"It’s not only an opportunity to really make sure that parents and kids have the resources that they need, but also for these authors to be celebrated and recognized," says Marley Dias.
TORONTO — "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek says if his current treatment for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer doesn't work, he'll probably stop pursuing medical intervention.In his touching new memoir, "The Answer Is...Reflections on My Life," the Sudbury, Ont.-raised TV personality writes that "quality of life was an important consideration" in the decision.The seven-time Emmy Award winner says he and his wife, Jean Currivan, and their two children had "a good cry" when he told them.Trebek adds he's "lived a good, full life," knows he's nearing the end of it, and is "not afraid of dying."The 79-year-old, who lives in Los Angeles and turns 80 on Wednesday, announced his cancer diagnosis in March 2019 and has continued to work on "Jeopardy!" throughout his treatment.His new memoir looks back on his life and career, and gives up-to-date reflections on his health, the world, and the COVID-19 pandemic.The ever-poised quiz-show legend has kept viewers updated on his cancer treatment with social-media videos in which he's often on the "Jeopardy!" set wearing a suit and speaking in a positive tone.But in the book he admits there are moments when he regrets going public with his diagnosis, noting he feels "a lot of pressure to always be tough."Trebek, who is usually private about his personal life, writes about his vulnerable moments and the toll cancer has taken on his body.He says there are days when he's been "a basket case" before taping.But as soon as he gets onstage, "it all changes suddenly. I'm myself again. I feel good," he writes."No matter how I feel before the show, when I get out there it's all forgotten because there's a show to be done. Work to do."Trebek writes about getting his affairs in order and talking to his doctor about hospice care.As for retirement, he says he knows there will come a time when he won't be able to host as well as the job demands."Whenever it gets to that point, I'll walk away," he writes."The Answer Is...Reflections on My Life" (Simon & Schuster) also has photos of Trebek as it runs down his upbringing with his younger sister Barbara and parents George Edward Terebeychuk and Lucille Lagace.His father was a Ukrainian immigrant and chef at a hotel, and his French-Canadian mother tended the house and spent about a year and a half in a sanatorium being treated for tuberculosis. They eventually separated.During and after his philosophy studies at the University of Ottawa, Trebek started announcing and hosting for CBC radio and TV, on programs including "Music Hop" and the quiz show "Reach for the Top."He eventually moved to Los Angeles, landing many hosting gigs on game shows including "The Wizard of Odds," "High Rollers" and "Battlestars."Trebek made his debut as "Jeopardy!" host in 1984 and has become a mainstay for weekday family viewing and a beloved figure in pop-culture, inspiring several impersonations of him that he addresses in the book."Jeopardy!" fans will delight in Trebek's reflections on his favourite moments and contestants on the show, and his thoughts on whether certain strategies help in winning.Trebek also peppers the chapters with salty language, offering fun tidbits on his famous moustache and "expensive hairpiece."Each chapter title begins with "What Is..." in a nod to the "Jeopardy!" format, in which clues are presented in the form of answers and contestants have to say their guess in the form of a question.The final chapter breaks from the format with: "The Answer Is...Life."Trebek writes he'd like to be "remembered first of all as a good and loving husband and father," and for helping people perform at their best."Because that was my job. That is what a host is supposed to do."This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2020.Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press
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Ann Fleming, née Charteris, was born into the aristocracy and married wealthy men. Photograph: ©The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby'sAn extraordinary stash of letters that shine a light on the tangled relationship between the James Bond creator, Ian Fleming, and his wife, Ann, from their intense and secret affair to the bitter end of their marriage, are to appear at auction.Sotheby’s is selling more than 160 letters between the couple, written over 20 years. Gabriel Heaton, a specialist in books and manuscripts at the auction house, said the letters in their scope and scale provided what “must surely be an unmatchable record of the life of the author as his fortunes changed”.They also provide insight into the rise of Bond. Heaton said it was no coincidence that Fleming wrote his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in the year of his marriage.Ian Fleming had numerous flings and affairs with other women. Photograph: ©The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby'sIt was “both as an outlet for his libido and imagination, and also in an attempt to make money for a woman who was used to being unthinkingly rich”.Ann Fleming, née Charteris, was born into the aristocracy and married wealthy men. Her first husband was Shane O’Neill, the 3rd Baron O’Neill. After his death in military action in 1944, she married the newspaper magnate Esmond Harmsworth, the 2nd Viscount Rothermere.During both marriages she and Fleming were lovers, an intense relationship that had sado-masochistic elements. “I long for you even if you whip me because I love being hurt by you and kissed afterwards,” Ann once wrote to Fleming.In 1948 Ann became pregnant with Fleming’s child, a girl who was a month premature and lived only eight hours. The collection includes a number of sad and gentle letters written by Fleming on Gleneagles stationery shortly after he played golf with Rothermere, the cuckolded husband.‘I have nothing to say to comfort you,’ Ian Fleming wrote in one letter to his wife, Ann. Photograph: HandoutIn one letter he writes: “I have nothing to say to comfort you. After all this travail and pain it is bitter. I can only send you my arms and my love and all my prayers.”Fleming had numerous flings and affairs with other women and when the couple finally married in 1952 that was never likely to stop.Ann once wrote to him: “You mention ‘bad old bachelor days’ – the only person you stopped sleeping with when they ceased was me!”A letter from Fleming written on British Overseas Airways Corporation stationery reads: “In the present twilight, we are hurting each other to an extent that makes life hardly bearable.”Heaton said the letters were packed with stories of high society, travel, love of nature and gossip.“They are quite something, it has been a real treat,” he said. “They are an extraordinary read because Ian Fleming is pretty much incapable of writing a dull sentence.”Fleming wrote all of the Bond novels at GoldenEye, his house in Jamaica, a place visited by many of Ann’s remarkable circle of friends. The artist Lucian Freud, for example, and the Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell, with whom she had a long affair.A letter from Ian Fleming. Photograph: HandoutThere were also surprising visitors. “Truman Capote has come to stay,” Fleming writes. “Can you imagine a more incongruous playmate for me. On the heels of a telegram he came hustling and twittering along with his tiny face crushed under a Russian Commissars’ uniform hat [...] he had just arrived from Moscow.”The letters consist of more than 500 typed and handwritten pages, at least three written on endpapers torn from books. Two of the letters from Ann are written on the back of a gin rummy card and a hospital temperature chart.They will be offered in Sotheby’s online literature sale between 3 and 10 December and come with an estimate of £200,000-300,000.It was important to keep them together, said Heaton. “They are much more than the sum of their parts, the correspondence as a whole is far more substantial and interesting and revealing and exciting than simply an accumulation of individual letters.”
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