#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER * SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022 TORONTO BOOK AWARDS * A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice * Named a Most-Anticipated Book of 2022 by Entertainment Weekly, Lit Hub, and AV Club *
“A visceral and incisive collection of six propulsive personal essays.” —Vanity Fair
“[A] roving, psychologically probing memoir in essays . . . On the page, Polley turns out to be as brave, funny, and unself-serious as she is on the screen.” —The New Yorker
From the Academy Award-nominated director of Women Talking, 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.
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.