Dropped Threads Paperback – Jan 23 2001
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The hidden emotional territory of women's lives--from the joys of belly dancing to the agony of caring for a dying child--is revealed in the pages of Dropped Threads: What We Aren't Told. Editors Carol Shields and Marjorie Anderson bring together 34 eclectic and engaging pieces by renowned authors (e.g. Margaret Atwood and Bonnie Burnard) as well as women whose day jobs include politics, child-raising, and cattle ranching. Marni Jackson's "Tuck Me In" is an entertaining account of conflicts with a teenage son who considers shampoo a culturally imposed artifact. Perhaps the most powerful essay is "Edited Version," in which Isla James describes her dying child's last days at home:
"Don't watch her die, watch her live, her mother had said in those first few days. She was determined to do just that, whenever she could watch. She hadn't known how much of the time she'd have to keep her eyes closed, or how death wasn't a single act but a series of silent takeovers."Given the almost unbearably painful subject matter of many of these pieces, this book is not always easy to read. Its voices, however, are often unflinchingly honest and always intelligent. --Carolyn Leitch
“There are exciting and truly intimate entries in this book…these women take ideas even secret ones, and infuse them with poetry, scoured and buffed sentences and …stopwatch comic timing…The true depth of the collection is found in these women’s clear memories and their willingness to share.” -- Quill & Quire
“It’s a collection of revealing essays and short stories by 35 Canadian women at mid-life and beyond, reflecting on the life events that caught them off guard and, somehow, haven’t been talked about…As it turns out, there are many dropped threads in our lives. Weave them together and you’ve got a tapestry.” -- Bonnie Schiedel, Chatelaine, April 2001
“Dropped Threads … is a collection of 34 pieces by Canadian women in which they describe…everything they never said or were not able to say before, but which had tremendous power in their lives…[Senator Sharon Carstairs’s] essay about women in politics [is] clear-eyed and devastating …Miriam Toews examines her father’s lifelong battle with depression, which culminated in his suicide … with gentleness and insight … These are all the conversations we would wish to have with friends and these essays stimulate the sense of exuberance and relief that one always feels after a long, self-revelatory talk.” -- Virginia Beaton, Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 25 Feb 2001
“Dropped Threads is a much-awaited anthology of essays and stories by Canadian women, including celebrated writers as well as women who are neither writers nor famous … The angst of the women in Dropped Threads covers a wide spectrum.” -- Paul Gessell, Ottawa Citizen, 20 Jan 2001
“if the value of books were measured by the insights stored within their pages, Dropped Threads would be priceless…[This] is a wonderfully well-written and excellently edited book that offers such intimate insights that it sometimes seems like a stream of consciousness. The compositions frequently make the reader feel like an eavesdropper -- and an extremely entertained one at that…The stories in Dropped Threads cathartically tie up loose ends for their writers, while providing readers with an exquisitely crafted patchwork quilt of life experiences.” -- Winnipeg Free Press
On Lily Redmond’s Mrs. Jones, writing about abortion:
“One of the most powerful essays... . So many of us can talk with ease about the theory – our unwavering support for a woman's right to choose – but no woman ever wants to make that tragic choice or even admit to having once made it.” -- Pamela Wallin,@globebooks.com
On Joan Barfoot’s Starch, Salt, Wine, Chocolate:
“Barfoot is always interesting and her take on female friendship is clever and well observed. Loyalty, Barfoot feels, is the most important gift of friendship, although spinoffs abound.” -- Nancy Schiefer, The London Free Press