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Literary Collections Essays


An Anthology of Essays

edited by Rona Altrows & Julie Sedivy

The University of Alberta Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2018
Essays, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2018
    List Price

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Waiting, that most human of experiences, saturates all of our lives. We spend part of each day waiting—for birth, death, appointments, acceptance, forgiveness, redemption. This collection of thirty-two personal essays is as much about hope as it is about waiting. Featuring literary voices from the renowned to the emerging, this anthology of contemporary creative nonfiction will resonate with anyone who has ever had to wait.

Contributors: Samantha Albert, Rona Altrows, Sharon Butala, Jane Cawthorne, Weyman Chan, Rebecca Danos, Patti Edgar, John Graham-Pole, Leslie Greentree, Edythe Anstey Hanen, Vivian Hansen, Jane Harris, Richard Harrison, Elizabeth Haynes, Lee Kvern, Anne Lévesque, Margaret Macpherson, Alice Major, Wendy McGrath, Stuart Ian McKay, Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Susan Olding, Roberta Rees, Julie Sedivy, Kathy Seifert, Cora Siré, Steven Ross Smith, Anne Sorbie, Glen Sorestad, Kelly S. Thompson, Robin van Eck, Aritha van Herk

About the authors

Rona Altrows is the author of two books of short fiction, A Run on Hose and Key in Lock, as well as a children's chapbook, The River Throws a Tantrum. With Naomi K. Lewis, she co-edited the anthology Shy. Her work has earned her several awards, including an IPPY silver medal (shared with Lewis), the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize, and the 2017 Alberta Literary Award. With Julie Sedivy, Altrows is currently co-editing an anthology of essays about Waiting. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Rona Altrows' profile page

Aritha van Herk teaches Creative Writing, Canadian Literature and Contemporary Narrative at the University of Calgary. van Herk is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and is active in Canada’s literary and cultural life, writing articles and reviews as well as creative work. Her novel, No Fixed Address, was nominated for the Governor General's Award for Fiction. She is well known in the broader community of the city, the province, and the country as a writer and a public intellectual.

Julie Sedivy's profile page


  • Short-listed, Cover Design of the Year | Alberta Book Publishing Awards, Book Publishers Association of Alberta
  • Short-listed, Cover Design of the Year | Alberta Book Publishing Awards, Book Publishers Association of Alberta

Excerpt: Waiting: An Anthology of Essays (edited by Rona Altrows & Julie Sedivy)

"The verb esperar means to wait. It also means to hope." —Cora Siré, The Past Was a Small Notebook, Much Scribbled-Upon

Editorial Reviews

"A great deal of our lives is spent waiting. As humans we wait for public transit and for food at restaurants and food courts... And we wait for longer, more existential things: the birth of a baby, the progression of an illness, the arrival or departure of a friend or family member, acceptance or rejection of a job opportunity, love. In this edited anthology, a broad array of writers...examine various aspects of why and how we wait."

Quill & Quire

# 2 on Calgary Herald's Non-Fiction Bestsellers list, October 6, 2018

Calgary Herald

"Each of these thirty-two essays is powerful, distinctive, authentic.... I closed this book feeling that I’d been on thirty-two life journeys.... Waiting is not just filling blank time. It is also about courage and love." [Full review at]

Ottawa Review of Books

"I would buy this book based on the contributor list alone. The essays are well balanced—short mixed in with long, very well-established writers mixed in with new ones, a variety of approaches and styles, and surprising interpretations of the waiting theme mixed in with more expected explorations. Waiting is as strong a collection as I have read."

Angie Abdou, author of Home Ice: Reflections of a Reluctant Hockey Mom

"There’s plenty to debate here... These are just a few of the kinds of waiting essayed here, and they are all very much worth reading." Saskatoon StarPhoenix, January 26, 2019 [Full review at]

Bill Robertson

# 9 on Calgary Herald's Non-Fiction Bestsellers list, October 13, 2018

Calgary Herald

# 2 on Edmonton Non-Fiction Bestsellers list, October 19, 2018

"Waiting is a universal phenomenon, and in this impressive collection editors Rona Altrows and Julie Sedivy curate a variety of nuanced and distilled personal essays from 32 writers exploring the liminal experiences of people waiting for results, news, change, release or understanding"

Jannie Edwards

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