Happily married, great career, mother of two. What more could a woman possibly want? Enter The Change Room, by award-winning writer Karen Connelly, and find out.
Eliza Keenan is the mother of two young sons, the owner of a flower studio that caters to the city’s elite, and the loving wife of a deliciously rumpled math professor named Andrew. She’s on the move from dawn until her boys are in bed, and after they’re asleep she cleans her house. Her one complaint about her life is that the only time she has for herself is her twice-weekly swim in the local community centre pool, where sunlight shines in through a tall window and lights up the water in a way that reminds her of the year she spent as a footloose youth on an island in Greece. Then one morning into this life that is full of satisfactions of all kinds except sexual (because who has the time or the energy once the kids are asleep?) comes a tall, dark and lovely stranger, a young woman Eliza encounters at the pool and nicknames ‘the Amazon.’ The sight of this woman, naked in the change room, completely undoes Eliza, and soon the two of them are entangled in an affair that breaks all the rules, and threatens to capsize not only Eliza and her happy family, but her lover’s world, too. And yet the sex is so all-encompassing, so intimate, so true…how can it be bad? Be ready to be shaken up, woken up, scandalized and deeply stirred.
Be sure to be at The Ottawa Writers Festival to meet Mary Walsh on Friday April 28th.
In this brilliantly funny and poignant debut novel, actress, comedian and social activist Mary Walsh has created the unforgettable Maureen Brennan, a young woman coming of age in late 1960s St. John’s, Newfoundland
There is no one like Maureen, the second youngest daughter of the Sarge, a mother so bitter, so angry about her fate that she bullies her children and her husband before anyone else has a chance to. Maureen’s dad, once gorgeously young, is now a beaten-down man who tells his best stories when he is drunk.
School is torture, with the nuns watching every move she makes. Oh, but Maureen wants a bigger life. She wants to go to sexy, exciting Montreal and be part of Expo 67, even if it means faking her way into the school choir. Once there, Maureen escapes the vigilant eye of Sister Imobilis and sneaks out into the city where, over the course of a few hours, and after a series of breathtakingly bad decisions, she changes the course of her life forever.
All Maureen really wanted was to get her life going. Even now, with everyone and everything against her, Maureen has one thing that nobody can take away: she is the indomitable Maureen—a young woman who is so much more than anyone thinks.
An intimate narrative exploring the past, present, and future of books
Four seismic shifts have rocked human communication: the invention of writing, the alphabet, mechanical type and the printing press, and digitization. Poised over this fourth transition, e-reader in one hand, perfect-bound book in the other, Merilyn Simonds — author, literary maven, and early adopter — asks herself: what is lost and what is gained as paper turns to pixel?
Gutenberg’s Fingerprint trolls the past, present, and evolving future of the book in search of an answer. Part memoir and part philosophical and historical exploration, the book finds its muse in Hugh Barclay, who produces gorgeous books on a hand-operated antique letterpress. As Simonds works alongside this born-again Gutenberg, and with her son to develop a digital edition of the same book, her assumptions about reading, writing, the nature of creativity, and the value of imperfection are toppled.
Gutenberg’s Fingerprint is a timely and fascinating book that explores the myths, inventions, and consequences of the digital shift and how we read today.