Lines of Flight: An Atomic Memoir

Category: Book
By (author): Salverson, Julie
Subject:  HISTORY / Canada / General
  HISTORY / Canada / Post-Confederation (1867-)
  HISTORY / General
  HISTORY / Military / World War II
  HISTORY / North America
Publisher: Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.
Published: October 2016
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 8.44in x 5.46in x 0.50in
Our Price:
$ 20.00
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

Julie Salverson works with survivors of trauma. As a playwright she helps them tell their stories, work through their pain, bears witness to their suffering. But she is on the verge of buckling under the weight of these stories when a friend pulls her into a different kind of story. A group of Dene from Déline, on the shores of the Great Bear Lake, where the uranium that went into the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been mined, had gone to Japan to apologize for their actions.

From this Northern community Salverson traces the journey of the uranium from Canada to New Mexico and onto Japan. Along the way she examines the impact of the element on the communities where it was mined, processed and turned into weapons. Questions of forgiveness and the blurry lines between victim and perpetrator are addressed in a way that offers healing, but no simple answers. The result is unexpected beauty and hard-won insights that ripple through this narrative like stones dropped on still water as Salverson charts the influence nuclear arms have had on her own life and on the lives of those touched by the various traumas of war, atomic or otherwise.

Review Quote*

"Julie Salverson is a deeply sympathetic witness to the atomic era. In this powerful memoir, the spectre of nuclear winter haunts the stories she tells. The book wrung me out. Insightful and beautifully written, it draws together Hiroshima and Port Radium, Fukushima and Port Hope, past and present." ? John O?Brian, author of Atomic Postcards: Radioactive Messages From the Cold War

"'Only connect,' said E. M. Forster, yet how many of us are willing to test the full implications of that directive? Julie Salverson is. Burdened at journey?s start by anxiety, guilt and a kind of existential dread, but equipped with curiosity and a sense of humour, Julie Salverson guides us through some of the darkest secrets of our shared history. She illuminates the connections between personal and social trauma in a voice so honest, so lucid and so reflective, that we are compelled to witness with her. Only connect ? to see the new shoots sprouting from the bomb-blasted tree, to find the gift of hope in the midst of despair." ? Susan Olding, author of Pathologies: A Life in Essays

Biographical Note

Julie Salverson is a playwright and nonfiction writer who teaches writing and drama at Queen's University and the Royal Military College of Canada. Salverson has created projects in community engaged arts practice for many years, and works with groups to practice resiliency through the exchange and development of stories. Julie Salverson is a member of the Playwright's Guild of Canada and her plays have been produced in Canada, the US and Thailand.