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Publishing from the Margins

by Michael Hayward
© April 1991

An essay for CMNS 870: Text and Context
as part of Simon Fraser University's
Master of Publishing degree program

Note: an updated and revised version of this paper has been published
in the Spring 1999 issue (CTR 98) of Canadian Theatre Review.


I'd like to thank Karl Siegler for having given so generously of his time during my research for this paper, and for providing an insight into the workings of a literary publishing house. Thanks also to Gene Bridwell and Charles Watts of Special Collections at the SFU library for having so patiently gleaned material from the Talonbooks Archives for me, and to both David Robinson and Mary Schendlinger for having taken the time to answer my many questions.

Despite careful proofreading and diligent note-taking during interviews, it is always possible that errors of fact or interpretation may have crept in. Needless to say, any such errors are mine.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Origin of Talonbooks
  3. A Dramatic Shift in Editorial Focus
  4. A Business Manager is Hired
  5. Two Financial Crises
  6. The Effects of the Canadian Book Publishing Development Program
  7. The DOC Revises Its Program
  8. Conclusion
  9. Appendix A - Talon's Grants Since 1974
  10. Appendix B - Talon's Unit Sales Since 1974
  11. Sources Consulted

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Talonbooks: Publishing from the Margins. © April, 1991 Michael Hayward