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Pickle Me This

April 30, 2020

Catching Up with THE M WORD

Last week, I was asked to blurb a memoir that’s coming out this September, and I was happy to say yes to this request, though I always have trouble reading books that aren’t actual books yet, and especially when they’re digital, because I’d have to read on my phone, and who wants to do that. But this book. Which I received on Friday and had finished by Monday night. On my stupid phone. Do you know what an endorsement that is?

The book is How to Lose Everything, by Christa Couture, and it’s a story that sparkles and sings. A story for anyone who would like to consider ways to find grace and keep going in the face of a hopeless situation. Amazingly, it’s also a book that was born out of the essay that Christa published six years ago in The M Word: Conversations About Motherhood. What amazing seeds that book has planted!

Which made me consider all the remarkable things that contributors to The M Word have been up to in the years since the book was published. I continue to be bowled over with gratitude to all the women who contributed to our project, and want to celebrate what some of them have been recently been up to literary-wise.

But first, I want to note the death of Priscila Uppal in September 2018. Uppal’s essay was “Footnote to the Poem “Now That All My Friends Are Having Babies: A Thirties Lament,” and it was funny, brutal, honest, and necessary. I am still so honoured that her work was a part of our collection.

  • Heather Birrell’s latest book is the poetry collection, Float and Scurry, which has been shortlisted for the 2020 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award
  • Christa Couture has just released her fifth album, Safe Harbour. Her memoir How to Lose Everything will be published in September.
  • Nancy Jo Cullen’s debut novel The Western Alienation Merit Badge was published in 2019.
  • Marita Dachsel’s most recent book is the poetry collection There Are Not Enough Sad Songs
  • Ariel Gordon released the essay collection Treed: Walking in Canada’s Urban Forests in 2019. It has been nominated for the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award
  • Fiona Tinwei Lam’s poetry collection Odes & Laments was published in 2019.
  • Maria Meindl’s debut novel The Work was published in 2019.
  • Saleema Newaz’s new novel, Songs for the End of the World, was due to be released in August. Due to uncanny connections between her novel—about a coronavirus that sweeps the world in 2020—and our current moment, the book has been released early as an ebook and the print book is coming this summer.
  • Patricia Storms’ most recent book is the picture book Moon Wishes, co-written with Guy Storms and illustrated by, Milan Pavlovic published in 2019
  • Julia Zarankin’s first book, Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder, is coming in September (and I can hardly wait!)

This is just a smattering of updates from our contributors, all of which have been up to good and interesting things in the years since the book came out. What a pleasure it is to have this connection with each and every one of them.

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