Gildiner, Catherine 1948-

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Gildiner, Catherine 1948-


Born March 31, 1948, in Lewiston, NY; daughter of James and Janet McClure; married Michael Gildiner (a radiologist), April, 1975; children: three. Ethnicity: "White Irish Catholic American." Education: Earned B.A., 1970, M.A. (English), 1971, and M.A. (psychology), 1975; York University, Ph.D., 1983. Hobbies and other interests: Competitive rowing, birdwatching.


Home—Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Agent—Dean Cooke, The Dean Cooke Agency, 278 Bloor St. E, Ste. 305, Toronto, Ontario M4W 3M4. E-mail—[email protected]




Canadian Psychological Association.


Different Drummer Award; cited among best 100 books, Toronto Globe & Mail, for Too Close to the Falls; winner of international rowing competitions.


Too Close to the Falls (memoir), ECW Press (Toronto, Canada), 1999, Penguin (New York, NY), 2000.

Seduction (novel), A.A. Knopf (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

Radio writer. Contributor to periodicals.


Too Close to the Falls is a memoir of Catherine Gildiner's freedom-filled childhood in 1950s Lewiston, New York, near Niagara Falls. She was the only child of busy parents, and she had so much energy that at age four she was called hyperactive by the local pediatrician and put to work at her father's pharmacy so that some of that energy could be productively used.

In the book, she tells of delivering prescriptions with Roy, her father's illiterate but streetwise delivery person, the troubles of the local Native American population, and the disfigured woman who ran the town dump. She also describes her mother, who, even in those pre-feminist days, is too busy with her work to cook, do housework, or visit neighbors, and who warns young Cathy never to learn to cook or type, or she'll spend her life being forced to do both, against her will.

According to Bonnie Schiedel, a reviewer in Chatelaine, Gildiner learned at a young age that "good girls are quiet girls and that her ferocious intelligence and energy would always make her an outsider." In Quill and Quire, Michelle Berry wrote that the book is "a clear picture of a young life well worth writing about," and that her only complaint about the book was that, at 350 pages, it was "far too short."



Book, March, 2001, Bret Anthony Johnston, review of Too Close to the Falls, p. 81.

Chatelaine, March, 2000, Bonnie Schiedel, "Fall Girl," p. 14.

Globe & Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), January 8, 2000, review of Too Close to the Falls, p. D13.

Library Journal, January 1, 2001, Sue Samson, review of Too Close to the Falls, p. 121.

Publishers Weekly, January 1, 2001, review of Too Close to the Falls, p. 76.

Quill and Quire, January, 2000, Michelle Berry, review of Too Close to the Falls p. 40.

Toronto life, November, 1999, review of Too Close to the Falls, p. 60.


Canoe, (March 14, 2001), "Author Profile: Catherine Gildiner."

Cathy McClure Gildiner, (May 27, 2008).