On The Record

Canadian Author Apologizes For ‘Women Writers’ Comment

Canadian author and University of Toronto literature professor David Gilmour both apologized and defended his “I’m not interested in teaching books by women” comment that was published on Wednesday in the online magazine Hazlitt. Gilmour said he is “extremely sorry to hear that there are people who are really offended,” and characterized the statement as “a careless choice of words.” Gilmour said he was speaking to a French colleague while he was doing the interview, and remembered being more concerned about his French accent than what he was saying to the interviewer. He will not alter his syllabus because “I tend to teach people whose lives are a lot like my own, because that’s what I understand best, and that’s what I teach best.” During the Hazlitt interview he also said, "What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller, Philip Roth." Gilmour said that was a joke, and pointed out that he does in fact teach Truman Capote.