Montreal-based writer heading to Labrador West
Licia Canton tells a personal story of healing through writing
Amelia Earhart once said, “Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.”
It took Montreal-based writer Licia Canton a tremendous amount of courage to move forward with her life following a devastating accident in 2012.
The accident left Canton with severely crushed legs, bedridden for months and unable to write for even longer.
“I’m self-employed as an editor and a writer so, in terms of my professional career, I had lost all my stamina and my sense of purpose. I just couldn’t do it anymore... I moved on but I never dealt with the trauma,” Canton said of the healing she needed to do not only physically but, more so, mentally.
An insurance agent suggested she seek counselling to help her deal with the trauma.
Six of the tales in Canton’s newly released collection “The Pink House and Other Stories” (2018) are linked stories stemming from her therapy sessions and from the accident that happened following a Leonard Cohen concert at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
“I was waiting for my daughter to come out of the concert with her friends. I went to the back of the car to move a box from the back seat and put in my trunk. This gentleman came up behind me and parked his vehicle.”
The driver struck Canton, pinning her between both vehicles, crushing her legs.
One of the stories in her new book is about the driver who struck her, she said, and how his ride home with his wife may have played out.
“Christmas was coming up. How was that Christmas for him? The character that he hit, I know how that Christmas was for her. It was a traumatic experience, a family in crisis,” she said.
Another story is told from the perspective of the young girl who was with the woman who got hit, Canton said.
“You go to a concert expecting to come out smiling and happy but, sometimes, you might not get home that night.”
The main story titled “Because of Leonard Cohen” is about a writer who cannot write.
“It took me a lot of months and a lot of crying to write that story. I dreaded having to read it even to (the therapist”).
Reading the story in was even more difficult.
“I was too embarrassed and too scared to read it to a Montreal audience who might know me. So I went to the short story conference in Vienna.”
Labrador West Readings Readings and conversation with Canton will take place at the Wabush Library on Aug. 28 at 3 pm and at the College of the North Atlantic at 7 pm. The Association for New Canadians is sponsoring the presentation at the College. During that reading Canton will talk about challenges associated with immigration.
Canton will also give a reading on Aug. 29 at 10:30 am at the Labrador City Library.
The events are free and are made possible through financial assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts through the Writers’ Union of Canada.
NL Public Libraries has also partnered to make the trip possible, Canton said.
Although most people have public
not lived the trauma Canton endured, many have faced challenges in their lives and will relate to what it feels like to try to get through such struggles and how it feels when you, finally, overcome adversity.
“The stories are about hope and resilience and persistence,” she said
“The Pink House and Other Stories” can be purchased online at www.longbridgebooks.com or through bookstores.
Readers can also follow Canton on Facebook (Licia Canton).