Author Kara Stanley is set to speak at the second Booked! event of the season. The Booked! Writers Series invited Canadian writers and literary personalities to speak as part of a lecture series.
Stanley is speaking about her first published work, a memoir titled Fallen, which detailed the struggles she faced when her husband fell from a roof and suffered life altering injuries. Her husband Simon Paradis, whose main passion was music, worked as a contractor and fell while on the job, leaving his future very uncertain.
“He had been in a coma for months, and they didn’t know if he would be able think again – for sure he would never be able to walk again and for sure he would never be able to play music again,” said Angie Abdou, the organizer and curator of the event.
Stanley supported her husband throughout everything, and the two made drastic changes to their lifestyle in order to support Paradis’s recovery.
“It was months at his bedside and had to completely re-do their house to make it wheelchair accessible as things progressed,” said Abdou. “It makes you think about what your marriage can survive and what people have to cope with – you can get bogged down in the regular day-to-day struggles and then your life could change in a second and you could have real struggles.”
While Fallen is written as a memoir of the difficult time, it also focuses on brain science and the benefits that music has on the brain – specifically the impact it made in Paradis’s own recovery. Immediately after the accident, medical professionals were skeptical that Paradis would ever be able to play music again, but he does – he just released a new album, and will be at the Booked! event, playing music with Fernie local Red Girl before and after the talk.
Abdou said that the book has received some strong critical acclaim. “It’s her first book and it was hot listed by CBC as a book to watch for this fall and by Quill and Quire, the big trade publication for books, so it’s getting a fair amount of attention. It’s beautifully written and inspiring,” she said.
Stanley’s talk will be held at the Fernie Heritage Library at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15. There will be an hour of music and refreshments before the talk begins and some time after to talk to the author.