Paperback, 248 pages
University of Alberta Press
Audiobook August 2022
Impact: Women Writing After Concussion
E. D. Morin and Jane Cawthorne, editors
In Impact, 21 women writers consider the ramifications of concussion on their personal and professional lives. The anthology bears witness to the painstaking work that goes into redefining identity and regaining creative practice after a traumatic event. By sharing their complex, non-linear, and sometimes incomplete healing journeys, these women convey the magnitude of a disability which is often doubted, overlooked, and trivialized, in part because of its invisibility. Showcasing a diversity of women's stories, Impact offers compassion and empathy to all readers and families healing from concussion and other types of trauma.
Contributors: Adèle Barclay, Jane Cawthorne, Tracy Wai de Boer, Stephanie Everett, Mary-Jo Fetterly, Rayanne Haines, Jane Harris, Kyla Jamieson, Alexis Kienlen, Claire Lacey, E. D. Morin, Julia Nunes, Shelley Pacholok, Chiedza Pasipanodya, Judy Rebick, Julie Sedivy, Dianah Smith, Carrie Snyder, Kinnie Starr, Amy Stuart, Anna Swanson.
We are grateful for a grant from Canada Council for the Arts. Their support means contributors to Impact were well paid for their work.
We are also grateful for a grant from IFPOC that provided funding for a research study at St. Michael's Hospital based on this book, which also meant payment to contributors to Impact.
Best Trade Non-fiction Book of the Year, 2022 Alberta Book Publishing Awards
Shortlisted for Best Book Cover Design, 2022 Alberta Book Publishing Awards
Shortlisted for Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award, Rayanne Haines's "This is Normal", 2020 Alberta Literary Awards.
Reviews and Interviews
Shelagh Rogers in conversation with editor/contributors Jane Cawthorne and Kinnie Starr, The Next Chapter, CBC Radio
I've Read This, review by Anne Logan
Alberta Views, review by Doreen Vanderstoop
Concussion Update, "Recommended Reading - Impact: Women Writing After Concussion", Malayka Gormally, Concussion Alliance
The personal essays and poetry collected in this anthology edited by activist writers Morin and Cawthorne explore how concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) impact women, and in particular, how suffering a concussion and TBI has affected the individual lives of the various contributing authors.... The anthology is divided into five sections, each bookended with poetry, and includes essays on, e.g., accepting the effects of injury, the challenges of healing, the life changes wrought by concussion, and the struggle for recovery of the creative process.... The essays, written by a diverse group of women writers, were selected with the aim of helping women who have suffered from concussion realize that they are not alone.
—C. A. Nadon, CHOICE Magazine
This book is such a gift to women, like me, who have suffered concussions. I devoured it. I revelled in it. I offer deep gratitude for these eloquent women courageously sharing their personal stories about the invisible thief that is concussion. This book creates affirmation, validation, and understanding. I believe it will also create change.
—Shelagh Rogers, O.C., Host of The Next Chapter, CBC Radio
Within a health care system that evaluates women on a scale developed for and by men, these authors testify to the diffuse, confusing, inconsistent symptoms that come with brain injury. I venture that people with neurological challenges will feel confirmed and those whose loved ones live with post-concussion syndrome may understand why this state is almost impossible to articulate from deep inside the fog. E. D. Morin and Jane Cawthorne’s assemblage of artists and thinkers create a chorus that should capture medicine’s attention with the full force of personal testimony.
—Elee Kraljii Gardiner, editor of Against Death: 35 Essays on Living
This book offers validation and companionship to people who have suffered head injuries, and to many other ill people whose symptoms derail their lives but resist clinical interventions. Clinicians will gain valuable insight into how symptoms affect lives as they are lived outside of what can be perceived within the clinic. For me, the most compelling chapters take up a paradoxical task: telling a story about what prevents you from telling the story you most need to tell.
—Arthur W. Frank, author of The Wounded Storyteller
I know people who have had serious concussions. I’m familiar with a devastating range of symptoms. But those I know are not writers; those in this book are. They articulate that experience with bravery and insight; painfully, but personally. I know concussion specialists who are open-minded about how much they don’t know about concussion. This is a book for them. And for the rest of us too.
—Jay Ingram, science writer and broadcaster
Imagine losing your abilities to create language or poetry; to be unable to freely put pen to paper. Impact delves into the raw emotional challenges faced by authors dealing with brain injuries. Readers of the anthology join the authors’ recovery as they share universal themes of creativity, isolation, regression, growth, femininity, and pain related to TBI. I recommend this anthology to others and look forward to using it as a resource within and beyond the hospital.
—Dr. Shree Bhalerao, Neuroscience Research Program, St. Michael’s Hospital
At bookstores in Calgary:
Paperback, 224 pages, Inanna, 2017
Writing Menopause: An Anthology of Fiction, Poetry and Creative Nonfiction
Jane Cawthorne and E. D. Morin, editors
Writing Menopause is a collection of writing about menopause from over 50 contributors from across Canada and the United States. Included are works of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction, as well as interviews and cross-genre pieces. Many of the works break new ground in portraying menopause. And while some voices dread the prospect of change, others embrace it. Together, this unique literary offering reflects the varied experience of menopause and shatters common stereotypes.
