Saturday, April 7, 2012

Why women stop worrying

Linden MacIntyre has some good news and some bad news for the young ladies of the world.
The good news: you know all those things you worry about when it comes to men? In your early 50s, he says, you'll stop worrying about them.

"You'll start to think, 'I really don't need the aggravation.' Your biological imperatives have changed," he explains. "You no longer care about the things that mattered when you were in your 20s and you're a lot more emotionally independent. You've learned by hard knocks what you need and what's what."
The bad news? The men you're worrying about now won't change.

"They become very insecure, and that's why they start chasing 20-year-olds and buying stupid cars and getting hair transplants. Everything that defines manhood starts to diminish at that point, whereas what defines womanhood is much deeper," says MacIntyre, 68. "Men don't change. A man at age 80 is much the same as he is at age 19, in terms of the things that matter a lot - and that's the problem."

It's just one of the themes MacIntyre, an award-winning author and journalist, explores in his new novel, "Why Men Lie."

The novel continues where his previous ones - 1999's "The Long Stretch" and the Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning "The Bishop's Man" - left off.

The series is centred around a group of people from Cape Breton, bound by a vague experience of their fathers in the Second World War.

The first novel brought out some ugly secrets that help the characters learn why they were experiencing the life challenges they were; the second sees one of the characters, Duncan, looking for structure and respectability, become a priest. The institution leads him to corruption and his struggle with it.
MacIntyre's protagonist in "Why Men Lie" is Duncan's sister, Effie MacAskill Gillis.

In Toronto in 1997, she bumps into JC Campbell, a TV news producer she once knew and hadn't seen for decades.

He's sophisticated, charming and handsome, and Effie, having endured a failed marriage and other doomed relationships with men, starts to wonder if she's finally met a man who has outgrown the need to lie.
Their romance blossoms, but gets complicated when Effie starts seeing a darker side to JC, who is also caught up with the case of a man on death row in Texas. She learns things about him that make him vulnerable and volatile.

Different view

Writing from a woman's perspective wasn't as challenging as you might think, MacIntyre says, although it may be a rather brazen thing to do. It was also brazen to write from the point of view of a priest in his previous book, he admits.

How he came to that conclusion, he says, is a complicated story.

"It's something I arrived at after seeing a lot of violence in the Middle East and Latin America and places like that when I was travelling a lot as a reporter."

MacIntyre, a native of St. Lawrence, is the author of a number of books, most recently "Who Killed Ty Conn?" an account of the life of an Ontario man sentenced to 47 years in prison, mostly for bank robbery, and how people and the correctional system failed him.

MacIntyre had developed a friendship with Conn after meeting him while working on an investigative piece on the effects of child abuse for CBC's "The Fifth Estate," which lasted until Conn shot himself in the chest - whether accidentally or not is unclear - during a standoff with police in 1999.



Post a Comment