Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Catherine Gildiner

Catherine Gildiner wrote her doctoral thesis on the influence of Darwin on Freud, and has been a clinical psychologist in private practice for several years. She writes a psychological advice column for Chatelaine magazine and has written numerous newspaper articles. Her first book, the memoir Too Close to the Falls, was published in Canada, the US and the UK to wide acclaim. It is followed by After the Falls which covers her life from the ages of 13-21. She is also the author of the novel Seduction.

About a week ago I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I usually stick to my rule of alternating between a classic and a modern book.

Books I love:

Middlemarch by George Eliot. A rare combination of perfectly drawn characters that all grapple with the question of how we combine intellectual learning with the improvement of society. The drama results in their varying degrees of success.

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens . Although it is a novel, in my mind it is a memoir of Dickens's childhood and his development into manhood. It describes the impediments we all face he falls into various pitfalls, but emerges triumphant. Along the way there are wicked and kind characters -- all rendered as full human beings. Dickens can create a character with only few lines.

American Pastoral by Philip Roth. This novel describes the break down on society in the 60's and its aftermath. It is a marvelous combination on character and history. He uses the decline of Newark as a symbol for all of America. If you arrived from Mars and knew nothing about America, and read this book you could figure out the 'lay of the land'.

Book I just finished:

I just finished reading Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. I really liked this book. Davidson has found an interesting way to tie history into the present. If you are sick of the usual boring love story try this one. It is between a severe burn victim and a schizophrenic who imagines they loved one another in the past. A bizarre premise but it works -- magical.
Visit Catherine Gildiner's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue