The journalist Jan Wong discusses her memoir, Out of the Blue: A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption, and Yes, Happiness (2012), with Joseph Planta.
|Out of the Blue: A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption, and Yes, Happiness by Jan Wong (2012).|
Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:
I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver at TheCommentary.ca.
Jan Wong joins me again. For over twenty years she’s been one of Canada’s most famous and infamous of journalists. Her reporting won her awards, and her famous ‘Lunch with. . .’ column in the Globe and Mail was legendary. In 2006 covering the Dawson College shooting in Montreal, what she wrote set off a controversy that marked the beginning of the end of her relationship with the Globe and Mail. After receiving many death threats, being denunciated in Parliament, and outright racism, it was the abandonment of her newspaper that caused her to fall into severe clinical depression. She has just written and published a new book, Out of the Blue: A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption, and Yes, Happiness. It’s a captivating book wherein Wong narrates her spiral from the heights of journalism in Canada to the depths of depression. Throughout the book, she cites books and people that had helped her along the way. It’s a terrific bibliography if you’re interested in reading more about depression and grief. The book is also a chronicle of her battles with the Globe and Mail; Manulife, the paper’s insurer; and Doubleday, which had been contracted to publish this book, before deciding otherwise, prompting Wong to self-publish. Virginia Woolf once said, “Take notes, and the pain goes away.” We’ll ask Ms. Wong if she took this to heart, and whether writing this book has helped her. I suspect it’ll help a lot of people define depression, notice its signs, and perhaps challenge the stigma associated with it. It’s also got the sort of media gossip that’s interesting. Jan Wong was last on for her previous book Beijing Confidential. Her previous books include Red China Blues, Jan Wong’s China, and Lunch with Jan Wong. She’s won many awards, was at the Globe and Mail for 20 years, and is currently a columnist at Toronto Life and the Halifax Chronicle Herald, and a professor of journalism at St. Thomas University in Fredricton, New Brunswick, where she splits her time with Toronto. The website for more is at www.janwong.ca; that’s where you can buy the book. Please welcome back to the Planta: On the Line program in Toronto today, Jan Wong; Ms. Wong, good morning.