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Canada Anne Kingston, passionate writer who skewered modern culture and highlighted violence against women has died

01:25  14 february  2020
01:25  14 february  2020 Source:   nationalpost.com

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a woman smiling for the camera: Anne Kingston, a former columnist at National Post, passed away this week at 62, after being diagnosed with aggressive cancer.© Linkedin Anne Kingston, a former columnist at National Post, passed away this week at 62, after being diagnosed with aggressive cancer.

Anne Kingston, book author, magazine writer and former columnist at the National Post who skewered modern culture, dissected human relationships and wrote passionately about the gender divide, has died.

Born and raised in Toronto, she was diagnosed in December with an aggressive cancer. She died on Wednesday in a Toronto hospital.

She was 62.

Kingston had started teaching a course at the University of Toronto on the #MeToo movement and the media in September and was continuing her long tenure as a senior writer at Maclean’s magazine.

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“It was all so sudden. She was so happy about teaching and her writing and then this,” said David Kingston, one of her two brothers. “The diagnosis was grim.”

Kingston was a columnist at the National Post from 1998 to 2005, known for detailed dissections of cultural phenomena and social rituals.

She became a senior writer at Maclean’s magazine in 2006 where she was a regular contributor until taking a sudden leave of absence. Even after her diagnosis she continued to file stories and work with editors and writers until just three weeks before she died.

Kingston carved out a reputation for analytical dispatches on a wide range of subjects, with a particular passion for gender issues, from women in the workplace to domestic violence and highlighting the war on women. A feature she wrote exploring mothers who regret having children was commended for breaking the silence on a taboo subject.

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She covered the high-profile sex assault trials of Jian Ghomeshi and Bill Cosby as well as the murders of Toronto billionaires Honey and Barry Sherman. Kingston often added analysis and re-assessments of current events just as the dust was settling.

She recently wrote passionately in essays in Maclean’s on the reluctance to frame incidents of mass murder targeting women — from the École Polytechnique shootings to the recent Toronto van attack — as ideologically driven terrorism.

Kingston also had a light touch with a keen eye for the quirks of modern life and trends.

In 2000, in the Post, she published an early lampooning of Ikea fetishization, noting the store offered “products with names that offer a differentiation but signify nothing,” and that “the piece of furniture I build myself… is not a well-made thing.”

Alison Uncles, editor-in-chief of Maclean’s, who also worked with Kingston at the Post, praised Kingston’s commitment to journalism.

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“Anne was really without peer. She came in after the news was broken and pulled the threads of a story together in such a brilliant way that her reported analysis often ended up breaking even more news,” said Uncles.

She was a writer who “put in the miles,” Uncles said.

“At the end of it all, if she didn’t have something original to say or think on a topic, she wouldn’t write. She was determined that she add intelligence and subtlety to the conversation, simply writing what everyone else was writing was of absolutely no interest to her.”

Charlie Gillis, national editor at Maclean’s, hailed the wide range of subjects Kingston handled with authority.

“Anne guarded her privacy closely and I believe that’s because she wanted to be identified by the quality and impact of her work. I’ve never known a journalist more serious about that,” he said.

Kingston’s brother, David, joked that her job in journalism seemed predestined. Their father, Alan, was an editor at the Globe and Mail and Anne, around the age of five, appeared in a photo on the newspaper’s front page mailing a letter to Santa.

Anne Kingston: A Quiet Fighter

  Anne Kingston: A Quiet Fighter With an enviable knack for bursting forth in fierce argument and outstanding journalism, Kingston had a brilliant 40-year career as an award-winning reporter, columnist, and author. She died on Wednesday at age 62. A native Torontonian, Anne was born Nov. 5, 1957 at St. Michael’s Hospital, the oldest of three children. Her father, Alan, worked at the Globe and Mail, although not as a journalist. He died when Anne was seven and her mother, Margaret, returned to work as a public-school teacher and librarian. Anne thus became one of the adults at home, helping Margaret raise her brothers, Dave and Rob.

Their father died about a year after the photo appeared. Their mother was a teacher and librarian, likely influencing Kingston’s passion for reading and research.

Kingston was entering her teenage years when the Watergate story broke in the United States and she was riveted by the scandal and the investigative work of reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein that devoured U.S. president Richard Nixon, David said.

“She was always about equality, she was always about fairness. Now, that wasn’t fun when we were measuring pieces of cake, but she was all about fair and equal dispensation.”

Never married, Kingston was the author of The Meaning of Wife: A Provocative Look at Women and Marriage in the 21st Century, She also authored The Edible Man: Dave Nichol, President’s Choice and the Making of Popular Taste.

She is survived by her brothers, David and Rob, and several nieces and nephews.

• Email: ahumphreys@postmedia.com | Twitter: AD_Humphreys

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