Portrait of a Publisher
Jack McClelland and McClelland & Stewart in 1968
From: 1968 in Canada
Nineteen sixty-eight was a tremendously eventful year for publisher Jack
McClelland and his publishing house, McClelland & Stewart. On the one hand, spurred by funding opportunities initiated by the Massey Commission, his writers were burgeoning with success. On the other hand, however, the press was in financial crisis, and McClelland, an ardent nationalist, refused to sell to an American firm. In 1952, when McClelland was 30 years old, he took over the press from his father, John McClelland, and his business partner, John Stewart; but it was not until the spring of 1968, when his father died, that he would have sole control over the firm. This moment was particularly significant because unlike his father, Jack McClelland published only Canadian writers, a bold and risky move. This chapter articulates how and to what extent Jack McClelland shaped Canadian literature and culture in 1968 and beyond.
Laura K. Davis
Laura K. Davis teaches and researches in the field of Canadian literature at Red Deer College. Her research resides at the intersections of history, culture, and literature, and her approach to the study of literature emphasizes the material and intellectual contexts in which texts are produced. Her books include Margaret Laurence Writes Africa and Canada (2017) and Margaret Laurence and Jack McClelland, Letters, edited with Linda M. Morra (2018).