Author Plum Johnson will read from her award-winning and touching memoir at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival on Sunday, Sept. 13. Niagara Escarpment Views will have free copies of back issues to give away, so be sure to stock up on any you’re missing. Our stories are timeless and fascinating, or so people tell us! Here’s more about Plum and some others not to miss.
Plum Johnson won the 2014 $25,000 RBC Taylor Prize at the age of 68 for her first book – They Left Us Everything, a memoir about an emotional journey many baby boomers are going through these days.
After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parents—first for their senile father, and then for their cantankerous ninety-three-year-old mother—author Plum Johnson and her three younger brothers experience conflicted feelings of grief and relief when their mother, the surviving parent, dies. Now they must empty and sell the beloved family home, a huge old house in Oakville, on the shores of Lake Ontario. Twenty-three rooms bulge with history, antiques, and oxygen tanks. Plum remembers her loving but difficult parents who could not have been more different: the British father, a handsome, disciplined patriarch who nonetheless could not control his opinionated, extroverted Southern-belle wife who loved tennis and gin gimlets. The task consumes Plum, becoming more rewarding than she ever imagined. Items from childhood trigger memories of her eccentric family growing up in Oakville in the 1950s and 60s. But unearthing new facts about her parents helps her reconcile those relationships with a more accepting perspective about who they were and what they valued.
They Left Us Everything is a funny, touching memoir about the importance of preserving family history to make sense of the past and nurturing family bonds to safeguard the future.
Plum Johnson is an award-winning author, artist and entrepreneur living in Toronto. She was the founder of KidsCanada Publishing Corp., publisher of KidsToronto, and co-founder of Help’s Here! resource magazine for seniors and caregivers. Born in Richmond, Virginia, Plum spent her early years in Hong Kong and Singapore before her family immigrated to Canada, settling in Oakville, Ontario.
Plum will be reading at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival at 12:30 pm on Sunday, September 13. She will be accompanied by three other authors of poignant memoirs: Alison Pick (Between Gods), Camilla Gibb (this is happy) and Niagara-on-the-Lake CBC veteran Peter Kavanagh (The Man Who Learned to Walk Three Times).
For more about the festival, see our post.