Selected articles by Anna Porter

2024, Hungary’s Viktor Orban has taken a page straight out of Putin’s playbook. How will the EU respond? The Globe and Mail

2023, Andrey Kurkov on bringing ordinary stories out of Ukraine’s ‘grey zone’, The Globe and Mail

2023, George Soros’s legacy will be his ideas – and they will outlive him, The Globe and Mail

2023, Shelf Portrait: Anna Porter, The Richler Library Project

2022, Writers in Peril, Write Magazine

2022, Why should you care about the Hungarian elections? Because the future of an ‘illiberal democracy’ is at stake, The Globe and Mail

2021, Playing Poker With Eichmann, Tablet
Rezso Kasztner negotiated with the Nazis for thousands of Jewish lives. Viewed as a savior by some and a traitor by others, he was assassinated by a political fanatic. Now his granddaughter is running for prime minister of Israel.

2021, Why a proposed deal between two American publishing giants matters to the Canadian books sector, The Globe and Mail

2020, Like the creature itself, our fascination with vampires will never die, The Globe and Mail

Allan Fotheringham (1932–2020), Fall 2020 issue of Write, the magazine of The Writers’ Union of Canada

2020, Review: A Bite of the Apple: A Life with Books, Writers and Virago, by Lennie Goodings, Literary Review of Canada

2019, The writing on the Wall: Thirty years later, Eastern Europe’s post-Communist experiment is in peril, The Globe and Mail

2019, Seventy-five Years Later, Hungary Still Hasn’t Come to Terms with its Role in the Holocaust, Quillette

2019, The Making of a Philanthropist, Peter Munk 1927-2018, Queen’s Quarterly

2018, This Terrible Business Has Been Kind to Me, Queen’s Quarterly
I have always loved stories. My whole family told stories. A few of them were even true—like those about our hardy swordsmen ancestors, or the one about the great Transylvanian dragon who was majestic and green and in no way resembled the nasty-looking wormlike creature St George had been in the habit of slaying in a variety of churches and galleries. My grandfather—who was a magician, publisher, dueller, Olympic champion fencer, and short distance runner—was the storyteller of The Storyteller, my first “non-fiction book”.
As a child, I wrote long galloping poems about great Hungarian heroes, most of whom died in battles against implacable foes—the Tatars, the Ottoman Turks, the Habsburgs. (Though when I met the last Habsburg almost-emperor-king, Otto, in the Munich suburb of Pöcking, it was hard to picture him as an implacable foe. His son Georg, living in Budapest, also seemed very pleasant.)
—Based on her Robertson Davies Lecture at the Kingston WritersFest, October 1, 2017.

2018, Review: Yossi Klein Halevi’s Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor looks for spiritual common ground, The Globe and Mail

2018, George Soros has had a lifetime of sustained antisemitic tropes, The JC

2017, Jack Rabinovitch, 1930-2017, Queen’s Quarterly

2017, Alligators in Their Midst, M&S in the Seventies, CNQ100th

2017, Say the Names, The Dorchester Review

2017, Michael Ignatieff’s looming battle with Hungary, Maclean’s

2016, In Praise of an Original, Queen’s Quarterly

According to Stephen Vizinczey, great literature can never be created in a publishing system that simply wants to mass-produce what it believes “the market” desires. The sad consequence of focusing only on the demands of a notional book market is nothing less than “the end of literature”. As he writes in Truth and Lies in Literature, “Great writers are not those who tell us we shouldn’t play with fire, but those who make our fingers burn.”

2016, Hungary: a New Threat to the EU, Maclean’s
2016, In Memoriam, George Jonas 1935 – 2016, Queen’s Quarterly
2016, George Jonas, Hungarian Review
2016, Punishing Russia’s murderous kleptocrats, National Post
2016, Optimism thrives at London Book Fair, Quill & Quire
2015, In business and beyond, George Soros barely stops for breath, Globe and Mail
2015, Let a hundred readers bloom: Chinese literature goes global, Maclean’s
2015, Canadians enjoyed strong presence at BEA, despite significant Chinese delegation, Quill & Quire

2015 A Journey of a Thousand Years, Queen’s Quarterly
It is a deeply complicated story. Its every aspect presents grounds for passionate debate, for applause and anger, for wonder and tears; it is a theatre of history. It is rare for a museum to elicit such diverse emotions, yet manage to tell a narrative that succeeds in being both comprehensive and selective in its rendering of the story of a people whose lives were intertwined with another history that was central to their own.
It is the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Even its location is fraught: situated in the heart of the former Warsaw Ghetto, destroyed by the Germans in 1943, facing Nathan Rapoport’s marble and bronze Monument to the Ghetto Heroes in a city that was itself totally demolished by the Nazis. This is a place that had once been at the heart of European Jewish culture – Jews were about a third of the population of the city – and just a short distance from the Umschlagplatz, the deportation point for the last 300,000 Jews to the death camps. During World War II, there were more people killed in Warsaw alone (about 600,000) than in France or the UK….

