Tender: The Unsung Work of Caregivers

22sep2:00 pm3:00 pmTender: The Unsung Work of CaregiversCheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia, Aimee Wall, Moira Welsh, Moderator: Bahar Orang

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What are some of the hidden ways women care for each other in our patriarchal societies? How is that care impacted and influenced by race, class inequality, and other intersectionalities? Is there really any care work that “should” be exclusively performed by women, or could everyone stand to learn more about how to tend to their communities? What are our dreams for a more caring culture?

Moderated by Bahar Orang.

Books featured:

The Son of the House
Dundurn Press

In the Nigerian city of Enugu, young Nwabulu, a housemaid since the age of ten, dreams of becoming a typist as she endures her employers’ endless chores. She is tall and beautiful and in love with a rich man’s son.

Educated and privileged, Julie is a modern woman. Living on her own, she is happy to collect the gold jewellery lovestruck Eugene brings her, but has no intention of becoming his second wife.

When a kidnapping forces Nwabulu and Julie into a dank room years later, the two women relate the stories of their lives as they await their fate.

Pulsing with vitality and intense human drama, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia’s debut is set against four decades of vibrant Nigeria, celebrating the resilience of women as they navigate and transform what remains a man’s world.

We, Jane
Book*hug Press

A remarkable debut about intergenerational female relationships and resistance found in the unlikeliest of places, We, Jane explores the precarity of rural existence and the essential nature of abortion.

Searching for meaning in her Montreal life, Marthe begins an intense friendship with an older woman, also from Newfoundland, who tells her a story about purpose, about a duty to fulfill. It’s back home, and it goes by the name of Jane.

Marthe travels back to a small community on the island with the older woman to continue the work of an underground movement in 60s Chicago: abortion services performed by women, always referred to as Jane. She commits to learning how to continue this legacy and protect such essential knowledge. But the nobility of her task and the reality of small-town life compete, and personal fractures within their group begin to grow.

We, Jane probes the importance of care work by women for women, underscores the complexity of relationships in close circles, and beautifully captures the inevitable heartache of understanding home.

Happily Ever Older: Revolutionary Approaches to Long-Term Care
ECW Press

Reporter Moira Welsh has spent years investigating retirement homes and long-term care facilities and wants to tell the dangerous stories. Not the accounts of falls or bedsores or overmedication, but of seniors living with purpose and energy and love. Stories that could change the status quo.

Welsh takes readers across North America and into Europe on a whirlwind tour of facilities with novel approaches to community living, including a day program in a fake town out of the 1950s, a residence where seniors school their student roommates in beer pong, and an aging-in-place community in a forest where everyone seems to have a pet or a garden or both. The COVID-19 pandemic cruelly showed us that social isolation is debilitating, and Welsh tells stories of elders living with friendship, new and old, in their later years.

Happily Ever Older is a warm, inspiring blueprint for change, proof that instead of warehousing seniors, we can create a future with strong social connections and a reason to go on living.

Where Things Touch
Book*hug Press

Part lyric essay, part prose poetry, Where Things Touch: A Meditation on Beauty grapples with the manifold meanings and possibilities of beauty. Drawing on her experiences as a physician-in-training, Orang considers clinical encounters and how they relate to the concept of beauty. Such considerations lead her to questions about intimacy, queerness, home, memory, love, and other aspects of human experience. Throughout, beauty is ultimately imagined as something inextricably tied to care: the care of lovers, of patients, of art and literature, and the various non-human worlds that surround us.

Time

(Wednesday) 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm