Where were you when the pandemic hit? While the shock of COVID-19 was fresh, the Quebec Writers’ Federation sent out a call to its members asking for short descriptions of life under lockdown. The response was immediate and heartfelt. Written and posted online between April 6 and May 26 of 2020, these dispatches—including several from the front lines—are first-person stories of hunkering down, gasping for air, facing challenges, getting through. Mainly written from isolation, the pieces present reading and writing as constant themes: trying, failing, being blocked, and finding renewed purpose. Award-winning author Susan Doherty opens the volume with a dramatic account of her own close call: how the man who saved her life unknowingly put her in danger of infection. Poet Rachel McCrum and writer Crystal Chan, who shepherded the project, reflect in their closing remarks on how the experience created community, and delivered unexpected insight into the power and purpose of chronicling our days. This book is a collaborative effort to document a time like no other. The cover image, a re-imagined detail from a seventeenth-century engraving of a plague doctor wearing elaborate personal protective equipment, links our present to a past in which disease was a decisive player. It is a moment we are not likely to forget anytime soon.
About the authors
Linda M. Morra, an associate professor at Bishopâ??s University, specializes in Canadian literature and Canadian studies. Her research focuses on women and the publishing industry in Canada. Her publications include Corresponding Influence: Selected Letters of Emily Carr and Ira Dilworth (2006), [http://www.wlupress.wlu.ca/Catalog/morra.shtml Troubling Tricksters: Revisioning Critical Conversations (co-editor with Deanna Reder, WLU Press, 2010), and an edition of Jane Ruleâ??s autobiography, Taking My Life (2011).
Jessica Schagerlâ??s research focuses on Canadian studies, drawing heavily on archival material; she is also invested in questions of professional concern, including mentoring and the futures of arts and humanities. She is the alumni and development officer for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Western Ontario.
A long-time Montrealer, Marianne Ackerman was born in Belleville, Ontario. She has an MA in drama from the University of Toronto and studied French at the Sorbonne. Her three published novels include the best-seller Jump. A frequently produced playwright, her new comedy Triplex Nervosa will be part of the Centaur Theatre’s 2014-15 season. She is publisher of the online arts magazine Rover, found at www.roverarts.com. The novella and stories in Holy Fools mark her first foray into short fiction.
Other titles by Linda M. Morra
On the Other Side(s) of 150
Untold Stories and Critical Approaches to History, Literature, and Identity in Canada
Basements and Attics, Closets and Cyberspace
Explorations in Canadian Women’s Archives
Margaret Laurence and Jack McClelland, Letters
Learn, Teach, Challenge
Approaching Indigenous Literatures
Marshall McLuhan, Wyndham Lewis, Wilfred Watson, and Sheila Watson
Case Studies in Twentieth-Century Canadian Women's Authorship
Revisioning Critical Conversations
At the Speed of Light There is Only Illumination
A Reappraisal of Marshall McLuhan
A Mingling of Contrarieties
Other titles by Marianne Ackerman
Triplex Nervosa Trilogy
Mankind & Other Stories of Women
Holy Fools & Other Stories
An Alternative History of English-Language Arts in Quebec
Matters of Hart
Venus of Dublin
Woman by a Window & Céleste
Or The Garrison Officers Rehearse Molière