Books·Canadian

Nothing Will Be Different by Tara McGowan-Ross

A memoir about the messiness of your 20s and figuring things out.

A memoir about the messiness of your 20s and figuring things out

Tara has it pretty good: a nice job, a writing career, a forgiving boyfriend. She should be happy. Yet Tara can't stay sober. She's terrible at monogamy. Even her psychiatrist grows sick of her and stops returning her calls. She spends most of her time putting out social fires, barely pulling things off, and feeling sick and tired.

Then, in the autumn following her twenty-seventh birthday, an abnormal lump discovered in her left breast serves as the catalyst for a journey of rigorous self-questioning. Waiting on a diagnosis, she begins an intellectual assessment of her life, desperate to justify a short existence full of dumb choices. Armed with her philosophy degree and angry determination, she attacks each issue in her life as the days creep by and winds up writing a searingly honest memoir about learning to live before getting ready to die. (From Dundurn Press)

Nothing Will Be Different is a finalist for the 2022 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. The winner will be announced on Nov. 2, 2022.

Weston Prize jury citation: "In Nothing Will Be Different, Tara McGowan-Ross unravels history and present in raw, unflinching prose that is at once funny, heartbreaking and lyrical. A coming-of-age reflection that is searing in its honesty, energy and depth, McGowan-Ross treads difficult topics such as death, loss, addiction and grief with wryness, wit and depth. With an intense voice resolutely and unapologetically her own, McGowan-Ross dares readers to come along on a death-defying, life-affirming journey."

With an intense voice resolutely and unapologetically her own, McGowan-Ross dares readers to come along on a death-defying, life-affirming journey.- 2022 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction jury

Tara McGowan-Ross is an urban Mi'kmaw artist and writer. She's the author of Girth and Scorpion Season and the host of Drawn & Quarterly's Indigenous Literatures Book Club. She's also a critic of experimental and independent Montreal theatre and an editor for Insomniac Press. 

Why Tara McGowan-Ross wrote Nothing Will Be Different

"I thought I was dying.

When I felt death come into my peripheral vision, I started making a whole bunch of choices as though my life was really important.- Tara McGowan-Ross

"When I felt death come into my peripheral vision, I started making a whole bunch of choices as though my life was really important.  We are all going to die. That's not a rallying cry to grind hard and get a lot of success. What do you want to do with it? Do you want to lie in the grass? Do you want to call your mom? Do you want to show up at your ex-boyfriend's house and tell him you want him back? You should probably do that instead of going on LinkedIn.

"Not be a LinkedIn hater but whenever I go on there, I'm like: Do you know we are all going to die?"

Read the full interview with CBC Books.

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