In Leaving Now Arleen Paré, winner of the 2008 Victoria Book Prize, weaves fable, prose and poetics to create a rich mosaic of conflicted motherhood. Set in the volatile 1970s and '80s, when social norms and expectations were changing rapidly, Leaving Now is the emotionally candid story of a mother's anguish as she leaves her husband to love a woman. In this second book, Paré masterfully blends aspects of her personal journey with her own version of a well-loved fairy tale. Gudru, the five-hundred-year-old mother of Hansel and Gretel, appears hazily in the narrator's kitchen—presumed dead, all but written out of her own tale, but very much alive. Gudrun spins a yarn of love, loss and leaving, offering comfort and wisdom to the conflicted young mother. Raising children is not for the faint of heart; all parents know the anguish of parting from a child, even if for the briefest moment. Leaving Now is for mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. It is for anyone who has ever lived in a family.
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About the Author
Arleen Paré's first book, Paper Trail, won the Victoria Butler Book Prize and was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Prize in Poetry. Arleen completed an MFA in poetry at the University of Victoria and her poetry and prose have appeared in a number of Canadian literary journals. Before beginning a career in writing, she worked for two decades as a social worker in mental health housing in Vancouver. She now lives in Vancouver with her partner, and has two sons and two grandsons.