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Letters to Brian: A Year of Living and Remembrance

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Loss, Love, Life: Letters to Brian

Winner of the 2016 Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction.

In daily love letters written to her husband and soul companion, Brian, over the year following his death from brain cancer, critically acclaimed author, playwright, and jazz singer Martha Brooks leads us on a journey through grief that is both deeply personal and undeniably universal.

By turns funny, shattering, and uplifting, Brooks wrestles with the crucial question of how to continue a lifelong romance once your lover is gone. The answer seems to come from Brian himself, leaving timely clues and orchestrating surprising synchronicities of healing through family, friends, and complete strangers. Through her “Letters to Brian”, Brooks learns not to overcome her grief but to live with loss. And she comes to realize that we are never truly alone.

Advanced Praise

When Brooks writes of common troubles—the death of a parent, looking for love—she does so with piercing insight and sympathy.

Kirkus Reviews


The reader has taken the voyage, too, and remarkably, it isn't a soul destroying trip. We have lived through the sorrow, and Martha's rising appreciation of life and its opportunities with her.

Joan Cohen, Lifestyles 55

These beautifully rendered tableaux are a lasting imprint of what's been revealed in this memoir—the impressive measure of the man, Brian Brooks, and the profound love and loyalty of his wife, Martha.

Marjorie Anderson, Winnipeg Free Press

Winner of the 2016 Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction.

Turnstone Press

206-100 Arthur Street
Winnipeg, MB   R3B 1H3
Ph: 204-947-1555; Toll Free: 888-363-7718

Turnstone Press acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Government of Canada, and the Province of Manitoba through Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage.

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