The eighty letters, cards and other messages in this correspondence -- produced mainly by Lowry and Gerald Noxon but also by Margerie (Bonner) Lowry -- offer a fresh introduction to Lowry, a certain 'Canadian' Lowry. At the same time they give insight into two writing careers (Bonner and Noxon) closely intertwined with his and vigorously championed by him in the 1940s. The letters observe the mind of Lowry at play on questions of literary technique, on films, and on the beauties and rigors of life in his Dollarton shack on an inlet near Vancouver. They reveal a warm, supportive, enormously sensitive and intelligent man, modifying somewhat the image of him now available.
Paul Tiessen is Professor of English, Wilfrid Laurier University and editor of The Malcolm Lowry Review. Nancy Strobel is a graduate student at the University of Western Ontario.
The definitive account of a small but significant part of Lowry's life . . . Tiessen's canvas is small, but it is beautifully worked, and his exquisite summary of the past makes me look in anticipation for what is yet to come.
This correspondence is well worth reading by everyone who is interested in Lowry. The letters to Gerald Noxon lead into Lowry's private existence as only letters to a dear friend can.
The letters as a whole contain the relaxed observations and spontaneous flashes of wit and honesty only letters can show.... Noxon was the best of all possible friends to a man like Lowry: able to be detached without indifference, supportive without collusion, loyal without enmeshment. This volume of letters is as much a tribute to Noxon's wisdom as it is to Lowry's vulnerability.