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JJ Lee

28 September 2012 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The journalist and menswear columnist JJ Lee discusses his critically acclaimed memoir, The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son and a Suit (McClelland & Stewart, 2011), with Joseph Planta.

The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit by JJ Lee (McClelland & Stewart, 2011).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: The Measure of a Man

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

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

One of the more extraordinary books I’ve read in recent years is The Measure of a Man by J.J. Lee. The book was released a year ago to great acclaim. It’s since been nominated for the country’s major literary prizes: The Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction, the Governor General’s Literary Award, and the BC Book Prize’s Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize. This past week it was announced that the book is a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize, which I believe is the country’s richest prize. It’s been reviewed as a heartwarming, heartbreaking, exquisite, and beautiful book. It’s a memoir about his stormy childhood, his father’s less than stellar role in his growing up, and coming to terms with his dad after his death. A way Mr. Lee does that is through this suit he inherits from his father, that he renovates to fit himself. It’s a marvellous way to enter and unpack this complicated relationship. Along the way the book takes us on a marvellous social history of the suit. JJ Lee is an architect by trade, but he’s a regular menswear contributor to the Vancouver Sun and CBC Radio here in Vancouver. The book is published by McClelland and Stewart. The website for more is at www.jj-lee.com. There are a couple of appearances of note: this Sunday, 30 September 2012, JJ Lee will be appearing on a panel with our old friend Charlie Smith, Kevin Chong, and Roberta Staley at Word on the Street. That’s at noon. And Saturday morning, 20 October 2012, there’s a seminar at the Surrey International Writers Conference. I am very pleased to welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, joining me in my office, in studio as it were, JJ Lee; Mr. Lee, good morning.