Catherine Gildiner has been in private practice in clinical psychology for nearly twenty years. She writes a monthly advice column for Chatelaine, a popular Canadian magazine, and contributes regularly to countless other Canadian newspapers and magazines. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three sons.
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A Conversation with Catherine Gildiner about her first memoir Too Close to the Falls
Are you a fan of the memoir genre? Whose work do you enjoy reading?
As a child in the 1950s, I devoured all the bright orange books in the library that were biographies of famous women. I read and reread Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women, and Clara Barton, the founder of the Red Cross. I used to leap off my bed at night pretending that I was Clara jumping off the horse-drawn ambulance to care for the wounded. As a teenager I devoured The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Soul on Ice. As an adult I still like memoirs, particularly childhood volumes. For example, I loved Simone de Beauvoir's Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter and Prime of Life. I also liked Jill Kerr Conway's The Road from Corrain about her childhood in Australia. I preferred it to her second volume, True North. In the last few years I would say my favorites are The Liars' Club and Cherry by Mary Karr.
What was the most difficult part of telling your story? Was the editing process difficult? Do you feel like the vignettes included here represent the "turning points" in your life?
The most difficult part of telling my story was dropping the ...
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