Afflictions & Departures
Afflictions and Departures is a collection of first-person experiential essays by writer and academic Madeline Sonik. Although Sonik explores some of the salient personal experiences of her young life, the essays in Afflictions and Departures are not traditional memoir. In addition to incidents and feelings recaptured from memory, Sonik seeks out connections between the mi...more
ebook, 184 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Anvil Press
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Nov 04, 2012 Cheryl rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition
When we look back on our lives, or that of others, it is always in the context of other things, both personal ("I remember such and such happened just after graduation night") and societal ("We didn't have to do any school lessons on the day that Canada won that hockey game against Russia in 1972; for the first time we got to watch tv in school, and celebrate that goal together"). We share those communal events; they are markers in our lives. Our own unique life events are juxtaposed with those...more
This book deserves a classier cover and a higher profile. I found it on the bottom shelf of the essays section in a dark corner of the store I visited to buy it. The same store prominently displayed the other short-listed nominees for the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction on a table at the front of the store. Sonik’s book didn’t win first prize but it’s wonderful, nonetheless. It’s a collection of autobiographical essays about her life from conception to age fourteen. I understan...more
In her essay collection Afflictions and Departures, which has been shortlisted for the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction, Madeline Sonik stitches her personal stories to the fabric of her time. Her narrative voice is blessed with startling omniscience, with the benefit of hindsight, and with an acute awareness of both how the extraordinary can be illuminated by ordinary detail, and also of how the ordinary and extraordinary are so often intricately connected. Sonik’s prose reveals her po...more
I loved this collection of personal essays so much I subconsciously hid my library copy on my bookshelf, hoping it could stay with me forever. Sonik tells her own history as she experienced it, along with her parents' (her own pre-history) and the history that was happening around her. The result is a recollection that's rooted in both emotion and fact, laced with beautiful words.