to be consulted but to be read. 

Books in Canada

Whales: A Celebration

Whales: A Celebration, is, befitting its subject, a massive anthology of prose and poetry by great writers of the past in addition to literary masters of today, most of the latter penning original material just for this volume. 

Among the modern contributors are William Golding and Margaret Atwood. The book is extensively illustrated with a huge selection of visual art from prehistoric times, through the best of the Old Masters, up to the present—again, with most of the contemporary material created by the artists just for this anthology.

Contributors in this regard include Judy Chicago, Michael Snow, and Robert Rauschenberg, and Henry Moore. As if this were not attractive enough fare, the contents are much enhanced by one-page scores written by several of the world’s most acclaimed modern composers including Leonard Bernstein, John Cage, Toru Takemitsu, and Rodion Shchedrin.

When published in 1983 this book was reviewed by leading newspapers and magazines round the world, all unanimous in their praise.

“This is a beautiful and enchanting book…one of the most fascinating aspects of the book is his use of several versions of the same legend…the whole book is a sumptuous feast,” 

–Bernard Levin, The Observer 

Whales Sound

Whale Sound, when published in 1977, was one of the first anthologies of poetry and visual art in the world dedicated to highlighting the plight of whales and dolphins.

Featuring contributions from many of the foremost poets and painters in Canada, the book became a bestseller, not least because all royalties were donated to the Greenpeace “Save The Whales” campaign.

The anthology remains a beautiful document to explore, offering compelling artistic interpretations of those marine mammals who have compelled the attention of humans for millennia.

 

“It’s an anthology of poems by 56 Canadian poets and drawings by 30 artists in praise of whales.  About 80 per cent of the poems were created specifically for the book…Most of the artwork is original too…The idea for the book originated with Greg Gatenby, a Toronto poet associated with Harbourfront who took on the job as editor.  He says he has always been fascinated by whales but felt a tremendous impotence in the face of their wanton slaughter and threatened survival.  He visualized the book as a means of drawing attention to the plight of the whale and mobilizing public opinion and as a means of raising money for the Greenpeace Foundation.” 

–William French, Globe and Mail

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