Books·Canadian

An Alphabet for Joanna

A book by Damain Rogers.

Damian Rogers

Throughout her childhood in Detroit, Damian Rogers was never given a satisfactory account of the circumstances that led to her own birth. The "truth" behind the stories she was told by her mother — the free-spirited, beautiful and troubled Joanna — constantly shifted, and Damian was left only with fragments: her mom's trip to California in 1969 after finishing high school, a mysterious trauma and psychotic break, then a return to Detroit, pregnant. Now, as 40-something Damian struggles to cope with Joanna's early-onset dementia, she realizes she may never know the full story.

A riveting portrait of a time and place (the leafy suburbs of Detroit, Michigan and working class neighbourhoods of Long Beach, California in the 1970s and 80s), An Alphabet for Joanna is also an unconventional mother-daughter saga, and a creative exploration of how memory shifts and shapes our most intimate relationships. Acclaimed poet Damian Rogers crafts a unique work that is both a moving memoir and a powerful philosophical reflection on how we build lives out of fragments of stories. And by tracing her mother's story into the present day she poignantly shows that even when memory fails, we can remain connected through a web of art, empathy, imagination and love. (From Knopf Canada)

Damian Rogers is a writer from Toronto. She is also the author of two poetry collections, Dear Leader and Paper Radio.

 

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