The Invention of Truth


138 pages
ISBN 0-88750-870-7
DDC C813'.54





Reviewed by Lori A. Dunn

Lori A. Dunn is an ESL teacher and editor of the Toronto women’s
magazine Feminie.


Essentially autobiographical, this collection presents a soul-baring
portrait of the substance of Brewster’s life, offered in the form of
short stories and meditations on specific people. Bemused at the reality
of her own existence, her writing has an appealing
stream-of-consciousness evolution to it, a personal style that finds
relevance in the reader’s life.

Brewster’s ghosts haunt her, and she receives them with love,
unselfconsciously and unpretentiously. In “Clara Flagg’s Journal,”
the truth of her life appears the way she has reinvented it for the
reader, as she deals with the surprising death of a close friend. And
while questioning her ability to capture the essence of a lifelong
friendship, Brewster succeeds brilliantly—in her “sidelong”
manner—at doing just that in “Essence of Marigold.”

As a poet, she produces prose that is lyrical and chatty, almost
completely unencumbered by literary “rules.” Many of the pieces in
this collage are actually followed by Brewster’s poems, which become
an elegant counterpoint to the theme of each short piece.

In this book, we have the life and spirit of one Canadian literary
character briefly offered up for our perusal, and it’s a fascinating


Brewster, Elizabeth., “The Invention of Truth,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 19, 2024,