Lunch with Mr. Gibson

Dear Diary,

I was out to lunch at the Art of eating Deli and brought my computer to work on the new online course I am creating. I was focused on my work . The restaurant was busy and a couple came in so I told them they could sit at my table. I kept on working and they enjoyed their lunch. It would have been easy for us to ignore each other but somehow it did not seem right not to engage in just a little conversation.  I had my head down and was working so a polite smile would have done it.

The deeper we get into technology, the closer we get our laptops or our phones, the less likely we are to encounter each other. I notice it everywhere. There are no dull silences anymore because we have our phones. We don’t feel alone so we are less likely to strike up a conversation with each other. Some of you do not feel that way I know, but many of us find our phones good company. We are not plugged into the phone, but to all the people it connects us with.

Anyway today at lunch after I worked a bit and they had finished their meal I lifted my head and said, “Are you visiting?”….

and the answer was “Yes, we are here on a tour.  I wrote this book about writers.”

I immediately said, “Ah I read about it…”

Happily he smiled, “Really you did?”

“Yes, tell me about your tour” I said, and he did, and his partner chimed in and told some stories too. We had a sweet visit. It made my day so much more interesting. I wanted to ask his wife what she did but I find it such a nosy question ( I hate asking that question) that I refrained. They were both charming. Full of stories about interesting things.

If I had kept my head down I would have missed having lunch with Douglas Gibson, whom Alistair Macleod once spoke about and said, “No one has done more for Canadian Literature than this man.”  He is one of  Canada’s most famous editor’s and publishers, former president of McClelland and Stewart, and editor/publisher  to Alice Munro, Hugh MacLennan, Morley Callaghan, Mavis Gallant and a host of famous authors.

So here’s the thing…enjoy your phone or your computer

….but remember to keep your head up and engage the people around you cause it makes for a nice story when you do.

Douglas Gibson’s book is called “Stories about Storytellers” and comes out in Soft Cover on April 1, with an extra story about Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize for Literature. I plan to read it. You can visit his website here.


7 thoughts on “Lunch with Mr. Gibson

  1. Yea for Canadian Literature!! I think Alistair MacLeod’s ‘No Great Mischief ‘ rates as one of, if not the best, definitive Canadian Novel, I have given away many copies and reread my own every once in a while. Highly recommend to anyone looking something to read during these last days of the seemingly endless winter.


  2. I have had the pleasure with working with Doug Gibson when he worked at McClelland and Stewart, the Canadian Publisher. He is a delightful person and loves the Maritimes! He brought us authors like Alice Munroe, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Roy MacGregor, Leo McKay Jr. and of course Alistair MacLeod! I am so glad you popped your head up and had such a lovely lunch!

    Lynne Reeder
    Ottawa/Montreal/Atlantic Canada District Sales Manager
    Random House of Canada


  3. When I travel from here in northwestern Pennsylvania, I find that conversations with people is one of my favorite part of the trip. Last summer after staying with friends in northern coastal Maine, I drove up to Amherst, where I enjoyed time spent with a member of your staff. From there I went to the Rug Hooking Museum of North America. Beside exploring the museum I had a lovely time with one of the workers as you took me around. Next time, hope to meet you.


Comments are closed.