Taylor, Kate 1962–
Taylor, Kate 1962–
PERSONAL: Born July 22, 1962, in Boulougne-sur-Seine, Provence, France; daughter of J.H. (a diplomat) and Mary (a writer, editor, and homemaker) Taylor; married Joel Sears (an advertising copywriter), March 10, 2001. Ethnicity: "Anglo-Saxon Scots" Education: University of Toronto, B.A., 1983; University of Western Ontario, London, M.A., 1985.
ADDRESSES: Office—Globe and Mail, 444 Front St. W., Toronto, Ontario M5V 2S9, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, copy editor, 1986–89; Globe & Mail, Toronto, Ontario, copy editor, 1989–91, arts reporter, 1991–95, theater critic, 1995–2003, arts columnist, 2003–.
AWARDS, HONORS: Nathan Cohen Award for Excellence in Theatre Criticism, Canadian Theatre Critics Association, 1996, for long review, 1999, for short review; Commonwealth Writers Prize, 2004, for Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen.
Painters (juvenile), Fitzhenry & Whiteside (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1989.
Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen (novel), Doubleday Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.
SIDELIGHTS: Canadian journalist Kate Taylor, a veteran critic and arts reporter for Toronto's Globe & Mail, became a novelist with the publication of Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen, inspired, she told CA, by her "own affection for Proust." The fictional diary of the mother of French novelist Marcel Proust is woven into two stories set in the present time. In one, a Jewish refugee named Sarah Segal is smuggled into Toronto in 1942 by her parents, who ultimately die in a Nazi concentration camp. Sarah marries and raises a family in Canada, although she is haunted by her past. The other story features Marie, a translator who is captivated by Proust's writings. Marie is a friend of Sarah's grown son, Maxime, and she is also the person who discovers Jeanne Proust's diaries in a Paris archive.
Calling Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen a "magnificent first novel," London Times reviewer Michael Arditti praised Taylor for sensitively addressing themes of sexual and religious identity, while also showing "how events in a writer's life and themes in his work have resonance for subsequent generations." London Sunday Telegraph contributor Jessica Mann also praised the work, citing the author's "meticulous research" and noting that Taylor's "well-written, melancholy story contains a lot to admire." Calling the novel a "moving meditation on Parisian and Toronto history," Maclean's critic Brian Bethune noted that an historical theme is appropriate "in a novel colored by the presence of Marcel Proust, the original obsessed-with-the-past writer."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Globe & Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), January 25, 2003, T.F. Rigelhof, review of Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen.
Maclean's, March 24, 2003, Brian Bethune, review of Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen, p. 52.
Sunday Telegraph (London, England), February 9, 2003, Jessica Mann, review of Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen.
Times (London, England), February 19, 2003, Michael Arditti, review of Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen, p. 13.
Times Literary Supplement, January 31, 2003, Toby Lichtig, review of Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen, p. 22.
University of Western Ontario Web site, http://communications.uwo.ca/ (August 15, 2005), profile of Taylor.