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Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs

These Days Are Numbered

Diary of a High-Rise Lockdown

by (author) Rebecca Rosenblum

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2023
Personal Memoirs, Marriage, Women
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price

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The diary of a woman longing for community in a crowded downtown in pandemic times, when casual intimacies are forbidden.

The novelist Rebecca Rosenblum lives in St. James Town, Toronto — the most densely populated square kilometre in all of Canada. When the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns arrive, she’s cut off from colleagues, friends, and family, and not allowed to go near neighbours. As the world constricts, Rebecca keeps a weird and worried diary online — a love letter both to the outside world that she misses so desperately, and the little world inside St. James Town that she can see from home.

As Rebecca watches and wonders from inside her box in the sky, her diary entries mix an account of a tough time in a tough place with joyful goofiness and moments of unexpected compassion.

About the author

Rebecca Rosenblum just graduated from the English and Creative Writing Masters program at the University of Toronto. Her work has been published in Exile Quarterly, The Danforth Review, echolocation, The New Quarterly, Qwerty, Ars Medica, and Journey Prize Stories 19. Once, her first book, won the Metcalf-Rooke Award for fiction. Rebecca lives and writes in Toronto, Ontario.

Rebecca Rosenblum's profile page

Editorial Reviews

An intimate portrait in which moments of pandemic grief and anxiety are always matched by humour, tenderness, and curiosity.

Saleema Nawaz, author of Songs for the End of the World

In early March 2020, as the first wave of the pandemic closed in and big city life shifted in estranging ways, Rebecca Rosenblum began to chronicle the changes in herself and others in journal entries on social media. As we acquired new vocabulary, adjusted to new routines, and learned to cope with losses of all kinds, she probed personal and collective anxieties and conundrums. During walks through a deserted city, she conceived of herself as an eye, but she was also the beating heart of a community trying to finds its way during a collective trauma. In compilation, this diary is a record of where we’ve been and who we’ve been under unknowable and stressful circumstances. To read These Days Are Numbered is to witness a deeply curious, compassionate, and humane mind at work.

Christine Fischer Guy, author of The Umbrella Mender

It’s shocking how much the worst days of the Covid-19 pandemic feel like ancient history. In these near-daily dispatches from the lockdown era, Rosenblum attempts to pin herself to the earth during a moment of global unmooring. In doing so, she provides an honest and very human accounting of a time that is already being erased from our collective memories.

Nathan Whitlock, author of Lump

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