Back in Toronto

On November 30th (St. Andrew’s Day, a big day for haggis-eaters everywhere), I was lucky enough to be the first speaker in a lunch series hosted by the Literary Review of Canada and the Gardiner Museum, which provided the venue. At the top floor’s southwest corner we all gathered in a pleasant room with tables and chairs arrayed before the screen.

While people munched through their paper-bag lunch (yes, it was a brown bag), I whizzed through the Tony Jenkins caricatures, then asked the audience for suggestions about which authors they’d like to hear about. The questions came thick and fast (they always do) and I was able to be a polar bear gutting James Houston’s husky or Morley Callaghan knocking down Ernest Hemingway, and so on.

At the end I signed a dozen copies or so. As I was leaving my signing place, compliments still ringing in my ears, I was approached by an elderly member of my audience. I stooped graciously to accept her comments.  “I notice,” she said, severely, “that frequently you use ‘who’ when it should be ‘whom.’  ‘Who’ is the subjective, and ‘whom’ the objective case.”

I thanked her, as objectively as I could.


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