Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Author Marton Pens Warts-and-All Book on Marriages to Jennings, Holbrooke

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Author Marton Pens Warts-and-All Book on Marriages to Jennings, Holbrooke

Article excerpt

Author Marton writes warts-and-all memoir

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TORONTO - Kati Marton makes no apologies for her warts-and-all account of her marriages to Canadian-born newsman Peter Jennings and U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke in "Paris: A Love Story."

"There's no point in writing a memoir if you're going to be fake," the former television journalist said in a recent interview.

"The reader gets that right away. (My book is) an attempt to deal honestly with people who are very human, and just because they're famous and just because they're high achievers doesn't mean that they're not made of the same human stuff as the rest of us."

An acclaimed author whose previous books have dealt with history and politics, Marton's "Paris: A Love Story" is an intensely personal tale that examines how she dealt with the sudden 2010 death of Holbrooke, who served as United States Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The couple's frequent meeting place was a pied a terre in Paris, and Marton, 63, uses the city as a touchstone from which to look back on her life, including her student days there, her career as a reporter, her stormy relationship with Jennings (who died of lung cancer in 2005) and her ultimate happiness with Holbrooke.

She is often brutally frank in her recollections of Jennings, whom she met at ABC's London bureau in 1978. Soon, she writes, they began "a passionate and tormented love story that lasted 15 years" and produced two children.

The Ottawa-raised anchorman is described by his former wife as an "insecure man" who had issues because of his "emotionally chilly mother." Marton writes of an abortion, an affair she had 10 years into their marriage and the incident after a dinner party that finally convinced her to leave him.

She makes no apologies for such personal revelations.

"I've heard from (his closest friends) and they thought (the book) was beautiful. Nobody had delusions about who Peter was, the good and the bad.... There's no one who thought this man was a paragon of perfection just because he happened to be the brilliant broadcaster that he was," she said.

"This is my book and once my children -- Peter's children -- said '(it) rings true,' that was all (I needed). …

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