Two years ago, before COVID-19 vaccines were widely available and when we were still mostly keeping to our homes, my old student journalism pals got the band back together, and over just four months, 27 of us wrote and self-published the essay collection Midlife.
The project gave us a unique, lovely way to catch up with friends, some of whom we hadn’t seen in two decades. Reading my friends’ witty, incisive, and poignant essays reminded me just how amazing these folks are and how lucky I’d been to have met them and worked with them when I did.
We made the book as a gift to one another but figured that others might enjoy the writing as well, so we sold it online and through a couple of bookstores. After selling out our first print run almost immediately, we reprinted it and even briefly ended up on the bestseller list in Edmonton, where we had all met.
Wanting to keep the creativity, collaboration, and social connection going, we embarked on creating a new collection of essays a few months after launching Midlife. But by that time, the world was opening up, some of us had to return to the office (and to the commute), kids were back at their after-school activities, and life got super busy again.
After writing and editing in fits and starts, and supported by a heap of patience, perseverance, and coordination from the collection’s editors, Sarah Chan and Jhenifer Pabillano, we’re pleased to announce that Midlife No. 2 is available to pre-order. On midlifebook.ca, you’ll be able to preview the book’s introduction and see the list of contributors and essays, as well as get a closer look at the cover illustration, another Raymond Biesinger original.
A few notes:
- Pre-orders are important because we intend on doing only one print run this time, and we need an idea of how many hardcovers to print by the end of July.
- The hardcovers will be available exclusively through Edmonton indies Audreys Books and Glass Bookshop. (They will ship outside of Edmonton!) The remaining hard copies of the first Midlife—only about 100 of them left—will also be available exclusively at those bookstores. We’re no longer retailing hard copies on the midlifebook.ca website.
- The accessible ebook of Midlife No. 2 will be available in November from midlifebook.ca. If you buy a hard copy, you’ll also get access to the ebook.
- As we did with Midlife, we’re donating $1 from each sale of Midlife No. 2 to the Edmonton Community Foundation.
I had the tremendous privilege of copy editing this collection, and it’s invigorating to be part of something I can unreservedly endorse. If you loved the first book, you’ll love this one, too. If you haven’t read the first book yet, why not give it a try? I’m told it’s an excellent way to brighten up a commute.