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332 LEITERS IN CANADA 1998 roty Players proved to be a turning point in their relationship. By 1940 she was hopelessly in love with then unknown actor John Drainie, and though they tried to break free from one another, their love proved unyielding, and, at the suggestion of her father, she and Jack divorced shortly thereafter. With honesty and tenderness she recounts the intimacies of her breakup withJack (including a feigned mistress and deceitful testimony for the benefit of the court) and subsequent bittersweet reunion with John. On 11 April 1942, she and John were married, thus beginning a historical collaboration that endured its own ebbs and flows, ending on 30 October 1966 with his tragic death from cancer. The bulk of the memoir concentrates on her erratic marriage to JOM, her own career as an actor and writer, and her domestic life raising six children and travelling abroad to Europe with all of them in tow. With unbridled candour Taylor takes her grandchildren and great-grandchildren on an unabashed journey through her life married to one of Canada's most celebrated actors. Sparing no detail of the intense passion and recurring emotional violence in her marriage, she depicts her second husband as he really was: a deeply tender and loving man whose volatile behaviour often tore at the seams of a densely woven and diversified domestic tapestry. Peppered with amusing and engaging accounts of the golden years of CBC radio, the early years of Canadian television, and life in postwar Toronto, The Surprise ofMy Life augments Canadian social history with this unique story of one woman's experiences in both the private and public spheres of our culture. Taylor (perhaps unwittingly) provides insights into the politics of home and family life juxtaposed with her responsibilities in the professional radio and television community ofthe 1950S and 19605 and thumbs her nose at the structured and circumscribed opportunities available to women in those early years. Indeed her boundless energy and endless devotion to her ailing husband, her young family, and her career seem superhuman, even by today's liberated standards. What her account lacks in polish and phraSing, it makes up for in integrity and storytelling. With its detailed recollections ofher family and friends, the book is a remarkable portrait of the author's colourful past and a testament to her tenacity and love of life. (CORINNE RUSCH-DRUTZ) Denis Sampson. Brian Moore, The Chameleon Novelist Doubleday Canada. 344ยท $34.95 Denis Sampson describes how he originally conceived of a project of interviews with Brian Moore and how a publisher encouraged him to provide 'biographical contexts' so that the book became a biography. Since Moore was still alive when the book was being prepared, Sampson rightly HUMANITIES 333 decided that he did not want to 'penetrate areas ofhis life that would cause unnecessary distress,' so the focus of this study had to be on the novels rather than on the author. Yet in the same acknowledgment section of the book Sampson remarks that 'this is not a critical work.' The result is a book that is inevitably uneven in conception and approach - one that starts out as a biography and quicklybecomes a chronicle ofMoore's professional life and a commentary on the novels. This is not to say the book isn't very interesting and useful to those who have followed the career of Brian Moore. Sampson detects straight lines connecting the novels and the author's life and he traces the historical and emotional background that gave rise to the various and varied novels in the Moore canon. There is a strong Freudian tendency to trace many ofMoore's preoccupations to his relationship (or lack thereof) with his father and with the Irish Catholic schooling and the priests who taught him. Moore is often labelled as an 'exile,' though he was glad to leave Ireland of his own free will and evidently never regretted the move. He was very taken withJames Joyce and like Joyce he liked to see himself as alienated and writing of home. Sampson's metaphor 'chameleon' is more apt; by it he means that Moore was 'capable of assimilating himself temporarily to whatever literary tradition or...


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