Book Contributors

All of the authors who contributed their wit and wisdom to this collection waived royalties so that the proceeds could support Media Action and the Informed Opinions project. I — and the rest of womankind — are eternally in their debt. Here they are, alphabetically:

Beth Atcheson, a native of New Brunswick, is now a lawyer who lives in Toronto with her lawyer/golfer husband and musician son. She has had a career in private practice, government and the non-profit sector. Beth is a long-time advocate for equality for women and girls.

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Constance Backhouse holds the positions of Distinguished University Professor and University Research Chair at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa.  A legal scholar who uses a narrative style of writing, she is internationally known for her feminist research and publications on sex discrimination and the legal history of gender and race in Canada.

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Frances Bula is a blogger, veteran reporter on urban issues, and columnist for Vancouver magazine. Her interests range from how cities work to how we live our lives. Her training included a degree in French literature and working in the commercial fishing industry, two things which taught her everything she needed to know.

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Carol Bruneau is the Halifax-based author of two short story collections and three novels, including Purple for Sky, which won the 2001 Thomas Head Raddall Award for Atlantic Fiction and the Dartmouth Book Award, and Glass Voices, a Globe and Mail best book of 2007. She teaches writing at NSCAD and Dalhousie Universities.

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Sharon Carstairs became the first woman to lead the Official Opposition in a Canadian legislative assembly (Manitoba) in 1988. Appointed to the Senate in 1994 where she continues to serve, she is the author of Not One of the Boys; the co-author of Dancing Backwards: A Social History of Canadian Women in Politics; and a contributor to Dropped Threads.

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Lyn Cockburn thinks she writes pretty good. A former high school librarian and (obviously) English teacher, she took up journalism as her second career. She currently writes a weekly editorial page column that she describes as erudite for the Edmonton Sun. She also composes a column she insists is witty for Herizons, Canada’s only feminist magazine.

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Meri Collier trained at OCAD in material arts and has worked in oil painting, pottery and photography. Her interest in the human body materializes in loose, spontaneous impressions. She is presently searching out trapeze artists and circus arts as subject matter. Recent detours have taken her to experimenting in watercolor and landscapes in Greece, Mallorca and Italy.

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Ann Cowan was born in Petrolia, Ontario where her teachers and family encouraged her love of literature and ambition to study at the University of Toronto and later Carleton University. In 1977 she moved to Vancouver. There she and Peter Buitenhuis shared poetry, raised their children, and worked at Simon Fraser University.

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Lorna Crozier is a Saskatchewan-born poet and revered mentor. Since publishing her first collection in 1976, she has authored 14 books, edited several anthologies, won the 1992 Governor-General’s Award, and served as writer-in-residence at colleges and universities across the country. Her acclaimed memoir, Small Beneath the Sky, was released in 2009.

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Susannah Cohen Dalfen was born and raised in post WorldWar II Montreal. She studied economics and art history at McGill University, married young and followed her husband’s career moves across the country. While raising their two daughters, she earned an MA in Social Work and is currently a practicing therapist and volunteer with a range of community organizations.

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Sheila Deane grew up in Waterloo, Ontario, and continued her education at the University of Western Ontario, where she taught Women’s Studies and English Literature for many years. Her son and daughter are grown; she and her husband, Patrick, live west of Hamilton, where she enjoys weaving, gardening and writing.

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Susan Delacourt is a prominent political journalist (Globe & Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star) and author (United We Fall, Shaughnessy: The Passionate Politics of Shaughnessy Cohen, Juggernaut: Paul Martin’s Campaign for Chrétien’s Crown). She plans to be winding up her master’s degree by the time you read this, right on deadline.

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Dawn Rae Downton wrote the memoirs Seldom and Diamond: A Memoir of 100 Days, and The Little Book of Curses and Maledictions for Everyday Use. She freelances for magazines and newspapers like Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail, and the National Post. A Newfoundlander, she lives with her husband on Nova Scotia’s south shore.

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Sheree Fitch is a poet, speaker, and the author of over 25 books in a variety of genres. Since the 1987 publication of Toes in My Nose, she’s traveled the globe as storyteller, literacy educator and writing teacher. Her adult novel Kiss the Joy as It Flies was shortlisted for the 2009 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour.

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Marlaina Gayle was an award-winning multimedia journalist and politico in Canada before moving to New York City. She was Member of the Year of the New York City chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, owns two successful businesses and was once a charter boat chef in the Caribbean. She blogs at www.lifewithnofixedaddress.com

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Lyndsay Green has spent her career helping people use communications technologies for learning. Her book You Could Live a Long Time: Are You Ready? (Thomas Allen Publishers, 2010) provides advice from elders to boomers. Her conclusion: we should stop fighting to stay young and embrace aging.

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Susan Harada was a national reporter for CBC TV, specializing in justice and defense issues. She also did stints in foreign reporting and as occasional anchor of The National and The Journal. She joined Carleton University’s journalism faculty in 2003 and obtained her Master’s in Legal Studies in 2008.

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Gail Kerbel is an actress and writer living in Toronto. She has written animation, sit-coms and documentaries for TV and contributed many hours of comedy to CBC Radio, including twenty Stand-up Documentary specials with her partner, Chas Lawther. In 2007 they were nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award for their television show, “Is It Art?”

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Bonnie Klein directed award-winning documentary films in the NFB’s Challenge for Change Programme and the feminist Studio D, including the infamous Not a Love Story: A Film about Pornography. After surviving a brainstem stroke, she wrote Slow Dance, co-founded KickstART Festivals of Disability Arts and Culture, and directed Shamelesd: The Art of Disability.