Contributors: Rona Altrows, Merle Amodeo, Tori Amos, Buck Angel, Kate Austin, Glenda Barrett, Arlene Bice, Maroula Blades, Caroline Bock, Virginia Boudreau, Susan Calder, Louise Carson, Donna Caruso, Jane Cawthorne, Tanya Coovadia, Lisa Couturier, Heather Dillaway, Carolyn Gage, Elaine Hayes, Frances Hern, Shaun Hunter, Sally Ito, Marianne Jones, Carol Kavanagh, Ellen Kelly, Shelley Leedahl, Cathy Cultice Lentes, Margaret Macpherson, Colette Maitland, B. A. Markus, Rhona McAdam, JoAnn McCaig, Leanna McLennan, Gemma Meharchand, Noah Michelson, Lynda Monahan, E. D. Morin, Lou Morin, C E O'Rourke, Steve Passey, Carolyn Pogue, Roberta Rees, Lori D. Roadhouse, Shirley Serviss, Donna Shvil, Jane Silcott, Alison Stone, Rea Tarvydas, Taryn Thomson, Lise Tremblay, Rachel Williams, Gerry Wolfram
Roberta Rees's "Evie's Massage Parlour" was shortlisted for the Alberta Literary Awards' James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction.
Writing Menopause is a revolutionary collection of work passionately and bravely confronting menopause, a topic society tends to avoid ... The writers explore every aspect of this phase in life, from perimenopause to hot flashes, and the feeling of loss to the stigma menopause has on a person’s mental state. The anthology sets the stage for future public conversations about the end of menstruation.
Self-knowledge in the face of inevitable change informs piece after piece in the collection as a whole, and the resulting assembly of works brings a reader who has to deal with post-menopausal realities—or one merely contemplating the approach of the stage—much comfort and consorority (not a standard term, but it definitely belongs here).
The study of menopause outside of hormonal science is barren. This taboo topic is not yet plumed. ... Clear your throats ladies and speak up, your daughters wait. This is a daring book that tosses an emotional topic around like a hot potato. A roller-coaster read and a must for women of all ages.
I wish Writing Menopause had been on my nightstand, too. [Germaine] Greer’s feminist voice was brilliantly hard-edged and stark. But Cawthorne and Morin would have added fifty-five more to the mix, and I might have been not only informed and ready for a fight but also entertained, validated and prepared for what has become the most challenging and rewarding period of my life so far.
Almost every piece can be deconstructed to reveal a relationship in flux. Characters—real, imagined, and metaphoric—are in the midst of renegotiating, reinventing, reimagining their relationships with partners, lovers, friends, children, mothers, nature and, mostly, themselves. Family life, partnered life, friendship, and sexuality are boldly exposed.
From the opening montage of “The Chrissie Hynde Stories” (yes, that Chrissie Hynde) to the closing short piece “Last Blood”, there will be laughter and tears, and some pieces will haunt you enough to want to read on quickly. These pieces lay bare some of the raw emotion surrounding this part of a woman’s life.
Breathtaking ... hot-flashing, mind melding, heart touching, beautiful. I actually think ALL women would love this book, not just those of us who are approaching, well in, or past menopause. Each piece was so tender and truthful... This book will join the ‘desert island’ books on my shelf.
"The Chrissie Hynde Stories" is ... possibly my favorite, vying with editor Jane Cawthorne's "Disassembly" for that honor ... "Disassembly" is told from the point of view of a boy in a family of boys with a perimenopausal mom and a dad who works at a slaughterhouse ... it's just powerful.
The first mixed-genre anthology I know of that explores menopause, a subject that still seems shrouded in codes of silence. This anthology sings its subject loud and proud, and for this reason alone it is worth the price of admission.
—Mariam Pirbhai, author of Outside People and Other Stories
This collection will help to evolve arcane perceptions. ... The more we learn about our woman-beings, the more we reframe the myths that have isolated us from true nature—from the wild we have in our spirits.
—Sheri-D Wilson, author of Open Letter: Woman Against Violence Against Women
Their stories are clever, funny and, sometimes, bloody embarrassing ... [They] tell us how menopause shifted their thinking about their bodies, aging, fertility, sexuality and gender identity.
—Diana L. Gustafson, co-author of Reproducing Women: Family and Health Work Across Three Generations
This anthology ... provides an inspirational insight into the complexity of women’s experience of menopause ... Reading this book made me both laugh and cry, and feel glad to be a woman at mid-life.
—Jane M. Ussher, author of The Madness of Women: Myth and Experience and The Psychology of the Female Body
This volume breaks the silence surrounding menopause through women’s stories of their own experiences of this important life transition ... essential reading for health practitioners, women’s health researchers, and women living through, or anticipating, this phase of their lives.
—Janette Perz, Western Sydney University
At bookstores in Calgary: