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Where It Hurts is a highly-charged collection of personal essays, haunted by loss, evoking turbulent physical and emotional Canadian landscapes. Sarah de Leeuw's creative non-fiction captures strange inconsistencies and aberrations of human behaviour, urging us to be observant and aware. The essays are wide in scope and expose what--and who--goes missing.
With the insight of Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, Sarah de Leeuw reflects on missing geographies and people, including missing women, both those she has known and those whom she will never get to know. As in Lynn Coady's Hellgoing, but hell-going made real, the writing is courageously focused, juxtaposing places and things that can be touched and known--emotionally, physically, psychologically--with what has become intangible, unnoticed, or actively ignored. Throughout these essays, de Leeuw's imagistic memories are layered with meaning, providing a survival guide for the present, including a survival that comes with the profound responsibility to bear witness.