2015 The Soros Solution, National Post
2014 ‘A Living Horror’: A Statue Rewrites Hungary’s Messy History, Maclean’s
2014 Remembering the Diversity, Creativity and Significance of Poland’s Jewish Community, National Post

2014 Farley Mowat 1921 – 2014, Queen’s Quarterly

Jack McClelland used to tell the story of how Farley first appeared in his office, a small, red-haired, wild man who wanted, more than anything, to be a writer. He thought words had the power to change the world….

2014, Remembering Farley Mowat Hazlitt

2014, Goreé Island, The Door of No Return, Queen’s Quarterly

Once a terminal for the shipment of countless enslaved men, women, and children, the building now stands as a memorial to their terrible ordeal. Pope John Paul II made a pilgrimage to this place, as did US Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama…

2014 Scottish Referendum Leaves Behind an Air of Bitterness, National Post
2014 A Surreal Time to be in Edinburgh, Watching History Unfold and, Possibly, a Great Power Unraveling, National Post
2013 Houghton Revisited: Walpole Masterpieces from the Hermitage, Queen’s Quarterly (Winter)
2013 Hungary’s Far Right Turn, Maclean’s
2013 The Mexican Suitcase, Queen’s Quarterly (Fall)
2013 The Story of Vera Gran and the High Price of Survival, Globe and Mail
2013 Budapest’s Monsters, National Post
2013 Amour: No Gentle End, Queen’s Quarterly
2012 In Normandy, It’s Easy to Forget – but Better to Remember, Globe and Mail
2012 Shakespeare and Company: At Home with Books, Queen’s Quarterly (Winter)
2012 Shot in the Back, Toronto Life
2012 The Hunger Angel by Herta Mueller, review, Globe and Mail
2012 Hungary: Turning Right–and fighting with the EU, Maclean’s
2012 Midnight in Paris: A Movable Feast, film review, Queen’s Quarterly
2011 James Does Justice to Jane Austen, review, Globe and Mail
2011 Imre Kertész: Writing the Impossible Novel, review excerpt, Queen’s Quarterly
2011 A Heartbreaking Novel About the Man Who Ruled the Lodz Ghetto, review, Globe and Mail
2011 Bigotry Keeps Roma on the Run, The Star
2011 Underground by Antanas Sileika, review, LRC
2011 King of the Independents, Quill and Quire
2011 The Dangers of Being a Writer in Putin’s Russia, Maclean’s
2011 Joyful and Irrelevant, at the London Book Fair Books and Authors are No Longer the Main Topic, Quill and Quire
2011 A Religious Contradiction, Partly Truth and Partly Fiction,
Globe and Mail

2011 Troublesome, but Well Worth the Trouble, Globe and Mail
2011 Time to Lead: The Shaky State of Canadian Book Publishing, Globe and Mail
2011 Return of the Iron Fist?, Maclean’s
2010 The Lonely Passion of Herta Müller, Queen’s Quarterly
2010 Don’t Get the Rug Pulled Over Your Eyes in Morocco, Globe and Mail
2010 Exclusive: Anna Porter Talks to Stieg Larsson’s Life Partner, Globe and Mail
2010 An Inside Look at How Germany Has Rebuilt Itself, Maclean’s
2009 The Minister of Minorities, Maclean’s
2009 General Jaruzelski, Globe and Mail
2009 Slovak Language Laws, Maclean’s
2009 Classic Building Aficionado Michael Tippin, Globe and Mail
2009 The 92nd Street Y, Globe and Mail
2009 Fascism, The Next Generation, Globe and Mail
2009 Sandor Marai: Embers Globe and Mail Focus
2009 Solidarity, Globe and Mail
2008 Hungary: No Georgia on their Minds, Maclean’s
2008 Poland: Between the Devil and the EU, Maclean’s
2008 Gratitude by Joe Kertes, review, LRC
2008 Searching for Schindler, review, Globe and Mail
2007 Ferenc Gyurcsany, Maclean’s
2007 Diary of Petr Ginz, Globe and Mail Review
2006 The Best Coffee House in the World, En Route
2006 There is No Middle Path, Maclean’s
2006 Sebestyen and Korda review, Globe and Mail
2006 The Face of Revolution, Globe and Mail
2004 A Storybook Life: Jack McClelland, Maclean’s
2004 Jack McClelland, Globe and Mail
2003 Words, Guns and Anguish, Maclean’s
2002 In Search of Dracula, Globe and Mail
2002 The World of Fear and Horror: Israel, Maclean’s
2001 Vestiges of Empire, Russia, Maclean’s
2001 Robert Lantos, Time Magazine
2001 Haida Gwaii, Globe and Mail


“A Canadian Education,” in Passages: Welcome Home to Canada, Doubleday Canada, 2002
“The Master Storyteller,” in Writing Life, ed. Connie Rooke, McClelland & Stewart, 2006