Claire Dederer’s memoir, Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, published in January by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, is structured around her developing relationship with yoga and the insights she has gleaned from her practice. Her wry and sincere writing style elevates her book above the typical “yoga saved my life” story. Claire didn’t need saving, exactly, but yoga provided a window through which she came to a better understanding of herself and her life: her daily struggles to reconcile the roles of wife, mother, freelance writer and yogi, and, deeper in the past, events of her childhood that may have influenced her, especially her feminist mother’s decision to leave her father. Claire’s articles have appeared in the New York Times, Vogue, New York magazine, The Nation, Real Simple, Slate, Salon, and many other publications. She lives on an island near Seattle.
Thursday, October 13th, 2011
Vancouver writer, cartoonist and editor Sarah Leavitt is the author of the graphic memoir Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me (Freehand Books, 2010). Her first book garnered favourable reviews and has gone on to be a finalist in several literary competitions. Sarah spoke with me recently about the process of untangling the poignant personal story that became Tangles.
A: Congratulations on Tangles being selected as a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize—what an honour that it was the first graphic work ever chosen. It’s also a finalist for the BC Book Prize and the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award, and recently won a CBC Bookie in the graphic novel category. Were you surprised by the positive reception?
S: Yes, I was surprised! But I think comics can be a powerful medium, and this becomes clear as soon as you start reading them.
Thursday, March 17th, 2011