Sharp, moving, and uniquely Canadian, Midlife is a book about reaching middle age in 2021, by 27 friends who met at the Gateway, the student newspaper at the University of Alberta. Read an excerpt now.
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Written and published during COVID quarantine, Midlife features the collected works of former members of the Gateway, the student newspaper at the University of Alberta. Editors Sarah Chan and Jhenifer Pabillano brought together this crew of 27 writers and creators from the late 1990s/early 2000s (13 women, 14 men), to explore how navigating midlife in 2021 isn’t as straightforward as anyone imagined.
Featuring a stunning cover illustration by Raymond Biesinger, the book has five sections:
Works on self-discovery, relationships, and careers that delve into the truths we have come to accept about ourselves (at least as far as we can tell right now).
Revelations from unexpected (and “expected”) life experiences. What did I believe when I was younger? What do I know now?
AS FEATURED IN
A beautiful example of art imitating life. I laughed, I cried, I connected, I reflected. 27 vulnerable, powerful and beautifully written essays. This book demonstrates how our past helps shape our reality and how a ridiculously tight-time lined project can come to life, when people are willing and ready to share their story.
For me, the Gateway was a place to try things, to make terrible mistakes and lifelong friends, and I did not want my time at the newspaper—or at our university—to end. I felt similarly reading this sad, funny, wise, and beautiful book about people who seemed a lot like me, only smarter and better. Nostalgia! Pride! I did not want Midlife to end.
Aging as the first generation dealing with overwhelming climate change, a greater importance on social justice, and entire life plans ripped from beneath our feet; Midlife is a powerful anthology of essays from the lives of people who in many ways are also holding up a mirror to our own experiences.
In the age of the personal essay, it’s a rare thing to find a collection of writing that feel genuinely intimate, not just-revealing-enough-to-get-you-to-subscribe intimate. This book is full of the kind of aching wisdom that can only come from aging while clever.
A melting pot of experiences, personalities and perspectives… I saw a reflection of myself in each of the authors. My heart kept on desiring the emotional rollercoaster ride to keep on going.
Some truly moving and insightful and beautiful and, also, funny writing here—and really good for a homesickness I didn’t know I had. Is reading this something I would recommend, even to non-Gateway alumni? Yes! It is! Yes. It really is.
Midlife is also available as an ebook for Apple devices and Kindle, and is fully optimized for accessibility.
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