In Sickness and In Health/ Yom Kippur in a Gym by Nora Gold


These are both novellas published together. 

In Sickness and In Health by Nora Gold is the fictionalized memoir of a woman whose childhood was marked by epilepsy. Traumatized by the embarrassment of her seizures, shunned socially by those afraid of her fits and hampered by dulling medication, Lily struggles to live a “normal” life. Her own mother has informed her that she is “defective” and that epileptics don’t drive, hold down jobs, get married or have children. Despite her mother’s dire predictions about a diminished future life, Lily outgrows her condition, and goes on to lead a rich and full existence. A recurring bout of fatigue suddenly disrupts Lily’s adult equanimity and draws her back into the horrors of her childhood illness, completely unravelling her with unexpected waves of grief and powerlessness. A heart wrenching narrative that explores the lingering effects of shame in relation to disability, Gold has written an inspiring novella steeped with forgiveness, compassion and love.

A heart wrenching narrative that explores the lingering effects of shame in relation to disability, Gold has written an inspiring novella steeped with forgiveness, compassion and love.

Yom Kippur in a Gym by Nora Gold is a powerful, moving narrative that illuminates the messiness of our lives, while also providing a gentle nudge towards deep healing through kinship and faith.

Yom Kippur in a Gym by Nora Gold is a powerful, moving narrative that illuminates the messiness of our lives, while also providing a gentle nudge towards deep healing through kinship and faith. A rich cast of characters, each with their own back story, are brought together during service for Yom Kippur in a local gym. The individuals are all processing serious life-changing situations — a husband with Parkinson’s, a failed art career, strained family dynamics, guilt and worry. Gold skillfully sketches in the lives of her characters, highlighting the richness of the human condition in terms of friendship, forgiveness, love, and family. When the Rabbi abruptly falls ill, individuals step forward to continue the service. However, their actions do more than invoke closure to a religious ceremony. Led in joyous singing and prayer, they are transformed by the celebration of life itself, and by their place in the greater scheme of things. A beautiful, life-affirming, almost-allegorical work. Highly recommended.

Dr. Nora Gold is a prize-winning author, the editor of a prestigious literary journal jewishfiction.net, and a former professor, social worker, and activist. Her novel, The Dead Man, was internationally praised, received a Translation Grant from Canada Council for the Arts, and was published in Hebrew. Her previous novel, Fields of Exile, won a Canadian Jewish Literary Award. Marrow and Other Stories won a Canadian Jewish Book Award and praise from Alice Munro.

Publisher: Guernica (March 1, 2024)
Paperback 9″ x 6″ | 200 pages
ISBN: 9781771838658

 -- Website

Lucy E.M. Black (she/her/hers) is the author of The Marzipan Fruit Basket, Eleanor Courtown, Stella’s Carpet and The Brickworks.  Her new short story collection, Class Lessons: Stories of Vulnerable Youth will be released October 2024. Her award-winning short stories have been published in Britain, Ireland, USA and Canada. She is a dynamic workshop presenter, experienced interviewer and freelance writer.  She lives with her partner in the small lakeside town of Port Perry, Ontario, the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island, First Nations.

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