Friday, November 13, 2009

An Evening with *John English* Author of *Just Watch Me*

Meet John English on Wednesday November 25th, 7 pm, at Knox Church in Waterloo. Tickets are $10 or 1 free ticket with a purchase of the author's featured book before the event

We remember when John English introduced the first book in his Pierre Elliot Trudeau biography, Citizen of the World, in 2006. I didn't know this myself but it was at the request of the Trudeau family that John was asked to write the biography that spans two volumes, concluding with Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliot Trudeau 1968-2000. Just watch Me was just published in October of this year.

Trudeau’s life is one of Canada’s most engrossing stories. John English reveals how for Trudeau, style was as important as substance. The title Just Watch Me, is not only Trudeau's notorious phrase from the October Crisis but a motto for his full performance in life. English examines how the
controversial public figure intertwined with the charismatic private man and committed father. He traces Trudeau’s deep friendships (with women especially, many of them talented artists, like Barbra Streisand) and bitter enmities; his marriage and family tragedy.

Citizen of the World was a multi-award winner: it won the Dafoe Book Prize; the University of British Columbia Medal for Canadian Biography; was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-fiction, the Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing, the Donald Smiley Prize and the Charles Taylor Prize; and was a Globe and Mail Best Book. English has had exclusive access to Trudeau's private and family papers, and the cooperation of the whole family (without any liens).

He has also researched the entire published record of the period, the archival records, and has interviewed hundreds of people associated with Trudeau both publicly and privately. As such, these two volumes are the definitive story.

Here is an excerpt from an interview with John English in The Record:

The second volume of his exhaustive biography by Waterloo’s John English certainly wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if it weren’t true. Trudeau saved everything, from childhood report cards, sketches and receipts to girlfriends’ letters, post cards and cabinet notes.

That handed English a “staggering” stash of records, personal papers and documents to wade through for his new book, Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1968-2000. At once fascinating and elusive, they gave the biographer the impression that Trudeau always intended the material for future public consumption.

“He had a sense of destiny about him,” English said yesterday from his office at the Centre for International Governance Innovation on Erb Street. “He really wanted to be in public life, to make an imprint on the world. He pretty much structured his life around those ambitions.”

Read the entire article HERE.

See you there!

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