Photo: Joe Passaretti

Famous Canadian broadcaster and acclaimed novelist, Linden MacIntyre sat down with Zoomer to share some of the wisdom he's gleaned from his 74 years on the planet.

Linden MacIntyre, 74, is one of Canada's most recognizable broadcast journalists. For 24 years, he was a co-host of CBC's award-winning news magazine show The Fifth Estate and won 10 Gemini awards for his work.

He is also an acclaimed novelist. His books include the national bestsellers Why Men Lie and Punishment as well as The Bishop's Man, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, among numerous other honours. MacIntyre's latest novel is The Only Café, in which a son tries to solve the mystery of his father's death – a man who tried but could not forget a troubled past in his native Lebanon. It is both a mystery and an exploration of how the traumatic past, if left unexamined, shadows every moment of the present.

"I've been more than half a century at telling stories," says MacIntyre. "And every story, whether fact or fiction, is just as true as I can tell it."

What advice do you wish you'd given your 25-year-old self?

Shut up and listen.

What advice would you give your 80-year-old self?

See above.

What do you know for sure?

My limitations.

What have you learned?

Moral categories (good and evil) don't apply to people, only to what
people do.

What will you never learn?

How to golf.

Best piece of advice?

Do not try to write poetry. (From revered English prof, a long, long time ago.)

Did it work?

Yes.

What inspires you?

The optimism of decent people.

The moment that changed everything?

The moment I realized that I'd just been fired by the Chronicle Herald, in Halifax, a long, long time ago.

Happiness is …

Elusive. But a boat, a cold beer, a still day, infinity of sea and sky can make me think I'm close.

A version of this article appeared in the September 2017 issue with the headline, "Wisdom of the Ages," p. 96.

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