November 3, 2010
When Cathy Gildiner walked into the offices of Artvoice on a sunny day last summer, I immediately thought she was the most elegant person I’d ever seen come through that door (and Artvoice has been host to, among many others, Hillary Clinton, Louise Slaughter, Malachy McCourt, and the ever-dapper Carl Paladino). Dressed all in black and pulling a very nice set of luggage (she’d just come from the Canadian consulate), Gildiner has a silky swirl of platinum hair and the kind of alabaster skin found only on certain fair-complected women, her face bearing no trace of the acne she says plagued her throughout high school and college.
Born and raised in Lewiston and Amherst during the 1950s and 1960s, respectively, Catherine Gildiner nee McClure is the author of the best-selling memoir Too Close to the Falls and its just-published follow-up, After the Falls: Coming of Age in the Sixties. In the first book she chronicles her unusual upbringing as the only child of middle-aged parents, a memoir that ranks with Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club and Jeannette Walls’s The Glass Castle; it’s that good.