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Social Science Philanthropy & Charity

When My Ghost Sings

A Memoir of Stroke, Recovery, and Transformation

by (author) Tara Sidhoo Fraser

Arsenal Pulp Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Philanthropy & Charity, LGBT, People with Disabilities, Personal Memoirs, Women
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

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A lucid exploration of amnesia, selfhood, and who is left behind when the past is obliterated

Tara Sidhoo Fraser is thirty-two years old when a rare mutation in her brain causes a stroke. Awakening after surgery with no memory of her previous life, she attempts to piece it all back together through a haze of amnesia. Yet, as memories do begin to surface, they are seen through someone else's eyes - the person whose body she stole, whom she calls Ghost.

Fighting to stabilize her existence, Tara struggles with the gulf between who she was and who she is now, while constantly battling and paying penance to Ghost. She meets Jude, who is also contending with their identity, the gap between who they are and who they present to the world. As Jude's transition progresses and they begin testosterone injections, Tara's conflict with Ghost heightens. Ghost's voice becomes stronger, and memories buried in the body they now share of hospital visits, old desires, and her ex threaten Tara's new relationship.

She burrows deeper into the mystery of who she once was, recognizing the need to fuse herself and Ghost into one. When My Ghost Sings is a lyrical memoir of healing, a farewell letter, and a reclamation of selfhood.

About the author

Tara Sidhoo Fraser is a queer writer and creator of South Asian and Scottish ancestry. She graduated from the University of Victoria with a BA in Anthropology, and her work has been published with Autostraddle and Anathema magazine, among others. When My Ghost Sings is her first book. She lives in Vancouver.

Tara Sidhoo Fraser's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Tara Sidhoo Fraser has authored one of a very few existing memoirs about amnesia. This is not a mere redemption story; Sidhoo Fraser does not position recovery as a tangible adversity to overcome. When My Ghost Sings is a lyrical exploration as much as it is a narrative. It is allegory, and it is sharply candid, an unhurried and nuanced journey of both uncertainty and love. -Amber Dawn, author of How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler's Memoir

The book's discomfort and uncertainty are the very point of this memoir; the author is showing readers how to reside in liminal spaces, how to make sense of fragments. In When My Ghost Sings, Sidhoo Fraser tells a story of disability and queerness in a brave and original way. -Quill and Quire

Set in the wake of medical catastrophe, this is a startling memoir about queer identity and laying the ghosts of the past to rest. -Shelf Awareness

When My Ghost Sings is detailed, introspective, and reads with a narrative force that asks soul-searching questions about who we are, who we were, and who we could be. -Electric Literature

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