In 1974, after escaping an abusive marriage, Luanne Armstrong struggled with poverty and caring for four small children. During this time, the author and Sam Moore began their friendship; they were both young single parents in crisis, and needed to change their lives. They supported each other through the child-rearing years, careers and environmental, peace and feminist work. Their friendship endured and strengthened during the colourful, sometimes strange, but also community-altering movements that rocked the seventies and eighties throughout BC: back-to-the-landers, draft dodgers, hippies, drugs and political movements for peace, feminism and equality.
Now in their later years, they are again both facing an identity crisis, and, again, they do so together, their long friendship a source of immense strength and comfort. This book delves into the hardships of aging, grief and pain, and how friendships can sustain all of us.
A Bright and Steady Flame gives insight into how deep and powerful a friendship can be. Armstrong's new book speaks to our compelling human need and ability to build long-lasting community. This is a love story that celebrates, for all people, the solace that true friendship can provide.
About the author
Luanne Armstrong, MFA, Ph.D, is a novelist, freelance writer, editor, and publisher. She is deeply interested in writing about place and nature. Her research interests also include the ethics of autobiographical writing, ecological identity, and writing as inquiry. She has published over fifty stories and essays in magazines and journals, and is the author of fourteen books, including poetry, novels, and children’s books. She has been nominated for numerous prizes and awards. Her first novel, Annie, was a best-seller in Germany. Her YA novel, Jeannie and the Gentle Giants, was nominated for Canadian Library Association’s Book of the Year, the Sheila Egoff BC Book Prize Award and the Red Cedar Award. It placed second in the Silver Birch Award. It was also named by McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg as one of their top ten all time best children’s books. Luanne has taught Creative Writing for many years at the college level including at Langara College, and at summer schools in BC and Alberta. She is a popular speaker and workshop leader at writing conferences. She is presently working on a book about the ethics of autobiographical writing for Pacific Educational Press as well as a book of essays about environmental ethics. She is an adjunct professor of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Luanne currently lives on her organic heritage farm in the Kootenay region of BC.
"From the Kootenays to the coast and back again, from poverty and single parenthood to writing and activism, love and pain, A Bright and Steady Flame is a love letter to a fifty-year friendship and a memoir that offers extraordinary insights into aging, love, loss and joy.''
—Jane Hamilton Silcott, co-editor of Love Me True and author of Everything Rustles
“This book may well change your worldview about aging. It will certainly encourage you to live as creatively as you can, particularly as you grow older. It is a book about navigating personal annihilation, about being ground into ashes and almost disappearing from life, only to return to the world with a poetic and riveting story that will light a fire in readers’ hearts.”
—Lee Reid, M. Ed, The Ormsby Review
"In A Bright and Steady Flame, we have been given a gift that is at once an easy read and a work of depth, intellect, compassion and razor-sharp observation. It is a book that makes me want to go into my library and re-read some of Armstrong’s earlier works, if for no other reason than the quality of writing..."
—Lorne Eckersley, Creston Valley Advance
Other titles by Luanne Armstrong
Dancing on Mountains
Going to Ground
A Journey through Chronic Pain, Aging and the Restorative Powers of Nature
Morven and the Horse Clan
The Light Through the Trees
Reflections on Land and Farming
I'll Be Home Soon
Slice Me Some Truth
An Anthology of Canadian Creative Nonfiction