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Colourful Pile of Old Books


Coming June 2024

This book explores the possibilities that exist for navigating out of and away from multiple levels of oppression through memoir-based research. It considers how those raised in oppressive, high-demand communities, colloquially referred to as “cults” can emancipate themselves from controls and expectations inculcated from early childhood, and examines processes surrounding the psychological reclamation of self. Exploring and metaphorically tending to an orienting psychological dynamic that the ancient Greeks related to as “the daimon” and using the perspectives of Jungian and post-Jungian depth psychology, the author investigates how subjects can reclaim agency and avoid excessive control over their thoughts, attention, and life’s intentions. They suggest that depth psychologically-oriented modes can be used to this attunement, and explore this notion through a study of memoirs of individuals who were raised in “cults”. Suggesting a more aligned approach to working with varying levels of psychological constraint, and utilising a phenomenological hermeneutic study, it will appeal to scholars and professionals in depth psychology and other psychological orientations, as well as individuals who are interested in more deeply understanding the psychological mechanisms involved in leaving a high-demand group or other oppressive situations.

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"Sharp, visceral storytelling from Linda Quennec, a confident new voice in Canadian novel-writing"


--Sarah Sheard, author of Krank and Almost Japanese

"...Quennec's expert prose quietly glides through highs and lows, seamlessly alternating between modern-day British Columbia and the colorful summer of 1926 on a tropical Cuban quay."


—US Review of Books

Kate, a somewhat clumsy widow of thirty-two, flees her stifling hometown on Vancouver Island to live alone on an even smaller island in the Salish Sea. In so doing, she has vague expectations of solace and sanctuary, despite past experience. Instead she meets Ivy, a woman who through their conversations transports her to the intoxicating world of 1926 Cuba. Within the context of their friendship, Ivy's past begins to unravel from a long-held silence, just as Kate finds herself confronting her relationship with the colourful community she's known all her life, along with an unexpected visitor who threatens to remove all peace from her chosen refuge. Told from the perspectives of three narrators: Ivy, Kate, and Kate's mother Nora, Fishing for Birds is a novel that juxtaposes the expectations we cling to so fiercely and the unexpected and sometimes unconventional things that turn up. The novel challenges traditional constructs of time, ethnicity, and relationship. Set against the tropical beauty of 1920s Cuba and the Northwest Coast of contemporary time, both the landscape and unique character of island life underscore the experiences of three very different women.

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