Gloria Vizinczey was the most brilliant and loveliest woman I have ever known. Unlike many women who make sure that you know how smart they are, meeting her you would have no idea from her manner how intelligent and how well educated she was. We have been together since 1962, for fifty-eight happy years. She was my editor, critic and researcher. If you have read my reviews and essays and were stunned by the depth of knowledge and erudition, the credit should go to Gloria. When I reviewed for The Times and The Telegraph in the 1980’s and 1990’s, I read the book I was writing about and Gloria’s resumés of 15 – 20 books connected to the authors and their subjects were reprinted in major newspapers around the world. These reviews were printed in book form, Truth and Lies in Literature. Collections of essays and reviews are notoriously poor sellers, but Truth and Lies in Literature sold a million copies around the world and used copies are still selling.
Gloria was a graduate of The University of Toronto, majoring in literature and foreign languages. Quite apart from everything else, she was a linguistic genius. She corrected even the French, German, Italian and Spanish translations of my books. She could love without being blind to my faults. One time when I said something very stupid, her daughter, Mary Harron, exasperated, asked me, “Stephen, how old are you?” Gloria shot back, “He’s two and a half.” Just the same, she helped me to believe in myself and my work.
Once I lectured a friend about women. He listened for an hour and then burst out, “You, you! It’s easy for you to talk. You’ve got Gloria!”
If you comment on her death, forgive me if I don’t reply. I’m cut up by her absence.
Gloria Vizinczey (1927, February 21st - 2020, October, 19th.)