Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
January 24, 2002
Book by U of G student is tribute to a mother's love
Inspired by her mom, a University of Guelph student has written a children's book scheduled to be published next month about the guiding strength of the mother-daughter bond.
Anna Strauss, a fourth-year history and English major, wrote Hush while still in high school. The story describes the power of a mother's love in the simple, rhythmic language of children's prose. Illustrated by Toronto artist Alice Priestley, Hush is about girl who is comforted during life's growing pains by her mother's soothing words and hugs. The child grows up to have a daughter and the tradition of nurturing continues. Strauss calls Hush "a raw, genuine story," inspired by her mother, Betty White Strauss, and the story's characters are named for Strauss's grandmothers. "It's a tribute to the women of my family," she said. "A huge part of my strength and confidence is because I've had a mother who's really been there for me. I feel really lucky."
In February, Toronto's Key Porter Books will make13,500 copies available to bookstores across Canada and 9,500 copies to booksellers in the United States. Planning is under way for a book launch in Strauss's Cabbagetown neighbourhood in Toronto and at the university. At a time when popular children's fiction seems to concentrate on "monsters, wizards and grand adventures," this book is for parents who "want something comforting to read to their children, something intimate to share with a child," said Imoinda Romain of Key Porter, who worked with Strauss on the project. "We're really happy to have a new young author under our wing."
The book is dedicated to Strauss's parents, Betty White Strauss and Stephen Strauss, a Globe and Mail reporter, and David Reed, a Jarvis Collegiate Institute high school teacher.
Strauss says she plans to keep writing short stories, poetry, songs and maybe even a novel. "Writing is one of the only things I have consistently worked on my entire life. It's really satisfying to write something that people can relate to, that touches them. Writing is such a different medium than speaking. Words, once said - memory changes them. Writing, it's there forever. It's part of what makes writing wonderful and scary."
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