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In Their Words: New and Upcoming Books Written by Alumnae

March 10, 2022
In Their Words: New and Upcoming Books Written by Alumnae

Need a new book? Toronto Metropolitan University alumnae have been writing up a storm and 2022 is an exciting year for book releases! Celebrate Women’s History Month by exploring these new and upcoming books written by our alumnae!

Embracing Schizophrenia: My Story of Struggle, Strength, Resilience and Hope; Author: Samantha Mercanti, Mathematics ‘13

Embracing Schizophrenia: My Story of Struggle, Strength, Resilience and Hope (external link) 

Author: Samantha Mercanti (external link) , Mathematics ’13

Release: September 2021

Through her story Samantha aims to bring hope to those in the midst of mental illness and to let everyone know that recovery is possible. Embracing Schizophrenia is a story of struggle, strength, resilience and hope that opens a window onto mental illness and illuminates it so we can all understand just a little bit better.

Rudy’s Belly of Bees: Coping with Overwhelming Feelings; Author: Shannon Shaefer, Journalism ‘21

Rudy’s Belly of Bees: Coping with Overwhelming Feelings (external link) 

Author: Shannon Schaefer, Journalism ‘21

Release: November 2021

Shannon Schaefer's debut novel, Rudy's Belly of Bees, was inspired by her childhood experiences navigating mental health. Having lived with anxiety since she was young, Shannon wrote Rudy's Belly of Bees as the book she wished she had owned as a child experiencing new and overwhelming emotions — a book in which she could identify herself.

Spin Doctors: How Media and Politicians Misdiagnosed the COVID-19 Pandemic by Nora Loreto, Public Administration & Governance '10

Spin Doctors: How Media and Politicians Misdiagnosed the COVID-19 Pandemic (external link) 

Author: Nora Loreto, Public Administration & Governance ’10

Release: December 2021

As Canada was in the grips of the worst pandemic in a century, Canadian media struggled to tell the story. This book documents each month of the first year of the pandemic and examines the issues that emerged, from racialized workers to residential care to policing. Spin Doctors argues alternative ways in which Canadians should understand the big themes of the crisis and create the necessary knowledge to demand large-scale change.

Imperfectly Kind: Why Kindness is the Must-Have Superpower You Need to Lead; Author: Julie Adam, Radio and Television Arts, ’92

Imperfectly Kind: Why Kindness is the Must-Have Superpower You Need to Lead (external link) 

Author: Julie Adam (external link) , Radio and Television Arts, ’92

Release: December 2021

Imperfectly Kind is an inspiring collection of Julie's thoughts and ideas — 28 of them — on why kindness is the must-have superpower you need to lead. Whether you are a new leader who has just started your first managing gig or a seasoned executive who needs a new approach, this book will show you how to use kindness to win in business and become a better leader.

Lucky by Marissa Stapley, Journalism '03

Lucky (external link) 

Author: Marissa Stapley (external link) , Journalism '03

Release: December 2021

New York Times bestselling author, Marissa Stapley's latest book, Lucky, is a thrilling roller-coaster ride about a heist gone terribly wrong, with a plucky protagonist who will win readers’ hearts. This novel about truth, personal redemption, and the complexity of being good, was the first ever Canadian pick for Reese Witherspoon's Book Club!

Beneath the Stairs; Author: Jennifer Fawcett, Theatre Performance ‘04

Beneath the Stairs (external link) 

Author: Jennifer Fawcett, Theatre Performance ‘04

Release: February 2022

In this spine-tingling, atmospheric debut by Jennifer Fawcett,  a woman returns to her hometown after her childhood friend attempts suicide at a local haunted house—the same place where a traumatic incident shattered their lives twenty years ago. An eerie page-turner, Beneath the Stairs is about the trauma that follows us from childhood to adulthood and returning to the beginning to reach the end.

The Last Grand Duchess; Author: Bryn Turnbull, Professional Communication ‘12

The Last Grand Duchess (external link) 

Author: Bryn Turnbull (external link) , Professional Communication ‘12

Release: February 2022

This sweeping novel takes readers behind palace walls to see the end of Imperial Russia through the eyes of Olga Nikolaevna Romanov, the first daughter of the last tsar. At turns glittering and harrowing, The Last Grand Duchess is a story about dynasty, duty, and love, but above all, it’s the story of a family who would choose devotion to each other over everything—including their lives.

