Friday, November 17, 2017

Where It Hurts by Sarah de Leeuw

These are powerful personal essays about living through pain and surviving loss of all kinds, and violence, and injustice. Beautiful, cathartic and bleak, like the remote British Columbia settings where author Sarah de Leeuw has lived.

"It is the early summer of 1989. For the two of us it is the end of Grade 10. Gravel pit parties and plastic bottles of Silent Sam vodka, bootleggers met in the mall, twenty dollar bills changing hands behind pickup trucks and just the hint of nights that will soon be lit up with pale green washes of northern lights. We the girls of northern BC are coming loose of our parkas. We are like freshwater invertebrates, larva shedding our hard casings and wriggling up onto the surface of social streams, wings still sticky with winter we are ready to become terrestrial beings, darting into sunshine and getting ready to spread beach towels down on the gravel bars of the great northern rivers we live up against."
- What Fills Our Lungs

"We should have known right then, my love, that we could not outrun the things that haunted us, the things we could not name. I remember that night when we stood watching fireflies and owls during that one bluing hour before full night, a transitioning hour. We stood transfixed in the sparks of extinguishing light."
- Belle Island Owls

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