Released: April 19, 2021

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. Written and published in four months, it sold over 1,200 copies to readers across Canada and the world.

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$1 from every copy goes to the Edmonton Community Foundation’s Edmonton Refugee and Emerging Communities Awards

Bought our book at a store? Claim your free copy of the ebook by emailing info@midlifebook.ca with proof of purchase.

A book about all the wonderful, sad, scary,
and weird things that happen in midlife.

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).


Explorations of work life, health, and ambition. Dive into the questions of, where am I going? What path did my life take, and where can it go from here? Read an excerpt. 


Revelations from unexpected (and “expected”) life experiences. What did I believe when I was younger? What do I know now? Read an excerpt.


Reflections on the movement of time in our lives, from the loss of the VHS video format, to questions about death and aging. What are we bearing witness to? How are we changed?


Don’t tell anyone: there’s a secret section in the middle of the book!

people who like IT

Carrie Doll
Former TV news journalist and founder
of Carrie Doll Consulting

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.

Todd Babiak
Award-winning storyteller
and CEO of Brand Tasmania

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.

Brittney Le Blanc
Edmonton community builder
and digital marketer

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.

David Berry
Author of On Nostalgia;
cultural critic, journalist, and strategist

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.

Sapreet Buttar
Director and journalist
for My Radio 580AM

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.

Emma Hooper
Celebrated author, musician, and academic

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.

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