Women Crush Wednesday: Non-Fiction Edition

March 16, 2022

In this week's edition of Women Crush Wednesday, discover non-fiction titles by awe-inspiring women authors.

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Book Cover of Radical Trust

Evelyn Forget & Hannah Owczar | Author of Radical Trust  (Arbeiter Ring Publishing Ltd.)

Evelyn Forget is an economist in the School of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. Several years ago, she began researching the data associated with a Basic Income field experiment conducted in Manitoba in the 1970s. She has been consulted by governments and researchers in Ontario, British Colombia, Quebec, Finland, the Netherlands, and Scotland on this topic. Dr. Forget's latest work is titled Basic Income for Canadians: From the COVID-19 Emergency to Financial Security for All.

Hannah Owczar is a writer and communications specialist in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. She is a graduate of the Creative Communications program at Red River College where she majored in journalism. Owczar's work has appeared in several major news outlets in Manitoba including the Winnipeg Free Press and CBC Manitoba. She also holds an undergraduate degree in Human Rights from the University of Winnipeg.

Radical Trust: Basic Income For Complicated Lives  explores the notion that a basic income is a compassionate and dignified response to poverty and income inequality in Canada. Through extensive testimonials with those that the "social safety net" fails most dramatically, it tells the stories of lived experience, as individuals navigate the complicated circumstances of their lives. The myth of meritocracy creates distinctions between the deserving, a distinction that is the basis on which Canada's entire income support system rests.

 

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Betsy Warland | Author of  Bloodroot (Inanna Publications)

Betsy Warland has authored 14 books of creative nonfiction, essays and poetry. Regarding her 2020, Lagoon Lagoon/lost in thought, the Vancouver Sun wrote of her “magisterial (and yet, paradoxically, minimalist) distillation,” and The Ormsby Review: “her command of art and language is that of a virtuoso.” The Winnipeg Free Press review of her 2016 book, Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas, called it “an astonishing book by a truly luminous writer.” A mainstay for writers and teachers, the second edition of Warland’s Breathing the Page: Reading the Act of Writing (with new added material) will be released in 2022. This 2021 second edition of Warland’s first memoir, Bloodroot—Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss (2000), includes a new, long essay by Warland reflecting on what Bloodroot taught her in terms of craft and the nature of narrative over the past twenty years. Former director and mentor in of the Writer’s Studio and Vancouver Manuscript Intensive, Warland received the City of Vancouver Mayor’s Literary Excellence Award in 2016. The creation of an annual book award honouring Warland, The VMI Betsy Warland Between Genres Award, was launched in 2021. 

In Bloodroot, Betsy Warland traces how a mother and daughter's shared gender can shape the very anatomy of narrative itself. In her mother's final year, Warland quietly discovered how to disentangle a crucial, concealed story that had rendered their relationship disconnected and fraught. Warland weaves a common ground that moves beyond duty and despair, providing both questions and guideposts for readers, particularly those faced with ageing and ill parents and their loss.

The 2000 edition of Bloodroot broke new ground in memoir form and uncharted storytelling. The 2021 edition, reprinted by Inanna for the launch of its Inanna Signature Feminist Publications series, includes a new foreword by Susan Olding and a new essay by Warland that explores subsequent questions, insights and tenderness only the passage of time can enable.

 

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Julietta Singh | Author of The Breaks (Coach House Books)

Julietta Singh is a writer and academic whose work engages the enduring effects of colonization, current ecological crisis, and queer-feminist futures. She is the author of two previous books: No Archive Will Restore You (Punctum Books, 2018) and Unthinking Mastery: Dehumanism and Decolonial Entanglements (Duke University Press, 2018). She currently lives in Richmond, Virginia with her child and her best friend.

The Breaks In a letter to her six-year-old daughter, Julietta Singh ventures toward a tender vision of the future, lifting up children's radical embrace of possibility as a model for how we might live. If we wish to survive the looming political and ecological crises of our day, Singh contends, we must break from the conventions we have inherited, and orient ourselves toward revolutionary paths that might yet set us free.

The Breaks celebrates queer family-making, communal living, and brown girlhood, complicating the US’s stark binaries. With nuance and care, Singh connects the crises humanity faces—climate catastrophe, extractive capitalism, and the violent legacies of racism, patriarchy, and colonialism. Drawing upon feminist autotheory and the Black epistolary traditions of James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates, Singh offers us her own generous invitation to move through the breaks toward a tenable future.

Book Cover of Rock Paper Sex Volume 2

Kerri Cull | Author of  Rock Paper Sex Volume 2: Trigger Warning (Breakwater Books)

Born in Nova Scotia, Mi’kma’ki, Mallory Amirault is a queer artist whose Acadian and Mi’kmaq heritage belongs to the Kespukwitk district of Yarmouth, otherwise known as the lobster’s ass when referring to the province. Their artistic practice engages in critical poetics, literary performance, and humour. As a person enmeshed in the legacy of colonization and cultural diaspora in the Maritimes, they think, read and write about the idiosyncrasies of belonging and identity, and memory as a palimpsest. They currently live alongside the Halfway River, a tributary that flows into the Minas Basin, an inlet of the Bay of Fundy.

