“So you’re a writer,” an examing physician remarked jovially to the late, great novelist Margaret Laurence. “When I retire, I intend to become a writer myself.” To which Margaret replied, cheerfully, “Yes, and when I retire, I intend to become a brain surgeon.”

That’s from Pierre Berton‘s The Joy of Writing, which I began reading last night. It’s the first of his books I’ve read, though I’ve been meaning to pick up one of his books for years. He’s an excellent writer. I’m surprised how funny he can be. I’ve laughed out loud, tears-running-down-my-face laughter, a few times already.


  1. I bought the book ($4), trade paperback, in a remainder store. They have several of his books there, piles and piles of them. I also bought ($3) Margart Atwood’s book on writing, “Taking to the Dead,” something like that, and Jane Jacob’s latest book ($6). Good deals.

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