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Fiction Literary

Memoir of a Good Death

by (author) Anne Sorbie

Thistledown Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2010
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2012
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2010
    List Price

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This is a story of family, of death, and of the art of living. It is also the story of the ties that bind a mother to a daughter and the dynamics that govern their love. Shaped as a memoir, shared by Sarah Flett and her daughter Rhegan, the narrative begins with the death of Sarah's husband and builds in complexity with the untimely and sudden death of Rhegan.

Are life and death at their core intertwined? As Rhegan speaks from beyond the grave, her life is revealed in unexpected ways to her mother. And as Rhegan reconstructs her past and her memories of the last six months of her life, their impact and energy become one with her mother's own remembering. This unheralded reconnection forms the nexus of the novel. It becomes their shared memoir. Through it the reader is invited into the intricacies of grieving and the irreducible nature of motherdaughter love.

Sorbie's steady hand meshes the dual narrative perspectives using land and water imagery. Within this narrative frame, the balance that grieving and celebrating, and holding on and letting go require is carefully constructed. Rhegan's and Sarah's lives become meaningful because we share in their heartbreak and their joy. Their lives intertwine and together become the memoir of a good death.

"When the dead speak we must listen. Anne Sorbie's dead and eloquent narrator is full of wild humour, pain, rebellion, compassion, wisdom. And she tells a wickedly good story. How can we know heaven from hell?" - Robert Kroetsch

About the author

Anne Sorbie has published three books, including the poetry collection, Falling Backwards Into Mirrors (Inanna, 2019). Her work has appeared in magazines, e-zines, journals and anthologies, and on CBC Canada Writes. Her poetry has been translated into Farsi and broadcast by Ottawa Persian Radio (2021), and shared in Piacenza, Italy as part of Global Poetry Patchwork (2020). She is a staunch believer in equity and an active community advocate. Her writing often focuses on the lives of women. Anne lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Heidi Grogan's writing and work address issues at the intersection of trauma, social justice, and spirituality. She has published in ROOM magazine, Weavings, and the Boobs Anthology (Caitlin Press, 2016). For 15 years, she taught creative writing to women healing from sexual exploitation and edited their publication, Cry of the Streets. She has engaged adults healing from trauma in multiple Calgary programs, attending to the links between poverty, literacy, and literary fluency. Heidi lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Anne Sorbie's profile page

Other titles by Anne Sorbie