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Gzowski, Peter.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1985. 352pp, paper, $14.95, ISBN 0-7710-3743-0. CIP

Grades 9 and up
Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

Peter Gzowski's Morningside is as much a part of waking up and facing the day as that first cup of coffee to more than a million Canadians. He himself seems like a familiar acquaintance to his huge unseen audience, and he receives an astounding quantity of mail, on any and every subject. Here are Gzowski's own selection of some of the letters that have been delivered during the 1980s: prose, poems, ramblings. essays, and what-have-you. Maybe taken together they say something about who and what we Canadians are; maybe they simply bring the reader closer to someone out there with an itch to write, or with no-one to talk to.

Some of the letters are amusing, some touching, a few very painful reading indeed. Letters in praise or in memory of a loved one, detailing a quiet and satisfying life in the country, or from a woman who can make machines sentient and feels that she may save the world from nuclear holocaust, are balanced by the wrenching reflections of a famous journalist struggling to conquer his alcoholism before it destroys him, or the cry of pain from a successful and respected businessman, a family man, torn by uncontrollable homosexual longings. Gzowski seems to have a quiet affinity with people of all walks of life, and readers of his collection too will find their experience, and, one hopes, their human sympathies, broadened. A close look at the cover design is amusing. Gzowski himself appears against an endless collection of misspelled versions of his name.

Joan McGrath, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, Ont.
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