In the Flesh

Twenty Writers Explore the Body

ISBN 9781926972374
Softcover | Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
240 Pages

About the Book

Living is a process of continuous transformation: we have been embryos, children, adolescents, thin, fat, sick, better again. And as humans, we are always at odds with at least one part of our bodies. Have we inherited the family nose? Is there nothing to be done for our finicky stomach or our limp hair?

In the Flesh is an intelligent, witty, and provocative look at how we think about—and live within—our bodies. The editors and writers in this collection describe what human bodies feel now. Each author’s candid essay focuses on one part of the body, and explores its function, its meanings, and the role it has played in his or her life.

Featuring original essays by Caroline Adderson, André Alexis, Taiaiake Alfred, Brian Brett, Trevor Cole, Dede Crane, Lorna Crozier, Candace Fertile, Stephen Gauer, Julian Gunn, Heather Kuttai, Susan Olding, Kathy Page, Kate Pullinger, Merilyn Simonds, Richard Steel, Madeleine Thien, Sue Thomas, Margaret Thompson, and Lynne Van Luven.

About the Author(s)

Lynne Van Luven is an associate professor in the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria, where she teaches journalism and creative non-fiction. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications across Canada. She has edited four previous anthologies, including Nobody's Mother: Life Without Kids, Nobody's Father: Life Without Kids, and Somebody's Child: Stories About Adoption. Lynne lives in Victoria, BC. Please visit

Kathy Page’s two most recent story collections, Paradise & Elsewhere, and The Two of Us, were both nominated for the Giller Prize. Her eight novels include Dear Evelyn; The Story of My Face, long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002; Alphabet, shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award in 2005; and The Find, shortlisted for the 2011 ReLit Novel Award. She is also a winner of the Bridport International Prize for short fiction and the Traveller Award, and a contributor to many prose anthologies. Kathy teaches creative writing at Vancouver Island University. She lives on Salt Spring Island with her husband and two children.


“The book’s overall effect is powerful, occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, and, more often than not, deeply moving.” —The Globe and Mail

“This collection is a thorough and provocative look at the body, broken down into its messy, beautiful and complicated parts.” —Salon Book, Telegraph-Journal

“The collection is anecdotal and educational, witty and at times heart-breaking. Its finely crafted writing serves to underline the strange truths of how we inhabit and make sense of our forms, which are created both by nature and culture.” —Gulf Islands Driftwood

“I found each essay as unique as the body is to each individual. All were candid, entertaining, and immensely informative. What an amazing approach to memoir through the lens of the miracles of the body.” —Story Circle Book Reviews