The Bukowski Agency - By the Secret Ladder

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See also www.francesgreenslade.com

65,000 words hardcover
Finished books available

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Canada: Penguin, May 2007

ABOUT FRANCES GREENSLADE

Frances Greenslade (Photo: Stuart Bish)
(Photo: Stuart Bish)

B.C. resident Frances Greenslade holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. Her critically-acclaimed first book, A Pilgrim in Ireland, was awarded the 2003 Saskatchewan Book Award for non-fiction. Her work has also appeared in Grain, NeWest Review, and Room of One’s Own.

By the Secret Ladder
A Mother's Initiation

by Frances Greenslade

A POETIC AND DEEPLY MOVING MEMOIR THAT EXPLORES THE DARK SIDE OF MOTHERHOOD, IN WHICH THE MOTHER IS A HEROINE WHOSE LIFE IS TRANSFORMED BY HER EXPERIENCES

By the Secret Ladder coverShortly after her son was born, Francie Greenslade nearly died. In order to save her, a hysterectomy was performed, leaving her unable to bear more children. She thought she was alone in her traumatic experience of new motherhood, but soon found out how common — and unspoken — it was. In By the Secret Ladder, Francie Greenslade dares to talk about experiences most women fear they must repress, in favour of a rosy portrait of life after birth.

In classical myth, the quest sees an average person transformed by hardship and challenge into something new: a hero. By the Secret Ladder reveals that the same is true of motherhood. Frances Greenslade illuminates the trauma, fear, and pain that all new mothers work through in the process of becoming something greater. Weaving personal experiences with fragments of myth, poetry, and history, By the Secret Ladder reveals, with unflinching honesty, how a woman changes in the process of becoming a mother. As we follow Greenslade’s quest, we learn what it means to feel your body alter permanently; what it feels like to watch your baby helpless in the hospital; what it means to learn that your first child will also be your last; and, most importantly, what it feels like to love someone with an intensity that you never knew was possible.

PRAISE FOR BY THE SECRET LADDER

“Thankfully, Greenslade doesn't shy away from the knotty emotions of other aspects of mothering and she has a particular knack for capturing every nuance of her emotional state throughout the first year of her son's life… this is a book she should be proud to show her son, years from now.”  — WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

“An educator and acclaimed non-fiction writer, Greenslade weaves tales of mythology into her meditation on her experience, contrasting timeless and universal beliefs with contemporary bizarreness surrounding mothering. It's lovely, thoughtful and ultimately uplifting…”  — TORONTO STAR

“For Frances Greenslade, in By the Secret Ladder, the journey of giving birth and becoming a mother is fraught with obstacles. Like a mythical heroine, she must travel into dark, unknown territory and battle with demons. In rich, lucid prose, Greenslade's particular rite of passage reads like a timeless epic.”  — JUDY FONG BATES, author of Midnight at the Dragon Café

 

 

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