Burning Questions; Author: Margaret Atwood, Honorary Doctor of Letters ‘12

Burning Questions (external link) 

Author: Margaret Atwood (external link) , Honorary Doctor of Letters ’12

Release: March 2022


In this brilliant selection of 50 essays, the award-winning, best-selling author of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments, Margaret Atwood offers her funny, erudite, endlessly curious, and uncannily prescient take on everything from debt and tech to the climate crisis and freedom and the importance of how to define granola.

Jameela Green Ruins Everything; Author: Zarqa Nawaz, Journalism ‘92

Jameela Green Ruins Everything (external link) 

Author: Zarqa Nawaz (external link) , Journalism ‘92

Release: March 2022

A hilarious black comedy about the price of success, and a biting look at what has gone wrong with American foreign policy in the Middle East, Jameela Green Ruins Everything is a compulsively readable, yet unexpectedly touching story of one woman’s search for meaning and connection.

Kiss the Red Stairs; Author: Marsha Lederman, Radio and Television Arts ‘88

Kiss the Red Stairs (external link) 

Author: Marsha Lederman (external link) , Radio and Television Arts ‘88

Release: April 2022

Kiss the Red Stairs is a compelling memoir by award-winning journalist Marsha Lederman delves into her parents’ Holocaust stories in the wake of her own divorce, investigating how trauma migrates through generations with empathy, humour, and resilience.

Daughters of the Occupation by Shelly Sanders, Journalism ‘88

Daughters of the Occupation (external link) 

Author: Shelly Sanders (external link) , Journalism ’88

Release: April 2022

Daughters of the Occupation is about three generations of women whose lives are indelibly shaped by the little-known yet pivotal Latvian Holocaust. Latvia’s capital, Riga, is turned upside down when the Soviets invade in June 1940. Enroute to the hospital to give birth to her second child, a son, Miriam Talan witnesses barbaric violence, a harbinger of all that is to come. Told in chapters that alternate between 1941 and 1976, this gripping novel delves into the trauma faced by survivors of genocide down through the generations. 

Every Summer After; Author: Carley Fortune, Journalism ‘06

Every Summer After (external link) 

Author: Carley Fortune (external link) , Journalism ’06

Release: May 2022


Told over the course of six years and one weekend, Every Summer After is a big, sweeping nostalgic story of love and the people and choices that mark us forever. A radiant debut by award-winning Canadian journalist, Carley Fortune.

Madness of Crowds: A Novel; Author: Louise Penny, Radio and Television Arts ‘79

Madness of Crowds: A Novel (external link) 

Author: Louise Penny (external link) , Radio and Television Arts ‘79

Release: May 2022 (paperback)

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache returns to Three Pines in #1 New York Times bestseller Louise Penny's latest spellbinding novel, The Madness of Crowds.

Under Fortunate Stars; Author: Ren Hutchings, Certificate in Publishing ‘21

Under Fortunate Stars (external link) 

Author: Ren Hutchings (external link) , Certificate in Publishing ‘21

Release: May 2022

Under Fortunate Stars is Ren Hutchings’s debut novel and follows a science vessel that rescues a small transport in distress, only to find that aboard are some of the legendary heroes who ended an interstellar war 150 years before. A modern, progressive homage to classic space opera stories, with flawed heroes and time travel.

Stargazer; Author: Dr. Laurie Petrou, PhD Communication and Culture ‘10

Stargazer (external link) 

Author: Dr. Laurie Petrou (external link) , PhD Communication and Culture ‘10

Release: June 2022

The lines between love, envy and obsession blur in Laurie Petrou’s utterly enthralling, unceasingly tense fourth novel, Stargazer. A darkly compelling coming-of-age story, perfect for fans of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, or Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.

  Smells Like Tween Spirit: A Novel; Author: Laurie Gelman, Journalism ‘88

Smells Like Tween Spirit: A Novel (external link) 

Author: Laurie Gelman (external link) , Journalism ‘88

Release: August 2022

From the author of Class Mom and You’ve Been Volunteered comes Laurie Gelman's next laugh-out-loud novel, Smells Like Tween Spirit. The novels tell the story of Jen Dixon, a kindergarten teacher living in Kansas City, with two college-age daughters and a toddler son, all from different fathers. Equipped with her ferocious charm and guile, Dixon says the things all moms really think, and manages to get away with it—mostly. In the well-received series, readers meet Jen’s unconventional family and laugh-out-loud as she tries to navigate the surprisingly difficult terrain of parental politics.

Are you publishing a book in 2022?

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