Julie Salverson works with survivors of trauma. As a playwright she helps them tell their stories, work through their pain, bears witness to their suffering. But she is on the verge of buckling under the weight of these stories when a friend pulls her into a different kind of story. A group of Dene from Déline, on the shores of the Great Bear Lake, where the uranium that went into the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been mined, had gone to Japan to apologize for their actions.
From this Northern community Salverson traces the journey of the uranium from Canada to New Mexico and onto Japan. Along the way she examines the impact of the element on the communities where it was mined, processed and turned into weapons. Questions of forgiveness and the blurry lines between victim and perpetrator are addressed in a way that offers healing, but no simple answers. The result is unexpected beauty and hard-won insights that ripple through this narrative like stones dropped on still water as Salverson charts the influence nuclear arms have had on her own life and the lives of those touched by the various traumas of war, atomic or otherwise.
Julie Salverson is a playwright and nonfiction writer who teaches writing and drama at Queen's University and the Royal Military College of Canada. Salverson has created projects in community engaged arts practice for many years, and works with groups to practice resiliency through the exchange and development of stories. Julie Salverson is a member of the Playwright's Guild of Canada and her plays have been produced in Canada, the US and Thailand.
"Her excursion takes her into some of the darkest reaches of recent history, but also illuminates the human spirit with hope and humour." - Quill & Quire
"While each memoir treads its own ground, readers who enjoyed Joy Kogawa's Gently to Nagasaki will find this a complementary title — a different take on similar themes." - The Globe and Mail
"One of the reasons I love this memoir is her honesty about the personal journey this project has inspired her to take, and the bits of wisdom she has figured out along the way." - Consumed by Ink