It is rare for an author to re-enter one of her books published twenty years ago. In the first edition of Bloodroot, Warland traced how a mother’s shared gender with her daughter can shape the very anatomy of narrative itself. In her mother’s final year, Warland quietly discovered how to disentangle a crucial, concealed story that had rendered their relationship disconnected and fraught.
The book tracks how a mother-daughter relationship that was so disconnected was given an odd opening after the author’s mother awakens and tells her the bizarre story that she had another (secret) daughter. This seemingly deluded conversation was the opening to a much deeper and compassionate relationship between mother and daughter. The narrative traces the story that bound them together in the mother-daughter relationship, and her reflections help her find clarity, understanding and acceptance.
Warland weaves a common ground that moves beyond duty and despair, providing both questions and guideposts for readers, particularly those faced with ageing and ill parents and their loss.
The 2000 edition broke new ground in memoir form and uncharted storytelling. The 2020 edition, reprinted by Inanna for the launch of its Inanna Series, includes a new foreword by Cate Sandilands, and a new introduction by Warland that explores subsequent questions, insights, and tenderness only the passage of time can enable.
Betsy Warland is one of Canada’s leading feminist writers. She has published thirteen books of creative non-fiction, lyric prose, and poetry.