On Friday, October 30th, Sharon Johnston returns to UWaterloo to read excerpts from her first work of fiction, Matrons and Madams, followed by a discussion moderated by Professor Shelley Hulan from the Department of English Language and Literature.
Matrons and Madams concerns Clara Durling, a British widow of the First World War, who arrives in Canada as the new superintendent of the Lethbridge Hospital just as wounded soldiers stream home. Lily Parsons is a young, widowed schoolteacher from Nova Scotia who ends up in the same city, managing a brothel called The Last Post. Set against the backdrop of love, union organizers, amorous bachelors, gamblers, drinkers, and prostitutes, the lives of these two women unexpectedly intertwine when Clara, in the heat of local politics and responding to the highest incidence of venereal disease in the province, establishes the first venereal disease clinic in the province, with Lily’s help. In this sprawling saga, Lily and Clara must confront the city’s conservative thinkers to bring help and compassion to wounded veterans.
The event will be held at Federation Hall, 3pm. Copies of Matrons and Madams will be available on-site for purchase. A book signing will follow the reading. Students, faculty, staff, and community members are welcome. Please RSVP to reserve a seat at this free event.