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Mark Leiren-Young

The author, journalist, and playwright Mark Leiren-Young discusses his new book The Killer Whale Who Changed the World (Greystone, 2016), with Joseph Planta.

The Killer Whale Who Changed the World by Mark Leiren-Young (Greystone, 2016).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: The Killer Whale Who Changed the World [1]

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.

Mark Leiren-Young joins me again. He’s recently published The Killer Whale Who Changed the World. It’s an account of the first publicly exhibited captive killer whale, Moby Doll, which was captured just off of Saturna Island here in British Columbia, and towed to Vancouver where for nearly two months he lived. It was an instant celebrity, whereupon some twenty thousand visitors went to look on the one and only day he was exhibited. The whale had actually been sought by the Vancouver Aquarium so that they could kill it and make a life-size replica. It turns out it changed how people saw orcas, and it inspired the movement that saved them. Usually around this time of the introduction I try to give a biographical sketch of the guest, and it’s impossible to do him justice because Mark is such a talented writer, whether it’s books like this, or memoirs, like Free Magic Secrets Revealed, which was last on with a couple of years ago, he’s an award-winning journalist, a marvellous critic, not to mention playwright, filmmaker, performer, satirist, and lecturer. He does everything he does really well, and it’s no surprise that one reads this new book moved by the affection and reverence with which he evokes Moby Doll and the other whales he writes about. A CBC Ideas documentary [2] he did on Moby Doll won a 2014 Jack Webster Award, and he’s working on a feature length documentary as we speak. www.leiren-young.com [3] is the website for more. This new book is published by Greystone. Please welcome back to the Planta: On the Line program, in Victoria today, Mark Leiren-Young; Mr. Leiren-Young, good morning.