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Harriett Lemer lives and works with her husband Ron Einblau. Together they have a 25- year-old management consulting business, a 32-year-old daughter, and three 10-year-old dogs. She does not spend her time getting face lifts, body wraps or Botox shots.

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Susan Lightstone is a mother by choice, a sister by chance, a lawyer by profession and a writer by calling. She lives in Ottawa but spends many days on the road, working and exploring the world.

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Diana Majury grew up in Winnipeg and is growing old in Ottawa. She teaches in the Law Department at Carleton University, focusing primarily on human rights and equality. She has been active as a feminist all of her adult life championing issues relating to violence against women, women’s health, and Charter equality matters.

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Maxine Matilpi is Kwakwaka’wakw and lives and works on Vancouver Island in Coast and Straits Salish Territory. She works at the University of Victoria Law faculty, where her research interests are Indigenous Law and Indigenous Pedagogy. She spends weekends on Denman Island with her husband, gardening, swimming, walking, and thinking about riding her bike.

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Elizabeth May is an environmentalist, writer, activist, lawyer, and leader of the Green Party of Canada. She has authored seven books, including her most recent, Losing Confidence: Power, Politics and the Crisis in Canadian Democracy. Elizabeth became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005.

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Susan McMaster is the author or editor of 21 books and recordings, recently Paper Affair: Poems Selected and New (2010) and Crossing Arcs: Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me (2009), both from Black Moss. She founded Branching Out, the first national feminist magazine, and performs with Geode Music & Poetry.

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Susan Mertens is a Toronto-born former dance and music critic for The Vancouver Sun and CBC Radio arts journalist, who was permanently sidelined by illness at the age of 35 while pursuing a PhD at the University of British Columbia. She celebrates the contemplative life with her husband Max and dog Zeus in Lions Bay, B.C.

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Lynn Miles is a Juno-award-winning Canadians inger/songwriter/producer. Her “Love Sweet Love” was chosen Album of the Year by Penguin Eggs magazine and her music has been lauded in Billboard and The New York Times, among others. She has record deals in Canada, the USA and Europe, and probably touring as you read this.

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Renate Mohr returned home to Ottawa. In spite of the effects of gravity on her face (still affectionately known as him), her significant others (people and dog) welcomed her back. As the recipient of numerous awards for short fiction, she thought writing a novel would be a cakewalk. This is the first time she has ever been wrong about anything.

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Susan Musgrave has received awards in five different genres: poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, children’s writing and for her work as an editor. She teaches in UBC’s Optional Residency in Creative Writing MFA Programme. Her new projects include a novel, “Given” (to be published by Knopf in 2011), and a collection of poetry, “Origami Dove” (M&S, 2011).

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Val Napoleon is of Cree heritage and an adopted Gitksan member. An associate professor with the University of Alberta in the faculties of native studies and law, she has published in areas of indigenous legal traditions, indigenous feminism, oral histories, restorative justice and governance. In 2010 she was awarded the University of Victoria’s Governor General’s Gold Medal.

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Judy Rebick is a social justice activist, writer, educator and speaker. Her latest book is Transforming Power: From the Personal to the Political. Currently holding a chair in social justice at Ryerson, Judy has also worked as a journalist and as publisher of rabble.ca. A life-long activist, she is best known for her work in feminist movement.

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Heather-Jane Robertson is a recovering writer, educator, public speaker, activist and friend of un-lost progressive causes. Her optimism peaks on Thursdays.

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Laura Robin is a journalist at The Ottawa Citizen. She has won numerous awards for writing and editing in her current role as editor of the travel section.

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Alison Smith is a Senior Correspondent for CBC News and the host of CBC Radio’s The World at Six. Over more than three decades, she has reported from Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, South America and every province and territory. Most recently, Smith was a Washington correspondent covering the historic election of Barack Obama.

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Linda Spalding is the author of three novels, Daughters of Captain Cook, The Paper Wife, and Mere, co-written with her daughter, Esta. Her non-fiction work includes The Follow, short-listed for the Trillium Book Award and the Pearson Writers’ Trust Prize, and Who Named the Knife. An editor of Brick, she has received the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the Canadian literary community.

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Ann St. James has been writing plays for thirty years. As well, she administered a Waldorf school and supervised a residential unit for emotionally charged adolescents. Tap dancing is her current joy. Twice a week, Ann and a gaggle of old gals giggle with delight as they tap-tap-tap.

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Mary Walsh is a Gemini award-winning actress and social activist whose inimitable comedy has been a staple of Canadian broadcasting—from CODCO and This Hour Has 22 Minutes to Mary Walsh: Open Book and Hatching, Matching and Dispatching. She has appeared in numerous movies, advocated for OXFAM and the CNIB, and recently hosted a documentary on poverty called Poor No More.

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Liz Whynot retired in 2008 after eight years as the leader of BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre. Prior to that she had worked as a general practitioner and a public health doctor. A co-founder of Vancouver’s Sexual Assault Service and the Sheway Program, Liz received the Kaiser Foundation National Award for Leadership in 2009.

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Lillian Zimmerman, a long-time Research Associate with the Gerontology Research Centre at Simon Fraser University, has spent her long career focusing on women’s issues. She has written, lectured and made radio and TV appearances. Her book Baglady or Powerhouse? A Roadmap for Midlife (Boomer) Women was published in 2009 to favourable reviews.