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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > MAY 2016 > Guiding light

Guiding light

Legendary editor and publisher Ellen Seligman combined fierce loyalty and a passionate devotion to excellence

NEWS

PHOTOGRAPH BY IAN CRYSLER

Ellen Seligman, the iconic editor and publisher of McClelland & Stewart, who died of undisclosed causes on March 25, embodied CanLit. Her influence was pervasive, though like all good editors she remained resolutely behind the scenes, a palimpsest for other people’s words. “I first encountered Ellen Seligman’s name as a reader, coming across it again and again in the acknowledgements of the books I loved,” says Anita Chong, senior editor at M&S. “One of those books, Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion, is the novel that planted the idea in my head to pursue a career in publishing. So, before I met her, Ellen had changed the course of my life.”

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