Heather Mallick (born 1959) is a Canadian columnist, author and lecturer. She writes a twice weekly column for the Toronto Star, an occasional column for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's website, and a monthly column for The Guardian's website. She teaches courses on politics and writing at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and lectures on Human Rights and Canadian nationalism. Until recently she also wrote a monthly column for Chatelaine magazine.
Life and career
Mallick was born in Norway House, Manitoba and raised in the northern Ontario town of Kapuskasing and in other remote communities where her father worked as a physician. Mallick attended the University of Toronto where she received a bachelor's and Master of Arts degrees in English Literature. She also earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism from Ryerson University.
After graduation, she was employed at the Canadian financial daily newspaper Financial Post where she first worked as a copy editor and later became a news editor.
She first came to public notice in Canada during the 1990s as the book review editor and writer for the Sunday edition of the Toronto Sun, where she won two Canadian Newspaper Association National Newspaper Awards for critical writing in 1994 and feature writing in 1996. Mallick later wrote for The Globe and Mail where her left-of-centre political opinion column "As If" was a regular part of the paper's Saturday edition until December 2005. She also wrote major and minor pieces for the newspaper on lifestyle and other issues. Stylistically, Mallick has been compared to writers such as the American commentators Maureen Dowd and Molly Ivins and the British commentator Julie Burchill. She joined the Toronto Star in August 2010.
Mallick's first book, Pearls in Vinegar, was published in September, 2004 in Canada. She published a collection of new essays for Knopf Canada in April, 2007 entitled Cake or Death: The Excruciating Choices of Everyday Life.
In 2008, after Sarah Palin was selected as the U.S. Republican party's Vice-Presidential candidate, Mallick, among other things, labelled Palin as "white trash" and an "Alaskan hillbilly" and likened her to a "toned-down ... porn actress" in a column for the CBC. The column aroused fierce criticism. Jonathan Kay, writing in the National Post, accused Mallick of "childish vulgarity" and "hypocrisy" and said that her writing "is haunted by hateful hang-ups about Americans, country-dwellers and the political right. Some of her obsessions are downright weird — such as her prurient insistence that male conservatives embrace bad policy because they are impotent and horny." An investigation by the CBC ombudsman found that "many of her most savage assertions lack a basis in fact", and that her aspersions on the sexual inadequacy of Republican men "would easily be seen as, at best, puerile" if "applied to any other group". The publisher of CBC news, John Cruickshank, apologized for publishing Mallick's column, which he called "viciously personal, grossly hyperbolic and intensely partisan".
On July 28, 2011, the Toronto Star published a column by Mallick entitled "What to do when a monster likes your work". A British journalist mentioned in the column, Melanie Phillips, promptly commenced legal action. The Star printed an apology, stating in part, "The column made reference to Ms. Phillips’ writings in an entirely misleading and inappropriate manner." The paper also removed the column from their website, and settled with Phillips for full legal costs, plus a donation to a charity of her choice in lieu of damages.
- Pearls in Vinegar: The Pillow Book of Heather Mallick (2004) ISBN 978-0-670-04462-7. This is a collection of her short essays on many different subjects, personal, social and political, as a modern version of the 10th Century Japanese Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon.
- Cake or Death: The Excruciating Choices of Everyday Life (2007) ISBN 978-0-676-97840-7.
- http://www.cna-acj.ca/client/cna/cna.nsf/web/NNAWinners1996/ Canadian National Newspaper awards 1996
- CBC News: Analysis & Viewpoint: Heather Mallick
- http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/polisci/multimedia.cfm?cfnocache/ Mel Hurtig Annual Lecture on the Future of Canada 2007
- Mallick, Heather (September 5, 2008). "A Mighty Wind blows through Republican convention". CBC News.
- Carlin, Vince (September 25, 2008). "Heather Mallick on Sarah Palin". CBC Ombudsman.
- Kay, Jonathan (September 9, 2008). "Another week, another disgrace at the CBC". National Post.
- Cruickshank, John (September 29, 2008). "We erred in our judgment". CBC News.
- "CBC apologizes for column maligning Sarah Palin". Toronto Star. September 28, 2008.
- "Melanie Phillips apology". Toronto Star. August 14, 2011.
- Phillips, Melanie (15 August 2011). "Apology to me by Heather Mallick and the Toronto Star".
- Heather Mallick's web site
- Heather Mallick's viewpoint articles at cbc.ca
- Heather Mallick's articles at guardian.co.uk
- Heather Mallick writing for The Women's Post
- Mallick column removed, CBC apologizes
- Heather Mallick on Sarah Palin
- Mallick opinion on Palin raises questions about state-funded television