Holden After and Before

Some news!

I’m delighted to share with you the cover for Holden After and Before.

The design process has been fascinating and gratifying thanks to the artistry, listening skillz, and emotional band width of Jazmin Welch at Fleck Creative. Jaz heard me when I spoke of evoking both absence and presence, lightness and dark, colour and ‘not colour’ etc…  We worked through many, many iterations and landed here. I’m very pleased!

Pre-orders are available HERE. I encourage you to please support local bookstores whenever possible.?

Release date is September 27, 2022, which seems a loooooooong way away, but, time being what it is, I know the day will arrive sooner than I’m prepared for.

Here’s the first generous review:

Holden, After and Before is a brave, honest, unspeakably painful but simultaneously beautiful attempt by a ‘mother who was a light bulb striking pavement’ to come to terms with her young son’s life and death. Once I began reading, I could not tear myself from this account, which offers a rich tapestry of memoir and fiction – basically, anything Tara McGuire could recall, discover or imagine – about her son Holden, who died accidentally at age twenty-one after he ingested a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin. As I read, Tara McGuire enveloped me with her empathy, her desperate hunger to make sense of the senseless, and her humanity. She inspired me with her courageous and unflinching journey – in the wake of any parent’s worst nightmare – to become a writer as a means of honouring her lost son.      ~Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes

So, here we go. NO turning back now! Knowing others will soon read this very vulnerable work is a surreal and unsettling feeling. I have no idea what to expect…on pretty much every level. The whole publishing process is very slow, methodical and careful (not qualities I’d use to describe myself), I mean, it takes YEARS!  I’m still editing!!

The biggest THANK YOU to Brian Lam, publisher at Arsenal Pulp Press for seeing this work as the love song it is.

  1. Leslie Landell

    My order is placed and it can’t come quickly enough. Congratulations on this important and impressive achievement!

  2. Lianne

    Congratulations Tara. I can’t wait to have it in my hands. xx

  3. Bob and Myrna

    Congratulations Tara!

  4. Meagan

    Tara, this is an incredible accomplishment. You are so strong to to be able to do this. I hope the journey has brought you some peace. With love, Meagan.

  5. Bob Boonstra

    Hi Tara.
    Congratulations on your book completion.
    I should probably introduce (re-introduce?) myself as a randonneur who know your dad and admired him always. I rode a number of brevets with him in the ’80’s and ’90’s and learned a lot from him. Five of us including Dan, cycled together from Holland through to France in 1987 as part of our preparation. It was so memorable.
    I’ve read and followed your accounts of his travels across Canada during his illness, These were most inspiring.
    During one of the Rocky Mountain 1200 adventures, Dan asked me what I thought of riding in the Yukon and I was somewhat dismissive – knowing the Yukon to be filled with gravel roads and the like, so he didn’t approach the topic again, and once I learned of his subsequent efforts, I was disappointed not to have played a part in these.
    Little did I know of his plans for the next year, for I certainly would have supported him as you and others did on that exploration.
    Anyway – I would like to purchase a copy of your book when it becomes available and when Barb and I are back in Canada.
    We are presently in Australia with our family and enjoying our grandchildren after a long absence.
    We will be back home in Kamloops at the end of the month, so hope to get in contact with you a bit later this spring.
    If you have the opportunity, you can reply to my e-mail below.
    I hope to be in touch sometime in April.

    Take care… Bob

  6. Col

    You are a brave, incredible human. With you always in everything. Congratulations, xo

  7. Brian Nikula

    Hi Tara,
    I much look forward to the read. Your topic
    is truly a display of literary courage. Well done however difficult. Hope all is great.

  8. Jeanne

    Thank you,Tara, for your in depth interview on CBC’s The Current this morning. As a parent and community activist who sought solutions in the 80s and 90s, I look forward to reading your book and sharing it with others.

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