LIN­DEN MacINTYRE, 74,

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is one of Canada’s most rec­og­niz­able broad­cast jour­nal­ists. For 24 years, he was a co-host of CBC’s award-win­ning news magazine show TheFifthEs­tate and­won10Gem­ini awards for his work. He is also an ac­claimed nov­el­ist. His books in­clude the na­tional best­sellers Why Men Lie and Pun­ish­ment as well as The Bishop’s Man, which won the Sco­tia­bank Giller Prize, among nu­mer­ous other hon­ours. MacIntyre’s lat­est novel is The Only Café, in which a son tries to solve the mys­tery of his father’s death – a man who tried but could not for­get a trou­bled past in his na­tive Le­banon. It is both a mys­tery and an ex­plo­ration of how the trau­matic past, if left un­ex­am­ined, shad­ows ev­ery mo­ment of the present. “I’ve been more than half a cen­tury at telling stories,” says MacIntyre. “And ev­ery story, whether fact or fic­tion, is just as true as I can tell it.” What ad­vice do you wish you’d given your 25-year-old self? Shut up and lis­ten.

What ad­vice would you give your 80-year-old self? See above.

What do you know for sure? My lim­i­ta­tions.

What have you learned? Moral cat­e­gories (good and evil) don’t ap­ply to peo­ple, only to what peo­ple do.

What will you never learn? How to golf.

Best piece of ad­vice? Do not try to write po­etry. (From revered English prof, a long, long time ago.)

Did it work? Yes. What in­spires you? The op­ti­mism of de­cent peo­ple.

The mo­ment that changed ev­ery­thing? The mo­ment I re­al­ized that I’d just been fired by the Chron­i­cle Her­ald, in Hal­i­fax, a long, long time ago.

Hap­pi­ness is … Elu­sive. But a boat, a cold beer, a still day, in­fin­ity of sea and sky can make me think I’m close.

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