From the author of What Species of Creatures, Sharon Kirsch, comes The Smallest Objective, an intricate and melancholy personal memoir about a daughter’s last days with her mother, the hidden recesses of family history, and the treasures that the past can bring in the face of a difficult present.
Having moved her elderly mother into a care home, the author of The Smallest Objective must now empty the family home of half a century, discovering as she does so a series of small objects that unlock her family’s past: a lantern slide, a faded recipe book, a postcard from Mexico, a nugget of fool’s gold.
With the object of staving off grief while attending to her mother’s final days, Sharon embarks on a quest to retrieve the origin and circumstances surrounding each of these articles. Along the way, she uncovers the stories of several early- to mid-century Montreal Jewish personalities — a Runyonesque hustler, a Lithuanian botanist, and a self-made young woman — as well as the extent to which they were punctured and shaped by the muffled anti-Semitism of the time.
The Smallest Objective examines the minutiae of lives lived, our concern for senior members of our family, the time we need to sift, take stock, and filter out the important things, and the consolation offered by staying close to loved ones even when we can’t reach them.
Virtual book launch for creative nonfiction/literary memoir
The Smallest Objective by Sharon Kirsch
Readings, music and Q & A hosted by Jeanette Kelly
Tuesday, November 24, 8pm
New Star Books- Zoom event registration (+available afterwards)
Thank you, Sharon Kirsch and Janis Kirshner
About the author
Sharon Kirsch is a writer of fiction, narrative non-fiction and journalism with a particular interest in how individuals are transformed by experiences of the new and the unfamiliar. What Species of Creatures, her non-fiction book about the first Europeans in Canada and their encounters with exotic “beasts,” is a recommended title from Canada’s National History Society. “Animals Out of Turn,” a selection from a larger work in progress, imagines how the arts, scientific understanding, alchemy and even culinary tradition shape our interactions with other species.