by Miriam Edelson


“Miriam Edelson’s essay collection The Swirl in My Burl is marked by fearlessness, clear-eyed candor, and ultimately a sense of hope for a stubbornly difficult world. Whether ex...



“Miriam Edelson’s essay collection The Swirl in My Burl is marked by fearlessness, clear-eyed candor, and ultimately a sense of hope for a stubbornly difficult world. Whether exploring family, mental health, motherhood and creativity, grief, or more global issues such as anti-Semitism and the alt-right, Edelson writes with a compassionate intellect and an artist’s eye – a compelling combination.” —Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic & Desire

“Writing a memoir of essays that includes examining your own mother-daughter relationship takes courage.  Edelson exhibits that in spades. She traces time from when "Mom" was the girl’s first confidante, to an angry breach for which Mom was blamed for having publicly revealed her own long-ago suicide attempt. Fearless as a writer, braving the toughest of memories, she joins a canoeing adventure in the wild as “business” she must attend to - scattering the ashes of her disabled son, who’d died 15 years prior. No easy life, but one of purpose, determination, and bravery which shines through this collection of essays on the creativity, joys, frustrations, and sorrows of the life of so many mothers who’ll admire and identify with this searingly honest author.”—Ellie Tesher, author of The Dionnes, former Toronto Star Sunday and Life editor, and news columnist

“Miriam Edelson writes with ease, directness, and intimacy that immediately engages the reader. Her collection of personal essays ties together family history, the impact of significant political events in the past half-century, her working life, and her own role as a mother into a coherent whole. A socially engaged activist, Edelson brings urgency to discussions of inequality, racism, and anti-Semitism. Especially moving are her essays that touch on her son’s short life, her efforts to not let grief overshadow her daughter’s growth into adulthood, and the positive self-care strategies she has learned in order to deal with her own mental health.”—Maureen Hynes, poet, and author of Sotto Voce

“Miriam Edelson is a fine and sensitive writer. This collection shows her at her best as she tries to come to terms with people and places close to her, including the uninvited guest to the party — her own depression. Her stories are wry with a hint of melancholy. They are never dull.”—Thomas Walkom, Political columnist

“During a time of anger, despair even hopelessness Miriam Edelson gives us a series of essays that are at once hopeful, and passionate, and speak to the love and the struggles amongst parents, children, friends, and lovers.  In Miriam’s stories we see shadows of ourselves, we see courage and determination and we are emboldened to carry on from strength to strength.”—Bernie M. Farber a human rights advocate.


Publishing date: September 27, 2022

Language: English

Paperback: 148 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1-958419-11-3

Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.36 x 9 inches


Miriam Edelson is a neurodivergent social activist, settler, writer, and mother living in Toronto, Canada. Her literary non-fiction, personal essays, and commentaries have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, various U.S. and Canadian literary journals, and on CBC Radio. Her first book, “My Journey with Jake: A Memoir of Parenting and Disability” was published in April 2000. “Battle Cries: Justice for Kids with Special Needs” appeared in late 2005. She completed a doctorate in 2016 at the University of Toronto focused on Mental Health in the Workplace.

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