Giving Yourself to Life: A Journal of Pain, Hope and Renewal
For twelve months Deborah Shepard kept a journal to help her with a chronic pain condition. Soon she found herself contemplating all of life's pains and losses, including the devastating earthquakes that shattered her hometown of Christchurch. Searching for a way through, she began observing the natural world on her doorstep and reflecting on family and friendship, flowers, beauty, literature and art. By 'giving herself to life' she discovered the power of writing to heal.
'This lovely journal, not made lovely by chronic pain, but deepened because of it. Humane, delicate and bold as the journals of May Sarton or Elisabeth Tova Bailey's observation of her snail.' - Elizabeth Smither, poet and novelist 'To anyone familiar with negotiating the parameters of pain, Deborah Shepard's personal story will resonate loud and clear.' - Wallace Chapman, TV and radio broadcaster 'Searingly honest, deeply inspiring.' - Vidyamala Burch, author of Living Well with Pain & Illness 'Deborah Shepard does not shirk from taking the reader into difficult places, yet she also rewards us with utterly beautiful and compelling writing.' - Cathie Dunsford, author and editor
Deborah Shepard is a biographer and teacher of memoir, and has a PhD in Film Studies. She began her writing career as a film and art historian. Her previous three books were critically acclaimed for documenting the contribution of women to the arts in New Zealand. In 2013 she was appointed to the Autumn Residency at the Michael King Writers' Centre, where she also teaches memoir. Giving Yourself to Life is the first of her autobiographical explorations in journal writing.