'Time is the great editor': Brian Brett chooses his literary executor
[Originally published on Sept. 24, 2017]
You may remember Brian Brett. He's a bit unforgettable.
The award-winning memoirist, journalist and poet was on the program last year, discussing his latest book Tuco: The Parrot, the Others and A Scattershot World.
- The Sunday Edition: 'Born strange': Brian Brett on gender, his parrot Tuco, and life as an Other
Tuco was an African grey parrot who Brett lived with for 25 years, teaching him about human-animal relationships and giving him new perspectives on the idea of otherness, which he already knew far too well.
Brian Brett was born with a rare genetic condition called Kallmann Syndrome, which left him biologically androgynous, unable to produce male hormones, and led a doctor to declare that he wouldn't live past the age of 40.
Now in his late 60s, having far outlived the doctor's prediction — and even the doctor himself — Brian Brett is once again being forced to come to terms with the idea of his own mortality.
A dizzying string of recent health scares — a superbug infection, a heart attack, and liver cancer — seemed like a strong suggestion that he get his affairs in order; something that, for writers, includes assigning the role of literary executor.
As luck would have it, he knew just the man for the job: his former farm hand — a young aspiring writer who showed up at Brett's Salt Spring Island farm seven years ago to repair a deck, help with chores and talk poetry.
That young man was named Chris Oke, and Chris's documentary is called The Great Editor.
Click 'listen' above to hear the full documentary.