This collection of short nonfiction accounts is linked by a common thread of veracity and sincerity that has one reading through the whole gamut of emotions from humor to pathos. Prose to Go is divided up into a number of sections, regaling the reader with humorous anecdotes (“Misadventures”), reaching out with pathos to the very heart of the reader’s awareness (“Rearview Mirror”), coming to grips with life’s milestones (“What in the World”), remembering those who have meant the most in our life (“Love and Loss”), and sharing the good times (“Exit Laughing”).
While some of the pieces focus on the poignant and compassionate, others home in on laughter and good times. No matter the subject of each account, the common core of humanity and humaneness resonates throughout Prose to Go: Tales from a Private List. The tone is personal and intimate in a way that effectively bonds author and reader together, so that reading this book becomes a life-enhancing experience. Children, animals, and adults are all inextricably bound together in these accounts of both yesteryear and the more recent past. Most of the tales can be seen as “memoirs in miniature,” possessing an immediacy and a realism that is appealing in its authenticity.
The impact that reading this collection had was twofold. In several places, it lead the reader into paralleling life experiences with those recounted here. It also strengthens awareness that, no matter our path in life, a common humanity speaks through us all.
Told by members of a writers’ group who have shared a wealth of their experiences with one another over the years, many of the tales have already been printed elsewhere. The group was first founded when Barbara Florio-Graham, who is one of the three editors chiefly responsible for this volume, compiled a private list with over a score of friends whom she had come to know over almost three decades of belonging to the Professional Writers’ Association of Canada.
Although the authors who have contributed to this collection are based in Canada, their experiences cover the whole of North America. The writers come from a range of professions, including engineering, economics, and criminology, are of any one of a number of faiths, including Christianity and Judaism, and span four decades in age.
A brief biography and the address of their websites is given at the end of the collection for each of the professional writers whose work is included in this volume, so that you can read more of their writing. This eclectic mix of memories of shared love, laughter, and hope should appeal to a wide readership, and deserves to find a place in every public library collection.