Mazo de la Roche was an impoverished writer in Toronto when in 1927 she won a $10,000 prize from the American magazine Atlantic Monthly for her novel Jalna. The book became an immediate bestseller. She went on to publish sixteen novels in the popular series.
Ringing the Changes
First published in 1957, Mazo de la Roche’s last autobiography is a vivid look at her life in Ontario, and a parting shot at her critics.
Mazo de la Roche was once Canada’s best-known writer, loved by millions of readers around the world. Her Jalna series is filled with unforgettable characters who come to life for her readers, but she herself was secretive about her own life and tried to escape the public attention fame brought.
In this memoir, de la Roche describes her childhood and her relationship with her cousin and life-long companion, Caroline Clement. She confesses her personal connection with her troubled character Finch Whiteoak and details her romantic struggles. Ringing the Changes is the closest view we have of Mazo de la Roche’s innermost thoughts and the private life she usually kept hidden.
Michael Gnarowski co-edited The Making of Modern Poetry in Canada, compiled The Concise Bibliography of English Canadian Literature, and edited the Critical Views on Canadian Writers series for McGraw-Hill Ryerson. Gnarowski is professor emeritus at Carleton University in Ottawa.