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All stories relating to Pierre Turgeon

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Michael Jackson bio spins off into documentary

Less than a year ago, Transit Media – the latest venture from discredited Montreal businessman Pierre Turgeonhit the jackpot when it published a biography of Michael Jackson that appeared mere days after the King of Pop’s death. The book, titled Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson and written by journalist Ian Halperin, is now being turned into a documentary that will be released by Transit in Canada and France on June 25, the one-year anniversary of Jackson’s death. Variety reports:

Author-filmmaker Ian Halperin is behind Gone Too Soon, an 88-minute documentary about Jackson that is culled from 300 hours of footage shot inside the singer’s camp.

[...]

Footage in Gone Too Soon includes video and audio of Jackson shot before his death. It also includes interviews with Jackson’s personal manager, chef, spiritual adviser, hairstylist, trainer, protective agent, and attorney.

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Discredited Montreal publisher back in business with new Jackson bio

Montreal publisher Pierre Turgeon – who pleaded guilty last March to charges of fraud – appears to have rebounded from the bankruptcy of his old publishing firm, Trait d’union. Not only is he back with a new publishing venture, called Transit Publishing, he may well have hit the jackpot with one of his initial releases: a new biography of Michael Jackson, which will include about 50 pages of material pertaining to the pop star’s death.

According to Turgeon, the book, originally titled Michael Jackson: Return from Exile, was submitted to the printer last Wednesday, the day before Jackson died. On the following evening, Turgeon stopped the presses so that author Ian Halperin could have a few days to whip up additional material about the last weeks of Jackson’s life and the circumstances surrounding his death. The revised version, which goes to press today and is likely to arrive in stores late next week, is titled Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson.

Turgeon says that Halperin – an investigative journalist who has published unauthorized bios of Kurt Cobain, Céline Dion, and several other celebrities – spent five years researching and writing the book and had intimate access to Jackson and his entourage. A lengthy excerpt of the new material has been published online by the U.K.’s Daily Mail and will reportedly be excerpted in a future issue of US magazine.

Turgeon’s former creditors, who were left in the lurch for at least $1.7-million when Trait d’union went bankrupt in 2005, must have been shocked to see his name in the headlines so soon after the unseemly demise of his last publishing venture. In March, when Turgeon pleaded guilty to fraud charges in a Quebec court, he was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and to do several hours of community service. (Incredibly, the judge in the case decreed that Turgeon should spend time teaching the value of reading to schoolchildren.) Turgeon’s former partner in Trait d’union, Julien Beliveau – who successfully sued Turgeon for more than $600,000 but has yet to see a penny – said he is appalled that Turgeon is allowed to be back in business. “It is just beyond belief,” he told Q&Q. Beliveau added that because Transit Publishing is an entirely separate company, he is unable to bring a new lawsuit against it. “[Turgeon] can do whatever he wants. He is off the hook.”

Remarkably, this isn’t the first time that Transit has been in the news since it was founded in February. Another of its titles, a controversial biography of the founder of Cirque du Soleil, entitled Guy Laliberté: The Fabulous Story of the Creator of Cirque du Soleil (also written by Halperin), recently landed Turgeon in legal trouble over the unauthorized use of a photo of a trapeze artist on the front cover, and had to be reissued with a new cover. An excerpt from the book generated significant controversy when it was printed in Maclean’s earlier this month.

Transit currently employs four full-time staffers, including Turgeon and his son, François.

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Richard Poplak and more in the May Q&Q

Jet-setting author Richard Poplak travelled to 17 different countries to research his latest book, which looks at the influence of American pop culture in the Muslim world, and he’s Q&Q’s cover subject in the May 2009 issue. Also in the issue, we look at the surprising success of Harlequin Enterprises at 60 and at how print-on-demand is changing the bookstore of the future. Our Library Special Report examines the tricky task of putting Canada’s archival history online. Plus reviews of new books by Colin McAdam, Emily Schultz, Giles Blunt, Lynn Johnston, Barry Callaghan, and more.

Pop goes the world
Richard Poplak bets that tawdry TV and banal bubblegum can bring cultures together

Print-on-demand: The dream and the reality
The bookstore of the future, and why POD machines are waiting for books in the present

Love wins out
While other major publishers are bleeding money, Harlequin Enterprises is raking it in. How the firm has managed to beat the odds

History, bit by bit
What’s the best way to put our national heritage online?
AND MORE IN THE LIBRARY SPECIAL REPORT: Coping with rising patron demand, and learning to LOL at the reference desk

FRONTMATTER

  • Ninety minutes with Stuart Ross
  • Comedy is easy, kidlit is hard
  • The adventures of Pierre Turgeon: a timeline
  • Cover to Cover: Lauren Kirshner’s Where We Have to Go
  • Snapshot: Alexandra Moore of Word on the Street
  • Breakwater unbroken
  • David Bezmozgis moves from control to collaboration

REVIEWS

  • Heaven Is Small by Emily Schultz
  • Though You Were Dead by Terry Griggs
  • The English Stories by Cynthia Flood
  • Plus more fiction, non-fiction, and poetry

BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

  • Dance Baby Dance by Andrea Spalding
  • Dracula Madness by Mary Labatt and Jo Rioux
  • Soccer Sabotage by Liam O’Donnell and Mike Deas
  • Swim the Fly by Don Calame
  • Plus more fiction, non-fiction, and picture books

THE Q&Q/BOOKNET CANADA BESTSELLERS

THE LAST WORD
Lesley Choyce
does the math on three decades in writing

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Book Pictures

Do you have great photos from a recent book event in Canada that you'd like to share with us? Submit them to the Quill & Quire Flickr pool and they'll show up here.

Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Eva Stachniak poses with a copy of her book, Empress of the Night

Tea and snacks inspired by Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

Rimma Burashko with author Eva Stachniak

Eva Stachniak talks to the audience about the best and worst of Catherine the Great's favourites

Eva Stachniak smiles as she signs a copy of Empress of the Night for a fan

Fans wait in line to have their copies of Empress of the Night signed by Eva Stachniak

Fans wait in line to have their copies of Empress of the Night signed by Eva Stachniak

Lesley Strutt, Dean Steadman, Amanda Earl, Alastair Larwill and Frances Boyle

Frances Boyle, Dean Steadman, Lesley Strutt and Alastair Larwill

Amanda Earl

Jewel of the Thames launch

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