Run Towards the Danger
“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
“Sarah Polley tells us the truth, even when it feels razor sharp—even when it feels dangerous. These brilliant essays 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, bestselling author of Women Talking
Named a Most-Anticipated Book of 2022 by Entertainment Weekly, Lit Hub, and AV Club
Oscar-nominated screenwriter, director, and actor Sarah Polley’s Run Towards the Danger explores memory and the dialogue between her past and her present.
These are the most dangerous stories of my life. The ones I have avoided, the ones I haven’t told, the ones that have kept me awake on countless nights. As these stories found echoes in my adult life, and then went another, better way than they did in childhood, they became lighter and easier to carry.
Sarah Polley’s work as an actor, screenwriter, and director is celebrated for its honesty, complexity, and deep humanity. She brings all of those qualities along with her exquisite storytelling chops to these six essays. Each one captures a piece of Polley’s life as she remembers it, while at the same time examining the fallibility of memory, the mutability of reality in the mind, and the possibility of experiencing the past anew, as the person you are now but were not then. As Polley writes, the past and present are in a “reciprocal pressure dance.”
Polley contemplates stories from her own life ranging from stage fright to high risk childbirth to endangerment and more. After struggling with the aftermath of a concussion, Polley met a specialist who gave her wholly new advice: to recover from a traumatic injury, she had to retrain her mind to strength by charging towards the very activities that triggered her symptoms. With riveting clarity, she shows the power of applying that same advice to other areas of her life in order to find a path forward, a way through. Rather than live in a protective crouch, she had to run towards the danger.
In this extraordinary book, Sarah Polley explores what it is to live in one’s body, in a constant state of becoming, learning, and changing.