Beethoven's Mask: Notes on My Life and Times


415 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55263-710-7
DDC C818'.5409





Julie Rekai Rickerd is a Toronto-based broadcaster and public-relations


George Jonas has been called “one of the very best writers in English
in the country.” He has published 14 books and been involved in the
production of over 200 dramas and docudramas for the Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation. He writes a weekly column for The National

The title of this autobiography, Jonas explains, refers to a drawing of
Beethoven’s death mask, dated 9/11, 1920, that hangs on his wall.
“My mother, a fifteen-year-old girl at the time, drew it as an art
class assignment. ... Eighty one years later, exactly to the day,
nineteen Islamic warriors crashed three hijacked airliners into the
Pentagon and the World Trade Center.”

Jonas grew up in a sophisticated, artistic family: his father was a
lawyer and opera singer. His formative years encompassed the devastation
of his birthplace, Budapest, Hungary, during World War II; the arrival
of Communism to his homeland; and his escape to Canada at age 21, during
the heady days of the all-too-brief 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Trials
and tribulations, along with successes, ensued in his adopted country.

Jonas has strong opinions on political, social, cultural, religious
issues, and he is not shy about expressing them. His commentaries on
domestic and international events are sometimes maddening but always
thought-provoking. Beethoven’s Mask is a gripping and rewarding read.


Jonas, George., “Beethoven's Mask: Notes on My Life and Times,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024,