In Until Further Notice, Amy Kaler records a personal account of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in real time. She documents a series of jolts to her thoughts, perceptions, emotions, and habits—an internal seismograph of living through a global emergency. Kaler’s introspection underlines the universal experience of dissonance brought on by COVID-19 and invites readers to ponder its ambiguities. At the same time, the pandemic lets Kaler put down roots, as she rediscovers her neighbourhood and her city’s natural spaces. Reflexive and relatable, Until Further Notice captures fine-grained, everyday experiences from an extraordinary year.
About the author
Amy Kaler is Professor of Sociology at the University of Alberta. She is a Killam Annual Professor and the recipient of awards for research and for narrative writing. She is part of the leadership team for Stories of Change, a Faculty of Arts signature area, and headed the Stories of the Pandemic project.
Excerpt: Until Further Notice: A Year in Pandemic Time (by (author) Amy Kaler)
When the pandemic began, I decided I was going to write about it. I didn’t know what this writing was going to look like, because although I have written books before, I have never set myself a project like this, which begins by telling myself, “You are living through a historically significant experience about which you have no choice. You must only try to be a faithful witness to that experience.”
"Amy Kaler puts a personal touch on her pandemic experience in Until Further Notice: A Year in Pandemic Time. Thoughts, emotions, habits: they all fall under the microscope and are fodder for observation. She also talks about how the pandemic forced her to be more engaged with her community and her city’s natural spaces, two positives in an otherwise horrendous mess." Justin Bell, Edmonton Journal, August 11, 2022
“[Kaler] offers thoughtful company along the path to a post-pandemic future that none of us can yet quite fathom.” Jenna Butler, Alberta Views, January 3, 2023 [Full review at https://albertaviews.ca/until-further-notice/]
“Amy Kaler doesn’t pretend to provide answers or counsel the uncertain, but instead offers a record of in-betweenness–including crucial questions about work, identity, safety and health–in a time of change.” Tanis MacDonald, author of Straggle: Adventures in Walking While Female
“Like Thoreau in his Walden woods, Amy Kaler is studying the natural and social environment around her and observing her own responses.” Alice Major, writer and poet