Outside the Box: The Life and Legacy of Writer Mona Gould, the Grandmother I Thought I Knew
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by Maria Meindl
McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, 2011
314 pp., illus., $34.95 hardcover
Maria Meindl shared a close relationship with her grandmother, Mona Gould. When Gould died and left her papers and journals to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto, Meindl took on the job of sifting through the boxes and boxes — thirty-eight in total — of her grandmother’s writing.
Gould could be described as a flamboyant and, in her later years, eccentric lady. She wrote for numerous newspapers and magazines from the 1920s onward and penned the well-known poem “This Was My Brother,” which was published in one of her three books of poetry in the 1940s.
She went on to have a successful radio career in the 1950s. Her program was advertised as being aimed at modern homemakers, and Gould told “about the exciting world beyond your kitchen sink.”
Meindl, also a freelance writer, spent hours listening to her grandmother’s stories. Through her research, she learned how thin was the veneer her grandmother chose to reveal.
Meindl writes of her own journey as she sorted through her grandmother’s papers. Outside the Box offers a picture of Mona Gould as a vibrant woman trying to thrive and survive as a writer in the twentieth century.
— Beverley Tallon (Read bio)
Beverley Tallon is the Assistant Editor for Canada's History.