Zero Hour


127 pages
ISBN 0-88995-064-4
DDC C813'.54




Reviewed by Lori A. Dunn

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


From the Zero Hour “there are no lower numbers,” and the only thing
left to do once the bomb drops is to start over. Zero Hour is a tribute
to the life and dignified death of Gunnars’s father, while at the same
time being the story of her exodus to reforge her own life.

Gunnars gives us a simple retelling of one man’s final days, and an
account of the complex grieving process of one woman. As she herself
explains: “Grieving is remembering. When people tell you you’ll get
over your grief, they are saying you will forget. That forgetting is
condoned. I want to entrap my grief in a place it will never escape
from: here in these words.”

The skillful manipulation of time and Gunnars’s own style, so
misleading in its simplicity, both add to the book’s ethereal quality.
The psychological intimacy with which she writes imparts a haunting and
disturbing aspect to this digressive auto/biography. Zero Hour is a
gripping and beautiful book.


Gunnars, Kristjana., “Zero Hour,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 19, 2024,