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Run Towards the Danger: Confrontations with a Body of Memory

Run Towards the Danger: Confrontations with a Body of Memory
Your Price: $36.00 CDN
Author: Sarah Polley
Publisher: Penguin Press
Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 272
Pub. Date: 2022
ISBN-10: 0593300351
ISBN-13: 9780593300350

About the Book:

Run Towards the Danger is a collection of six essays by Oscar-nominated screenwriter, director, and actor Sarah Polley that explore memory and the dialogue between her past and present.

"These are the most dangerous stories of my life. The ones I have avoided, the ones I haven't told, the ones that have kept me awake on countless nights. As these stories found echoes in my adult life, and then went another, better way than they did in childhood, they became lighter and easier to carry." — Sarah Polley in the book's introduction

Sarah Polley's work as an actor, screenwriter, and director is celebrated for its honesty, complexity, and deep humanity. She brings all those qualities, along with her exquisite storytelling chops, to these six essays. Each one captures a piece of Polley's life as she remembers it, while at the same time examining the fallibility of memory, the mutability of reality in the mind, and the possibility of experiencing the past anew, as the person she is now but was not then. As Polley writes, the past and present are in a "reciprocal pressure dance."

Polley contemplates stories from her own life ranging from stage fright to high-risk childbirth to endangerment and more. After struggling with the aftermath of a concussion, Polley met a specialist who gave her wholly new advice: to recover from a traumatic injury, she had to retrain her mind to strength by charging towards the very activities that triggered her symptoms. With riveting clarity, she shows the power of applying that same advice to other areas of her life in order to find a path forward, a way through. Rather than live in a protective crouch, she had to run towards the danger.

What people say:

"Fascinating, harrowing, courageous, and deeply felt, these explorations of 'dangerous stories', harmful past events, and trials of the soul speak to all who've encountered dark waters and have had to navigate them." — Margaret Atwood

"From the outside, Polley seemed like that rare thing—a child actor who made the impossible leap to mature artistry. The lived reality proved to be another story. Now Polley has published Run Towards the Danger, a roving, psychologically probing memoir in essays ... On the page, Polley turns out to be as brave, funny, and unself-serious as she is on the screen." — The New Yorker

"An episodic memoir of life as an actor, director and human being unlike any I have ever read: it deals with childhood bereavement, extreme stage fright, crises of pregnancy, and abuse within the entertainment industry ... bruisingly intelligent and candid." — The Guardian

"Meaty ... the book is most interesting when Polley interrogates her own contradictions and manipulative instincts, many of which were a matter of survival ... The little girl who carried the weight of Hollywood movie budgets and theater actors' salaries on her shoulders is now a grown woman whose stolen childhood has made her at once a stunningly sophisticated observer of the world and an imperfect witness to the truth. Her willingness to embrace such paradoxes, in this book as well as in her films, is the mark of a real artist." — The New York Times Book Review

About the Author:

Sarah Polley is a Canadian actor, director, and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter. After making short films, Polley made her feature-length directorial debut with the drama film Away from Her in 2006. Polley received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay, which she adapted from the Alice Munro story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain." Her other projects include the documentary film Stories We Tell, which won the New York Film Critics Circle prize and the National Board of Review award for best documentary; the miniseries adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel Alias Grace; and the romantic comedy Take This Waltz. Polley began her acting career as a child, starring in many productions for film and television.