Linda Leith's memoir delves into an intriguing life and family story
Linda Leith is a writer, translator and book publisher who lives in Montreal. She founded the literary festival Blue Metropolis and the publishing house Linda Leith Publishing. She was named a member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian literature.
Leith shares her life story in the new memoir The Girl from Dream City. Leith grew up in Europe, where her father — suffering from manic depression — moves the family around constantly, before finally coming to Canada and settling in Montreal. Leith returned to Europe as a young adult to pursue her education and writing dreams before finally returning to Montreal to embark on a career as a publisher and event organizer.
Live your dream
"This book is a culmination of years of thinking about what has been a very exciting life, very difficult at times and very challenging. There are many people who dream about becoming a writer.
"It isn't always easy, and it can take a long time. If that is your dream, you have to live your dream and do it."
"My parents had an enormous influence on me and within the family. My father was king, my mother was the queen and there was also my grandmother and my mother's mother. They were all readers. The main common denominator in all the different places that we lived was a love and an interest in books.
"I led such a different life as a child, as an adolescent and as a young woman. Nobody I ever knew had similar experiences. I was looking for the words that would apply to the life I was leading. The books that I read, and which I devoured and which I needed, didn't actually talk about any life similar to the one that I knew.
This book is a culmination of years, of thinking about what has been a very exciting life, very difficult at times and very challenging.
"That is why I had to become a writer myself — because the only way I could read something about the kind of life I had led, was for me to write it first."
Linda Leith's comments have been edited for length and clarity.