Run Towards the Danger: Confrontations with a Body of Memory


Product Details

$27.00  $25.11
Penguin Press
Publish Date
6.06 X 9.06 X 1.1 inches | 1.02 pounds

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About the Author

Sarah Polley is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, director, and actor. After making short films, Polley made her feature-length directorial debut with the drama film Away from Her in 2006. Polley received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay, which she adapted from the Alice Munro story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain." Her other projects include the documentary film Stories We Tell (2012), which won the New York Film Critics Circle prize and the National Board of Review award for best documentary; the miniseries adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel Alias Grace (2017); and the romantic comedy Take This Waltz (2011). Polley began her acting career as a child, starring in many productions for film and television.


"Meaty . . . the book is most interesting when Polley interrogates her own contradictions and manipulative instincts, many of which were a matter of survival . . . The little girl who carried the weight of Hollywood movie budgets and theater actors' salaries on her shoulders is now a grown woman whose stolen childhood has made her at once a stunningly sophisticated observer of the world and an imperfect witness to the truth. Her willingness to embrace such paradoxes, in this book as well as in her films, is the mark of a real artist." --Meghan Daum, The New York Times Book Review

"Sarah Polley has embodied what feels like multiple lives. She's been Canada's sweetheart, a teen activist, an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, a documentarian, a filmmaker, and a TV director. It's no wonder her diverse body of work tends to center on protagonists whose identities are shifting and morphing under the weight of an unexamined past and a tense present. In this essay collection, Polley projects that recurring question of memory on pivotal moments in her own life for a book that promises to be more vulnerable and introspective than your usual child-star-turned-adult narrative." --The A.V. Club

"Fascinating, harrowing, courageous, and deeply felt, these explorations of 'dangerous stories, ' harmful past events, and trials of the soul speak to all who've encountered dark waters and have had to navigate them." --Margaret Atwood, via Twitter

"I loved this book! Like light refracted through a prism, each essay offers a unique view of the rich inner world and illustrious career of one of our most important artists. Smart, funny, devastating and compassionate--often all in the same paragraph--Run Towards the Danger reminds us of literature's power to synthesize the human condition and to transform a reader in the process." --Alison Pick, Man Booker Prize-nominated author of Far to Go

"In Run Towards the Danger, Sarah Polley does just that. She tells us the truth, even when it feels razor sharp--even when it feels dangerous. She rips away at painful past experiences that she's never shared before, and in this way emboldens us to sharpen our gaze on the shadowed moments in our own past, to understand their provenance and to bring meaning to them. She shows us how, by doing this, we can begin to move towards that specific peace of mind--you might even call it joy--that comes with confronting our demons and knowing ourselves. These brilliant essays (and Sarah Polley, with her melioristic heart and empathic eye) urge us, by example, towards the examined life, the life worth living, and give us a jolt of energy to muster the courage and compassion needed to live it." --Miriam Toews, author of Women Talking

"Sarah Polley understands that questions of conscience are inseparable from the terrors and tenderness of the body, and that courage--moral or physical--is not fearlessness but our relationship to fear. How we confront pain, how we determine what is safe, how we comprehend the depth and limits of our responsibility to others and to ourselves--these are exacting, keening questions. This is a powerful and moving book, both in its seeking and its wisdom." --Anne Michaels, author of The Winter Vault