Did you know August 31 is We Love Memoirs Day? We help you hop-to loving memoirs with these 10 new and upcoming memoir picks.
1. Lawrencia’s Last Parang: A Memoir on Loss and Belonging as a Black Woman in Canada by Anita Jack-Davies (Inanna Publications)Lawrencia’s Last Parang is a snapshot of the author’s life following the death of her grandmother Lawrencia, who raised her. Written in the style of a patchwork quilt that takes the reader back and forth between the present and the past, she examines her grief from the perspective of a Canadian-born Black woman of Caribbean descent, and she begins to question her identity and what it means to be a Black Canadian in new ways.
2. The Mother of All Degrassi by Linda Schuyler (ECW Press)Linda Schuyler, co-creator and executive producer of the long-running Degrassi series, shares her personal stories about the grit and determination necessary to make it as a woman entrepreneur in the burgeoning independent Canadian television industry of the early 1980s.
3. Cyclettes by Tree Abraham (Book*hug Press)Part travelogue, part philosophical musing, writer and book designer Tree Abraham’s work probes the millennial experience, asking what a young life can be when unshackled from traditional expectations, yet still living in consistent economic and environmental uncertainty.
4. Carrying It Forward by John Brady McDonald (Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd)In this wide-ranging collection the author looks at everything from the city of Prince Albert to his experience of residential school, to northern firefighting, to his time in the United Kingdom, where he “discovered” and “claimed” the island for the First People of the Americas. These are essays filled with history, much careful observation and some hard-learned lessons about racism, about recovery, about the ongoing tragedies facing Indigenous peoples.
5. Home Safe by Mitchell Consky (Dundurn Press)Leaning into his journalistic intuitions, Mitchell interviewed his father daily, audio recording final talks, emotional goodbyes, and the unexpected laughter that filled his father’s final days. Serving as a catalyst for fatherly affection, these interviews became an opportunity for emotional confession during the slowed-down time of a shuttered world — and reflect how far a family went in making a dying loved one feel safe at home.
6. High Friends in Low Places by Alan Lord (Guernica Editions)High Friends in Low Places features in lurid detail Alan Lord’s epic romp through the riotous avant-underground scene of Montreal, New York, and Europe in the 1980s. Along the way, he relates his encounters with the luminaries of cutting-edge literature, music and art including William Burroughs, Kathy Acker, Chris Kraus, John Giorno, Manu Chao, Blixa Bargeld, Chris Burden and pop artist James Rosenquist, as well as introducing us to brilliantly creative unknowns in all the arts.
7. Dancing in Small Spaces by Leslie A. Davidson (Brindle & Glass)In 2011, Leslie Davidson and her husband Lincoln Ford were enjoying retired life to the fullest as ardent outdoor enthusiasts, energetic travellers, and soon-to-be grandparents. But when Lincoln’s confusion became a concern and Leslie began to experience a hesitant leg and uncontrollable tremors in one arm, a devastating double diagnosis completely changed their life.
8. Tracking the Caribou Queen by Margaret Macpherson (NeWest Press)In this challenging memoir about her formative years in Yellowknife in the ’60s and ’70s, author Margaret Macpherson lays bare her own white privilege, her multitude of unexamined microaggressions, and how her childhood was shaped by the colonialism and systemic racism that continues today.
[ author Mary Bomford – cover in progress! ]
9. Red Dust & Cicada Songs by Mary Bomford (Caitlin Press)At the age of 21, Canadian teacher Mary Bomford and her husband of just eight weeks embarked on a journey that would directly alter their careers, their marriage and their family. That journey would trace an invisible but palpable thread through the rest of their lives.
[ editor Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith – cover in progress! ]
10. Silence to Strength: Writings and Reflections on the 60s Scoop edited by Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith (Kegedonce Press)In Silence to Strength, editor Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith gathers together contributions from 20 Sixties Scoop survivors from across the territories of Canada. This anthology includes poems, stories and personal essays from contributors such as Alice McKay, D. B. McLeod, David Montgomery, Doreen Parenteau, Tylor Pennock, Terry Swan, Lisa Wilder, and many more.