Books·Canadian

Holden After and Before

Holden After and Before is a memoir by Tara McGuire.

Tara McGuire

The bottom of the blue book cover features an image of a man tagging a wall of graffiti. The white and pink text across the cover reads, "holden after and before: Love Letter for a son lost to overdose, Tara Mcguire"

Holden After and Before is a moving meditation on grief that traces Tara McGuire's excavation and documentation of the life path of her son Holden, a graffiti artist who died of an accidental opioid overdose at the age of twenty-one. Beginning with Holden's death and leaping through time and space, McGuire employs fact, investigation, memory, fantasy, and even fabrication in her search for understanding not only of her son's tragic death, but also of his beautiful life. She navigates and writes across the many blank spaces to form a story of discovery and humanity, examining themes of grief, pain, mental illness, trauma, creative expression, identity, and deep, unending love inside just one of the thousands of deaths that have occurred as a result of the opioid crisis.

With poignant honesty and a heart laid bare, Holden After and Before is a beautiful and moving elegy to a son lost to overdose.(From Arsenal Pulp Press)

Tara McGuire is a writer, voice-over actor, and former broadcaster. Her essays and poems appear in various magazines and broadcasts, including The Tyee and CBC Radio's The Sunday's Edition and The Vinyl Cafe. Holden After and Before is her first full-length work. 

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