The Handover

Elaine Dewar's novel The Handover is a controversial look at the sale of "The Canadian Publisher" McClelland and Stewart to Random House.

Elaine Dewar

In her controversial new book, Elaine Dewar reveals for the first time how McClelland & Stewart was sold salami-style to Random House, a division of German media giant Bertelsmann; how smart businessmen and even smarter lawyers danced through the raindrops of the laws put into place to protect Canadian cultural institutions from foreign ownership while cultural bureaucrats looked the other way — and why we should care. It is the story not just of the demise of the country's best independent publisher, it is about the threats, internal and otherwise, facing Canadian culture. The Handover is more than just a CanLit How-Done-It — it is essential reading for anyone interested in the telling of Canadian stories. (From Biblioasis)

Excerpt | Author interview

From the book

The M&S handover to a foreign owner was a direct result of laws and policies written to promote the opposite result. For a time, they worked as they were supposed to. For a time, they led to a flowering of literature about Canada by Canadians, some of it appreciated far beyond this nation's borders, some of it universal in its reach. But legal walls are like real ones: they call up great ingenuity from those with an economic need to circumvent them. Our laws and policies were soon hollowed out by those determined to advance their private interests, and by civil servants happy to assist.

From The Handover by Elaine Dewar ©2017. Published by Biblioasis.

Author interview

McClelland & Stewart published Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler — to name a few. So how was this Canadian cultural literature staple sold to a foreign multinational despite Canada's national ownership rules, asks author Elaine Dewar. 20:12

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