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From the editor: November 2020

From the editor: November 2020

[photo of Andrea Gunn]
Editor Andrea Gunn  Photo: Bernard Clark

While all of the stories in this issue are meaningful to me, I want to give a special shout-out to Bill Goodings, Sc’51. A longtime Review correspondent and the very proud father of Lennie Goodings, Artsci’76, LLD'04, Bill has been keeping me apprised for some time about his daughter’s distinguished career in publishing and her memoir, A Bite of the Apple. It was the news about her book that led me to explore other stories about storytellers, both writers and publishers. I’m so proud of Wanda Praamsma’s article, “Bearing witness,” on Steven Heighton’s new book, Reaching Mithymna. It’s an important story, sensitively told, both in Steven’s book and in Wanda’s story. So many Queen’s alumni and faculty are writers. The Ex libris column of the magazine is always filled months ahead of publication. And even with additional space devoted to Queen’s-affiliated writers and their writing, there are so many more stories that I haven’t been able to cover in this issue. Consider this issue just a sampler.

Those of you who submit Keeping in touch notes are storytellers, too. You’re sharing with us the stories of your achievements, your research, your family, your career. An obituary is a special kind of story: it can share glimpses of a life well lived and the lives changed by someone no longer with us. Sometimes, these tiny life stories don’t even have to be prose: the family of Nancy (Armbrust) Carson, MD’50, chose to celebrate Dr. Nancy’s life in a poem (see the PDF version of the issue.)

In every issue, there are stories we choose to include and stories that must be left out, for a variety of reasons. I hope that there is, in every issue, something relevant for all readers, but it’s a difficult task.

There’s a passage in A Bite of the Apple in which Lennie Goodings writes, “Though editors and publishers are the traditional gatekeepers, deciding what gets published, or, just as importantly, what doesn’t get published, in many cases publishing houses such as Virago are also closely aligned with readers, therefore peace rallies, environmental demonstrations…anti-racist rallies, Black Lives Matter…all intersect with our publishing."

You may not like some of the stories in the Review. You may disagree vehemently with some of the points of view expressed in them. You may also disagree with some of the decisions made by the university. Just as I was finalizing this issue, Queen’s announced that after extensive consultation with the Queen’s community, it will rename the law building, currently named for Sir John A. Macdonald. I have already started to receive emails, both positive and negative, about that decision. I appreciate hearing your opinions, on this or any other topic. I am a firm believer in the value of engaging in civil discussions that explore difficult topics and new ideas.

Take care,


Andrea Gunn, Editor


[graphic of cover of Queen's Alumni Review issue 4, 2020]