Sonja Larsen wins Edna Staebler Award

Sonja Larsen is the winner of the 2017 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction for her memoir, Red Star Tattoo: My Life as a Girl Revolutionary.

As I’m quoted as saying in the news release, “As is the case with lives themselves, all memoirs are unique, but this seems especially true of Sonja Larsen’s Red Star Tattoo. In this coming-of-age story, she looks back at a childhood and adolescence spent searching for a sense of connection and purpose beyond her family, first in a commune and later as part of what she eventually recognized as a cult whose purported goal was to incite an American communist revolution. She captures the environment of paranoia, violence, and futility in which she grew up in a stark, frank style that never tugs on readers’ heartstrings or asks for their pity. Instead, Larsen presents a clear-eyed look at her almost unbelievable past and crafts a character study in resilience that is eminently engaging.”

Larsen will be presented with the award in Waterloo on Nov. 9. The following day, Nov. 10, we will host her for an event in Brantford, where I’m very much looking forward to talking about her book. I’ll post more details about this free, public event soon.