Hosted by Rayanne Haines
National bestseller, finalist for the 2022 Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award.
A deeply personal account of love's restorative ability as it leads renowned novelist Donna Morrissey through mental illness, family death, and despair to becoming a writer--told with charm and inimitable humour.
About Donna Morrissey
Donna Morrissey has written six nationally bestselling novels. She has received awards in Canada, the U.S., and England. Her novel Sylvanus Now was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and she was nominated for a Gemini for best writing for the film Clothesline Patch. Her fiction has been translated into several different languages. Born and raised in Newfoundland, she now lives in Halifax.
Pluck: A Memoir of a Newfoundland Childhood and the Raucous, Terrible, Amazing Journey to Becoming a Novelist (2021)
When Donna Morrissey left the only home she had ever known, an isolated Newfoundland settlement, at age 16, she was ready for adventure. She had grown up without television or telephones but had absorbed the tragic stories and comic yarns of her close-knit family and community. The death of her infant brother marked the family, and years later, Morrissey suffers devastating guilt about the accidental death of her teenage brother, whom she'd enticed to join her in the oilfields. Her misery was compounded by her own misdiagnosis of a terminal illness, all of which contributed to crippling anxiety and an actual diagnosis of PTSD. Many of those events and themes would eventually be transformed and recast as fictional gold in Morrissey's novels. In another writer's hands, Morrissey's account of her personal story could easily be a tragedy. Instead, she combines darkness and light, levity and sadness into her tale, as her indomitable spirit and humour sustain her.
Rayanne Haines is the current Writer in Residence for the Metro Edmonton Federation of Libraries. An author of three poetry collections and a four-part commercial market urban fantasy series, she also hosts the literary podcast Crow Reads. Her collection, Tell the Birds Your Body is Not a Gun, was shortlisted for the ReLit Award and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Award, and won the 2022 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry.