New Year, New Voices: Alone: A Love Story

New Year, New Voices: Alone: A Love Story

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Hello Canada,

This year marks the release of my debut book, Alone: A Love Story, which is a memoir, sure, but it’s as much yours as it is mine. 

I’ve always been a storyteller and performer. My parents are Italian immigrants, and I grew up in a small town by the Toronto airport with all the other immigrants. Big working-class families of every religion and ethnicity; delicious, mysterious smells and languages wafting from windows and airplanes flying overhead. It was the truest experience of the Canadian mosaic, and was a huge influence on the person and writer I became.

As a child, I made radio shows on cassettes and wrote hundreds of short stories all based on the real life going on around me. No wonder I’ve had a two-decade career as a broadcast journalist! But I held on to the other habit as well, which is why, when I was 37 years old and my life blew up suddenly, I wrote all about it in a series of short stories, scribbled into notebooks and on the backs of bank envelopes and streetcar transfers.

Over the next few years, those scraps of paper came together as my memoir. I flirted with publishing it. Instead, I adapted it into twenty-eight internationally acclaimed and award-winning episodes for CBC Podcasts.

In the first two years of release, Alone has been downloaded nine million times. It made The Atlantic’s Best Podcasts of 2017. On Apple Podcasts, it went to #1 in Australia, #2 in Canada, and also charted in the U.S, India, and New Zealand. People binge entire seasons of Alone in one day, hungry for more, as if it’s a Netflix series. They connect deeply with the shared experience I’ve tapped into, the fumbling with how to make sense of the messiness of our ordinary lives.

I’m thrilled that in May 2020, my book that became a podcast will now be a book again. There will be the “more” those podcast fans crave, but even if you’ve never heard it, the voice on the podcast is the voice of this book. It’s the voice on those early scraps of paper, there in the heartbreak and wonder, the disappointment and resilience. We’re in it together. There’s life here, in the alone space, and there’s hope.

Stick with me.

Michelle Parise

 

 

 

Michelle Parise

Posted by Kendra on August 16, 2019
Michelle Parise photo

Michelle Parise

Michelle Parise is an award-winning journalist, writer, and performer. She has worked for the CBC for more than two decades, in everything from children’s television to national radio news, music programming, and documentary making. She lives in Toronto.