Rock Paper Sex Volume 2: Trigger WarningThis sequel offers a wide range of stories from the sex industry in St. John’s. As new voices are introduced and some from Rock Paper Sex, Volume I are revisited, key themes emerge, including barriers to safe sex work and the intersection of sex work with human trafficking. This unique collection provides a space for voices of LGBTQ sex workers, dancers, escorts, street-based workers, a massage parlour owner, and others in a startling and compelling investigation of the industry.

 

Picture of the Author Maude Barlo

Maude Barlow | Author of  Still Hopeful: Lessons from a Lifetime of Activism (ECW Press)

Maude Barlow is the bestselling author of 20 books. She sits on the board of Food & Water Watch, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, and is a councillor with the World Future Council. She served as senior water advisor to the UN General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right. She is the recipient of fourteen honorary doctorates, the Right Livelihood Award and is the current chancellor of Brescia University. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

In  Still Hopeful: Lessons from a Lifetime of Activism, Barlow counters the prevailing atmosphere of pessimism that surrounds us and offers lessons of hope that she has learned from a lifetime of activism. She has been a linchpin in three major movements in her life: second-wave feminism, the battle against free trade and globalization, and the global fight for water justice. From each of these she draws her lessons of hope, emphasizing that effective activism is not really about the goal, rather it is about building a movement and finding like-minded people to carry the load with you. Barlow knows firsthand how hard fighting for change can be. But she also knows that change does happen and that hope is the essential ingredient.

 

Picture of the Author Sally Ito

Sally Ito | Author of  The Emperor's Orphans (Turnstone Press)

Born in Taber, Alberta, Sally Ito is the author of three books of poetry, Frogs in the Rain Barrel, Season of Mercy, and Alert to Glory, the memoir The Emperor's Orphans, and translator of Are You an Echo?, a collection of poetry by Misuzu Kaneko. Ito is an instructor of creative writing in Winnipeg, where she lives with her husband and two children.

The Emperor's Orphans: During the Second World War, approximately 4,000 Japanese-Canadians were "repatriated" to Japan. Among those Canadians sent back to were members of author and poet, Sally Ito's family. As a Japanese Canadian child growing up in the suburbs of Edmonton, Alberta, Ito's early life was a lone island of steamed tofu and vegetables amidst a sea of pot roast and mashed potatoes. Through the Redress movement of the late 80s, the eventual Parliamentary acknowledgment of wartime injustices, and the restoration of citizenship to those exiled to Japan she considers her work as an author of poetry and prose, meditating on themes of culture and identity.

Later as a wife and mother of two, Sally returns to Japan and re-lives the displacement of her family through interviews, letters, and shared memories. Throughout her journey Ito weaves a compelling narrative of her family's journey through the darkest days of the Pacific War, its devastating aftermath, and the repercussions on cultural identity for all the Emperor's Orphans.

Book Cover of Peacekeeper's Daughter

Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt| Author of  Peacekeeper's Daughter (Thistledown Press)

Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt’s stories, poems and essays have been published in Best Canadian Essays 2019 and Best Canadian Essays 2015, The New Quarterly, Grain, EVENT, Prairie Fire, Malahat Review, subTerrain, carte blanche, Antigonish Review, Room, Crux, The Centrifugal Eye, Qarrtsiluni, as well as several anthologies, including Chronicling the Days: Dispatches from a Pandemic (Guernica, 2021) and Emergence: Contemporary Female Poets of the Eastern Townships.

Tanya has been nominated for a National Magazine Award as well as a Western Magazine Award. She holds an MA from McGill and an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Her poetry collection, Chaos Theories of Goodness, is forthcoming this fall with Shoreline Press. She lives in Quebec’s Eastern Townships with her husband and four children. Read more about Tanya and her writing at tanyaallattbellehumeur.com.

Peacekeeper’s Daughter is the astonishing story of a French-Canadian military family stationed in Israel and Lebanon in 1982-1983. Told from the perspective of a twelve-year-old girl, Peacekeeper’s Daughter parchutes the reader into the Lebanese Civil War, the Palestinian crisis, and the wave of terrorism—including the bombing of the American Embassy—that ravaged Beirut at the height of the siege. This novelistic memoir moves from Jerusalem to Tiberius, from the disputed No-Man’s Land of the Golan Heights to Damascus, and on to Beirut by way of Tripoli, crossing borders that remain closed to this day. It’s June, 1982. Twelve-year-old Tanya and her family are preparing to leave their home on the military base in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, to move to Israel, where her father will serve a one-year posting with the United Nations. While they’re packing up, Israel invades Lebanon. The President-elect of Lebanon is assassinated. Thousands of Palestinian men, women, and children are murdered at the Sabra-Shatila refugee camps in southern Beirut. The Middle East’s relative peace explodes into waves of violence. It is in the midst of this maelstrom that the family arrives in Israel, and settles into an apartment. And one day Tanya and her brother walk to school; yet nothing is ordinary, nothing is familiar. The simple act of walking down the street is fraught with peril. Violence may come at them from any direction at any time. Peacekeeper’s Daughter is a coming-of-age story, as well as an exploration of family dynamics, the shattering effects of violence and war—and the power of memory itself to reconcile us to our past selves, to the extraordinary places we have been and sights we have seen.

 

 

 

 

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