Media boss launches publishing house
TORONTO — Former Maclean’s publisher and National Post founding editor Ken Whyte says his new non-fiction publishing house will strive for several things: intelligence, integrity and truthfulness. And diversity. “I don’t see how anyone can want anything but to be diverse in a country like Canada because it’s an incredibly diverse population by any international standard,” says Whyte, who last summer stirred controversy by tweeting about cultural appropriation.
“If you can’t handle a diverse range of authors and a diverse range of subjects for a diverse range of audiences, you’re really limited in Canada.”
Whyte rankled many last year by suggesting he would help fund an “appropriation prize” after Hal Niedzviecki penned an editorial in the Writers’ Union of Canada magazine saying he didn’t believe in cultural appropriation.
That ignited a social media storm in which mar- ginalized writers condemned the article. Niedzviecki resigned from the magazine.
Whyte says he’s mindful of the need to reflect various voices, but now that he helms his own press that doesn’t mean he’ll seek representation by a particular gender or race.
The Toronto-based Sutherland House will specialize in literary non-fiction and begin producing books in 2019.
Four projects are already signed up, including: “We, The Meeple,” an examination of culture, history, society and relationships through the medium of board games by former Walrus editor Jonathan Kay and board game expert Jonathan Moriarity; and “Perfect City,” a guided tour of the world’s great cities by the noted urban strategist, Joe Berridge.
Whyte says he’s interested in biography, memoir, history, current affairs and business matters.